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A Big Bag Full of FREE Halloween Events

The Holidays seem to have arrived early this year, ushered in by Halloween! Here’s a sampling of what’s happening in East Canyon 22X and beyond in Oakland this weekend through Halloween on October 31.

  • 10/28, 12N-3 pm: Kids are invited to TRICK OR TREAT IN THE LAUREL at MacArthur Boulevard Merchants between 35th and High Streets. Pick up a free Trick-or-Treat Bag at the REMAX/State Farm Parking lot, 4232 MacArthur Blvd.
  • 10/28, 5-7:30 pm: Candy, costumes and community in Oakmore at Berkshire Hathaway & Rocky’s Market Parking Lot, 1430 Leimert Blvd.
  • 10/28, 5-7 pm: LIVE IN THE LAUREL free concert, Ladin & Rose, Veviter, 3841 MacArthur 
  • 10/29, 11-2 pm ROCKRIDGE HALLOWEEN PARADE AND FESTIVITIES stretching College Avenue from Alcatraz to Broadway for all families to enjoy. The Oakland Public Library: Rockridge Branch parking lot (5366 College Avenue) hosts the main gathering place for kids with crafts with MOCHA, librarian storytime, sing-alongs with Salane, book give-a-ways, Happily Ever Laughter whimsical balloon twisters, magic tricks, bubbles, puppets, and more.
  • 10/29, 11-12N: DOG COSTUME PARADE at West Oakland Farmers’ Market, 1809 Peralta Street 
  • 10/29, 10/30 & 10/31, Dusk-10 pm: Glenview will host DRIVEWAY FOLLIES' 16th annual Halloween Marionette Magic free performances. Glenview residents can beat the crowds by attending dress rehearsals, Sunday, October 29, starting at dusk. Regular performances are Monday, October 30, and Halloween evenings. To support Driveway Follies, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to this Halloween neighborhood tradition.
  • 10/31, 6-10pm FREE SPOOKY MOVIE NITE, “Practical Magic,” followed by “Texas Chainsaw Murder,” Temescal Brewery, 4115 Telegraph.

Creative Reuse Series


Creative Textile Reuse Workshop - FREE!  

Every Wednesday afternoon in November 2:00-3:15  in the art room at The Altenheim…1720 MacArthur Blvd. 

While there are many time-honored handcrafts to revisit,  we will be focusing on cardboard weaving for now.  We’ll create beautiful pieces, like cross-body bags, table mats, decorative hangings,  etcettera, from strips of textiles and plastic bags that would otherwise be thrown away.   

SPACES ARE LIMITED - contact if you would like to participate in the series… 

All materials provided, although you are welcome to add your own to the mix. 

Sponsored by a grant from the Dimond Improvement Association

Friday Salon at Dimond Slice?

Yes!! But don’t expect a new hairdo, a facial or a mani-pedi.

It’s this kind of salon*:

salon /sə-lŏn′, săl′ŏn″, să-lôɴ′/ Noun

  • (Sort of this) A large room, such as a drawing room, used for receiving and entertaining guests.
  • DEFINITELY THIS! A periodic gathering of people of social or intellectual distinction.

*The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

DIMOND IMPROVEMENT ASSOCIATION (the host) and DIMOND SLICE PIZZA (their large room) invite East Canyon 22X community organizations and neighbors to gather at 2208 Macarthur Blvd, Friday, November 3, 4-6 pm.

It’s the first monthly gathering like this– a chance to come support a local business while hanging with neighbors. See you there!  

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READ our October 20 edition of Seriously! 

Introducing: Kaleidoscope

Kaleidoscope. A continually changing pattern of shapes and colors.  

That’s what societal change looks like. There is no singular fix for any social problem, and solutions are never realized in the timeframe demanded by constituents with raised fists. How do we track a Kaleidoscope? We need to pay close attention to all of the moving parts. That’s what our new feature, Kaleidoscope, is about.

Our first Kaleidoscope piece will be looking at what our government institutions are doing to address Oakland’s increasing crime rates. No one source of information is going to give us a clear picture of what’s being done. The relevant information is hiding in many documents spread out in many information repositories.

As an example,  Eli Wolf of the Oaklandside recently pored through nine months worth of meeting minutes from city council meetings and committee meetings to determine which council members have the best voting records, which have the worst, and which have the best excuses for missing votes. LINK TO ARTICLE The information is publicly available (although Eli supplemented the information from meeting minutes with personal interviews), but by itself, the information is mostly meaningless unless and until someone filters and analyzes it and makes it available to a large, engaged audience. That just doesn't happen very often.

We want to bring more information out of the shadows to help us all make sense of it so we can better decide for ourselves whether our local electeds are working on the problems that we want them to solve and whether we like their problem-solving strategies!

So what do we, the folks who inhabit the East Canyon 22X neighborhoods, want our electeds to be working on? Here's what I've been hearing:

  • Dramatically decreasing violent crime in Oakland.
  • Getting all Oaklanders into safe housing.
  • Getting quality services to our neighbors who are suffering from mental health crises.
  • Improving service delivery from all Oakland departments, but especially 911 emergency services.
  • Dramatically decreasing property crimes, including bipping (breaking car windows to steal valuables), auto thefts, and small business robberies (and vandalism)!
  • Improving traffic safety for pedestrians and people riding wheels of all kinds, with or without the security of steel passenger compartments and airbags (thinking bicycles, wheel chairs, skate boards, motorcycles…).

What kind of information can we provide to help us make sense of how well (or badly) our local government is doing?

Let's look at property crime as an example:

  • Which public commissions are working on these problems and what roadblocks are they facing?
  • What legislation is being considered in city council Committees?
  • What are county and state bodies doing to help?
  • What funding sources might be available to Oakland outside of what was allocated in the already-done-deal two-year budget?
  • Which news sources are doing excellent work bringing us relevant news? Let's see the articles!
  • Are there upcoming elections that might play a role?
  • More than anything, across the board, where are the roadblocks and how to we advocate for their removal?

We begin our Kaleidoscope feature this week with information about efforts to make Oakland streets safer. READ Kaleidoscope: Oaklanders Want Safer Streets!


Oaklanders Want Safer Streets!

Who doesn’t think crime is a problem in Oakland? Whether we’re talking about bipping (breaking car windows and stealing items from the car), stolen vehicles, reckless driving, small-business burglaries, organized retail theft, armed robberies, or, the worst, homicides, Oaklanders want it all to STOP! Yesterday!

We’re much more likely to see news headlines about the crimes than the work local officials are doing to make Oakland Safer. State and local officials all know we want safer streets, and they are working toward that goal.

Here’s a brief snapshot of current efforts. We cannot include everything here. You can find more information at most of the links provided below.


Auto Burglary and Carjackings


Using Technology to Locate Crime Suspects

But what about the privacy commission? Will they allow it?

Traffic Safety

Organized Retail Theft

What’s Mayor Thao Doing?

1 Tip 4 U 2 B Safe

A weekly tidbit to boost neighborhood safety & security

by Carol Van Steenberg

Goodness, Gracious, Great Apps for 

It’s mid-October.  We’ve just had a batch of 90-degree days, at least one with a strong hot wind. Just like in 1991, you may recall, if you were around then.

We were in San Francisco at a ’49-er game, in Candlestick Park. My husband’s 49-er cap, with a radio built into it, perched on his head as usual for games, earphone in ear, while our eyes watched the action on the field.  In the third quarter, we began seeing ashes floating over Candlestick, landing on our laps. What? The play-by-play coverage that only he heard shifted to breaking news. He turned to me, “We have to go home NOW. There’s a fire in the Oakland Hills.” We made it home safely, under eerie skies with road closures and ash raining down. 

Our neighborhood was fine. Still, we spent a frightening night, watching the glow of fire, prepared to leave. Only a bit of smoke damage impacted us directly. Nevertheless, the sadness over the loss of life and homes nearby is unforgettable.

In 2023 we’re older and wiser, thanks to many efforts. In 1991, we had no apps, for example. Even two years later, in 1993, the internet handled just 1% of information flowing through telecommunications networks. By 2007 that had increased to 97%. [Wikipedia Reference]

Today there’s terrific information available online and really useful apps to help us. Here are a few: 

The Oakland Wildfire Guide, by Brian Krans and Kate Darby Rauch, updated in August 2023, really does cover “everything you need to know about evacuation, preparation, air quality, power outages, protecting property, and more answers to your questions about wildfire season.”

You may want to bookmark it, share it, refer to it often!

Zonehaven went live in the East Bay in June 2023. This software program uses an algorithm to produce a digital evacuation map or real-time guide based on community zones.  The algorithm incorporates weather, traffic flows, street design, historical disaster data, geography and more.  During an emergency, more data flows into the map, showing risks over zones, such as the incident location, wind speeds and directions. You can download the free app, it’s called Genasys Protect (not Zonehaven), for your mobile device from the Apple App Store or Google Play. You also can your find your own zone here. Good to memorize. (Ours is OKL-E102.) 

AC Alert, Alameda County’s emergency warning system for life-threatening situations, such as an order to evacuate, allows you to receive alerts by all means available—text, email, phone calls and push alerts. You must register and can do that on the AC Alert website or download the Everbridge App. Non-emergency or advisory alerts such as Red Flag Warnings or traffic incidents go out only by email, social media and push alerts through the Everbridge app. 

Nixle, an alert system local police and fire departments use to send messages on crime, traffic, weather, and events, can be accessed by “opting in.” To opt in, text 888777 and follow the instructions.  AC Alert and Nixle messages may overlap, but warnings for life-threatening situations will come first via AC Alert.

4 Steps: Emergency Preparedness for All, a guide first prepared by The Center on Disability of the Public Health Institute in 2020 and updated in 2023, provides specific advice for people with disabilities. You can tailor it to your situation. You can download the 2020 version here.

One thing to remember about all these new resources is that they depend upon electricity. So have your batteries charged to use them as long as the servers have juice. 

Now I’m going back to creating my Fire Playlist. So far it has Jerry Lee Lewis (Great Balls of Fire), Bruce Springsteen (I’m on Fire), Pointer Sisters (Fire), The Rolling Stones (Play with Fire), and Billy Joel (We Didn’t Start the Fire). Any favorites for me to add? I think I’m stuck in 1991.