High Street Neighborhood News

by Adelle Foley

An Oasis on Fairfax Ave.

The fountain at Home of Peace Cemetery flows again after 45 years. Photo by Adelle Foley.

As I walked up the path into Home of Peace Cemetery, on Fairfax Ave., I heard the splash of water before I saw the fountain. It was early afternoon on a cloudy November Sunday. Our editor had tipped me off that the water was flowing. The basin of the structure is ringed by tiles with the names of the donors who provided the funds for its construction in 1926. As I explored the cemetery, the sun appeared from behind the clouds. Later I called Beth Jacob, the synagogue that operates the cemetery, and talked to Kathy Hollander, who told me that the fountain had been dry for at least 45 years. She added that Beth Jacob plans to install benches near the fountain for visitors to sit and meditate. It's the perfect place to forget the tumult and stress of the past weeks.

Watch Out American Idol

If you know an aspiring teen-aged recording artist, send the youngster over to the Marie Whalen Boys & Girls Club on High Street, to explore the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens’ Graduate to Go Recording Studio. To use the studio, a teen must maintain a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0 (a C), but the musicians at the Boys & Girls Club, who average 15 years of age, have a GPA of 3.5. At the end of October, Shereda Nosakhare from City Council Member Libby Schaaf’s office joined with the Club to sponsor a contest. Nine groups from the club and the neighborhood performed songs, spoken word, and rap before a panel from the music industry, including local performer Jimmie Reign, Rejoyce Moff of the Stovell Sisters, and John Middle, who owns and teaches at Acme Music in the Laurel. The judges commented on each group’s strengths along with potential improvements. The event was so successful that the Club is planning an encore.

Creativity and Challenges Funding Maxwell Park

It’s increasingly difficult to raise funds to support even deserving projects with a proven track record such as improving Maxwell Park. So each small contribution is important, along with creativity and flexibility. The large number of requests for funding forced Keep Oakland Beautiful to scale down this year’s awards, but sales of totes, water bottles, cards, and mosaic items helped provide the funding for a larger storage container and scaffolding for the 2012 mosaic. Looking ahead, it will be much more challenging to put together the substantial funding required to design and construct the original plan for park improvements. The immediate need is for help writing grants. Without it, the project may need to be scaled down. If you can help, contact Maxwell Park NAT co-chair Nancy Karigaca at nkarigaca@comcast.net.

Afternoon Earthquake

Only 4.0

The jolt made my binder fall

Got my attention

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