Central Station

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Oakland Run Festival (March 27th-28th 2010)

If you are not participate as a runner or volunteer, grab your lawn chair and watch the Oakland Running Festival marathon and half marathon route which will enter the Prescott-Oakland Point neighborhood, after the 18th mile mark at 7th and Mandela Parkway, where runners make a right onto Market Street and enter West Oakland. Once again you pass a BART station with Mandela Transit Village, a mixed retail and residential development bordering the West Oakland BART station. This was one of the earliest neighborhoods in Oakland to be settled and in1869, West Oakland became the terminus of the transcontinental railroad.

Many of the homes in this area date back to the mid-1800’s and were built in the Victorian style, giving it its quaint look. It should be noted that African Americans have historically played an important role in Oakland and especially West Oakland. In the early 1900’s because of the importance of railroads, many porters lived here and the headquarters of their union, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, was located in this neighborhood. Then in the 1930s, Marcus Garvey's Universal Negro Improvement Association had its West Coast headquarters at 8th and Chester Streets. During the 1960’s, during the social turmoil of the time, the “Black Panthers” originated in this area. After years of decline, this neighborhood too has started to experience renewal, as new residential developments have sprung up and many of the Victorian homes have been remodeled to their former glory.

As you run along the Mandela Parkway, mile 19, some may recall that this was the site of the Cypress Freeway collapse, an elevated, double deck freeway that collapsed onto itself during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Several people were killed despite heroic rescue efforts by West Oakland residents. The freeway was replaced by Mandela Parkway, a wide thoroughfare with a pedestrian path and greenway in its median, including a park commemorating the 1989 earthquake. It is lined with condominiums and new and established businesses.

The Oakland Running Festival website contains all the information you will need including volunteering.

Check out these videos of the course: Marathon Course and Half Marathon Course.

There is an interactive map that features the marathon, half-marathon, 5K routes and sponsoring restaurants.

The Oakland Running Festival Handbook can be found here


Monday, March 15, 2010

Diversity in the Prescott-Oakland Point Neighborhood will be validated!

Since 2000, the Prescott-Oakland Point neighborhood has experience some amazing diversity. New residents from all continents - Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, South America and other parts of North America now share the Prescott-Oakland Point neighborhood.

The 2010 census survey includes counting same sex couples, will validate what some residents already know, by providing local government a accurate accounting of the diversity we have experienced.  City services and others should take note.

Census History

The Constitution of the United States Article 1, section 2 ratified in 1789, mandated that an "actual Enumeration" of the nation's population be made at ten-year intervals anticipating geographic and demographic dynamism.

The intent of the census was to provide a snapshot of the nation and illustrate the issues most relevant.

The first census, which was more than just a head count but used to divide political representation, was taken in 1790, where enumerators asked for the name of the head of the family and number of persons in each household within specific categories.

The 1850 census included "social statistics" questions about taxes, schooling, crime, "pauperism" and also took censuses of industry, agriculture, and mortality.

The 2010 Census promises to be the shortest in history: 10 questions in 10 minutes. The questions will include: name, age, sex, date of birth, Hispanic origin, race, ethnicity, relationship (to the first name listed on the form), and housing tenure (whether a family owns or rents their home). Same-sex married couples will be counted for the first time.

The longer portion of the census was replaced by the once every five years American Community Survey which samples a small number of households across the country on a regular basis to obtain important data about the demographics of the country.

Global Positioning Systems

The Census Bureau will use Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to determine the exact geographic location of each housing unit which is critical to ensure that when they publish the census results for the entire country, broken down by various geographic areas ranging from states, counties, and cities, to census blocks, they accurately represent the data for the area.


Those living under the radar should note that the U.S. Census Bureau can impose fines for failing to answer the 2010 Census questions or for intentionally providing false information. According to Title 13, Section 221 (Census, Refusal or neglect to answer questions; false answers) of the United States Code, persons who fail or refuse to respond to the mail-back census form, or refuse to respond to a follow-up census taker can be fined up to $100. Persons who knowingly provide false information to the census can be fined up to $500.

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Prescott-Oakland Point Artist Gina Telcocci announce permanent installation

Prescott-Oakland Point Artist Gina Telcocci announces permanent installation

The San Francisco Arts Commission announced a new public artwork installation by Prescott-Oakland Point artist Gina Telcocci for the Potrero Branch Library, which opens on Saturday, March 6, 2010.

Gina Telcocci’s artwork incorporated local plants and other materials based the form of here and past here on the nut of a California Buckeye, a native tree that was an important resource for the Muwekma Ohlone Indian Tribe who once occupied the Potrero Hill area, will be suspended in the open atrium of the new renovated Potrero Hill Library located at 1616 20th Street & Connecticut in San Francisco.

“Gina Telcocci’s artwork encourages reflection on the unique cultural and natural history of Potrero Hill,” stated District 10 Supervisor Sophie Maxwell. “It is a beautiful work of art and a wonderful symbol for neighborhood.” For Gina website, click here.

On a different topic, we may be losing our Saturday mail delivery.

Reading the SF Chronicle article, I found some interesting information.

Moving the mail:

How much mail: 584 million pieces of mail were handled daily in 2009. That's down from 716 million per day in 2006.*

Payroll: Every two weeks, salary and benefits total $2.1 billion.

Vehicles operated: 218,684

Address changes: 43.8 million were processed last year.

Additions: 923,595 new delivery addresses were added to the mail system last year.

*Based on total volume of mail divided by the number of workdays in a year.

Fun facts

Transport: The post office moves mail on planes, trains, trucks, cars, boats, ferries, helicopters, subways, hovercraft, streetcars, bicycles, human feet and even mules. Those mules carry mail to Indians living at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Because some of that mail is food, the post office at Peach Springs, Ariz., has freezers to store it until delivery.

Oldest post office (in the same building): Hinsdale, N.H., 1816.

Smallest post office: Ochopee, Fla., 8 feet, 4 inches by 7 feet, 3 inches.

Floating post office: Post boat J.W. Westcott delivers mail to ships passing in the Detroit River. The boat has its own ZIP code, 48222.

Longest rural route: Route 1, Fordsville, N.D., 176.5 miles daily to serve 174 mailboxes.