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Re: “

I believe the correct amount to be £2000 [two thousand English pounds] which by some calculations would be about $320,000.00 a year for life.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by leal.charonnat on 05/10/2014 at 7:34 PM

Re: “Death of Oakland's Retail Plan

Well talk about serendipity! The East Bay Express' article on Oakland's uptown area ("Broadway Valdez Specific Plan") could not be more timely.

Seems Dwell magazine is in the throws of an on-line vote for the best building to be preserved - and Oakland's Biff's Coffee Shop - a unique round 'Googie'-style 1960's diner centrally located at 27th and Broadway - is up for the vote.

[Oakland EBEx readers who would like to see Oakland on the map a bit more (alla NYTimes) should just do a web search for "dwell biffs" and the very top listing will be the link to vote for Biff's! and make Oakland's Uptown happen despite no redevelopment. ]

Biff's - what a treasure! It just needs some love and fixin'.

But no redevelopment? Sounds a bit like something from the Humphrey Bogart movie The Treasure of the Sierra Madre - not needing to "show any stinkin' badges." - who needs redevelopment when you can get creative and energetic trail blazers like Glenda Barnhart who are the real re-developers!

If redevelopment had its way, small owners like Glenda would have been out on their ear. Redeveolpment is not kind to small folk - they like to super-size everything.

BTW - all the talk about that retail 'leakage'....well in fact it's more like a zero sum game. Yes, Oaklanders do have to travel out to get to a Macy's and other large scale retailers. But, pray tell, why would a retailer spend $500 million on a new Macy's when all they are going to do is get the buyers they already have?

What DOES make sense is to have things uniquely Oakland.

Oakland has always had a hard time just trying to be itself. The New York Times no less recognized Oakland BECAUSE of its own versatility - and not because it has a street clogged with national retail chains.

Why should Oakland be chained down to the old orthodoxy of only national chains are worth anything? Emeryville has its Avenue of Chains - but there is plenty of creativity, energy and room for Oaklanders to develop their own clothing, etc.

That would be a local local mode.

As for the so-called Valdez-Broadway becoming a hub for retain...what ever happened to downtown Downtown Oakland?

There are vast spaces of empty open space asking for fillin development - and the downtown is served by two BART stations.

The Valdez-Broadway area has no BART. Those plans that the redevelopment agency were putting forth were going to require vast amounts of parking. Doesn't sound too green to me.

Getting back to Biff's - a centrally located full-service diner would be a key anchor for a unique retail and dining and art experience. Biff's operated as a 24/7 for over 35 years -and everyone would go to Biff's - serving what one supporter would call 'comfort food.' A temperal temple it were - that 10,000 people at the time signed a petition to keep the diner going.

The land around Biff's could become a great community plaza (there have been suggestions that the city undo all that paving it put in at Biff's to create a public plaza that could anchor one end of Valdez.)

It may be reduntant to say, but small is beautiful, and all those small footprint buildings (a bane to any traditional redevelopment scheme) are the crucible for a vibrant and liveable Oakland.


14 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by leal.charonnat on 02/15/2012 at 5:00 PM

Re: “Dog Park Meeting Civil, But Consensus-Free

So, all in all, it was a pawsative meeting.

Posted by traceuses on 03/24/2011 at 8:33 PM

Re: “Dog Park Meeting Civil, But Consensus-Free

Civility? lol...that's what happens when so many people in one room have dogs on their mind...the soothing energy that dogs bring emanated and flooded the room with good vibes..even if people had differing opinions.*

*"According to researchers at the University of Japan, dog owners experience a surge in the hormone oxytocin after periods of playing with their dogs or simply being gazed at by them. Oxytocin has been nicknamed the “cuddle chemical” for the role it plays in the mother-child bond. It produces positive, warm feelings and because it’s a serious stress reducer – it dampens down the area of the brain associated with anxiety – may also help explain the myriad health benefits associated with dog ownership." - 'Why owning a dog is good for you' Deborah Ross - The Times, 3/6/2010 http://thetim.es/icvrI2

For the record, the entire 155 acres that comprise Lake Merritt - the nation's first Wildlife Refuge (1870) is entirely off limits to dogs, including such concepts as 'foot of the lake', Snow Park, etc. The one place where dogs might be allowed would be in this far corner. It does confuse the issue when suggestions of other locations around the lake are mentioned, when they are not. Anything closer than the perimeter sidewalk, where dogs on leash are now allowed, is off limits to dogs, include all the walks and green spaces up to MacArthur Boulevard.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by traceuses on 03/24/2011 at 3:09 PM

Re: “Dog Park Divides Lake Merritt

An UNdistorted view of the East Lakeview Park with the proposed dog play area, play field, and Astro Park, a small childrens play area; with the Lakeview library may be seen here http://on.fb.me/gB4ayA

Some web sites have posted distorted 'perspective' views that have the dog play area in the foreground, and then...by the powers of perspective...receding into the background...a "smallish" looking play field.

The linked drawing (above) is simply a plan view with no distortions - to scale.

Posted by traceuses on 03/16/2011 at 10:50 PM

Re: “Dog Park Divides Lake Merritt

OK - Now first, just some administrative business, the title of this article is VERY misleading on two counts (shame shame editor)"
#1 ---First, the title "Dog Park" is incorrect - in Oakland they are 'dog play areas'.
#2 - Second, the park is not "dividing" Lake Merritt! Please! The proposed park is in a corner...and it is certainly not "dividing" Lake Merritt. It is no where near the lake, and certainly is not affecting the lake!
Now....First and foremost, this is not about excluding...no...it is all about sharing. Like what mothers try to teach their children...

"People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along? Can we get along?..." - Rodney King, Los Angeles, 1992 http://bit.ly/fNEO9Z

This is about SHARING, not being exclusive....

Yes, the area now where the dog park is sited is open play area - but remember that the intended use is still PLAY!

If there was a way to not have a fence when playing with our canine friends, I am sure the community would want to go there. Technologically, there is not...so a fence is needed. A fence with different vines flowering at different times of the year (something our bee friends will like...not one is thinking of the bees here..but they are important too!)

With a dog play area, here is still room for all the other activities now happening - it just won't be quite so lonesome with the doggies romping being a four-foot fence. In fact the open space for non-structured areas is larger than the fenced areas.

Using the sharing metaphor....this is a bit like having to slice off some of your birthday cake to share...one doesn't always get the whole cake, even if all you want to do is stare at it in the comfort of your room (or SUV as your drive by.)

Blocking a view of the lake? Hardly. The fence is only four feet high - lower than most eyeballs of anyone walking on the sidewalks, and certainly much lower than anyone in a car or SUV driving by (although the thought of someone staring out the side window driving down what goes as a city street but feels more like the beginning of the Indianapolis 500 as drivers joust to get to the freeway onramp yawning across the Lakeshore intersection a bit scary...i mean really? The lake is about a fifth of a mile away.

(( Actually, one might think that having dogs joyously bouncing about as they romp and run about chasing each other over and under as they sniff and run and run and dodge would be a distraction for those same drivers zipping down MacArthur!!))

Are the fenced areas big enough?

In a word...yes.

One way to put it, "it is what it is..."

The judgement of that is to compare this area with the 'used areas' of such established dog parks as the Ohlone Dog Park in Berkeley, the Alameda Dog Park at Crown Memorial Beach, or Sausalito's "Remington Dog Park." Those parks are larger, but the size of the proposed Lakeview Dog Play Area is close to the core area of those parks that is most actively used.

This park is a bit larger than some of the previously approved dog play areas.

Now... to try to be on the same page, just a few facts and figures...so, as issues are further discussed, parties have some similar information....some numbers might be in order..... (a deep bow to Ruby for these!)

0 (zero).....the number of parks in Oakland allow dogs - leashed or not. Period (ok ok. that was redundant.) Per OMC Section 6.04.080 "Dogs at large in parks - A. It is unlawful for any person owning or having in charge, care, control or custody any dog, except a "Seeing Eye dog" actually being used by a blind person, a "signal dog" actually being used by hearing impaired person, or a "service dog" actually being used by a handicapped person, or a police dog being used by any federal, state, county, city, city and county, city, or city and county enforcement agency for any law enforcement purpose, to permit or allow any such dog, whether leashed or unleashed, to be in a public park, school yard or public playground, or other place controlled by the Board of Education or the city Director of Parks and Recreation for special events or special occasions." http://bit.ly/ed5qIx

5 (five)..... the number of special areas in parks - "Dog Play Areas" that have to be approved by the city of Oakland. http://bit.ly/hdOvR9

2 (two) the number of times this has been approved by PRAC - Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee. http://bit.ly/fasy5q They may also revisit any future approvals.

0 (zero) funds from the General Fund or the Measure DD bond funds ($198.5 million) that will be used to build this park.

40 (forty) percent of households that have a canine residing with them. http://bit.ly/ihAd6Q

$25,000 - the estimated amount Oaklander residents have paid the City of Piedmont to use THEIR off-leash areas.

14 - The percentage of East Lakeview Park that would be fenced in by this project.

18 - The percentage of East Lakeview park that would be the Open Play field after this park is installed.

9 - The number of feet that Hardy Park dog play area is from the children play area. Note to reader - the children park was installed AFTER the dogs were there.

35 - The number of fee the Lakeview dog play area would be from the children's play furniture.

Bottom line - the dog park WILL bring people to this area, people and their dog companions, and not only will the canines get some good execise, the local merchants may find an uptick as their owners hang around for a little while longer and shell out some of that green stuff.....so yes...this dog play area will be green.

Posted by traceuses on 03/16/2011 at 9:55 PM

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