Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 in photos

It was a busy, interesting year. I had a hard time limiting myself for photos to show 2011 in review. I'm not sure of the exact count, but I posted between 2,800 and 3,000 photos of Oakland in 2011, across 80 albums. I attended a wide variety of Oakland events; went on walking tours of downtown, different neighborhoods, stairs in the hills, and cemeteries; ate at a bunch of restaurants and food trucks and drank at a bunch of bars, breweries and wineries; rode a lot of miles on my bike; and of course, saw a lot of cool signs.

Oakland is a pretty darn awesome place to live. Here's hoping 2012 is happy, peaceful, and prosperous for Oaklanders, and it becomes even more awesome.













Friday, December 30, 2011

blog pulse: Sanjiv Handa

Inever met Sanjiv Handa, but everyone who follows Oakland politics knew who he was. He passed away unexpectedly this week at age 55. Sanjiv was a fixture at city council meetings; a council meeting without Sanjiv didn't seem like a real meeting. He was best known for haranguing city officials about transparency in government, or to be more accurate, their lack of it.

Sanjiv always seemed to stay within the rules. When the council changed things to further limit speaker time (informally referred to as "the Sanjiv rule"), he collected speaker cards from others to maximize his speaking time, and he always used the full time allotted to him. And even though everyone on council certainly knew who he was, per the rules he always began by stating his name: "For The Record, I'm Sanjiv Handa, East Bay News Service."

Some blog posts and articles remembering Sanjiv:

He wasn't universally loved, and was strongly disliked by more than one city official, but his absence at city council meetings will be noticed. Hopefully someone else can step up and work to try to keep Oakland's government working in the open as it's supposed to.

A memorial service is planned for Sanjiv this Saturday in Fremont. @OaklandBecks and others on Twitter also came up with the idea of riding bikes (to honor cycling advocate Ron Bishop who also recently passed away) to an upcoming city council meeting and delivering pastries and pizza for attendees. (Various remembrances above refer to him bringing food to share at meetings, and to victims of a fire not far from his home in Oakland.) Rest in peace, Sanjiv, though you'd probably rather haunt city officials to make sure they're following the rules.

additional reading:

some of Sanjiv's articles:

Thursday, December 29, 2011

photo meme: taphophile tragics

One of the Oakland blogs I follow and enjoy is Oakland Daily Photo. Besides showing great photos from around Oakland, Carolyn also takes part in various photo memes. One that caught my attention recently is called called "taphophile tragics", and was highlighted in her recent post featuring the Schmidt angel.

A taphophile is someone who is interested in funerals, graves and cemeteries. Which I guess includes me, at least for the graves and cemeteries part. In the last couple of months I've taken hundreds of pictures of the Mountain View Cemetery (250+ posted, no idea how many total I took.) My addition to the meme is a some of my favorites, shown below.

Related posts:
Mountain View Cemetery: Founders
Mountain View Cemetery: Symbols
Mountain View Cemetery