Town Crier: Honk if you love open space

MONTCLARION: February 25, 2011

Honk if you love open space. Motorists are getting the message that many neighbors don’t want the City of Piedmont to build a big sports complex in Blair Park. Ongoing protests catch your eye as you drive past the park on a busy stretch of Moraga Avenue that critics say will be impacted if the project goes through.

In fact, Oakland Councilmembers Libby Schaaf and Jane Brunner say it would have “multiple, significant impacts on the environment and residents of Oakland,” and they’ve scheduled a public meeting with Piedmont’s mayor and city administrator, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 28, at the home of Robert Kidd and Joan Story (61 Marr Ave. in Oakland). Everyone is invited, but e-mail the organizers at if you want to attend.

E-MAIL BAG: Speaking of the Blair Park project, reader Nancy Lane wonders what would happen if the situation were reversed. “Makes you wonder what Piedmont City Council would do if Oakland were to construct a nice big civic space (especially suited for large populations of people who like to hang out) near one of the hallowed entrances to their city.” Lane suggests bringing in a “celebrity” to save the canyon. Julia Butterfly Hill, are you reading this?

AROUND TOWN: There finally seems to be some interest in the long-vacant Argento Jewelers space on LaSalle Avenue in the Village. The owners of an Alameda eatery called House of Bagels are applying for a conditional use permit to open in Montclair, where some say we already have too many food-related businesses. It will be interesting to see the outcome.

Meanwhile, the eclectic Village shop called Re4m may be the latest victim of a struggling economy. The store has been closed and there’s no update on their phone message.

And it’s been month to month for Montclair Village Hardware, as I’ve been reporting. Owner Erik Hoffmann says it looks like he’ll be in his new location (5048 Woodminster Lane) in April — leaving Montclair without its beloved hardware store. The upside for Hoffmann is the new location has 20 percent more space and is a “gigantic savings” in rent. The upside for his customers? Free parking and a bigger selection of merchandise.

“BOARD” CHAIRMAN: Bishop O’Dowd grad Daniel Koches has started an online urban street wear business with one of his UC Santa Barbara basketball teammates. Cloud IX Creative Minds taps into the market of young adults who use clothing to promote ideology and the website is already starting to draw customers.

Meanwhile, Daniel is working in a skateboard shop in Singapore, of all places, and the owner has agreed to let him sell Cloud IX clothing in the store. Check out the designs at


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