Town Crier: Apology accepted in parking fiasco


MONTCLARION: October 16, 2009

WE’VE USHERED in a new era for politics — the age of contrition. Never have so many elected officials, nationwide, used the “s” word to apologize for bad policy and hasty mistakes. Love means never having to say you’re sorry — but then we haven’t really been feeling the love from our politicians lately, have we?

Still, we should be happy about the recent turn of events in our town. We’re back to free evening parking in Oakland and an end to the feeding frenzy by parking enforcement officials who circled our streets like sharks during dinner. Thanks to everyone who wrote in and expressed your outrage. Our city council finally heard the objections and swallowed hard to admit that its citizens were right.

School news: There’s an impressive building boom underway at Oakland’s Chabot Elementary School. They’ve just opened a new library, computer lab and gymnasium and are about to cut the ribbon on a new building for the lower grades. How did they do it? Reader Bette McKenzie says the PTA has extraordinary support and is super savvy about fundraising. The school’s next event is a Fall Carnival from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 25 at Claremont Middle School. Put your pet in a costume and you may win a prize! See www.chabotelementary.org for more info.

E-mail bag: If you haven’t checked out Lake Merritt lately you’ll be surprised at the changes since summer. The long-awaited Lake Chalet is the biggest addition, but reader Peggy Esposito says she’s noticed new wider pathways for walking and jogging and attractive new landscaping along the lake.Great event: One of my favorite East Bay golf courses, the Moraga Country Club, is hosting a charity tournament later this month for Skyline High grad Darren Dent, who grew up in Montclair and contracted Lou Gehrig’s disease in 2006. Darren was a strong athlete in his younger years, playing water polo at Cal during college. His parents, Bill and Parry Dent, still live in Montclair, and his sister Kelli Bordessa owns Montclair Fitness. They’ve all rallied to support Darren and his family (he has four kids) and are holding the Oct. 26 tournament at Moraga Country Cub to help pay his medical expenses. Call Kelli at 510-531-9140 for more information and see dddefeat.blogspot.com/ to follow Darren’s blog.

Salty story: What do prayer and shopping have in common? They’re two of the things offered by the Oakland support group Seafarers Ministry. The organization was set up by Baptist ministers in 1946 to keep sailors off the “sinful” streets of San Francisco. Today, however, the fruits of temptation come in a different form. Shopping is a popular pastime for crew members who buy sweet nothings for their sweethearts at places like Victoria’s Secret.

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