Piedmont Neighborhood News

What's happening in Piedmont, CA

Archive for August, 2009

Portable Problems

Posted by Len Gilbert on August 25, 2009

I received this letter from PUSD superintendent Hubbard a couple of weeks ago, but didn’t write anything about it. I was too mad. The Piedmonter and the Post have covered the issue if you’d like more detail.Beach Portable

The short version: The school district has, yet again, made a Measure E related planning blunder, this one costing thousands of dollars to fix. I love adages, proverbs, saws, and maxims and “measure twice, cut once” is the one that comes to mind in this situation. Too bad the Measure E project managers don’t know that one.

As you read the letter below, keep in mind these points:

  • Who made the mistake on the gas line “abandonment”? Why was this not verified before the portable was moved and installed?
  • Who is paying to put an additional portable on the Beach blacktop because of this mistake?
  • Is the entity who made the error paying the costs? If not, why not?

Given that the replacement portable is already in place and all the traffic is now going to stop at the top, rather than the bottom of the hill, it seems now is the right time to put in a mid-block stop sign and cross walk. It’s overdue. The play field and the dog park both would benefit and it would slow traffic to the posted 25 mile an hour speed limit.


Here is superintendent Hubbard’s letter from August 7, 2009.


Dear Beach and Havens Families,

We are writing to provide an update on the plans to relocate Havens SchoolMates, and to provide assurance that the School District and City are working together to ensure that  SchoolMates for Havens and Beach students is in a safe and appropriate location and ready to operate its program starting August 26, the first day of the school year; and there will opportunity for parents, staff and neighbors to get information and provide input concerning the location options to accommodate all of the children in the SchoolMates program.

As you may know, the Havens SchoolMates building was scheduled to be relocated for the next two years to the far end of the Linda Beach Playfield, next to the Oakland Avenue bridge. The building will be used first by Havens SchoolMates, then Wildwood SchoolMates, during the time that the Havens and Wildwood Schools are relocated to Emeryville (the following year, when the Beach School is relocated to Emeryville, the Beach SchoolMates program will either relocate with or close to the Beach kindergarten classes). However, the School District confirmed that a 12″ high-pressure gas line below the site, previously identified as “abandoned” by PG&E, is in fact “active” and therefore makes the site unsuitable for the SchoolMates program.

In order to ensure that the SchoolMates program is ready for all students at the start of the school year, a SchoolMates building will be relocated, at least on a temporary basis, to the Beach blacktop. Although this change will reduce some of the play area immediately outside Beach School, we will work to best accommodate this change with minimal impact on our students and instructional programs.

The City and District are in the process of identifying options for a “permanent” (two-year) location for the SchoolMates building and will consider the options following the legally-required public notice and opportunity for comment by parents, staff and the neighbors. Many options have been explored and proven to be impractical or cost-prohibitive. Possible permanent locations still under consideration include, but are not limited to, leaving the SchoolMates
building on the Beach blacktop or moving the building to the City-owned tennis courts that are between the Beach School and the Beach field. The City and District will work together to reach a decision that is in the best interest of the community and makes the best use of community resources.

Thank you for your patience and understanding, and we look forward to seeing you and your students on August 26th.


Constance Hubbard


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LWV Program: Get the Facts on Health Care Reform

Posted by Len Gilbert on August 24, 2009

This came in from the League of Women Voters. Read the press release to learn more about health care reform.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                  Contact: Lianne Campodonico:  510.654.8723

August 22, 2009                                                             Marjorie Blackwell: 510.654.4456

Get the Facts on Health Care Reform

Piedmont League of Women Voters Program

Confused about all the proposals, arguments and dissension over health care reform? Find out firsthand what the underlying policy issues are and what’s happening in Congress, the California legislature and the League of Women Voters (LWV) from an informed expert, Dr. Li-hia Wang, who will speak at a meeting of the Piedmont League of Women Voters on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2009, at 9:30 a.m., at 660 Blair Avenue, Piedmont.

Dr. Wang, a retired pediatrician and family practitioner and an expert in health care policy, will discuss the pros and cons of the various alternatives and explain the underlying policy issues of no reform, a government-run program, health care co-ops, and the single-payer approach. During her medical career, Dr. Wang worked in public hospitals and community health centers in New York City, Chicago, West Virginia, and Berkeley. She earned her undergraduate degree from Radcliffe College and medical degree from Case Western Reserve Medical School. She is a member of Physicians for Social Responsibility and Physicians for a National Health Program and has been an active member of the LWV in West Virginia and California. Dr. Wang is a strong advocate for quality, affordable health care available to everyone in the U.S.

The Piedmont LWV program on health care is a tribute to long-time Piedmont resident and LWV member Jean Jackson, who passed away earlier this summer. “Jeanne was a tireless advocate for single payer healthcare reform,” notes Piedmont LWV President Lianne Campodonico. “She would go anywhere, any time to present her case in her strong, no nonsense and articulate fashion. We are pleased to honor Jeanne’s work with a program featuring Dr. Wang.”

For more information, contact Marjorie Blackwell, 510.654.4456, or email marjb@sbcglobal.net.


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A Parent’s Guide to Safer School Supplies

Posted by movenden on August 16, 2009

FYI, The Center for Health, Environment and Justice has just released this guide to the most common back-to-school supplies made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC or vinyl), as well as suggestions for safer, PVC-free alternatives. I found it especially helpful to see the list of non-PVC lunch boxes (starting on page 9). Get the guide.

The Back to School Guide to PVC-Free School Supplies

Keep the Poison Plastic Off Your Back-to-School Shopping List!

The Center for Health, Environment and Justice (CHEJ) is proud to announce the release of our Back-to-School Guide to PVC-Free School Supplies to help you make healthy shopping choices that are safer for your kids, your community and the environment. Many children’s school supplies, such as lunchboxes, backpacks and binders, are often made out of PVC—a toxic plastic that is dangerous to our health and the environment. This guide lists the most common back-to-school supplies made out of toxic PVC and suggests safer PVC-free products in over 20 product categories.

Get the guide here.

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