Sat, 18 Sep 2021 20:06:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 How Expensive Police Fees Stop Oakland Community Events Thu, 02 Sep 2021 18:29:12 +0000

Kaplan says police fees nearly forced the city to shut down a voting site at the Oakland Coliseum in the November 2020 election. “It happened minutes after it didn’t happen because the police department Oakland was trying to shake them up for tens of thousands of dollars under the theory that this was a special event, “she said, adding that the OPD cut costs after a few” top people level have intervened.

For years, civil rights activists, artists and event promoters have accused the Oakland Police Department of deploying its special events policy in a racist manner, increasing the costs of events with performers and audiences. black. In 2017, a East Bay Express The report described a model of OPDs using security fees to effectively shut down rap gigs. “The OPD knows that they infringe the right of these artists to perform,” said San Francisco lawyer John Hamasaki at the time.

Kaplan says this pattern persists and organizers have complained that the OPD is abusing the system. “There have been complaints that it has been used disproportionately against events in the black community,” she said. “And I think there’s a lot of history that backs up that claim. … The system is inherently a setup for failure.

Funds allocated to the arts go to the police

While Oakland budgets money every fiscal year to support the arts, most of its festival and fair funds end up going to the police department instead of artists or cultural organizations, according to data from the city.

A breakdown of the Oakland Festivals and Fairs Fund, which the Department of Economic Development and Workforce provided to KQED, reveals that 84% of the fund was used to cover OPD fees during the 2017 fiscal year. This figure was 76.1% for 2018 fiscal year and 72.5% for 2019 fiscal year.

Meanwhile, at the last Cultural Affairs Committee meeting in July, organizers of the 11 festivals supported by the fund described working with tight budgets that in some cases prevented them from paying artists. “We can’t fund a payment for them because we have so many other costs,” Shifra de Benedictis-Kessner, organizer of the 40th Street Block Party in Temescal, told the meeting. She added that over the past four years, $ 2,000 of her event budget of $ 5,000 has gone to the costs of the OPD and the fire department. “It limits our ability to have a diversity of programs and to really support our artists in the city of Oakland.”

Oakland’s hotel tax typically subsidizes some of the city’s festivals and fairs. But that fund was used to cover other budget deficits during the pandemic, which is why organizers of First Fridays and other events are now tasked with paying Oakland Police out of pocket. But even if that fund was filled with money, critics say the money should go to artists rather than the police.

“It’s a problem because it’s not the intended use of the fund,” Kaplan explains. “We need to support our cultural institutions and our artists and these communities that have been incredibly hard hit and struggling.”

Event-goers gather in Oakland Liberation Park, part of the city’s Black Cultural Zone, for Outdoor Play Day + The Town Experience Community Photo Shoot in February 2021. Charlese Banks , founder of The Town Experience, says events like these are vital to the Oakland community and the tourism industry. (Courtesy of The Town Experience)

Additionally, Oakland tourism industry executives fear that it will be more difficult to replenish Oakland’s hotel tax fund without the attractions that draw people to the city in the first place. “The idea is that people fly to Oakland, stay in Oakland. But what experiences do you give them once they’re here? “Asks Charlese Banks of The Town Experience, a marketing company that promotes Oakland as a” vibrant travel destination. “

“These are very important to their stay as a whole,” she says. “It’s not just about putting your head in the beds.”

New policy could help future festivals and parties

In 2020, Oakland City Council unanimously approved Kaplan’s plan to put the city government in charge of permits instead of the OPD. As stated in the resolution, deploying city employees and hiring security guards for event tasks would cost significantly less than putting the police overtime.

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Orange Blossom Classic returns to South Florida with community events leading up to the Big Game – CBS Miami Wed, 01 Sep 2021 07:00:00 +0000

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Orange Blossom Classic returns to South Florida Labor Day weekend with community events leading up to the Big Game.

The Orange Blossom Classic dates back to 1933, but it didn’t become an annual event in Miami until 1947. The classic last took place in 1978.

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The football game has always been historic, but this year the classic is well positioned to attract thousands of fans, alumni, school members and family members from surrounding areas and around the world.

The Greater Miami Cconvention & Visitors office project it to recover from classic will result in Major economic advantages to the region on Labort Weekend day.

Community events are scheduled through Sunday, September 5.

Community events are designed to bring together a great community to celebrate deserving students while providing engagement and connections to community leaders, colleges, local entrepreneurs and large corporations.

On Friday, September 3, Hard Rock Stadium will host the first day of community events leading up to the game.

The Sports and Entertainment Careers Symposium is scheduled for 9 a.m. and the doors will open at 8 a.m.

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Attendees will receive information about careers in the sports industry from NFL team leaders.

In addition, admissions representatives from Jackson State University and Florida A&M University will be on hand to help students plan their enrollment at the university.

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the CareerSource Recruitment Fair will be held at Hard Rock Stadium (club level, second floor, north door).

The welcome reception and the GMCVB commissioner’s lunch, which will be held at the club level, on the second floor of the North Gate, is scheduled for 2 p.m., with a cocktail starting at 11 a.m.

On Saturday, September 4, the OBC Miami Gardens Parade begins at 9 a.m. at Carol City High School and ends at 11 a.m. at the Betty T. Ferguson Recreation Center.

The OBC Empowerment Fest and Health Village at the Betty T. Ferguson Community Center is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Doors open at 10 a.m.

The Battle of the Bands will take place at the Ansin Sports Complex in Miramar from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Doors open at 5 p.m.

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On Sunday, September 5, the official OBC tailgate experience kicks off at 11 a.m., with the stadium doors opening at 1 p.m. and the OBC football game kicks off at 3 p.m.

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Policy 101: Neighborhood Tips – Los Angeles Standard Newspaper Sun, 29 Aug 2021 21:49:13 +0000
The LA Standard Newspaper needs your support so that we can continue to create positive stories about black communities. $ 20, $ 50, $ 100, $ 500, $ 1,000. Any amount would be greatly appreciated. -Jason Douglas Lewis, owner / publisher. Donations can be made via Cash App$LAStandard, Venmo @ LA-Standard-Newspaper, PayPal and GoFundMe

Over the next few months, the LA Standard will be publishing articles on the political process. The series introduces the different levels of politics, including neighborhood councils, city council members, mayors, county supervisors, state assembly members, state senators, governor, members of the United States Congress and the President of the United States. The purpose of this series is to highlight what each politician does, which politicians people should contact for various issues and how people can participate in the political process.

The Park Mesa Heights Community Council welcomes political candidates at their monthly meetings. Photos of Jason Lewis

By Jason Lewis

Neighborhoods are constantly changing and problems will always arise, causing community members to wonder who is making the decisions or why certain developments are happening. While most people don’t run for political office, anyone who cares about what’s going on in their neighborhood can find ways to get involved.

Neighborhood councils can be an entry point into the political process. In the city of Los Angeles, the Empowerment Congress was established in 1992 by Mark Ridley-Thomas, a member of the Los Angeles City Council. Each municipal district has its own neighborhood council.

“As a longtime resident and elected official, I deeply appreciate that participatory democracy requires all of us to engage in civic life,” said Ridley-Thomas. “Neighborhood councils play a vital role in ensuring that community members have a voice in municipal government. They advocate for critical issues such as homelessness, housing, public safety, and provide a powerful example of how to build and unify communities by creating opportunities to educate, engage and empower residents. .

Lots of people are speaking out on social media about the issues they see in their communities, but that’s not the platform to bring about the changes people want to see.

“A lot of times you’ll see people leaving on Facebook or Nextdoor,” said Gina Fields, chair of the Empowerment Council West Area Neighborhood Development Council, which covers Baldwin Hills and Leimert Park. “Okay, you can complain about that if that’s your goal. But if your goal is really to solve the problem and try to move the neighborhood forward in a positive way, you need to get involved. You can’t just sit at home with your thumbs typing negative things on your phone about what’s going on in your neighborhood.

An LAPD officer presents a report at the West District Development Council meeting of the Empowerment Council. Police officers and city officials present monthly reports and answer questions from community members at neighborhood council meetings.

Neighborhood councils act as an intermediary between the municipal district and the city, and they can strongly influence the policies and programs that the member of the municipal council in their district creates. But one problem that some neighborhood councils have is participation. According to KimMarie Johnson-Roussell, chair of the Park Mesa Heights Community Council, which covers Hyde Park, View Heights and Angeles Mesa, there are about 40,000 people in their municipal district, but only 89 people voted in their recent election, and only about twenty people participate regularly.

“These neighborhood councils where people are running (in greater number) in the elections of the neighborhood councils, the councilors of these neighborhoods tend to participate more in the community than those who do not have such a large participation”, he said. she declared.

“Westchester Community Council has a range of lawyers on its council. When it comes to planning and land use, due to the strong presence of lawyers and their ability to be above the city councilor, they are heard. Just about whatever they come up with, their city councilor works with them because not only do they have a bigger voice, but they also have a powerful voice. At Park Mesa Heights, we have lawyers and skilled people who can roll up their sleeves and get things done. “

Development is a big topic in South Los Angeles, as luxury condominiums and high-priced apartments spring up along the Crenshaw / LAX Metro track. Many blacks take this as a sign of gentrification and feel caught off guard when they find out that a new development has already been approved. People can stay more informed and have more influence over development by participating with their local neighborhood council, including through their Land Use Planning and Beautification (PLUB) committees.

“There is so much going on in our area,” said Fields. “There is so much development. The Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza; there are new buildings coming throughout Crenshaw every day. There is a plan within two years to develop more than 3,000 residential units in our region. It brings a lot more people to our region. Potentially 6,000-7,000 more people. This puts a strain on our infrastructure. This poses parking and traffic problems. Our objective, particularly with our planning, development and beautification committee, is therefore to ensure that development impacts us positively rather than negatively. One of those ways is to make sure that we work with the developers so that when they get to the neighborhood, that they hire locally, that they provide affordable housing so that the people who live in the area can continue to inhabit the region.

“A lot of developers are forced to come to a planning and land use committee meeting and tell us what the plans are; tell us what their ideas are on what they are building. And then listen to what we want and what we need. This is one of the most powerful things we have is our PLUB committee. If people really care about how our neighborhood is developing and moving forward, I urge them to attend these PLUB meetings, to really hear what is being built, and to really express their opinions.

In some cases, neighborhood councils have to kick a developer out of their community.

“We play with these developers as they come in,” Johnson-Roussell said. “Our town planning and land use planning committee is very aware of everything that is planned in the community.

Neighborhood councils organize community cleanups and other events to improve their neighborhoods. Above, the Park Mesa Heights Community Council is conducting a cleanup near the Van Ness Recreation Center.

Neighborhood councils help solve problems. Empowerment Council West worked with Councilmember Ridley-Thomas to house 75 homeless people who lived around Lemiert Park. The Park Mesa Heights Community Council runs community cleanups to help pick up trash in their neighborhoods. Cars on Crenshaw Boulevard have been a problem for decades, causing many complaints to locals. Neighborhood councils can work with law enforcement, local businesses, and community organizers to ensure that cultural events can take place without causing problems.

“We understand that it’s part of the culture, but we also have to keep it safe,” Fields said. “So it’s about finding a way that classic cars can exist there, but without the people making donuts in the middle of the street. We prefer the neighborhood to work together on these positive changes, rather than having people calling the police against each other. “

The closure of Ralph’s on Crenshaw Boulevard and Slauson Avenue has left Hyde Park and Angeles Mesa without a major grocery store story. So the Park Mesa Heights Community Council stepped in to bring attention to the issue so that it could be resolved. Ralph’s still owns the lease for the location, Johnson-Roussell says, but they won’t release it, preventing building owners from finding a new grocery tenant. The Park Mesa Heights Community Council is working to raise awareness of this issue so their neighborhood can once again have access to fresh food.

The Park Mesa Heights Community Council held a protest at Ralphs’ house on Crenshaw Boulevard and Slauson Avenue after the grocery store was announced to be closed. The neighborhood council is working with the municipal authorities to create a new store there.

Local politicians usually attend neighborhood council meetings or send a staff member to report and answer questions. This gives community members a chance to interact with their local political representative. Los Angeles Police Department officers and city officials also present reports and answer questions at these meetings.

View Park-Windsor Hills is part of Los Angeles County and therefore not part of the City of Los Angeles Neighborhood Council System. The United Homeowners Association II defends their cause. Ladera Heights is also part of Los Angeles County, and they have the Ladera Heights Civic Association.

Meetings of the local neighborhood council

-Hyde Park, Angeles Mesa, view of the heights– 2nd Saturday, 10 a.m., Angeles Mesa Elementary School, 2611 W. 52nd St. Contact: (323) 421-6250, This e-mail address is protected from spam. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,
-Leimert Park, Baldwin Hills– 1st Saturday, 9:30 a.m., Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, This e-mail address is protected from spam. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
-West Adams– 3rd Monday, 6:30 p.m., Vineyard Recreation Center, 2942 Vineyard Ave. Contact: (323) 451-9262,, This e-mail address is protected from spam. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
-Arlington Heights, Jefferson Park– 1st Thursday, 6:30 p.m., local Council District 10 office, 1819 S. Western Ave. Contact: (323) 731-8686,, This e-mail address is protected from spam. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
-Mid City– 2nd Monday, 6:30 p.m., LAPD Wilshire Division Community Hall, 4849 Venice Blvd. Contact: (323) 732-5085,, This e-mail address is protected from spam. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
-View Park, Windsor Hills– 4th Saturday, 2 p.m., Park Hills Community Church Fellowship, 5245 Overdale Dr. Contact: (323) 248-1699,, This e-mail address is protected from spam. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
-Ladera Heights– Contact: (424) 256-5422,, This e-mail address is protected from spam. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Future shopping center on the prairie, neighborhood projects are OK Thu, 12 Aug 2021 07:00:00 +0000

POST FALLS – The city’s Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously approved three projects on Tuesday night.

Two residential subdivisions, Boyd’s Landing and Blue Spruce Meadows, as well as the Prairie Crossing subdivision for a shopping center at the corner of Highway 41 and Prairie Avenue, all received jury approval.

Infill construction, affordable housing options and the increase in the number of commercial businesses in Post Falls were important talking points.

Only two members of the public addressed the commission on Tuesday evening.

The 11-acre Boyd’s Landing Subdivision will be divided into 43 single-family lots equivalent to approximately 3.6 units per acre.

Previously zoned R-1, Boyd’s Landing will consist of single-family dwellings.

Located at the north end of Bogie Drive between Greensferry Road and Cecil Road, when completed it will connect to the Corbin Meadows development to the north.

“I think they’ve done an admirable job creating connectivity,” Commission Vice-Chairman Ray Kimball said. “In terms of development for the future, they have done a very good job; they met the requirements, the lots meet the zoning code for width and height. I think it meets all the approval criteria.

Eight specified conditions were met and approval was granted.

The Blue Spruce Meadows subdivision has been submitted to the commission to modify an already approved plan.

Wildflower Properties LLC had been granted permission to construct 18 duplexes and two twin houses on the land.

Representative Ethan Porter has applied for permission to develop 38 lots of semi-detached homes instead.

Duplexes and twin houses are two separate houses in the same building.

The difference between the two is that of ownership, Porter said.

Duplexes are generally owned by one person, often as a rental investment. A twin house will have two separate owners.

Porter told Commissioners that in this case, the party wall dividing the two halves will be placed directly on the property’s lot line.

“It will be a duplex with just a lot line in the middle,” Porter said. “They are asking for more lot lines but the same number of units in that area.”

The project site spans 5 acres west of McGuire Road and south of Midway Avenue and is zoned for R-2 development.

Commissioner Nancy Hampe said: “I like the idea. This allows them to be owner occupied where duplexes would most likely be rentals.

Commissioner Ross Schlotthauer approved the plan because it “creates other affordable housing options”.

“It’s a victory,” he said.

There were no comments or questions from the public about the project.

Jon Manley, Planning Director for the Town of Post Falls, presented the Prairie Crossing Subdivision.

The 44-acre lot was annexed in 2006 and previously zoned for community commercial use.

Prairie Crossing will be a shopping center with 19 shopping lots. Approval allows the subdivision process to begin.

“Eventually 19 different sitemaps will go through the administrative process over a long period of time,” Manley said Wednesday.

“The real estate developer needs the lots to be prepared so that they can then be marketed to business owners,” he said.

Rumors of retailers already showing interest in the property have been heard, but none have been specifically named.

Local resident Bob Flowers spoke as a neutral part of this plan.

“I like commercial projects,” he said. “More is better.

The problem I have is with zoning this property as CCS. We could end up with a bunch of more apartment buildings than businesses here. “

That’s not quite correct, said Jack Smetana, engineer at Frame & Smetana PA.

“For greater clarity, the zoning is defined at the time of annexation,” he said. “Any type of residential building in CCS zoning requires a special use permit which would require a separate public hearing.”

Planning and zoning commissioners responded enthusiastically to the project, although traffic issues were discussed.

Kimball, an engineer by training, said that “commercial traffic generation is different from residential traffic generation – they are almost opposite”.

Having business development where there isn’t currently will point people in a different direction, relieving pressure from other traffic points that are already having problems, he said.

“I am happy to see construction work on Highway 41,” said Commissioner Vicky Jo Carey. “We would like to keep our dollars here by bringing in some good stores. ”

The land was already zoned for commercial use; the request was to start the subdivision process.

“Without even doing a subdivision today, they already have the right to build a Lowe’s if they want to,” Kimball said. “It’s a little more carefully planned and it’s a long time to come.”

In the eyes of Planning & Zoning, the 13 criteria points were met and the plan was unanimously approved.

Planning and zoning meetings are advertised on the Town of Post Falls website at

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Hydrants are maintained in Williamstown and Vienna thanks to community volunteers Wed, 21 Jul 2021 07:00:00 +0000

WOOD COUNTY, W.Va. (WTAP) –Hydrants with bleached red and green paint are turned into hydrants with shiny red paint and reflective markers all over Williamstown and Vienna – and it’s not just for looks, it ‘s for good reason.

“All standpipes in town need to be visible and cleaned so we can see them and they need to be color coded so that it gives us an indication of the water flow so we know which one is a better choice for us. and gives us an option to choose different ones, ”said Vienna Fire Chief Steve School.

Scholl is working with the Mayor of Williamstown, Paul Jordan, on this hydrant project. While the two hope the updates will help firefighters know how much water is in each hydrant, they predict that they will help cool cities down a bit.

“We want things to look even and beautiful and we would like to make sure that along the river and in West Virginia we stand tall and look good,” Jordan said.

“This is one of the things that is so simple to do by just creating a clean look and that is what we are working for in Williamstown and I know Vienna strives to do the same in their administration.”

Jordan says the reflective markers in different colors will help firefighters know how much water is in each hydrant.

Scholl and Logan say they have already distributed several kits to community volunteers who have come to the town building to sign up for this project.

The kits include red spray paint, paintbrushes and paper towels, and Jordan says each volunteer has been assigned fire hydrants to take care of Williamstown. Around 250 hydrants are to be changed in Vienna and around 140 in Williamstown. Jordan says they still need volunteers for the Williamstown fire hydrants.

“By doing this, it’s something so simple that allows firefighters to be more efficient at what they’re doing in an emergency,” Jordan said.

“Because now is not the time to make something go in the wrong direction.”

Copyright 2021 WTAP. All rights reserved.

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community of Decatur, volunteers unite to restore Lincoln Square Theater | Community Sat, 17 Jul 2021 07:00:00 +0000

DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) – The Decatur community and volunteers are rallying to bring beauty back to Lincoln Square Theater.

“A lot of volunteers don’t know what they’re going to do when they come when they get here, but they’re ready to do anything,” said Lavelle Hunt, president of the Friends of Lincoln Square Theater organization. “With a historical landmark with the Lincoln Square Theater, it deserves the attention and effort to bring it back to life.”

The non-profit organization has organized several volunteer-run events this year to address the theater’s most pressing issues.

“10 or 15 volunteers, we’ve already cleaned up the most recent project we’re doing, which was the ceiling that had collapsed because of the roof that was bad,” Hunt said. “Since we fixed the roof, it allowed us to rebuild the ceiling and in two hours, our volunteers cleaned up this mess. “

With the help of volunteers and the community, optimism reigns about the upcoming opening of the theater.

“We had a lot of help from volunteer companies – top quality re-roofed for us – which allowed us to go back inside to do the cosmetic restoration,” Hunt said. “Because of that, we’re starting to see all of this fall into place now and we’re hoping to be able to announce that we’ll have some sort of event again this year – maybe September or October.”

Hunt says it the theater’s biggest need right now is a new HVAC system.

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Neighborhood councils are the voice of local residents in Los Angeles – NBC Los Angeles Fri, 28 May 2021 07:00:00 +0000

The City of Los Angeles has 99 community groups tasked with making recommendations to city council members and ensuring that neighbors’ voices are heard.

These are the so-called neighborhood councils, which play an important role in trying to improve the problems in their communities.

“They have a very special relationship with the city, with the city council, which gives them a very special space to bring the opinions and voices of communities to the city council,” said Raquel Beltrán, head of the district service of the city. of Los Angeles.

Any LA resident can serve on these boards, regardless of age or immigration status. Each council has about 12 representatives.

Members of these community groups are elected by vote.

To participate in the elections, you must live in the geographic area that belongs to your neighborhood council or own a business in that area.

“They are locally elected. They are civil servants, but they are volunteers, ”Beltrán said.

But community participation in these councils is also important, including attending their meetings.

“Power comes from the number of people who attend meetings and get involved in the issue that is presented to city council,” Beltrán said. “[It] is great, super important just to attend, because that way you give your opinion to your neighborhood council. “

For more information on how to be a part of these boards or participate as members of the community, click here.

For a list of neighborhood tips in the city of Los Angeles, click here.

This story first appeared on NBCLA’s sister station, Telemundo 52. Haz clic aquí para leer esta historia in español.

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