High Street Neighborhood News

by Adelle Foley

Local Heroes (top): Nancy Karigaca (at right) and her leadership team of Steve Weitz, Scott Fuller, Brenda Hansen, and Laura Nicodemus ; (bottom) Preston Turner and Jean Quan; Jack and Adelle Foley; Krista Gulbransen; Nick Stoughton. Photos by Ashley Tho

Local Heroes and a Lucky Lion

' The multipurpose room at Laurel School was full of family, friends and neighbors of District Four community members who have made a difference. Councilmember Jean Quan, whose office organizes and funds the annual Local Heroes program, describes it as her favorite event of the year. Nominees were honored for achievements as diverse as preserving open space in the canyons above Highway 13, helping families near Foothill Blvd., upgrading a park, and organizing a school library. In the Maxwell Park/Melrose area there were two $1,000 awards. Melrose-High Hopes NCPC Chair and activist, Preston Turner, will place the funds in the NCPC's treasury. Maxwell Park Neighborhood Action Team Chair Nancy Karigaca and her leadership team of Scott Fuller, Brenda Hansen, Gail Murphy, Laura Micodemus, and Steve Weitz, will use the funds for a major planning project for their neighborhood park. The other High Street area honorees are Nick Staughton for his leadership of the Maxwell Park emergency preparedness team; Krista Gulbransen, the new Chair of the Maxwell Park Neighborhood Council and co-organizer of the neighborhood party in the park; and Jack and Adelle Foley for bringing poetry to the neighborhood and working on traffic safety. The event concluded with the audience munching on pork bows, tangerines and cake, and counting on good luck for the Year of the Ox thanks to the dancing lion.


To Make Our Garden Grow

' Melrose-High Hopes' Jeanne Nixon sent out the good news that Horace Mann Elementary School received a $1,000 grant from the National Gardening Association for the 2009-2010 school year. Horace Mann was one of five out of 125 schools to receive the top award level, which will provide a Home Depot gift card and online credit at Kids Gardening Store.


Meet Reverend Linda at High Street Jazz

' High Street Presbyterian Church is delighted to welcome its new pastor, Rev. Linda Gruel. I haven't caught up with her yet, but I understand that Rev. Linda was born in Bolivia to a family of seminarians. I'll pass on more information in future columns. You can meet her on Sunday March 29 at Jazz Vespers. The program features Oakland-born bassist and singer Robin Duhe and his group. Come to the Julia Morgan chapel on Courtland and High Street at 5 p.m. for a smooth blend of jazz with R&B and stay for conversation and finger food.'

Good bye to Audie O'Neill

Audie O'Neill and her husband bought the house on the corner of Brookdale and High in 1945 and raised two sons there. An Oakland native, Audie was the president of the Maxwell Park School PTA in 1951-52 and led a Boy Scout troop during the '50s. Neighbor Rosetta Egan describes Audie as a sweet, charming lady whose enthusiasm for the A's continued into her 90's.

Plum trees in blossom

Climb the hills of East Oakland

I can't stop sneezing!

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