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In a segment hosted by Great Big Story, we learned that the Oakland Zookeepers make use of Jack London's Wholesale Produce Market. In the video,...


California Canoe and Kayak: A conversation with Keith Miller

Favorite thing to do in Oakland to take a break from the work day?

My favorite thing to do to break from my work day is actually, Go paddle - so I’ll hop in a boat or a stand up paddle board and I will jump in the water because here is it and we’re close by.

How far can you usually get?

20 minutes half an hour perhaps I can paddle, Depending on how fast a craft I use I can paddle to Coast Guard Island and back.

Now if it’s not paddling then I like to hang out, like if I want to go watch a game I’ll go to one of the restaurants that has a TV like Steel Rail or Overland or Jack’s and have a beer and watch a Warrior’s basketball game.

 How have your classes and trip offerings changed?

The biggest change is that more people are doing standup paddle boarding. It’s about half our business now for rentals and classes. It’s fairly easy to get into, its less gear intensive, the boards are lighter.

California Canoe Kayak

What drew you to the East Bay and specifically to Jack London from your previous location in Greenbrae?California Canoe Kayak

We outgrew that space, we grew pretty fast, and we moved to Point Richmond - before we moved there I actually checked out JLS - this was ‘85 - and these buildings were all here. The project had been completed and the buildings were pretty much empty at the time, there wasn’t much going on. I was excited about coming here because of the water access but I made a phone call to the state water control quality people, the local office, and I was informed that the water quality in the estuary at that point in time was very questionable… So we moved to Point Richmond instead, used the Richmond Marina for our classes. In 1993 I was approached by the Port real-estate division to move here again. It took me by surprise... As it turns out it was on a recommendation from the Alameda County economic development commission, [they] suggested that if you wanted to improve JLS activity get something down here to draw people here to use the water.

 

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Recommendation for Assessment Increase

June 20, 2017 - Recommendation by the Jack London Improvement District Board to increase assessment in compliance with District Management Plan Agreement

Jack London Improvement District (JLID) was formed officially on January 1, 2014. Ever since, the District has provided the following special services:

  • Cleaner, friendlier, and safer streets, thanks to the hard work of our Ambassadors;
  • Numerous collaborative projects and other community engagement events on safety, real estate development, history of the District and other topics of concern and interest of our stakeholders;
  • Beautification and branding of our District, such as more murals and public art, street pole banners, public space drought-tolerant landscaping, underpass improvements and bike infrastructure, which are underway.

Since initiation of operations, JLID has incurred significant cost increases, such as the 2015 minimum wage increase due to Measure FF (Lift Up Oakland), office rent, and trash removal. Our fixed costs that include Ambassadors, garbage collection, and office overhead represent 76% of our annual budget. In aggregate, these fixed costs have increased over 10% in the past 18 months and are likely to grow even more for the foreseeable future. As such, even with the 5% increase in 2018/2019, maintaining the same level of service and delivering special improvement projects will require substantial ingenuity.

At the July 3rd Board Meeting, the Board considers recommending a 5% increase in the annual assessment for the 2018/2019 tax year, payable on November 2018 and February 2019. This assessment is JLID’s principal source of revenue and it has the unique benefit that its every dollar must be spent solely in our District.

The Board of Directors takes its responsibility of stewarding the resources of our constituents (i.e., local businesses and residents) seriously. Therefore, we are seeking your input to make sure that the District’s resources are spent in the right places, in the right manner, and in the right quantities. Please continue to share your ideas, thoughts, and questions.

 

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Business Spotlight: Dashe Cellars and Mike Dashe

The Jack London team visited Mike and his dedicated team at Dashe Cellars during bottling season to peek in on one of our urban wineries in action. We interviewed Mike Dashe to capture some of his culinary wisdom. 

JL:What is your favorite local ingredient and where do you get it?

MD: Dungeness Crabs—I go out on a boat and take them out of the crabpots myself

JL: What is your favorite spice?

MD: Smoked paprika!

JL: What is the most overrated ingredient, in your opinion?

MD: Truffle Oil (overpowers everything!)

JL: What is the most underrated ingredient?

MD: Fresh morels

JL: What's the one food you can't live without?

MD: Avocados

JL: What's never in your kitchen? 

MD: Whiners

JL: What's always in your kitchen? 

MD: Fleur de Sel.

JL: What's the one book that everyone interested in food should read?

MD: Tie:  "The Way to Cook" by Julia Childs; and "The Zuni Cafe Cookbook: A Compendium of Recipes and Cooking Lessons" by the late Judy Rodgers

JL: Who is your favorite celebrity chef?

MD: Anthony Bourdain

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Building Spotlight: S&W Fine Foods Warehouse - Then and Now

S&W Fine Foods Warehouse previously housed Cost Plus' "World Market" Headquarters.  San Francisco-based developer Carmel Partners, which specializes in building high-end and eco-friendly apartments on the West Coast, has begun construction on the development site that was originally developed in 1937 for S&W Fine Foods.  The site, made up of two properties at 200 4th St. and 431 Madison St., was most recently a parking lot and an office building for the home goods company Cost Plus World Market.

After leaving its leased location at 255 Third St. and constructing this warehouse, S&W Fine Foods, Inc. adopted the name that is today one of the oldest food brands in the United States. S&W grew to become one of the country's largest packagers of canned fruits and vegetables. In 2001, Del Monte Foods Co. bought the S&W brand. While earlier District warehouses were designed with loading docks at rail car height, S&W Fine Foods' 1937 warehouse included both truck height loading on Jackson Street and rail car height loading docks on Fourth Street. Both loading dock facilities have been partially filled in.

According to its website, S&W was founded in 1896 by three grocery wholesalers in San Francisco, and it “created the era of premium-canned foods.”  Art Deco fluted pilasters are on the Fifth Street side.  Truck bays were built on the Jackson Street side, train bays on Fourth Street side.  Cost Plus moved its corporate office here in 2000.  A new monumental entrance in the middle of the Fourth Street side is recessed with four large multi-paned glass block windows on the rear wall.  A
landscaped entrance with plants welcomes you to Cost Plus’ “World Headquarters.”

Designer: Jesse Rosenwald
Construction Date: 1937, addition 1946, rem. 1998
Architectural Style: Moderne

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Artists paint Jack London utility boxes live!

Utility boxes in strategic locations throughout the District are being covered in art! In partnership with Athen B. Gallery and Streets Alive!, the Jack London Improvement District issued a Call for Artists and selected the first eight who will live paint their art on utility boxes throughout Jack London. Don’t miss this opportunity to watch renowned artists create their works.

Below is a map and schedule so you can be sure to catch your favorite artists.

Saturday May 14th

Artist: Cameron Thompson - Instagram

Location: 4th and Jefferson

Artist: Marcos Lafarga - Website/Instagram

Location: 4th and Washington

Sunday May 15th

Artist: Cannon Dill - Website/Instagram

Location: 6th and Broadway

Artist: Troy Lovegates - Website/Instagram

Location: 4th and Jackson

Monday May 16th

Artist: Lynnea Holland-Weiss - Website/Instagram

Location: 4th and Harrsion

Artist: Kate Klinbeil - Website/Instagram

Location: 3rd and Broadway

Wednesday May 18th

Artist: Ricky Watts - Website/Instagram

Location: 4th and Jefferson

John Felix Arnold (Website/Instagram) has yet to be scheduled!

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