Piedmont Neighborhood News

What's happening in Piedmont, CA

Archive for October, 2010

Should EBMUD run Piedmont’s Sewers?

Posted by Len Gilbert on October 29, 2010

Should EBMUD run Piedmont’s Sewers?

As difficult as it may sound, our community needs to discuss undergrounded utilities again. This time, the utilities – our sewers – are already underground. What Piedmont needs to decide is how we want to maintain our sewers in light of a recent EPA stipulated order to protect Bay water quality.

Piedmont has updated close to 75% of the city’s sewer system over the past few years – funded through an annual $1M sewer tax. The recent EPA order mandates that private sewer laterals (your connection to the public sewer) be inspected and, if needed, repaired at point of sale of the property. The order also requires municipalities to implement sewer and storm water flow monitoring and to conduct video inspection of sewer systems. At the last City Council meeting, staff estimated an additional $1.5M is needed to comply with the stipulated order (http://www.ci.piedmont.ca.us/html/govern/staffreports/10-18-10/budget.pdf) and suggested that the annual repair program funded by the sewer tax will likely transition to a maintenance program to comply with the new regulations.

The order does provide municipalities some relief–the order requires that the East Bay Municipal Utilities District negotiate to operate a municipal wastewater system if requested by the municipality (http://epa.gov/region9/water/npdes/pdf/ca/EBMUD-final-stipulated-order.pdf, page 22). The order is unclear on the specifics of the negotiations but essentially a city can outsource some and possibly all of its sewer operations to EBMUD if a mutual agreement can be reached.

Could EBMUD operate Piedmont’s wastewater system more cost-effectively than the City itself? Potential cost savings need to be weighed against the loss of autonomy that would come from EBMUD sewer operation–response time will likely be longer.

This issue requires considerable analysis and public comment however there are at least two reasons to proceed with this discussion immediately. First, staff will be proposing an additional $0.6M in the FY11-12 budget to address compliance. Secondly, EBMUD sewer operation would reduce the need for many current functions of the Corporation Yard. Such reductions would facilitate relocation of the Corporation Yard to Blair Park and enable the existing yard to be converted to additional field space adjacent to Coaches Field. A previous comprehensive analysis of recreational needs in town identified just such a solution to Piedmont’s field space shortage.

Piedmont leads East Bay cities in the upgrade of its sewer systems yet is subjected to the same provisions of the recent EPA settlement as the other cities. Negotiation with EBMUD might enable Piedmont to forgo many of the expensive mandates that EPA has imposed on the cities.

Garrett Keating
Piedmont City Council

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WOBO Meeting and Walking Tour

Posted by Len Gilbert on October 28, 2010

WOBO (Walk Oakland, Bike Oakland) is having a walking tour as part of their monthly meeting Tonight (Thursday, Oct 28th) Details below.

Join Us for a Special WOBO Monthly Meeting & Walking Tour – Tomorrow Night 

Join us tomorrow night (Thursday) to put the “WO” in WOBO! Oakland Urban Paths will share their experiences in working to inventory and maintain Oakland’s stairs and paths. After that, Annalee Allen, Coordinator for Oakland’s historic walking tours, will lead us on a twilight tour of Downtown Oakland. The evening will be pedestrian-themed but not pedestrian! (If the walking tour sounds familiar, maybe you read about it in the Oakland Tribune!)

Don’t miss this special night, and be sure to wear your walking shoes. As always, snacks and good company will be provided and we’ll end the evening at a local watering hole so folks can socialize. 

DETAILS: Thursday, October 28, 6:30-8:30pm. 436 14th Street (at Broadway) – 2nd floor conference room. Walking tour following the meeting; please wear walking shoes and dress for the weather.

More Info: http://wobo.org

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Gray Water and Rainwater: Ways to Make Your Home More Water Efficient

Posted by Len Gilbert on October 23, 2010

Piedmont CONNECT Presents:

Gray Water and Rainwater: Ways to Make Your Home More Water Efficient

Join other interested Piedmonters to learn about rainwater and gray water capture and recycling possibilities for your home and garden.

Tuesday November 16th 7 – 8:30pm
Elementary School – Science Room – 344

2nd floor overlooking the Mulberry’s parking lot.
Enter through the Vista Ave.doors across from City Hall.

Our guest speaker will be John Russell of Oakland-based WaterSprout Landscape Design and Construction who will talk with us about ideas and opportunities to better conserve and reuse a precious resource – water – both in our homes and in our gardens.  WaterSprout has designed and installed several interesting and groundbreaking projects, including the first permitted gray water system in Berkeley and the first permitted rainwater system to supply toilets and laundry in the San Francisco Bay Area.  John’s presentation will also include some simple do-it-yourself options for individual households.

Mark your calendars to join us and learn about ways you can make your own home and garden more water efficient.  Since space is limited in the room, please RSVP and let us know you are coming at:   https://sites.google.com/site/connectpiedmontgl/home/graywater-rainwater-event

The goal of CONNECT is to bring together Piedmont residents who are interested in taking action towards an environmentally sustainable future.

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Everybody Has a Story: An Evening of Improv Theatre Celebrating Our Connections and Our Differences

Posted by Len Gilbert on October 22, 2010

“Everybody Has a Story: An Evening of Improv Theatre Celebrating Our Connections and Our Differences.” This FREE show takes place on Friday, October 29 at 7 p.m. in the Alan Harvey Theater at 800 Magnolia Ave.

This event is sponsored by the Piedmont Appreciating Diversity Committee (PADC) and PPN. Other supporters include the City of Piedmont, Piedmont Unified School District, Piedmont Asian American Club, Piedmont Educational Foundation, GATE, PRAISE, and The Wellness Center.  A flyer is attached with more information.

A brief recap for those who may not be familiar with the work of The Living Arts Playback Theatre Ensemble (http://www.livingartscenter.org/ ): Playback Theatre transforms personal stories told by audience members into theater pieces using movement, ritual, music, and spoken improvisation. A few of the topics that surfaced during the 2009 performance included storylines about dating a person of another race, coping with family members of different socio-economic levels, and the difficulties of holding unpopular political beliefs. Audience members are invited to bring a story to share or watch the drama unfold. This event is appropriate for ages 10 and up. A casual reception will follow the show in the lobby.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Please feel free to either e-mail Jeff Porter (jgport@pacbell.net) or Mahvash Hassan (mahvash_hassan@yahoo.com) with any questions about this event.

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Piedmont CONNECT General Meeting

Posted by movenden on October 21, 2010

Have you been wanting to find out more what’s going on with Piedmont CONNECT, the community group started last spring that supports local action toward an environmentally sustainable future?  Then you should attend the CONNECT General Meeting on Tuesday, October 26th at 7 p.m.

Active CONNECT subgroups and projects will give updates, and there will be the opportunity to suggest and volunteer for new projects (as well as join existing efforts).  All are welcome!

The goal of CONNECT is to support and facilitate communications between Piedmonters interested in taking action to promote environmental sustainability.  If you have an idea for an activity or project you’d like to carry out, please contact the co-chairs at piedmontconnect@gmail.com and/or come to the meeting.  And, if you haven’t already, please take the brief survey of interests that’s on our website: http://www.piedmontconnect.org

Meeting Location: EOC ( Emergency Operations Center ) Room — First room to the left as you enter the Piedmont Police Department in the basement of Veteran’s Building– 403 Highland Avenue

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