Town Crier: Cries grow louder over parking meter changes


MONTCLARION NEWSPAPER – July 31, 2009

DO YOU HEAR WHAT I HEAR? It’s the sound of our citizens crying “Uncle” over the new parking regulations. And while the results of my Town Crier poll are still being tabulated, it’s clear that Oakland has touched a nerve with its new fines and longer meter hours. Here is just a sampling of comments from readers:

“We’ve spent over $4,000 at Southshore and El Cerrito because we’re not dealing with it. I even changed veterinarians.” “That’s what I like about living in Oakland — so close to such good shopping… in Emeryville, in Walnut Creek, in Berkeley. Gotta love our city leadership!”

“I work in Montclair, on La Salle Avenue, and I have had ONLY ONE SALE IN FIVE DAYS! This is totally unheard of for me!” “We have stopped eating out in Oakland Chinatown and Montclair because the evening meter hours add $4 to the cost of our meal.”

“That we’re paying even more to cover the added shifts needed for the new expanded hours is even more galling. And the fee is absurd. We have no real say in what goes on in our city.”.

Among the dozens of complaints I’ve received about Oakland’s new parking regulations, there is this e-mail supporting the City: “Oakland is a big city and the parking fines haven’t increased in years. We have a bus system in town. This is a bikeable, walkable city.”

To see more comments and register your vote, through the weekend, check the Town Crier’s Weekly Poll at

http://www.ginnyprior.com.Oakland Idols: So you want to be a rock n roll star? It’s all about the marketing, says Montclair musician Tony misc2 050Morosini. Morosini and his band mate, Carv Tefft shelled out the big bucks last weekend to make a music video they hope will be picked up on VH1. The cost? “$20,000 if you don’t have a friend in the business,” says Morosini, who used his pal Neil Motteram’s production company.

About 30 neighbors and friends, and even Morosini’s mother-in-law, made up the cast.

The story, as it goes, is a Cinderella knockoff about a much-maligned maid who dreams of being a rock star. It’s set to a song that Morosini and Tefft wrote called “Australia.”

In fact, the guys — who call themselves Trez Rek 500 -— have 10 original songs on their new CD “Outside the Lines.” Morosini plays drums, guitar and bass and Tefft adds the vocals, in a style I’d describe as a pop/punk hybrid — spurred by, of all things, the economy.

“Since the Great Depression 2 started,” says Morosini, “I finally had the free time to finish what was a smattering of half completed songs recorded in my basement over a two-year period.”

Finally — something positive comes out of the economic meltdown. “Outside the Lines” is being sold on Amazon, iTunes and a host of other sites.

E-mail Bag: Back in the day, it was considered kind of cute to carve the name of your crush in a tree. Today, it’s called vandalism — the kind that can’t easily be fixed. Reader Rebecca Robins says she hopes someone will catch whoever is responsible for carving symbols and slashes in the beautiful red bark of a tree in Sibley Volcanic Preserve.

Equally disturbing, she writes, is the message “Big Whoosie loves Whoosie” that someone has carved in another nearby tree, leaving it scarred and vulnerable. Anyone who spots a tree vandal should call the East Bay Regional Park Police at 510-881-1833.

Speaking of graffiti, reader Nancy Gerow says she’s impressed by how fast the city reacted to her call about ugly yellow paint on the benches on the Montclair Railroad Trail. “I was given a confirmation number for my call, and within two days those benches, plus the fourth one several feet away were nicely painted over in green again,” she writes.

Of course, within two days they were vandalized again. Gerow wishes parents would check their kids’ hands when they get home, for fresh signs of paint. “They (the kids) deserve a kick in the behind at the very least,” she vents.

Gutsy Gobbler: Another wild turkey is terrorizing our town. A frightened reader says she was on her morning walk when she was attacked by a tom near the Skyline entrance to Redwood Park. The gobbles and clucks caused quite a kerfuffle (the bird was apparently protecting his harem) and the dear reader had to be rescued by a quick-thinking neighbor. Someone needs to remind these bold birds that they are lower on the pecking order than humans.

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5 thoughts on “Town Crier: Cries grow louder over parking meter changes

  1. Is that really a quote- “I’ve spent over $4,000” outside of Oakland? How can someone with so much disposable income complain so vehemently about extra parking fees amounting to a pocketful of change?! Not to mention how sales tax revenues benefit the local government where the purchases are made. I think this an extremely short-sighted view of city revenues and services.

  2. I totally agree that businesses will suffer tremendously because of the new parking fees – $2 per hour is way to high and it is now too expensive to browse and shop. I think $1 per hour is the most that parking should cost – hopefully it is lowered immediately before people get too used to shopping outside of Oakland – from Kathy

  3. It would take me 1 1/2 hours to go from my home on Keller to Montclair and it would take 3 buses.I used the Google service that AC transit suggests. Not really conducive for taking public transportation. I would have to walk 1/4 mile first.
    Whoever thinks you can get around by bus hasn’t tried it or lives whre there are a lot of buses. My son can’t go anywhere on a weekend by public transportation and I sure can’t dine out. He can’t bike to Montclair either unless he goes up to Sklyline and rides on an unsafe street. That also takes at least 1/1/2 hours – he tried it. I go to the movies in San Leandro now instead of to the Grand Lake because of the extra $4.00.

  4. Karen, unfortunately the $4 you save in parking is offset by the time and vehicle costs spent driving somewhere else. Since the costs aren’t as obvious you think they don’t exist.

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