Tuesday, April 15, 2008

April Crime in Oakland
What's up with robbing the diner joints with a gun?

In the past 10 days at least 5 restaurants have been held up at gun point in Oakland, and in the stretch of Oakland I call home (District 4) from the Glenview through Millsmont).

In my online reading this morning I read the article in the Tribune about the most recent robbery of Milano's on Grand Ave. this past Sunday night [Fifth eatery's diners, workers robbed in 2 weeks and Three Oakland eateries robbed over weekend], and then while thinking about the continuing dialogue about crime, gentrification, safety and justice on the Dimond Web Link ran across a thoughtful response on the Laurel Village Yahoo Group this morning posted by Gracie B.

She was talking about trying something new, that instead of just hiring more cops, bullying folks, and having zero tolerance in a New York sort of agenda, that we need to live fully in our neighborhoods. Our neighborhoods are too easy of a target she says because too many of us leave it for so many parts of our lives (work, socializing, shopping, eating out, schools, etc.). She advanced that "
Urban planners say that this knowledge and a consistent pattern of activity in a neighborhood are important to preventing crime
and having speedy resolution if something happens." And then offered 2 ways to act to not only prevent crime, but to also enjoy life:

be active within the neighborhood just to be active.

be nosy with a purpose. Pay attention to the neighbors who are around you. What kids and teens are on your street? Who are their friends? When are they around? This not only helps deter the troublemakers, but also should something ever happen to one of the kids (abduction, bike riding injury, gets lost, whatever) you know where they belong..

Good words. She also has a blog (Brilliant and Fabulous) that's new to me and worth checking out for the writing and humor and insightful commentary on the issue of crime, latent racism, ageism and what I'd call "urban narcissism".

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