In The News

City, racial advocacy groups to hold online real estate event

In brief: Piedmont Rec Department offers upcoming day camps
Children’s events to coincide with minimum school day

East Bay Times |


The Piedmont Recreation Department is celebrating an April 7 minimum school day by offering day camps from noon to 2 p.m. on that day. Registration opened this week on Monday.

At Beach Elementary School, 100 Lake Ave. in Piedmont, the city’s Recreation Department is offering Hanabi Judo for grades three through five. Also offered is soccer for grades two through five and hip hop dance and yoga for kindergarten through third grade.

At Havens Elementary, 323 Highland Ave., will be ultimate lunch break camp with the Oakland Spiders for grades three through five. Also offered is ANTS sports explorers camp from grades two through five and science, engineering and arts with Giena Vogel for kindergarten through second grade.

At Wildwood Elementary, 301 Wildwood Ave., the Recreation Department is offering hip hop, hula hooping and needle crafts for grades three through five; dragonfly designs for grades three through five and Skyhawk basketball fundamentals for kindergarten through third grade. Click on the Piedmont Recreation Department links at to register or find more information.

City, racial advocacy groups to hold online real estate event

The city of Piedmont, the League of Women Voters Piedmont, the Piedmont Anti-Racism and Diversity Committee and the Piedmont Racial Equity Campaign are co-sponsoring an upcoming event, “Welcome to Piedmont Real Estate Practices in Support of an Inclusive Community.”

The virtual event will be at 6 p.m. April 7. Real estate professionals and others will conduct an online conversation that sets historical and current context for real estate practices and their impact on the community, followed by a moderated panel discussion on the benefits of creating an intentionally inclusive environment.

Panelists will be retired real estate agent Maureen Kennedy; Farrah Wilder of the California Association of Realtors, and Ashley Gardner, a real estate agent with Compass Realty. The moderator will be Carol Galante, the founder of UC-Berkeley’s Terner Center for Housing Innovation. To register, visit


Red Cross blood drive in honor of Cesar Chavez’s birthday

The city of Oakland is sponsoring a “Save a Life” blood drive in honor of the late Cesar Chavez’s birthday. The drive will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the American Red Cross Blood Donation Center, 6230 Claremont Ave. in Oakland. To reserve a time slot to donate, contact Deidra Moss at For more information, including eligibility requirements, visit

— Linda Davis, correspondent

Local author pens history of pandemic’s first year in verse

Anna Dabney didn’t intend to write a book. Isolated and frightened during the early months of COVID-19, she turned to writing poems. Over the pandemic’s first year, she composed 120 poems with endnotes using a 14-line modified Shakespearean sonnet format.

Writing in a journal style, with one poem per page, Dabney hoped to leave a vivid record of the plague year for her two young grandchildren. “Year of the Plague Journal: Pandemic and Politics, March 2020 to March 2021” ( emerged from her labors. Her succinct poems and endnotes reflect what she learned about the pandemic in an easily digestible format. They also paint vivid pictures of social movements, climate change, scientific advances, challenges to education and more.

The longtime Oakland resident worked for 25 years in hospital public relations and marketing in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. Later, as a writing consultant, the former English teacher specialized in writing about healthcare, education and the environment. Dabney’s book is now available at the Montclair Library, at two Oakland bookstores (Walden Pond Books and The Book Tree), and at

— Anna Dabney


League of Women Voters to host talk, sponsoring contest

The League of Women Voters Piedmont will host an online lecture via Zoom at 4 p.m. April 5 with UC Irvine law professor Rick Hasen, a co-director of the Fair Elections and Free Speech Center. Hasen will discuss his perspectives with the league on “How Disinformation Undermines Fair Elections: What Can Be Done?”

The program’s second half will be a question-and-answer session. Register for free to receive a Zoom link via email at You can watch the program live or later on the league’s YouTube channel.

Also, the league is sponsoring its third annual essay contest, open to all high school juniors and seniors living in or attending school in Piedmont. The 250- to 300-word essays must be submitted by April 20 and answer the questions “Should monetary political contributions be treated as speech that deserve First Amendment protection.” and “What actions should the League of Women Voters take with respect to this issue?”

A $500 prize will be awarded to the first-place winner. To submit an essay or for more details, visit

— Linda Davis, correspondent