Piedmont Neighborhood News

What's happening in Piedmont, CA

Archive for February, 2009

Skeletons in the closet

Posted by Len Gilbert on February 26, 2009

OK, this item was sent in to PNN yesterday, but we don’t have any additional information other than what the major media are reporting. I thought it best to wait a day, but mention it today since it is a major news event in Piedmont.

Yesterday a woman was discovered dead and “decomposed” or “mummified”, (depending on which story you read) in a house at Highland and Blair. Details of her death and circumstances in the last 5 years are unclear.

SFGate has an article as does CBS News and the Oakland Tribune. KTVU has a slightly different version.

Posted in City News | 3 Comments »

Bike Commute with New Gear

Posted by Len Gilbert on February 25, 2009

In between storms I’ve been biking to work. Because of a bum pedal on my Raleigh, I’ve been riding an old Bridgestone hybrid, but now I have the Raleigh back thanks to a quick crank arm swap by Manifesto Bikes. I’m very happy to be back on a bike with fenders during this rain.

avenir-gearIn the meantime, I was lucky enough to read a twitter from Avenir about some free items. Of course, I responded in record time and won the prize.  Matt Millen, product manager at Avenir, sent the goods out quickly and they arrived during ski week. Included in the box were the Metro III panniers, urban gel gloves, a Big Mouth 55/73 seat bag, and a mini-pump. Nice haul!

Here are the panniers on my Raleigh One Way:

Raleigh One Way with Avenir panniers

Overall, these are very good, light-duty commuter panniers. I can get my laptop bag in the top compartment and still have tons of room in the two large and two smaller side pockets to hold a couple of wool zip-neck pullovers, my tool bag, and a baseball coaching manual with room to spare. The material is mid-weight 420 denier nylon and has some stiffener inside. Adjustment to fit on my Nitto rear rack was easy. These would also be great panniers for an S24O.  I don’t think I’d recommend them for serious bike touring, but these seem to be a great pannier in the economy class retailing for under $40.Avenir Big Mouth on a Raleigh Sports

I put the seat bag on my 1968 Raleigh Sports. This bag seems pretty solidly made and attached easily to the Brooks B17 saddle. The entire end unzips, making access to tools, tube, or a Larabar super easy.

Avenir pump on Bridgestone CB-1My two Raleighs already have pumps, so I put the new Avenir pump on my 1994 Bridgestone CB-1 hybrid. This bike recently got some new 1.85 Michelin City tires with reflective sidewalls, a rear rack, and a Brooks B67 saddle. I use it for riding with the Trail-a-Bike and for fire roads and light trail riding.

I like the pump on this bike because it has both presta and shrader valve capability. Since I use this bike on “family rides” where we have a combination of tire and tube types and this pump can handle them all. It’s compact and easily attached to the water bottle mounts. It also has a rotating handle to make pumping up tires easier.

Overall, Matt at Avenir did right by me and my bikes. Next topic, how many people in town bike to work, to get groceries, to go to the farmers market? If so, you might want to check out the Piedmont Cyclists Google group. Contribute tips, suggest routes, get ready for Bike-toWork day (we may even have a Piedmont Engerizer station!).


Posted in General News | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Artificial Turf Buried at Havens?

Posted by Len Gilbert on February 9, 2009

If you look at the packet of materials for the school board meeting on February 11th, you’ll see on page 31 a “Use Agreement for Havens School Playfield”.  Buried in there (Witnesseth, item #2, “Specifications”) that it appears that artificial turf is a done deal and that no natural option is being considered.

Given the amount of concern the community has expressed over plastic grass at Coaches Field or Hampton Field, it seems that a little more information should be presented regarding the synthetic turf option up-front. At a minimum, this should be a separate agenda item with discussion. I think that a better idea is to remove #2 for more consideration of all field surface options at a later date.

Overall, the field and the rest of the use restrictions seem reasonable, but I believe the discussion of the surface should be more “above ground” with a natural option considered.


Posted in Recreation, School, Youth Sports | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Parcel Tax Community Meeting

Posted by Len Gilbert on February 7, 2009

Reminder: The first of the Parcel Tax meetings is  Saturday morning, and the next is on Monday evening.

For more info, see our post on the Parcel Tax Community Meetings for more details.

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The Causes of Crime Crime & How To Reduce It

Posted by drewbendon on February 7, 2009

On February 25, 2009 at 5:30 in the City Council Chambers, the League of Women Voters of Piedmont hosts Boalt Law School professor Frank Zimring, an expert in criminology and the author of The Great American Crime Decline (Studies in Crime and Public Policy).  According to the LWV of Piedmont website, he will talk about what causes crime and what we, as a community, can do to reduce it.

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