High Street Neighborhood News

by Adelle Foley

The littlest volunteer, Ian Hughes. Ian, who just turned one in July has already been part of 3 beautification days at Horace Mann (4, if you count one in utero!) Hes zonked out after a hard morning of work.

Click to enlarge.

Stock up on library books

' The headline in the Tribune read "City Shuts Doors." While we're not ready to ask the last person to turn off the lights on the way out of town, Oakland's fiscal crisis will affect all of us. To balance the budget the City Council voted to close down many city services, including libraries, one day a month. The result is a five percent reduction in pay for staff. And Melrose Branch, already down to a skeleton crew, will have an even harder time providing service to the community. At the end of the year the cost-saving measures and the Christmas-to-New-Year holiday will mean that the libraries will be closed from December 25 until January 3—a total of 11 days. We'd all better stock up on holiday reading early this year.

A Windy Cleanup

' Warm winds whipped through the yard at Horace Mann Elementary School as neighbors, students, and teachers, organized by Jeanne Nixon, spent the morning weeding, pruning, gluing tiles to planters, and cleaning up leaves and trash. The tiles were created during the Melrose-High Hopes NCPC's summer block party, and the planters had been assembled at an earlier cleanup. As the group enjoyed refreshments, bug expert Eddie Dunbar gave an impromptu introduction to caterpillars. Remember to watch for daffodils in front of the school early next year.'

Holiday Fun and Helping Others

' Melrose-High Hopes neighbors gathered at Horace Mann to enjoy a pre-Thanksgiving potluck feast and squeeze in an abbreviated NCPC meeting. By tradition, at the end of the evening the members join in packing holiday food, including turkeys and other fixings, provided by Councilmembers Desley Brooks and Jean Quan for families of Horace Mann students chosen by the principal and vice-principal. The number of families has grown over time to this year's total of ten. Rounding out the community effort, the food is delivered in boxes decorated by Discovery Center youngsters.

Come to Eat and Dance

' After last year's successful first annual holiday party, members of the Maxwell Park community will have another chance to enjoy good food and practice their line-dancing skills. There will be activities for the kids, music, and time to get to know your neighbors. Be sure to bring along a nonperishable food donation. The potluck party will be at Maxwell Park International Academy (formerly Maxwell Park Elementary School) on Fleming and Monticello. For more information, including what to bring (based on your last name), call Helen at 207-2958.

Recruiting a New Pastor

' I checked in with High Street Presbyterian Church's Associate Pastor, Bob Forsberg, about the progress of their recruitment of a new pastor. Bob told me that they have attracted some good candidates, two of whom have been guest pastors at Sunday services. He promises to let us know as soon as a choice is made and to introduce the new pastor to the community. Meanwhile, Rev. Sally Juarez is having a great time in Mexico City with her new granddaughter and the rest of her daughter's family.'

It's Not Superman

'Look, up in the sky

Geese, in perfect formation

Above the museum'

Adelle Foley can be reached at jandafoley\@sbcglobal.net.