Francesca M. Austin 
Member since Nov 11, 2010

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Moved here with my small family for work in late 2008 - after a whole life on the east coast. Love it and want to… More »

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  • Collective Bike Rides Gaining Traction

    New groups geared toward getting tourists, the black community, and everyone else to experience Oakland on two wheels.
    • Nov 10, 2010
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Married, enjoy friendliness of the Bay Area

Updated on October 17, 2015 at 5:58 AM

Recent Comments

Re: “Oakland Homeless Resident Organizes 'Green Teams' to Clean the City

I've become friendly with a Lake Merritt city worker who I won't name. He told me last year that they have just a few staff members to keep up with all the landscaping clean up and garbage clean up required in the green area surrounding the lake - and they cannot keep up as they are staffed. Perhaps more staff was added over the past year - I don't know. I do know that current staffing needs help. Other cities pay homeless, or residents of various social programs to clean up trash and garbage. Other cities provide large, specifically marked recycling and trash bins in city parks. In Berlin, Germany where I stayed for several weeks, uniformed crews (dozens of people) can been seen doing this in huge parks early each morning. Plus there are dumpsters AND recycling bins, rather than small trash cans, here and there where they can dump the trash. Provide a dumpster in our Oakland parks, particularly after events - guests and homeless using our parks try to dispose of trash in or near cans but the cans are too small. The bottom line is I am in favor of willing homeless helping to clean up, and yes, getting a stipend to do this necessary chore.

Posted by Francesca M. Austin on 06/28/2018 at 11:42 AM

Re: “Music Teacher David Byrd Helps Make Oakland High School Whole Again

I am so happy to read this article on progress being made at the Oakland HSs music program. As is to often the case it appears to hinge on one teacher. Music as one of the arts is so important in early education. It warmed my heart to hear him verbalize that He finds it odd that many of his friends and neighbors send their children to private schools. If every nurturing parent cared enough to support our public schools, the schools would fill with motivated young people and thrive once again. We dont need cheaters and home schooling. We need involved families in our public system. Ive read stories in the news this year and last how some of OHighs graduates have done very well. I went to public schools and so did my family. Support them with your time and energy and send your children - we are already supporting our schools with taxes anyway.

Posted by Francesca M. Austin on 06/18/2018 at 9:05 PM

Re: “Our Guide to Destination Hikes

Black diamond mines has a ridge trail I would deem as moderate and offers vast vistas throughout. A ranger there turned us on to it when we were looking to view wildflowers and it was delightful. On our previous visit we hiked up to the cemetery which offers a spectacular view of the hills with flying raptors hunting.

Posted by Francesca M. Austin on 06/18/2018 at 8:35 PM

Re: “Cannabis Tax Relief, Workers' Rights Bills Fail in Sacramento

Quote of the day: killing that Bill (Republican-sponsored AB 3157) is a big win for the black market.

Posted by Francesca M. Austin on 05/31/2018 at 5:48 PM

Re: “The Killer Inside Me

What a terrifying story and generous of you to tell it. Good to have a record of what you went through as you continue to improve. I wish you many many years of wellness in the California sun.

Posted by Francesca M. Austin on 05/24/2018 at 7:37 AM

Re: “When Weed Isn't Strong Enough

With legalization, as was feared, comes excessive regulation and increased taxation of cannabis. This will push folks in need of high doses of medical cannabis to the black market which will flourish by the underground communication i.e. word of mouth. As well, many who can benefit from doses of CBDs for pain (who do not wish to feel "high") are being priced out because they cannot afford the inflated pricing since January 1. CBDs were never inexpensive and as medicine, we need to lobby to have them covered under insurance to avoid addictive substances for pain control.

Posted by Francesca M. Austin on 03/15/2018 at 8:11 AM

Re: “One of Oakland's Most Historic Figures Was Also Horribly Racist

Good to know that this article is mostly NOT true. Thank you commenters.

Posted by Francesca M. Austin on 09/21/2017 at 8:12 AM

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