Teens writing at Oakley Library. October 20, 4pm

Have you ever wanted to get some feedback on your writing and talk to other writers?

Writing is more than putting words on a page and tucking it away. In honor of Teen Read Week the  Oakley Community Library is hosting Barbara Santos, a professional writer and Oakley resident, to talk  about how your writing can help you understand yourself and others, earn you credit when you apply  for college, and help you build a life‐long lucrative career.

Barbara Santos is the marketing director of the San Francisco Writers Conference, the author/co‐author of several cookbooks, and a publicist.

For more information please visit: ccclib.org or call 925‐625‐2400

Contact: Doug Thomas, Adult and Teen Services Librarian, 925‐625‐2400

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Rethinking Hazard Mapping After Wildfires Entered Urban Areas Thought to Be ‘Unburnable’

Orginally posted in Route Fifty

While California is no stranger to wildfire disasters, the recent blazes in Napa and Sonoma counties and elsewhere will be remembered for years for their ferociousness, destruction and death toll, which as of Sunday night stood at 41, including many elderly people who weren’t able to escape the flames. That number, as local officials have warned, could continue to rise.

The past week has been the most deadly in California when it comes to wildfires. In 1933, a fire in Los Angeles’ Griffith Park killed at least 29 people and in 1991, the Oakland Hills firestorm killed 25 people.

While that blaze 26 years ago destroyed nearly 3,500 structures, the fire’s perimeter was mostly contained to neighborhoods in the hilly terrain that forms the eastern flank of the cities of Oakland and Berkeley. Firefighters were able to keep it from spreading down into urban areas.

Last week, the quickly moving, wind-whipped Tubbs Fire took many by surprise when it moved down from hillier terrain into more urbanized areas of Santa Rosa, the largest city in Sonoma County. Flames jumped over the six-lane U.S. 101 freeway and into a middle-class neighborhood called Coffey Park, located north of the center of the city of 175,000 residents.

Many of the shocking and heartbreaking photos coming out of the Northern California fire zone this past week were from this neighborhood, which sits in the “wildland-urban interface,” the term used to describe populated areas on the fringes of or built amid the forests, canyons, hills and other natural areas where wildfires often prove to be the most destructive.

Upwards of 5,700 structures have been destroyed in the recent Northern California blazes. Nearly 3,000 of those were in Santa Rosa, including in places like Coffey Park that were thought to be “unburnable” by wildfires.

Coffey Park, which the Los Angeles Times has described as a neighborhood built “on city streets, not forested country lanes,” was particularly hard hit despite being outside the “very severe” fire zone in the hilly terrain a few miles to the east—the homes there wasn’t subject to certain building codes meant to make structures more resistant to wildfires.

But fire scientists, including Max Moritz of the University of California’s Cooperative Extension, have described the destruction in Coffey Park as “a rare, but predictable, event that has exposed flaws in the way fire risk is measured and mitigated in California,” according to the L.A. Times, which continued:

… [T]he Coffey Park catastrophe has shown that the methodology, and the law underlying it, were too narrow.

“With a lot of hazard mapping, once you get into a density of development, it’s mapped urban and it’s considered unburnable,” Moritz said. “From its core, our whole approach to fire behavior modeling, we are not talking about burning in urbanized environments.”

The fire hazard zones now need to be recast with more consideration for the impact of wildland fire on developed areas, Moritz said.

There are, not unexpectedly, many more places like Coffey Park across California and in other parts of the West.

Growing medium-size cities like Bend, Oregon and Boulder, Colorado, face similar risks as do larger population centers like Los Angeles, which saw its largest-ever wildfire this summer. In early September, the La Tuna Fire raged through the hills near Burbank but was brought under control thanks to some favorable weather conditions before it could spread down into more dense and urbanized neighborhoods.

All it takes is the right set of weather conditions and the right type of topography to create a worst-case wildland fire scenario where the a difficult-to-control blaze spreads into a heavily populated area.

Some fires, like the one that burned into Santa Rosa, are simply too strong to assume they’ll spread from the wildland-urban interface and into an urban neighborhood. And that should frighten any city whose residents might assume they’re just out of reach from a wildfire disaster.

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Sunday Reading 10/15/17

The following links are just news items and opinions that pass my desk throughout the week. I don’t necessarily support or advocate any of the items, they are just interesting reads.

This Is How Online Dating Has Changed The Very Fabric of Society – Digital match-making services have done more than just change how we find our perfect squeeze; they’re changing the fundamental nature of our social networks.

According to a pair of researchers investigating online dating, the way we’re looking for love (and lust) is connecting communities in completely novel ways, breaking down boundaries and possibly even making for stronger long-term relationships.

It wasn’t all that long ago that most relationships would begin with a smile and a handshake, rather than a click or a swipe.

That began to change in the mid-1990s, when websites like Match.com merged traditional lonely-heart classifieds with the convenience of the internet.

Today there’s a wide variety of sites and apps to suit your tastes, lifestyle, sexuality, and budget, from Tinder and Bumble for a quick swipe to like, to OKCupid and eHarmony for those who want their wit to show with their words.

Any stigma over online dating has slowly evaporated over the years. 15 percent of Americans admit to having used online dating, and 5 percent of those who are married or committed long-term relationships stating they met their spouse online. Read More > at Science Alert

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Happy Birthday U.S. Navy – 2017


us-navy-live-wallpaper-239070-3-s-307x512On Friday, October 13, 1775, meeting in Philadelphia, the Continental Congress voted to fit out two sailing vessels, armed with ten carriage guns, as well as swivel guns, and manned by crews of 80, and to send them out on a cruise of three months to intercept transports carrying munitions and stores to the British army in America. This was the original legislation out of which the Continental Navy grew and as such constitutes the birth certificate of the Navy.

Later, in the War of 1812, the Navy earned its place as a force to be reckoned with as six lonely frigates held their own against the British Royal Navy, the most technologically advanced and powerful naval force the world had ever seen.

Today, the US Navy continues to be the strongest in the world. Operating all around the world with more than 633,000 members, both military and civilian, while operating 284 ships, the U.S. Navy continues to uphold the traditions by Sailors such as John Paul Jones, Isaac Hull and Stephen Decatur. Traditions of honor, courage and commitment.

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Route 4 in Contra Costa – Ramp meters Activate October 17 and October 31

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will activate ramp metering on Route 4 in Contra Costa County beginning October 17, 2017.

What is Ramp Metering? Ramp metering is a traffic management strategy using traffic signals and accompanying equipment and techniques to manage on-ramp flow on the freeway system. It is intended to improve the safety of vehicle merging and the flow of traffic on the highway.

Westbound Activation In the first stage of ramp meter activation in Contra Costa County, ramp meters will be activated on westbound Route 4 from Sand Creek Road in Brentwood to Alhambra Avenue in Martinez.

  • Beginning Tuesday, October 10th, on-ramp meters have been set to solid green during commute times to alert drivers to the new driving condition.
  • On Tuesday, October 17th, westbound ramp meters will cycle through red and green during morning commute hours, from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Eastbound Activation In the next stage of ramp meter activation in Contra Costa County, ramp meters will be activated on eastbound Route 4 from Alhambra Avenue in Martinez to Lone Tree Way (East) in Brentwood.

  • Beginning Tuesday, October 10th, on-ramp meters will be set to solid green during commute times to alert drivers to the new driving condition.
  • On Tuesday, October 31st, eastbound ramp meters will cycle through red and green during afternoon commute hours, from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Drivers entering Route 4 where ramp meters are activated should stop at red and wait until the metering light turns green to the freeway. Caltrans will monitor traffic conditions and operate ramp meters as appropriate.

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Saturday, October 21st from Noon‐4 p.m. – Annual Harvest Festival

Save the date for the Annual Harvest Festival on Saturday, October 21st from Noon‐4 p.m. at the Civic Center Plaza. Enjoy activities for the whole family!

Pumpkin Decorating Contest ‐ Guests are encouraged to carve and/or decorate a pumpkin at home and bring it to the Harvest Festival to enter into the contest. (No carving on site please) The entries will be displayed at the event with judging taking place at approximately 3:15 p.m. and awards will be handed out 3:30 p.m. Prizes will be awarded for scariest, funniest, and most creative.

Pie eating contest – Guests age 3+ are welcome to register for the pie eating contest at the event, starting at 12:00 p.m. Register early as space is limited in each age category.

Costume parade ‐ Everyone is encouraged to put on their most creative Halloween costume to join us in the costume parade through the park. This makes for a great photo opportunity. The parade is open to all ages and children will receive a goody bag at the end of the parade for participation.

Canine costume parade – We can’t leave out our canine companions, so we have a costume parade just for them! Owners will want to stop by the City tent to register and receive a “doggy bag” with free items for the canines and their owners.

Children’s area – There will be free arts & crafts, games, and bounce houses for the kids in attendance. We’ll also have a balloon artist on site making balloon animals.

Vendors – There will be shaved ice, ice cream, nachos, and hot dogs for sale at Tiki’s Shaved Ice and Ice Cream truck. Be sure to stop by Dee’s Cake Pops booth to check out her tasty cake pops, cookies, caramel apples, rice crispy treats, and pie pops! There will be more than 30 non‐food vendors on site with a variety of interesting wares.

Entertainment – The Keep in Time Dance Academy will kick off the event with a 12:30 p.m. performance in the amphitheater and the East County Performing Arts Center will
treat us to a dance performance later in the afternoon at 3:30 p.m.

Entry into the parades, pumpkin decorating and pie eating contests as well as the children’s area are all FREE. To register for the Canine Costume Parade, pie eating contest
and pumpkin decorating contest, stop by the City of Oakley tent in the park. For more information, call Cindy at (925) 625‐7044 or email: coelho@ci.oakley.ca.us

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Hometown Halloween Decorating Contest

Bring out the witches, goblins, and ghouls! Enter your home in the City of Oakley Hometown Halloween Decorating Contest! Entries must be submitted by Monday, October 16th at 5 p.m. to be eligible for the contest. The contest is open to any home within Oakley City limits. Decorations are limited to the exterior front yard and roof only. Decorations installed by a professional service will not be eligible. Entries will be posted online for public voting.

All entries will by posted for an online vote October 17th through 23rd. The winner will be announced Tuesday, October 24th. Enter your home by completing the entry form and submitting a picture on http://bit.ly/OakleyBoo.

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