The not-so-friendly East Bay Skies

MONTCLARION: January 8, 2016

It starts with a low rumble…as if thunder is building in a distant rain cloud. Then it gathers steam until the decibels ever-so-gently rattle the bed. This new East Bay wake-up call is annoying enough, but the scenario repeats itself dozens of times a day.

“If I’d wanted to hear airplanes, I’d have moved near an airport,” a neighbor complained as we both craned our necks skyward. The superhighway in the sky is causing concern for folks who say the frequency and flight patterns make the noise a major annoyance.

Credit the FAA’s new plan to modernize the national airspace system. NextGen has increased the concentration of flights from Oakland International Airport, according to representatives at the Port of Oakland. It’s also increased the number of complaints from Kensington, Berkeley, Castro Valley, Montclair and San Leandro. For many, it’s disrupting the peace and quiet that brought them to their neighborhoods in the first place.

 For complaints or to learn more about the Port of Oakland’s noise management program log onto

 Survey says: Speaking of venting, the hot topic of street parking and emergency vehicle access is getting some attention at city hall. Oakland Councilmembers Dan Kalb and Annie Campbell-Washington are tracking results of a survey that asks us to pinpoint roads where parked cars could prevent fire engines from getting through. It takes just a minute to weigh in at

 Name dropping: You’ll be hearing a lot about Jack London this year. 2016 marks both the 100th anniversary of the famed author’s death, as well as the 140th anniversary of his birth. Many of London’s 50 books and hundreds of essays highlight his youth in Oakland, so look for lots of local events this year. The list of activities – everything from history walks to bike rides to local haunts – can be found at

Animal tales: There’s a whole lot of howling in the hills this winter. Folks are reporting coyote sightings on Pinehaven, Wild Currant and a number of other local streets and the night noise is getting downright spooky. Coyotes are our neighbors, too, but you might want to keep tabs on your small animal. One man says his cat was missing for a month and when he finally found kitty, he had deep wounds from a predator. Poor tabby hid in a storm drain and might still be there today, were it not for a good Samaritan who saw the owner’s posts on the Nextdoor listserv.

Got news? You can reach Ginny Prior by email at or on the web at


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