GLN Minutes: 10/21/2015

Attendance: 24 neighbors, OPD officers Lomas and Davis (Beat 16), Neighborhood Service Coordinator Renee Sykes, Councilmember Abel Guillen and staff member Jennie Gerard.

  1. 911 Call Routing
    • Currently, 911 calls made from cell phones in Oakland are received by CHP in Vallejo, not OPD. CHP then routes calls to Oakland. GLN is advocating for cell phone 911 calls made in Oakland to go directly to OPD to avoid delays and confusion, especially from growing numbers of people from out of town.
    • Jennie reported that the City Council’s Public Safety Committee will be meeting on 12/1/15 to hear two reports–one on the use of texts to contact 911 and the other on 911 GIS mapping software, which is a precursor to having Oakland handle 911 calls directly.
  2.  On-Line Crime Reporting Web Form
    • Mary Dooley and Andy Campbell attended the 10/13/15 Public Safety Committee meeting. During Open Forum, i.e. public comment, they each expressed frustrations with Oakland’s on-line crime reporting form.
    • After the meeting, OPD Assistant Chief Paul Figueroa, Councilmember Guillen and Guillen’s Aide Maria Henderson approached Mary and Andy. Figueroa was sympathetic, but didn’t seem to have any specific knowledge about on-line reporting. He mentioned that OPD is about to undertake a substantial IT upgrade. He offered that perhaps the on-line tool could be looped into that project. We need to follow-up with Figueroa.
    • Abel described his own challenge with the on-line reporting after having a bike stolen. Abel said he is starting conversations with Code for America on this issue, so we should separately follow-up with his staffer Maria.
    • No major breakthroughs, but it was important we spoke up, and we may have opened up a few channels to pursue. There’s still a long road ahead.
    • Renee said she has been talking to Kiona Suttle about our challenges with the website. Renee said GLN is the only neighborhood group that has reported problems.
    • Renee and/or Suttle are in touch with Cop Logic, the developer of the site.
    • UPDATE: Eric Hughes and David Flack met with Renee on 10/26 and detailed the problems with the form, asking Renee to file a report in the process. Renee documented the issues that arose, and committed to providing her list to both Kiona and Chief Figueroa by mid-November. Eric also has a list he has been keeping of issues, separated into cosmetic and functional. Eric offered to review Renee’s communique before she provides it to OPD.
  3. Graffiti at 3014 Lakeshore Ave
    • The building at 3014 Lakeshore Ave has been repeatedly targeted by graffiti, and the owner, the Northern California Catholic Diocese, has not been removing the graffiti. This is attracting ever-more graffiti. The neighboring parking lot at southeast corner of Lakeshore and MacArthur (3026 Lakeshore) is also a problem.
    • Eric Hughes described challenges he has had trying to get the Diocese to remove the graffiti.
    • A neighbor suggested that the building could be a candidate for a mural.
    • Abel volunteered that he could talk to the vicar of the church. He also said he can follow up on the blight complaint.
    • UPDATE: on 10/27, we received this note from Abel’s office: “Steve Mullin (510-768-3165, Catholic charity) just called and left the message that he will clean the graffiti at Lakeshore shortly.”
    • UPDATE: As of 10/30, there is a painter onsite painting over the graffiti.
  4. Noise and Other Problems at 1001 Winsor Ave
    • Since Elliott Blumberg purchased 1001 Winsor Ave. he has been offering it for short-term rentals via Airbnb. It is advertised for corporate retreats and wedding parties.
    • On a regular basis large groups of people stay at the house and make considerable noise until late in the night, disturbing neighbors. Some guests have harassed neighbors.
    • A city inspector has gone to the property and a zoning guy was scheduled to visit on 10/26.
    • Neighbors have organized a petition urging the city to address the problems.
    • Jennie said the zoning allows transient occupancy of no less than a week, but a property cannot have multiple residents at once.
    • Renee urged neighbors to keep a log of all problems and file reports every time a problem occurs.
    • Abel will look into whether the Fire Marshall could potentially address unsafe conditions.
  5. Park Boulevard Road Diet
    • The city is considering a Road Diet on Park Blvd from Mountain to the lake. The diet would reduce four lanes of traffic to one in each direction plus a turn lane in the middle and bike lanes.
    • Neighbors expressed concerns that the road diet above 580 could push traffic onto Trestle Glen; there was an incident about a year ago when Park Boulevard was closed that caused terrible traffic on Trestle Glen.
    • Interested neighbors should write down their concerns soon and provide it to the city. Mary Dooley will take the lead.
  6. Thumbtacks Pointing Up on Sidewalks
    • Multiple people have encountered point up thumbtacks placed carefully on sidewalks. The tacks could injure dogs and puncture tires. In some cases dog kibble was place nearby. All this suggests someone is maliciously trying to harm dogs.
    • UPDATE: There were subsequent news stories on both channel 5 and channel 4 about this issue.
  7. Misc.
    • Lakeshore Ave Baptist Church is hosting a Cease Fire Call-In on 11/12/15. That means lots of police cars may be parked on the street.
    • Shomari Carter introduced himself. He is Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson’s community engagement officer. His email is