Sep 14 2021

23rd Annual Harvest Festival

The City of Piedmont is excited for the return of the Piedmont Harvest Festival, now in its 23rd year, on Sunday, September 19th from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. This year’s Harvest Festival will feature all the fun events and activities you’ve come to expect, with a few new twists as we adapt to the new normal. The Piedmont Education Foundation Carnival is back and in full swing, the main stage will be jumping with the Jazz Festival, and the Food Trucks will be fired up alongside the Village Market Farmer’s market as usual. Also returning, as the heart of the event, will be the Piedmont Edibles Contest! Grow on Piedmont!

For full details of the Harvest Festival event, see our Events page

And don’t forget the Movie in the Park!

Harvest Festival Movie in the Park
Friday, September 17
Movie: “Bee Movie”
Bee Talk & Honey Tasting: 6:45 pm
Movie Starts about 7:20 pm
Piedmont Park

Aug 24 2021

What’s Coming Up . . at the

8-25-2021, 7 pm

School Board Meeting?

The Piedmont Unified School District has a new Director of Communications & Community Relations, Brian Killgore,      bkillgore@piedmont.k12.ca.us. 

Director Killgore has already made a significant difference in providing information on the School District to the community.

Piedmont Unified School School District Board Meeting Wednesday, August 25th, 2021 – 7:00 pm PUSD District Office Board Room – Join Zoom Webinar 760 Magnolia Ave., Piedmont, CA 94611    Agenda > here.

Presentation –

● The Piedmont Education Foundation will present a donation of $2,750,000 to the District.

Discussion –

● District staff will provide the Board of Education with an overview of the District’s COVID-19 Staff Testing/Vaccination Program.

● District staff will provide the Board of Education with an overview of the PUSD Health and Safety Steering Committee.

● District staff and the Board of Education will discuss issues and options regarding student vaccinations.

Action –

The Board of Education will discuss and may take action on the following items. Public comment will be invited before action is taken.

● Approve and Adopt Resolution 06-2021-22 – Authorizing The Establishment of Fund 08 Student Activity Special Revenue Fund.

● Hold First Reading, Revised Board Policy/Administrative Regulation 1312.3 – Uniform Complaint Procedures.

● First Reading, Revised Board Policy/Administrative Regulation 5141.4 – Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Procedures. * * * * *

This summary is provided for the community’s information and convenience. Read the full agenda and instructions for joining the meeting webinar here. The PUSD Board of Education values community input and welcomes public comment during its meetings and comments via email at any time.  See link below.

READ the full notice with links to information and participation  SCHOOLS What’s Coming Up – 8-25-21 (1)

Aug 24 2021

FREE COVID VACCINE CLINIC FOR ALL AGES 12+

WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 1st

2pm – 6pm

Piedmont Middle School Buzz Redford Gymnasium

WALK-INS ARE WELCOME!

1. Information about Consent for Minors: ACPHD Youth Vaccination Facts page https://covid-19.acgov.org/youthvaxfacts has information about minor consent, including the Alameda County Minor Consent Guidance and a downloadable Written Consent Form

2. Please see the California Department of Public Health Minor Consent Guidance for more information: https:// www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/ Pfizer-Vaccine-Minor-Consent-Guidance.aspx

3. Though severe allergic reactions are rare, we will have trained staff on site.

Pre-Register Now: Select:Piedmont High School/Middle School

READ THE DETAILED  VACCINE FLYER LINKED BELOW FOR MORE DETAILS

PIEDMONT UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT Vaccine Clinic Flyer

Aug 19 2021

Let the City of Piedmont know how our streets and sidewalks can be made safer.

Improved sidewalks, pavement improvements, signage, and enforcement of sidewalk parking prohibition are some  suggestions.

The City is seeking additional input on the detailed  Piedmont Safer Streets Plan and all aspects of safer Piedmont streets and sidewalks. 

Your direct input to the City is invaluable to the process. Send an email directly to SaferStreets@piedmont.ca.gov 

Comments on the Draft Plan are due this coming Monday, August 23, 2021!

The draft Piedmont Safer Streets Plan is now available for public review and comment. the City would love to hear what you think, especially about Chapter 4, Recommended Projects; and Chapter 5, Prioritization and Implementation. A series of appendices noting all public comments received during earlier phases of the project is also available for review.

Please send the City your comments in writing to SaferStreets@piedmont.ca.gov or by U.S. mail to Pedestrian & Bicycle Advisory Committee; 120 Vista Avenue; Piedmont, CA  94611. Your feedback is important to us! The deadline is this coming Monday, August 23, 2021.

For questions about the Piedmont Safer Streets project, contact Gopika Nair (City of Piedmont) at SaferStreets@Piedmont.ca.gov or at (510) 420-3054.

Aug 15 2021

August 11, 2021  School Board Meeting:

Received Overview of School Reopening and COVID FAQ Development – Superintendent Booker recapped the first days of the school year and provided an update of recent developments regarding COVID including:

– Last week, families and staff were notified that masks would be required outdoors while on campus. This decision was not mandated by the state but is highly recommended. Supt. Booker explained the District wants to do everything in its power to protect the community and ensure in-person instruction can continue. COVID remains a presence in the Piedmont community and the wearing of masks is the best defense other than vaccinations.
– The District’s Health & Safety Committee will be reinstated as an advisory group to the
Superintendent. The Committee will be charged with examining and discussing all issues
regarding the safety of students and staff, and will develop recommendations for the
Superintendent to bring to the Board. The re-establishment of the Committee is a
proactive way to prepare for scenarios without relying solely on state guidelines. The
Committee will consist of two Board members, District Administration and local
medical/health professionals. First meeting will hopefully take place in early September.
Daily screening continues for all students and staff. Each site is conducting its own screening to assist with contact tracing. Background information was provided to explain quarantine guidelines for both the vaccinated and unvaccinated.
– Cleaning/disinfecting, increased ventilation and CO2 monitoring continues in all
classrooms and facilities.
Visitors to campuses will be limited. Volunteers will be allowed on campuses at the discretion of the site principal. Meetings with families will be conducted virtually whenever possible.
– The District’s COVID FAQ will continue to expand and adjust as conditions change.

Received Overview of Testing/Vaccination Protocols – Supt. Booker addressed Governor
Newsom’s announcement that all public education workers in California will be required to be vaccinated or submit to weekly COVID testing.

– Before this decision, Supt. Booker met with Board members, APT, CSEA, and District
Administration to partner on a plan for all District staff to be vaccinated or undergo
testing twice a week. The plan was announced to staff and families last week.
– The District’s plan – now affirmed by the state – provides an extra layer of protection for
younger students and anyone else not yet vaccinated.
– The District has applied with the County to bring a mobile vaccination clinic to Piedmont in the near future. Will announce any details as soon as possible.
– Information regarding the percentage of District staff currently vaccinated will be
provided at the August 25th Board meeting.

At its August 11th meeting, the Piedmont Unified Board of Education:
Observed a moment of silence in memory of the Piedmont community members killed and injured in a tragic automobile accident July 25th in Minnesota.

School Board Meeting Summary – August 11, 2021

Read the full summary with links > Board Meeting Summary 8-11-21

Next Regular Board Meeting – Wednesday, August 25th, 7:00pm

Aug 9 2021

We appreciate, applaud and encourage the School Board’s and District Administration’s consideration of a requirement that all PUSD teachers and staff to be vaccinated, subject to valid medical and religious exemptions. This will further reduce the risk of COVID-19 infections in our schools, particularly for students under 12 years old, for whom vaccination is not yet available, and staff who cannot be vaccinated for medical or religious reasons.

The University of California, the California State University, and some community colleges already have adopted such a policy for faculty, staff and students.That’s common sense as more children are getting sick with COVID-19, and more of them are being hospitalized or suffering from “long COVID” symptoms.

Although California law currently requires K-12 students to be immunized against a variety of diseases, it currently does not require public school teachers and staff to be immunized against the same diseases. A possible explanation is that the Legislature has not addressed this issue because (a) students must be immunized absent a medical or religious exemption, and so are less likely to get sick if exposed to an infected staff member; and (b) most staff members themselves were immunized when they were children. Neither rationale applies to COVID-19, for which vaccines have just become available and which are not yet available to children under 12 years old.

We suspect and hope that many, if not all, PUSD teachers and staff already are immunized against COVID-19. A PUSD vaccination requirement will encourage any who have not yet gotten the shots to do so. Just as no one wants to be infected with COVID-19, no one wants to be responsible for infecting anyone else with COVID-19. Those who cannot be vaccinated, and even the vaccinated at risk of “breakthrough” infections, will appreciate a vaccination requirement for all PUSD teachers and staff.

Rick Raushenbush, Former Member of the Piedmont School Board

Barbara Giuffre

Aug 3 2021

The draft version of the Piedmont Safer Streets (PSS) plan, an update to the 2014 Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan, is now available for public review. Let us know what you think, especially about Chapter 4 – Recommended Projects, and Chapter 5 – Prioritization and Implementation. The deadline for public comments is Monday, August 23, 2021. Appendices noting all written public comments received prior to July 1, 2021 is also available for your review.

Submit written comments by August 23, 2021 via email to saferstreets@piedmont.ca.gov or U.S. Mail:  Pedestrian & Bicycle Advisory Committee, 120 Vista Avenue, Piedmont, CA 94611.

Please consider providing your feedback so the city can move forward with prioritizing and implementing future projects. For more information or any questions, please contact Associate Planner Gopika Nair at saferstreets@piedmont.ca.gov or visit www.piedmontsaferstreets.org to view all past discussions and documents leading up to the issuance of the draft plan.

Jul 20 2021

City of Piedmont
Public Safety Committee Agenda
Thursday, July 22, 2021

5:30 p.m.
Via Teleconference

COVID 19 ADVISORY NOTICE

Consistent with Executive Orders No. N-25-20 and No. N-29-20 from the Executive Department of the State of California and the Alameda County Health Official’s Shelter in Place Order, the Public Safety Committee meeting will not be physically open to the public and committee members will be teleconferencing into the meeting via ZOOM Teleconference.To maximize public safety while still maintaining transparency and public access, members of the public can participate in the meeting in several ways:
Computer or smart phone: Click https://piedmont-ca-gov.zoom.us/j/83460292749
Telephone: Dial (669) 900-9128 and enter webinar/meeting number 834-6029-2749
To participate in the meeting by providing public comment, members of the public may use the ZOOM platform to make live, verbal public comments. To speak to the committee, click the “Raise Your Hand” button when the item on which you would like to comment is called. If you are connected to the meeting by phone, please dial *9. When it is your turn to speak, the City Clerk will call your name and unmute your line, at which point you will have three minutes to address the Committee. After the allotted time, you will then be re-muted. Instructions of how to “Raise Your Hand” is available at https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/205566129%0D-Raise-Hand-In-Webinar

Any member of the public who needs accommodations should email the City Clerk at
cityclerk@piedmont.ca.gov or call (510) 420-3040 who will make their best efforts to provide reasonable accommodations to provide as much accessibility as possible while also maintaining public safety in accordance with the City procedure for resolving reasonable accommodation requests. Information about reasonable accommodations is available on the City website at https://piedmont.ca.gov.

Call to Order  – Roll Call

Public Forum This is an opportunity for members of the audience to speak on an item not on the agenda. The 10 minute period will be divided evenly between those wishing to address the Committee.

Regular Agenda
1. Approval of Public Safety Committee Meeting Minutes for 5/27/2021
2. Update on PPD Strategic Plan
3. Update on Racial Identity Profiling Act (RIPA)
4. Update on Data Analysis of PPD Calls for Service
5. Update on ALPR & Public Safety Cameras
6. Update on Community Policing Events

7. Update on School Liaison Activities
8. Update on COVID-19 and Discussion on Related Public Safety Initiatives

Announcements, old business and consideration of future agenda items

Adjourn

Materials related to an item on this agenda submitted to the Public Safety Committee are available for public inspection in the Police Department during normal business hours.
In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, if you need special assistance to participate in this meeting, please contact the City Clerk at (510) 420-3040. Notification at least two business days preceding the meeting will enable the City to make reasonable arrangements to ensure accessibility to this meeting. [28 CFR 35.102-35.104 ADA Title II]. 
Jul 20 2021

The draft Piedmont Safer Streets Plan is now available for public review and comment. The City would love to hear what you think. Please send the city your comments in writing to SaferStreets@piedmont.ca.gov through Sunday, August 22, 2021.

City staff and the project consultant will give a presentation on the contents of the plan at this month’s meeting of the Piedmont Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee (PBAC). The meeting is this THURSDAY, JULY 22, at 5:30 pm. You may find the meeting agenda here.

For questions about the Piedmont Safer Streets project or about the PBAC, contact Gopika Nair (City of Piedmont), at SaferStreets@Piedmont.ca.gov or at (510) 420-3054.

Jul 19 2021

Dear Council, Staff, and Members of the Pool Advisory Committee,

My sense from last week’s Pool Advisory Committee and from speaking with Council Members is that everyone involved in this project wants a pool facility that emits as few carbon emissions as possible. But the schedule and work plan presented at last week’s Pool Advisory Committee meeting, as well as the draft RFP for a project design team before you tonight have me deeply concerned that we are not on track to do this. I believe that right now we are in danger of being lulled into a design process that is biased, inadequate, and likely to lead to failure. I urge you to send this RFP back to the drawing board and to re-evaluate the project timeline and milestones.

Piedmont’s Climate Action Plan

How we set up the design process for the pool facility now will determine whether or not we are able to make its operations as close to zero carbon as feasible. From the looks of the RFP, we aren’t making a serious attempt at all. First of all, why is there absolutely no mention of Piedmont’s 2019 Climate Action Plan in the RFP? The CAP is a guiding document for the City, developed by staff with community input and approved by Council. If we aren’t going to pay attention to it now, for the first new major municipal construction project since it was passed, why did we bother investing our time and energy to develop it? Why don’t we just admit to the world that we in Piedmont value our comfort and convenience over making a serious effort to reduce our GHG emissions? An explanation of the Climate Action Plan and Piedmont’s GHG emissions targets needs to be part of  the “Background” section of the RFP, and it needs to be made clear to potential bidders that their proposals need to clearly explain how they will approach reaching these emissions reduction targets.

2017 Conceptual Design 

Planning for serious GHG emissions reductions in line with California and Piedmont emissions reduction targets has not been part of the conversation about the new pool facility to this point — not in the conceptual design process (at least rigorously), not in the UU campaign, not in the interviews for Pool Advisory Committee members. Granted, the early stages of this process were before the completion of our 2019 CAP and before the developed world started to experience widespread and unmistakable climate disasters. Now that we know how concertedly we need to act to mitigate climate change, we cannot move forward assuming that the 2017 conceptual design is the project “bible” and that everything must be planned around it. I am very concerned, based on information presented at the first PAC meeting and in this RFP, that staff and the project management team see that conceptual design as already being locked in.

Previously, Connect was told that the 2017 conceptual design was just a placeholder and that it would be thoroughly re-done when the actual project began. However, the information presented at the PAC meeting seemed to indicate that this 2017 conceptual design is what will be taken before the public for “validation.” Since it’s old, the conceptual design doesn’t take into account the emissions reduction targets set by Piedmont’s 2019 CAP. Its “green tech” elements are simply outdated and inadequate. It proposes to accomplish 55% of the pool water heating with a solar tube array (passive solar), leaving 45% of the pool water heating to natural gas. Since the proposed new facility will triple the pool area of the old facility, the 2017 design will still lead to an increase in the facility’s natural gas usage, despite its “green tech” features. The design would significantly (likely irreparably) set back the City’s GHG emissions reduction efforts. (For more details about the problems with the 2017 conceptual design in terms of emissions reductions, see page 3 of the April report Piedmont Connect prepared at the request of the City Administrator.)

The RFP appears to deepen this problem by paving the way for an early ruling out of attempting a zero emissions design. Instead of starting the project by figuring from scratch how to design a zero emissions facility, it calls for working backwards from the (flawed) 2017 conceptual design to see if it can be made zero emissions. If this is how we go about it, the answer will likely be, “no, it’s impossible.”

If the facility is truly going to achieve as few emissions as possible, the specific emissions reduction technologies that could achieve this need to be incorporated into the conceptual design from the beginning, as the space they would occupy will be part of the space of the overall facility and thus influence its layout (these technologies would likely include high efficiency air-to-water electric heat pumps, powered by on-site solar PV, passive solar elements, etc., all of which need dedicated space). If we try to reverse our way out of the 2017 design, we are almost guaranteed failure.

Emissions Calculations

While those of us in Connect who have been analyzing the possibilities for a zero emissions facility have called for doing the emissions calculations early, we were not asking for what the RFP calls for (“an in-depth feasibility and cost/benefit analysis to determine if the facility can reach a Net Zero Energy for construction, operations and maintenance of the facility. This analysis shall be performed in the Preliminary stage of design to make an early determination of the feasibility of this goal.”). The way the thinking of project managers seems to be going, the zero net carbon features are being seen as add-ins, frills that would be nice to have, but not essential to the project. With this mindset, zero carbon technologies will be first on the chopping block when it comes to value engineering. Instead, they need to be non-negotiable, and, if value engineering is needed, some of the actual frills of the project should be what we cut until we can get to them later. A pool energy system is not something that can easily be revised later. We may need to incorporate some of the elements in stages, but we need to plan for them from the beginning.

In addition, the type of GHG emissions analysis Connect has been calling for is not a simple cost-benefit analysis. This analysis will require a separate team of experts in complex energy and emissions calculations (so this team needs to be added to the RFP’s list of consultants who will be needed). These are not calculations that a team coming at the issue from a cost/benefit perspective will have the expertise to do correctly. They will be unfamiliar with the newer technologies that will be needed in a zero carbon design, and, as such, they could easily rule them out without understanding their role.

CEQA

Another big flaw in the RFP is that the section on CEQA submittals (1.3.4.1) does not reference the GHG assessment that is now part of CEQA (as of 2019). Here’s a link to the new language: https://resources.ca.gov/CNRALegacyFiles/ceqa/docs/2018_CEQA_FINAL_TEXT_122818.pdf  

In summary, “The revision of CEQA Guidelines section 15064.4 clarified several points, including the following:

  • Lead agencies must analyze the greenhouse gas emissions of proposed projects. (See CEQA Guidelines, § 15064.4, subd. (a).)
  • The focus of the lead agency’s analysis should be on the project’s effect on climate change, rather than simply focusing on the quantity of emissions and how that quantity of emissions compares to statewide or global emissions. (See CEQA Guidelines, § 15064.4, subd. (b).)
  • The impacts analysis of greenhouse gas emissions is global in nature and thus should be considered in a broader context. A project’s incremental contribution may be cumulatively considerable even if it appears relatively small compared to statewide, national or global emissions. (See CEQA Guidelines, § 15064.4, subd. (b).)
  • Lead agencies should consider a timeframe for the analysis that is appropriate for the project. (See CEQA Guidelines, § 15064.4, subd. (b).)
  • A lead agency’s analysis must reasonably reflect evolving scientific knowledge and state regulatory schemes. (See CEQA Guidelines, § 15064.4, subd. (b).)
  • Lead agencies may rely on plans prepared pursuant to section 15183.5 (Plans for the Reduction of Greenhouse Gases) in evaluating a project’s greenhouse gas emissions. (See CEQA Guidelines, § 15064.4, subd. (b)(3).)
  • In determining the significance of a project’s impacts, the lead agency may consider a project’s consistency with the State’s long-term climate goals or strategies, provided that substantial evidence supports the agency’s analysis of how those goals or strategies address the project’s incremental contribution to climate change and its conclusion that the project’s incremental contribution is consistent with those plans, goals, or strategies. (See CEQA Guidelines, § 15064.4, subd. (b)(3).)
  • The lead agency has discretion to select the model or methodology it considers most appropriate to enable decision makers to intelligently take into account the project’s incremental contribution to climate change. (See CEQA Guidelines, § 15064.4, subd. (c).)

LEED Certification

In the RFP and in the project management team’s presentation at the PAC meeting, when LEED certification was brought up, it was made to sound like LEED would apply to the entire facility. In my understanding, there’s no LEED certification system for pool water heating systems (I’d love to be proved wrong). LEED may perhaps apply to the pool structure, but it’s the pool water heating that will be by far the major source of the facility’s GHG emissions (unless we eliminate natural gas usage). It’s disingenuous (greenwashing) to label the entire facility as LEED certified, if this leaves out the major source of GHG emissions. In addition, for the structural elements of the pool (such as the pool house), why would we limit ourselves to LEED Silver? Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum LEED standards are older standards and mainly focused on energy efficiency and sustainable building materials. We should be aiming, instead, for the newer LEED Zero Carbon standard, which accounts for energy sources and verifies net zero goals. We strongly urge you to aim for LEED Zero Carbon, for the applicable parts of the project. Even if we can’t reach LEED Zero Carbon in the end, we need to set an ambitious goal to start with, rather than admitting defeat from the beginning.

This can be a pool facility for the 21st century, if we put our minds and wills to it. It’s time to pause and re-do the design team RFP as well as the project work plan and timeline.

Margaret Ovenden, Piedmont Resident