Residents help make festival a big success


Town Crier/Ginny Prior

THE DOG DAYS of summer have given way to fall as folks frantically fit in those last lazy barbecues. But it’s the neighbors on Ocean View who get the sweetest treat of all — free ice cream for their block party. Dana Young entered the Dreyer’s Slow Churned Neighborhood Salute with a poem about enjoying the ice cream as a child. Her submission was picked and she won an ice cream party for 100. Now you know the scoop!

KUDOS ABOUND: It’s an overused adage, but it really does “It takes a Village.” Few people realize how many folks put long, unpaid hours into making this past weekend’s Montclair Village Jazz and Wine Festival a success.

That we could pull off such a great event with volunteers when others (like the city’s Art & Soul event a couple of weekends ago) pay big bucks to do so is quite an accomplishment, according to the MVA’s Roger Vickery.

He gives most of the credit to coordinator Jacque Hachquet.

“She loves the challenge, loves our Village, and feels this is her way of making a contribution to the community,” Vickery said.

Even Jacque’s sister-in-law, Denise, flew in from Reno to help, along with local volunteers Leslie Masler (sponsorships), Peter Anastos and Ron Rifkin (music) and Linda and Helen Wyman (Oakland Events). And thanks, too, to the Guardian Angels for their comforting presence and crowd control.

DONATION CALL: Speaking of the Guardian Angels, chapter leader Cristina Fernandez (whose husband is off fighting the war in Iraq) is asking folks to make a donation to the Angels to pay for supplies, sleeping bags, uniforms and other items. She says they’re working with the Oakland Police Department to make our city safer and have no other source of funding. If you’d like to make a contribution, call 510-459-9566.

ABOUT TOWN: A few weeks ago, I wrote about the challenges Nafisa McGlynn had in opening her Montclair baby boutique “A Little Piece of Heaven.” Mold and termites — even computer bugs caused costly delays. Now she’s facing even bigger challenges, as her father fights for his life in the wake of a stroke and brain surgery.

“I can’t manage the store right now,” she said, tearfully. “It’s not that I don’t care about Montclair or my business — my fall line is in but I need to be with my dad.”

McGlynn is hoping to reopen soon and asks readers to pray for her family.

ART ALERT: Oakland gets a new bike shop next month with the opening of Grand Velo at 576 Grand Ave. But before the owners kick their business into high gear, they’re donating the shop’s 1,500 square feet to a major exhibition, featuring the works of 20 emerging artists who live and work locally. It’s part of the Oakland Art Murmur and runs through Saturday.

EARLY THANKSGIVING: Don’t get any ideas, but a rather plump turkey has taken up residence on La Salle Avenue near the Piedmont/Oakland border.

As large as a small child, the curious bird spends its days waddling up and down the street near the baseball diamond. A concerned neighbor has put out a cone to warn motorists about the great gobbler, but that may not be enough. I’m pushing for a sign that says “Big Bird Crossing.”

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