Jul 8 2017

Fourth of July events in Piedmont started in the Veterans’ Hall at 8 a.m. with the Recreation Department’s Pancake Breakfast assisted by the Piedmont Community Service Crew.  By 10 a.m. most marchers had arrived in their designated post positions.

Piedmont’s 52nd Annual 4th of July celebration in our small town brought thousands of neighbors, friends, and the community at large to line the parade route on Highland Avenue with many arriving well before the 11 a.m. start of the parade.  The previously placed empty viewing chairs lining the parade route on Highland Avenue sidewalks were soon occupied, leaving only standing room available in the sidewalk.

Antique and specialty cars were the most dominant feature of the parade.  The Piedmont Community Band once more provided a musical announcement at the beginning of the parade as the last arrivals hurried toward Highland Avenue.   The groups included numerous musicians – bagpipers, New Orleans Parade Band, the Hamilton float, The W. A. Rose band, Jules Leyhe Family Band, and others.

A special tribute was made to resident and long time Piedmont childcare provider, Ashley Nackley, who is retiring this year. A large group of supporters and beneficiaries of Nackley’s care surprised her by congregating in the parade.

Numerous community based organizations were in the parade: Daughters of the American Revolution, Piedmont Pride, AC Transit, Piedmont League of Women Voters celebrating 70 years, CHIME, Cub Scouts, Oakland Women’s Rowing Club, East Bay SPCA, Camp  Augusta, Piedmont CONNECT, Piedmont Education Foundation, Fairyland, Dress Best for Less, Piedmont Historical Society, Piedmont Mountain Bike Racing Crew, Piedmont Baseball and Softball Foundation, PITS Rugby Club, Piedmont Center for the Arts, Berkeley Humane Society, Trillionaires for Trump, etc.

The parade included Grand Marshals Nancy and Tom Lehrkind, founders of the Piedmont Center for the Arts with their family members. City Council members Mayor Jeff Wieler, and wife Jean, Vice Mayor Bob McBain, with wife Pam and children Leigh and Will, Council member Teddy Gray King with children, Nicholas, Allison and Danny; Council member Tim Rood, and Council member Jennifer Cavenaugh with husband Dan, and children Jackson, Salem and Shelby.

School Board members Sarah Pearson, President, Amal Smith, Vice President, School Board members Doug Ireland and Cory Smegal were each in the parade.

The Piedmont Community Band gathered for their once a year performance.

Straw Hat Band

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aahmes Shrine Mounted Patrol on Tobiano Paint horses

AC Transit 10 foot minibus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Balloon Platoon from Pleasanton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the parade the side streets were lined with cars as parade goers headed to the park to picnic while listening to the musical group Pride and Joy. There were so many cars some even blocked crosswalks.

No parking tickets were observed as the Police indulged the celebrants

Crosswalks became parking spaces.

Jun 7 2016

Another successful and sold out event for Piedmont High School’s Bird Calling Contest.  The students entertained and mimicked bird calls in the Allan Harvey Theater.

Congratulations to all the students who participated in the 51st Annual Bird Calling Contest.  Nine teams performed their skits and bird calls in front of the overflow audience.

First Place: Willow Ptarmigan – Maya Guzdar & Kay SIbal

Second Place: Northern Pintail – Anna Campbell & Koyuki Narter

Third Place: Snowy Egret – Drew Collins, Laine Ratzer, & Katie St. Claire

Participants:
MCs – Cade Becker and Elie Docter

Gyrfalcon:   Emma Seevak and Claire Valva
Kookaburra:    Philip Horn and Jeremy Wong
Grey Go-Away-Bird:     Cole Bloomfield, Josef      Crombie Presburg, and Daniel DeBare
Red-Shouldered Hawk:   Maeve Andrews, Tobias Fischer, and Mira Tellegen
American/Caribbean Flamingo:    Vivian Anable Eme, Katherine Irving, Alex Opdyke
Lyrebird:    Grace Foster, Bryn Lawson, and Krystyna Olszewska

Read about the performances and see photos here.

Jun 1 2016

Piedmont Connect’s Garden Ramble was a success.

On May 22nd, Piedmont Connect held their annual garden tour showcasing sustainable private gardens that were both eye-catching and practical. These ‘green’ gardens delighted numerous participants.

Garden ramblers visited examples of sustainable gardening. The self-guided tour was sponsored by Piedmont Connect, a community group supporting local efforts toward stronger environmental stewardship.

The Ramble highlighted a variety of approaches to creating gardens that are sensitive to water and wildlife, with a focus on California natives and other Mediterranean-climate plants that attract beneficial insects and pollinators. Local gardeners created hardscapes using traditional and repurposed ornaments.

Gardens IMG_20160522_114606

For more information, please see Piedmont Connect’s web site.

May 24 2016

City Announces the Volunteer of the Year –

On May 19, 2016, at the City’s annual Volunteer Reception, Carla Betts was presented with the 2016 Civic Volunteer of the Year Award by Mayor Margaret Fujioka. The award is given to a Piedmonter who has made significant cultural, political, health, safety, environmental, recreational, and/or social contributions that have enriched the community.

For nearly 20 years, Carla Betts has been instrumental in organizing Piedmont’s 4th of July parade and the Celebration in the Park, serving as chair of the 4th of July Committee since the year 2000. Annually, thousands of residents come together to celebrate our nation’s independence. Mrs. Betts and her team of dedicated volunteers work tirelessly each year to ensure that the 4th of July celebration is a high quality event, enjoyed by residents of all ages. Carla’s attention to detail and organizational acumen are evident in the parade each year, with a wide variety of neighborhood floats, entries from local groups, and parade favorites such as the Balloon Platoon and the Zenith New Orleans Parade Band participating. Carla was instrumental in organizing the fiftieth anniversary of the 4th of July parade and deserves credit for the phenomenal success of this landmark event.

“Carla Betts exemplifies the spirit of Piedmont, volunteering countless hours each year to ensure that the 4th of July celebration is a success,” said Mayor Margaret Fujioka. “It is my hope that Carla’s example of service and selection as Civil Volunteer of the Year will inspire others to volunteer for the greater good of our community now and in the future.”

Mrs. Betts works behind the scenes each year with the 4th of July Committee to recruit judges and parade participants, ensure the budget for the celebration is managed well, and coordinate with City staff and the press. In addition to her service on the 4th of July Committee, Mrs. Betts, a long time resident of our community, has generously given of her talents over the years including service on the Recreation Commission, as a Scrip Volunteer for the Piedmont Educational Foundation, and in countess other ways.

May 21 2016

What started as a lark by a high school teacher in 1963 will soon celebrate its 51st anniversary as one of Piedmont’s most beloved traditions.

The Piedmont High School Bird Calling contest, first organized by science teacher Leonard J. Waxdeck, will celebrate its 51st rendition this spring. Equal parts ornithology, drama, and humor, the contest makes for a delightful evening of light-hearted family entertainment.

This year’s contest will take place on Tuesday, May 24, at 7 pm in the Alan Harvey Theater, located on the Piedmont High School campus, 800 Magnolia Avenue, Piedmont, Calif.  The contest has sold out.
For more information about the 51st Annual Piedmont High School Bird Calling Contest, contact Piedmont High School at 510.594.2626 or visit http://piedmont.k12.ca.us/phs/campus-life/bird-calling.php.
May 20 2016

Historic Piedmont Then and Now Walk Focuses on Early 1900’s

The next in a series of popular Piedmont Then and Now walks will take place on Thursday, June 2, and repeated on Saturday, June 4. The walk covering roughly 2 miles begins at 10 a.m. and ends at noon.

Historic Piedmont Then and Now walks are sponsored by the Piedmont League of Women Voters and the Piedmont Historical Society.

This walk will step back in time to the early 1900’s, a time of major growth for the emerging city of Piedmont. It will focus on the achievements of Frank Havens, the real estate maven responsible for developing much of early Piedmont. Havens is credited with creating Piedmont Park, a Victorian pleasure park complete with a clubhouse, gardens and art gallery, as well as building his own grand estate in Wildwood Gardens.

The walk will focus on local residents’ far‐sighted decision to incorporate Piedmont as a city and pursue ambitious construction projects including the combined city hall and fire station, two grade schools, the Oakland Avenue Bridge, a Sunday school and a commercial center – all in just six short years.

The walks are free and open to all but are limited to 30 people. To sign up, email marjb@sbcglobal.net by Friday, May 27. Details of where to meet and the walk route will be provided to those who sign up.

May 18 2016

The community is invited to attend a celebration of community volunteers Thursday, May 19, at 6:30 p.m. in the Piedmont Community Center in Main Park on Highland Avenue.

Refreshments will be served.

For more information contact City Clerk John Tulloch at Phone: 510-420-3040
Email: jtulloch@ci.piedmont.ca.us

May 8 2016

The Piedmont Fire Department will be offering free training on the use of fire extinguishers at the Fire Station, 120 Vista Avenue, Piedmont.

The Fire Extinguisher Training for residents will be on Saturday, May 14th from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

This hands on training is intended to better prepare residents to combat small fires that might occur in their homes, offices, or cars.

Residents may bring their extinguishers to the Fire Station for inspection. The training is on a first come first served basis and is restricted to residents 14 years and older.

Residents will also be able to pick up a copy of the Get Ready, Piedmontdisaster preparedness guide prepared by the Public Safety Committee. This document provides comprehensive information on preparation for and response to, earthquakes, fires, landslides, and other emergencies.

Residents with questions are encouraged to contact: Fire Chief Bud McLaren at 420-3030

“Get Ready Piedmont” disaster preparedness manual online  <

Disaster preparedness checklist.

Prior PCA article on emergency preparedness

May 2 2016

May 24, 2016

SOLD OUT !

Piedmont High School
Annual Bird Calling Contest


Please email patty@piedmontedfoundation.org or call 510-653-1816 if you would like to be added to the WAIT LIST

You can purchase tickets at: http://tinyurl.com/PHSBirdcallers


History

“Wax,” a student asked one lazy afternoon in 1963, “can we do something to liven things up around here?”  With this request in mind, Mr. Leonard J. Waxdeck recalled an interesting experience from his factory days and created the show that everyone knows today as the Piedmont High School Bird Calling Contest.

That was the beginning of the legend, as it has been reprinted in contest programs for more than five decades. It goes on to recount the multiple appearances on “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson”, followed by multiple appearances on “Late Night with David Letterman” as well.

Though the Contest changed irrevocably in the fall of 1994 with the death of its founder, it has been carried on by the many who share in the spirit of innovation and fun of Mr. Waxdeck.  In honor of the tradition that he created, we continue to present the Annual Piedmont High School Bird Calling Contest year after year. Our hope is that with the support of the community and students, this venerable tradition will continue for many years to come.

Judging

Many people wonder about the criteria for a winning call. Is it the delicate soloist with the enchanting whistle worthy of first-place? Or is the best act the routine that receives the most enthusiastic response from the audience?  To assist any armchair judges in the audience, the following criteria are used.  Though judges give scores for each of the three criteria, points alone do not determine the winners. There are intangibles that set the winners apart.

  • Authenticity of Call

The judges will act as experts of the Contest to certify the authenticity of the call.

  • Poise and Delivery

Both stage presence and smoothness of delivery are considered. The beauty and singularity of the birdcall are essential.

  • Content of Introduction

Contestants must write their own ‘sketches’. It should include pertinent information about their bird. The information should be organized, well-composed, and in good taste. Humor can be a plus or minus, depending on its appropriateness.

Past Winners

2015 Tyler Ellis, Maret Sotkiewicz
2014 Sami Barney, Katie Cummins, Jasmine Nadim
2013 Gabe Bolio, James Clifford, Eli Nash
2012 Tialli Moya-Smith, Sheli Shacker, and Cameron Anderson
2011 Caitlin Baldridge, Austin Kelley, Theo Quayle
2010 Andrew Moorhead, Emma Nicholls, Zach Piser
2009 Anna Kritikos, Claire Rogers, & Rosie Talcott
2008 Derek DeRoche, Eric Sezgen, & Eric Wheeler
2007 Drew Joseph & Drew Kessler
2006 Dana Han-Klein & Claire Menke
2005 Claire Neumann & Kelsey Webster
2004 Laci Halliwell, Brandon Paris, & Bunny Rutherford
2003 Andrew Meyer & Cullen Reddy
2002 Alex Hirsch
2001 Jill Pervere & Rachel Winograd
2000 Eli Liliedahl-Allen & Courtney Labree
1999 David Lau & Paul Celestre
1998 John Shumway & Carl Moren

Updated: May 3, 2016

Apr 26 2016

 The public is invited to the City of Piedmont annual Arbor Day celebration on Wednesday, April 27th from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Community Hall and Teahouse in Piedmont Main Park on Highland Avenue.

Arbor Day Logo

New Arbor Day logo above.

This year’s keynote speaker will be Bill McNamara, Executive Director of the Quarry Hill Botanical Garden in Glen Ellen. Sometimes referred to as the “Indiana Jones” of plant propagation, Mr. McNamara searches mostly Southeast Asia for rare and endangered plant species that he brings back to Quarry Hill. He will present a slide show of his adventures. Mr. McNamara is also donating a California Coast Live Oak sapling from a tree that played an important part in Jack London’s life and writings in Glen Ellen.

Refreshments will be served.

Read here for more Arbor Day information.