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Oakland Tribune from Oakland, California • 13

Oakland Tribunei
Oakland, California
Issue Date:
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)- i 4 "I 9 LOCAL-6 EDITORIAL African-American history is intertwined with American history, There is no distinction. Sh (Paklanh flrfhnn WEDNESDAY February 18, 1998 earthquake rubble to a truly grand boulevard 1 would like to be around to see groundbreaking." she told CaltradW officials at the councils Public Works Committee meeting Tuesday. Caltrans project manager Ray Pang said the $10 million to $12 mlUloit to and environmental testing has already begun, officials said. 1 Neighbors are anxious to finally build the park, which Say will unite West Oakland, caifod up by the freeways construction In 1950s. the neglected corridor, with nearly 1,000 trees, a continuous path, parks and public art.

Also Included are sites for a future community center and police substation. City plans for a Mandela Parkway greenbelt moved a step closer to reality this week. Caltrans presented designs Tuesday to the City Council for a user-friendly park along the corridor, begin- nlng at Eighth Street and running to' 32nd Street at the Emeryville border. Construction is due to start In 2000, down the center, will provide a contlni uous route and connection to the Bay. trail A memorial park Is planned at the Intersection of Mandela and 14th Street, to be dedicated to the victims of the tragic freeway collapse, and the hams who attempted to It has been suggested the vaaa rial be named for Buck Helm, the long--shoreman who died a month after being pulled from the pancaked freeway, where he was trapped for 89 hours.

.1 ByKatHeanlMmood STAFFWma i OAKLAND It's hard to imagine more dramatic makeover than the one In store for Mandela Parkway in West Oakland. The barren, 1.5-mlle roadway cuts a dusty, weedy swath through West Oakland, aU traces long gone of die collapsed Cypress structure that fell In the 1989 Loma Prteta earthquake, Four years from now, a green-canopied grand boulevard" is fatneH for Its a very, very sore eye for the build the park will come from state public," said Ellen Wyrick-Parktnson, a highway operations funds. West Oakland resident who participated in two years of planning for the citys newest park, Wyrlck-Parklnson urged Caltrans to avoid delays since die community has In landscape guidelines designed by Amphlon Environmental 500 trees will be planted on the Mandela Parkway median, while another 400 will line the street on both rides. Bike lanes on both sides, plus a trail News You 'Can Use net rpd Council advances' investigation of tailed system to grand jury Looking for volunteers Several Bay Area organizations seek volunteers. The Alameda County Community Food Bank needs volunteers to sort food in the Oakland warehouse as well as participate In food drives and other special events.

For more Information, call 568-3663. Dunsmulr House and Garden at 2960 Peralta Oaks Court Oakland, needs volunteers to assist with phones and clerical duties once a month. Volunteers assist with die historic preservation and restoration of the 40-acre, tura-of-the-century estate. Call 615-5555. The Potomac Association needs volunteers to train as docents to lead tours through President Franklin Roosevelt's presidential yacht; Training classes are 1 to 5:30 pjn.

March 7 and 14 at the Potomac Visitor Center, 540 Water SL, Oakland. Cost Is $10 and -Includes a training manual. Call 839-8256, ExL 1. By Stacey Weis STAFFWRTTER OAKLAND Alter character-- taring It as "a train wreck," a City Council committee voted unanimously Tuesday to forward concerns over Oakland's faulty emergency response system to the Alameda County grand Jury fin further Investigation. The vote followed a city auditor's report that found Improper procedures and expenses that may be linked to the $5 million, high-tech system's ongoing Mure.

"Somebody should pay the price for this tremendous mistake. I don't think we should just let It go by," said Coun-dlmember Ignacio De La Fuente (San Antonfo-Friiitvak), before seconding a motion made by CouncUmember Larry Reid. 1 would like to know who has been Involved In this pro-" cess from day one." Reid (Elmhurst-East Oakland) added. City Council committee members, led by council member and chair John Russo, also 'agreed to 'forward their con-. cents, to the Alameda County District Attorney and the state's Fair Political Practices Commission, which oversees conflict-of-interest laws.

Up to $1.3 million in equipment associated with the system remains unaccounted for, City Auditor Norma Lau told the council's finance and admtnla- trative services committee. -Files, Invoices and Inventory re- 1 cords are Incomplete, and many official documents contain only one signature instead of two as required by city policy. Known as M1ERS, for Mea-sure I Emergency Response j. System, the system was sup posed to use computer tech-. nology to give paramedics) 1 police and firefighters up-to-the-.

minute data to help them make decisions when responding to emergencies during large-scale', disasters. i But the system has repeat- edly failed tests and its price tag has ballooned to 875mffilon. "It's hard to know where to 1 begin because It's all so vast and such a huge problem," said i CouncUmember Dick Spees (Montclalr-Laurel). One contract an $800,000 agreement with H2MHlfl, was approved by the 1994 City Council which Included Spees and De La Fuente. CH2MH1D was hired to write the proposal used to solicit bids.

And Digital Equipment Corp. was I later selected as the lead- vendor, CH2MH111 went on to' perform some of the work as well "When the council approved'- spending $800,000 In 1994 i yfr Please see Nat LOCAL-2 What's on KTOP Today's community access rogramlnguf Oakland's manges: CaUforntafCHSel, 9 add. Tell Mels Tale! Stories for Families (r), 3:30 p.m. My Mother, My Fadier Aging Parents' Care, 4 p.m. Just a Look (r), 4:30 p.m.

Inside Scoop with Dezie Woods-Jones -Black History Month (r). 5 The Career Marketidace Getting Youth to Work, 6 pun. Planning Commission (live), Parents push for cleaner Berkeley High bathrooms Soul Boat TV programming Todays community service programs on Soulbeat Television (KSBT-iy, Channel 37, Oakland cable) Include: Pulse Beat with Billy Jones, 4 a.m. Morning Beat with Madge Gates, 8 to 11 a.m. Dedication Beat wldi Cindy 11 a.m.

and 6 p.m. ltii Judy Lynne, Lucinda Tayldr; Joseph Mouzon with Computer Beat; Kokavuhi Lumukanda with Black Books Beat; Alana Grice with Legal Beat Political Beat with Leo Bazlle, 7 p.m. The Rev. Bob Jackson's Gospel Slow, 9 pun. Love Beat 10 pun.

with Pbeleta Santos. Gospel with the Rev. Captain, 12 aun. Drury Road Is still open to traffic, although It has dropped about 6 Inches slnca the February storms began. Oakland Pubflc Works engineer Wladlmlr Wlassowsky and Ftinda Chan Inspact tha road on Tbesday.

in making, repairs are able to scoop up jU: fthunks by hand, OAKLAND a PfSSS 'S'- Nino rtonn, Tund, butaTdJnicte Dygiyte Work. DtettrAlLamM told force of nearly 14 inches of rain since Feb. 1 officials Tuesday morning, continued to make Itself known. Cttyoffldals debated dosing the road, which Several OakianH hills roads fairfuHing would be a major Inconvenience to home-Drury Road, Skyline Boulevard and Tunnel owners. Road are showing sighs of "settling" a geo- But alter an inspection Tuesday, city De-tarhnirai term for iiHing rinwnhill The roads partmeut of Public Works officials decided to have' been repaired and will remain open for attempt repairs, estimated at 8500,000.

The now, but city nfflriak are monitoring them road will be monitored each dry fin any each day. movement Possibly the "worst case" Is the 1300 Mock Portions of Tunnel Road and especially the of Drury Road, where the roadway has sllppeL7700 and 7800 blocks of Skyline Boulevard about 6 Inches since the storm began, expoAre showing signs of settling, city inspectors deep cracks near the shoulder. -tVA- loose and broken that By VMtem Brand STAFF WHTBI BERKELEY A year-long effort by a group of Berkeley High parents to convince the school district to correct the dismal state of bathrooms at the high school has Med so. for. an outside consultant hired by the school administration has concluded.

The expert In custodian services said in a report to the district that despite creation of a special Berkeley schools cleanliness force and adoption of a set of cleaning standards alter parents' pressure, "no real changes have been seen." The consultant said the problem lent lack of staffing but the way the district manages custodians' time. He recotnpteoded.a of sweeping changes In theway the school ditfriCl hires eiuitgmans, trains tlunftQpparte tMi and provides Uiefiiwith equipment. The report which covered cleanliness at- all Berkeley schools, and the school dis-? trict's response will be dls-cussed at tonight's meeting of the Berkeley school It has not been made public, but a copy was furnished to the Tri-- bune by a source outride the administration, The parent group, led fay" three mothers of Berkeley High students, conducted a bathroom survey In December, 1996, that showed many bath-' rooms were In' a. deplorable state. They discovered graffiti-filled, trash strewn bathrooms without toilet paper, paper towels or hot water, stalls without doors and broken fixtures throughout the campus.

Even though there have been some Improvements In cleanll-. ness since we Issued tjur Please see Rafomv LOQAL-2 LOCAL-2 Asphalt Is so jm causes sticker shock Rebates for kMUhAUffllAM nomcownera Slngje-fomlly homeowners In the East Bay Municipal Utility District's service area who replace hlgh-water-use landscaping with more water-conserving plants and more efficient Irrfeation systems can receive rebate of up to 81,000. Homeowners may qualify for one or both of two kinds of IcOalcSl Irrlgathm rebate: EBMUD will rebate approved lowwater-use irrigation equipment at 50 percent of Its cort, up to a $500 maximum. Covered equipment can Include drip irrigation systems, moisture sensors and more. Landscape Rebate: EBMUD will rebate approved changes from hlgh-water-use plantings at 20 cents per square foot of landscaped area, to a $500 maximum.

This may Include replacing existing plants with more water-conserving plants, wood decking or organic mulch. TO take part in the program, call 87-0690. By Cady But STAFF WRITES BERKELEY The city has added up the price tag for all those promises the council made to neighbors living near the rite of the new public safety building, and the almost-81 million figure has some gasping for air. Depending how you count them, there are between 60 and 70 different things the city or the contractor will do to lessen the Impact of construction on the surrounding neighbors and businesses including limiting work hours, rerouting heavy equipment from residential streets and cracking down on parking acofllaws. Many of the Items were included In the ordinal project construction plan.

tanked." But CouncUmember Dona Spring- (Central Berkeley), said very few of the items directly benefit the McKinley, find Addison street neighborhoods. Spring sakl many Items, such as in-. stalling a fence around the construction rite to reduce dust and noise, would have to be done anyway to lessen lny pacts to people working in the courtbuilding 1 think the (measures) are very good and I'm supporting them." she said. "It's been a long difficult haul to come up with all these things with an the Interest; parties. But I think Btafl has done a good Job of working with the neighborhood." Please sea Bulling, LOCAL-2' But others designed to defray traffic, parking problems and 1 construction 1 noise were added here and there as city officials met with residents before the bulldfogs environmental Impact report was approved Dec.

16. The problem is, the cost for all those measures Isn't In the budget and some folks wonder If they should an stay put The council la scheduled to address the Issue on Tuesday. Deputy City Manager Phil Kamlarz sakl the etty will have to tap the general fund for $343,182 to pay fin unbudgeted big-ticket Items like a new traffic signal at Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Center Street near the buildings entrance and coats to relocate the Berkeley Oakland Support' Services The project's construction contingency hind, set aside fin unforeseen increases In building costa, will foot the blU fin $516,930 In budgeted Hems. If costs go up as they often have in the Bay Area's hot construction market any overruns will have to come from the general fund.

"This is what we're spending so for, and there's the threat of an additional 81 million next year," said Coun-dlmember Polly Armstrong (Elmwood), not the only elected official who thinks the list goes overboard. "This la fin the same neighbors who convinced the council to not put the courthouse there," she added. "The overall needs of the city have Just been.

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