Mastodon East Canyon 22X Neighborhood Council

We Had a Happening September Meeting!

Here’s a recap:

Home Match

Rachel Mathews’ presentation about the Home Match program, which carefully matches Oaklanders who have a spare bedroom with Oaklanders who need a spare bedroom, received an enthusiastic response. 

As with renting a room on Craigslist, a rent is established as are house rules, but unlike Craigslist, the FREE service provided by Home Match gets down to the nitty gritty of matching based on a huge list of factors. They also help with creating a legal agreement and they provide support when friction becomes uncomfortable, which happens sometimes. Visit Home Match online.

Crime Report

Together, Tom Donovan and our Community Resource Officer, Aaron Johnson, discussed Oakland’s crime rates. 

You can view crime data from the last 90 days from Oakland’s Crime Watch Maps website.  You can sort the data by column, including crime type and police beat. Tip: if you’re looking for what’s happened in Beat 22x, click on the Police Beat column and you’ll find the data somewhere in the middle of the report (in rows 8537 to 8749 for the September 21, 2023 report which has 18,100 rows including all types of crimes).  Here is a link to the data.

You can view weekly crime reports by Police Area, although most recent report available as of this writing is from August 20. We're in Police Area 3. View the reports here. 

You can also search on an address or zip code in Oakland to view individual reported crime activity during the previous week, or any other week, on a map! View the map here. 

Block Organizing

Toni Bird and Ryn Beeley from Oakland’s Maxwell Park neighborhood talked about their experiences with block organizing, especially in the wake of a tragic incident that happened on their block. 

A neighbor who had been outside gardening was shot and killed by an occupant in a speeding car. Ryn had been gathering  neighbors on the block for casual, outdoor suppers during COVID, but neighborhood organizing was new for Toni, who was first on the scene after the shooting. An officer at the scene encouraged Toni to get involved in organizing her block. Could organized neighbors  have prevented the shooting? It’s impossible to know, but Toni and Ryn were clear that it’s helped with the healing.

Talking about the Gunfire 

In early August, gunfire broke out at the complicated intersection of MacArthur and 38th – and Excelsior  and Canon and Adel Court. Scott Kaminski owns Slapwagon Studios, which is right there, as is the Adel Court Senior Apartment building. The  gunfire was out in the street and no evidence other than proximity implicated Slapwagon Studios. Nonetheless, upset neighbors immediately speculated that the studio, which operates at all hours, was involved.

This incident terrified both the neighborhood residents and the folks working inside the studio early in the morning. Gunfire struck the Southern Cafe building, the Kanna dispensary building, and a large glass window at the Adel Court Senior Apartments. 

So what happened? While there’s no evidence of involvement by  anyone at the music studios, there was a problem that makes even Scott Kaminski wonder if uninvited visitors at the studio may have been connected. 

Scott had worked with an engineer earlier in the day whom he didn’t know well, but their work together went smoothly. When the engineer wanted to use the studio that night and early morning, Scott, seeing no red flags, agreed. 

Scott has clear rules for Slapwagon Studios to protect everyone’s safety and wellbeing. One rule is no alcohol in the studios! The engineer that night broke many studio rules, including the prohibition of alcohol. In fact, the engineer drank so much that he passed out in his car, leaving no trusted person in charge of that studio. Video, which Scott reviewed with OPD in the hours after the incident, show that some folks working in one part of the studio fled after the gunfire stopped. In the other part, folks hunkered down until 7am before feeling safe enough to leave. Like everyone else, they were terrified! Video footage from other cameras in the area shows the incident in the street, but not anyone associated with Slapwagon Studios.

Officer Johnson reported that the OPD investigation is active.

Scott expressed his dismay about the incident and concern for the fear everyone experienced, especially the seniors at Adel Court. Not being sure what happened with an engineer whom he didn’t know well  and who violated studio rules and Scott’s trust makes it all the harder. But one thing is clear: Scott will never allow that engineer back in the Slapwagon Studios. 

Always trying to improve the experience at the studios for everyone, including neighbors, Scott is proud that Slapwagon Studios has become an East Bay cultural hub for musicians. 

Scott invites all the neighbors to join him and members of the Slapwagon community for a barbeque this Saturday, September 23,  from 2-6pm. He’ll provide tours of the studio and answer your questions! Please take him up on his offer! Let’s all get to know each other, our wonderful people in East Canyon 22X.

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design

Brian Cassidy of Oakland's Neighborhood Services Department introduced neighbors to a FREE city service that brings a CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) expert to people’s homes, businesses, and neighborhoods! CPTED (pronounced “SEP-ted”), focuses on the  reduction of crime through intentional design of the built environment.

Some of the CPTED principles Brian covered are these:

Natural Surveillance–Designing landscapes that allow clear, unobstructed views of surrounding areas, improving visibility with lighting or see-through fences, and avoiding lighting that creates glare or shadows.

Maintenance Strategy–Keeping your home painted, clean and repaired, not leaving vehicles stored in the front yard for long periods of time because they are a target for thieves/burglars and give trespassers a place to hide, and maintaining vegetation to improve visibility and communicate ownership.

To have someone from the CPTED program come out to assess your home or business or neighborhood, FOR FREE, get in touch with Brian Cassidy at or 510-238-6200.

Three Big Safety Ideas

Nathan Stalnaker of District 4 Councilmember Janani Ramachandran’s office presented Three Big Safety Ideas.

Automatic License Plate Readers

Automatic license plate reading cameras, called ALPR, are either mounted on patrol cars or along roadways. They capture vehicle license plate numbers along with state of issue, time, and geo-location.

The Oakland Police Department has some of these cameras mounted on patrol cars, but currently does not use them due to concerns about OPD’s ability to comply with privacy policy data requirements. These call for OPD to store data for 6 months and report quarterly to ensure compliance with local and state laws. 

City leaders have arranged for a $1.2 million loan from the State of California to purchase ALPR cameras to be installed along state roadways.  

More information about all the twists and turns from The Oaklandside.

Pursuit Policy Revision

Nathan noted that the City Council will consider an item introduced by City Councilmember Kevin Jenkins to expand the circumstances under which Oakland police officers can chase suspects in cars. This raised some questions from neighbors. We called on Officer Johnson’s expertise. 

Regarding the safety of police chases in general, Officer Johnson expressed confidence in the ability of officers to chase safely due to strong training. However, he noted that suspects themselves have neither the training nor perhaps the motivation to drive safely during high-speed pursuits. It is the fleeing suspects that put the lives of bystanders at risk.

Commercial Ambassadors

Nathan shared Councilmember Ramachandran’s interest in expanding the number of Commercial Ambassadors in Business Improvement Districts (BIDs). The Dimond Improvement Association is currently exploring the possibility of creating a BID for the Dimond. Here’s more information from the Dimond Improvement Association. 

And here is more information about Oakland's Community Ambassador program courtesy of  The Oaklandside. 

Meet (and Support!) Daniel of Redboy

As a teenager in 2010, Daniel was washing dishes at both Oakland Redboy Pizza locations, the Oakmore restaurant on Leimert and the Redwood Road location just up the hill. Redboy is a restaurant franchise with seven locations, all in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

Throughout his teen years, Daniel worked for the family who started the Redboy franchise. Before he turned 20, he became the proud owner of the small Fairfax location. Now he proudly owns both the Leimert and Redwood Road locations. 

It was just February of this year when Daniel bought the Leimert location, ready to continue all of the Redboy traditions. He wants to welcome more East Canyon neighbors!

And Daniel needs our support. We all know that small businesses in Oakland have been weathering increased crime. In mid-August, somebody busted one of the windows that looks out on Arden Place. Then, at the beginning of September, somebody finished the job on that same window, breaking in and stealing the cash drawer even though it had no cash. Last week, on the same day that Daniel had workers replacing the window on the side of the building, someone broke the window of the front door. This time a notebook that had tips from servers and drivers stashed within the pages disappeared.

It’s hard to know what to do in the face of rising crime. One sure thing is to support each other. Please choose Redboy when you are planning to treat yourselves. Remember the caffe also is open Thursdays through Sunday, 8am to 2 pm. If you come into the Leimert location, say hello to Daniel and let him know that you care and want to offer your support. We’ll get through this difficult time together.

You can order online at or give the Leimert location a call at (510) 531-9999.

Hybrid September General Meeting

Meeting Location

Physical Location:

Dimond Library, upstairs meeting room

Virtual Location:

Meeting ID: 871 8075 5539

Passcode: 987995

What's on the Agenda? 

  • Rachel Mathews introduces us to the Home Match program, a nonprofit shared housing program from Front Porch. Want to know a thing or two now about Home Match? Home Match Literature
  • Tom Donovan from our steering committee presents our area crime statistics.
  • Scott Kaminski of Slapwagon Studios shares insights from a recent gunfire incident outside his music studio on MacArthur & 38th and his response, the Stop the Violence BBQ. What's the Slapwagon Studio mantra? "Music Brings Us Together."
  • Toni Bird and Ryn Beeley, neighbors from Maxwell Park, will briefly share their experiences with block organizing.
  • Brian Cassidy of Oakland's Neighborhood Services Department will briefly go over the concepts of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED). CPTED  (pronounced "sep-ted"), also known as Designing Out Crime, is a multi-disciplinary approach of crime prevention that uses urban and architectural design and the management of built and natural environments. CPTED strategies aim to reduce victimization, deter offender decisions that precede criminal acts, and build a sense of community among inhabitants so they can gain territorial control of areas, reduce crime, and minimize fear of crime.
  •  Nathan Stalnaker of Janani’s office will present 3 Big Safety Ideas.

Will There be Food? 

A little! La Farine will provide pastries, and Victoria Wake of Dimond Improvement Association will bring mandarins. We will also have hot tea and drinking water. Do you enjoy feeding your neighbors? Feel free to bring food to share. Let us know if you need support from us with utensils or the like.

Celebrate Good Neighbor Day on September 28!

Rosa & Bill Jackman, of Rosa's Hair Salon at 2435 MacArthur Blvd near Lincoln Avenue, reached out early in the week with news of an attempted nighttime burglary on their property that resulted in frustrating expenses to replace a damaged lock and make new keys for the building residents. They noted that the residents of Lincoln Court Senior Apartments have also been struggling with people trying to break in. 

Bill wants us all to know that September 28th is National Good Neighbor Day!  One way to be a good neighbor is to keep an eye out for our vulnerable neighbors as we go about our busy lives, and stop in to meet our small business owners and see how they are doing. Small businesses are key to making our community special. Small businesses and neighborhood culture go hand in hand. 

Here are some ways to be a good neighbor!

And here's a thought! Why not invite your neighbors to a block party to celebrate National Good Neighbor Day! 

Rosa and Bill Jackman want you to know:

Se habla español. Ofrecemos una gama completa de servicios de cabello para toda la familia. Además, somos especialistas en tinte de pelo y en rayitos. Esperamos servirles a ustedes pronto.

We are bilingual English/Spanish. We offer a complete range for hair services for the whole family. Also, we specialize in hair coloring and highlights. We look forward to serving you soon.

What's With the Highway 13 Roadwork?

 If you drive Highway 13 regularly, you've been slowing down a little bit to avoid accidentally straying too close to the cement barriers. Have you been wondering what will result from the roadwork? 

According to Caltrans, the team is installing an outer separation barrier and a small retaining wall with a barrier on top to stop errant vehicles from ending up on the frontage road next to the freeway. 

Here is a bit more information, but it's kind of blurry, right? Click on the image to view the Project Details at the CalTrans website.

Project Details table for Highway 13 Project.

Plans from the Office of the City Auditor

The Office of the City Auditor released their Annual Audit Work Plan

The Office of the City Auditor released their Annual Audit Work Plan on August 31, 2023. From the report, "This year we are publishing the detailed process and results so you may see into the workings of my Team’s audit planning—including how we consider mandated responsibilities, community concerns, limited resources, and urgent issues."

For a link to a PDF of the Work Plan, CLICK HERE. Below are the plans, in a nutshell!

Audits Currently in Process and Anticipated to Be Completed in 2023-24

  • The City Of Oakland’s Financial Condition
  • Development Services Fund
  • Building Permitting
  • Oakland Parks and Recreation Preservation, Litter Reduction, and Homelessness
  • Support Act (Measure Q) (Mandated)

Mandated Audits to Launch in 2023-24

  • Library Services Retention and Enhancement Act and Oakland Public Library Preservation Act (Measures Q, D)
  • Kids First! Oakland Fund for Children and Youth Act (Measure D)
  • The Oakland Police Commission and the Community Police Review Agency
  • Vacant Parcel Tax (Measure W)

Priority Audits to Launch in 2023-24

  • Citywide Personnel Investigation Processes
  • Pay Equity
  • Emergency Response Times
  • Illegal Dumping

Budget Deficit Woes: No Grant This Year for Oakland Firesafe Council

Ah. Politics. We try to stay out of it. Money is politics, and everybody has an opinion, right? 

But facts are facts, and it's good to keep a close eye on the facts.

Mayor Sheng Thao greeted an historic budget deficit when she took office in January of this year. To balance the budget, cuts were unavoidable. Nobody likes cuts, especially when they personally know the value of the programs. There were cuts to the Oakland Fire Department. Those cuts found their way to Oakland's Firesafe Council.

Doug Mosher is the Preparedness Program Manager for Oakland Firesafe Council. For the two previous years, grants from the Oakland Fire Department helped support the fire safety outreach of Oakland Firesafe Council. Now Doug and his team are hoping to offset the loss through private donations. If you have a bit of room in your family budget for fire safety outreach, please consider donating