Oakland Neighbors Increasingly Use Surveillance for Security
by Will Kane, Updated 10:59 pm, Sunday, March 2, 2014
For years, Oakland residents have built fences or installed security cameras on their homes because they were fed up with burglaries and auto break-ins. Some neighborhoods hired private security guards to patrol their streets. Now they're becoming more aggressive in their efforts to fight back.
Friends and Neighbors,
On Saturday, July 20, 2013, I discovered a small rattlesnake in my backyard. It was about 18 inches long and had four rattles indicating it was about 4 years old.
It was within a few yards of the house and took me by surprise since this was the first rattlesnake we have seen at our home since we moved in.
Be on the lookout, especially now that the weather is much warmer. If you feel you or your family are in imminent danger, call 911. Or if you feel you want it removed, you can call animal control at: (General Information:) (925) 335-8300 or (510) 374-3966.
President, Greenbriar Neighborhood Council
Photograph by John Oster
The neighborhood watch meeting that covers Kipling, Maison Way and Garrison Street, took place on July 10, 2013 at Jonee Grassi’s house on Kipling Drive. It was attended by 38 members from the community.
Richmond Police Department Representative Michelle Milam and Officer Jesse Ney, offered safety tips and brought us up to date on recent neighborhood issues. They also answered many questions from the group.
R.P.D. rep Michelle Milam
Some of the attendees
R.P.D. rep Michelle handing out a number of security bars
A neighbor addressing the group with sugggestions
The following are the minutes as recorded by our Neighborhood Watch Captain Jonee Grassi.
Minutes to the July 10, 2013 meeting
There were 38 residents attending the meeting; the Richmond Police Dept.(RPD) was represented by Officer Jesse Ney and Michelle Milam.
RPD recommends having solid core doors with reinforced metal door frames to discourage break-ins from “door kicks”. Having metal, reinforced strike plates at the base of doors also help.
Large dead bolt locks should be used; locks should also be on windows and sliding glass doors! Michelle presented a metal security bar for locking sliding doors that also prevents thieves from being able to lift the door out of the frame. These security bars cost about $20 and are “MasterLock 265DCCSEN dual-function security bars”. Having a home alarm system is good, but must be used every time you leave to be effective and needs to be properly maintained! The alarm should be audible outside the home.
Motion lighting around your property is a deterrent.
Know your neighbors and encourage everyone to report suspicious activity to the police. If it is a crime in progress or an emergency, call 911. If it is a non-emergency, call 510- 233-1214.
All residents are encouraged to put that latter number in their cell phones for reporting information. Write down the license plates of cars that don’t appear to belong in the neighborhood and report those to RPD. Officer Ney offered his email address: firstname.lastname@example.org; Michelle’s email is email@example.com.
Many burglaries are occurring during the daytime and entrance is gained from side or back doors. Locks should be placed on gates. If someone knocks or rings your door bell, it is best to verbally answer that you are there, but do not open the door! Many thieves are just checking to see if anyone is home and will break in if no one answers.
Surveillance cameras can be very helpful to getting photos of intruders or cars used in thefts. RPD recommends getting a camera of sufficient clarity that proper identification can be made. RPD will review specifications of cameras at the request of residents. John Oster has offered to help anyone install a surveillance camera!
The group will review the possibility of having cameras near the entrance to our neighborhood at Kipling Dr. at Amend and Garrison at Amend. Some neighbors expressed willingness to contribute to the payment of these cameras. Carriage Hills is going to install surveillance cameras through their homeowner’s association to monitor entrances to their neighborhood.
National Night Out
This year National Night Out is on August 6th. Volunteers are needed to organize the event which has included a BBQ in the street and a chance for all neighbors to come out to socialize with each other. The deadline for applying with RPD to have the police and fire trucks visit is July 22.
End of the minutes.
All photographs by John Oster and post processing by Egmont
The Greenbriar Neighborhood enjoyed themselves and the good weather as they gathered in Kipling Court once again this year for the annual National Night Out celebration on August 7th..
Most of the neighborhood "regulars" were there as well as a few newcomers. The Richmond Police made their usual grand entrance around 6:30 and stayed for about a half hour feasting on burgers and hot dogs. Also in attendance was City Council candidate Tom Butt and Candidate for Bart District 7, Zakhary G Mallett. A good time was had by all. Planning for next years event has already begun.
Photo by Valerie Ridgers
All photographs by John Oster unless otherwise noted
Reporting, invite you and fellow neighbors to meet with reporters from our
two award-winning Bay Area news organizations and discuss the issues
important to your community.
From 11am-1pm on Friday, June 1, we will be at
Clean Xpress, 1100 Macdonald Ave., and we're hoping the members and
supporters of the Greenbriar Neighborhood Council will join us.
Nobody knows your community and the challenges it faces better than you and
your neighbors. But getting the media to pay attention to your community's
needs during an election year can be difficult. We want to make sure your
voice is heard above the sound bites and din of the horse race. Our meet up
in Richmond will be an informal get-together in which your members and
supporters can share their concerns and talk about ways we can improve our
coverage of the Bay Area and the election.
You can find more information at OpenNewsroom.
Richmond Neighborhood Coordinating Council Meeting
May 14th, 2012
330 25th St., Conference Room 1
The meeting started off with a presentation by Finance Director James Groins.
This year, the City will adopt its first Five-Year Financial Plan. The plan provides a snapshot of possible projected fiscal outcomes and their impacts on maintaining the City's current service levels and policies.
Accomplishments for Fiscal Year 2011-2012 include:
Installed 67 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Curb ramps.
Repaired 13,567 Square feet of sidewalks.
Replaced 89 Series Street Lights.
Relined 12,500 linear feet of sewer pipeline.
Resurfaced 68 City blocks.
Finance Director James Goins
presentation on Richmond’s financial status
For more information on the City of Richmond's financial outlook: Click here
Code Enforcement Chief Tim Higares encouraged people to place their empty recycling and trash receptacles out of view from the street. He reported that he has received numerous complaints from people regarding this matter. He said although citations are few regarding this, they will be issued if the problems persist.
Tim Higares, Richmond Code Enforcement, second from right;
to his right, Richmond Police Chief, Chris Magnus
Mr. Higares went on to talk about illegal dumping and how it adversely affects our community. Last year the City removed 33 tons of trash, and over 1,500 mattresses. Over 216 hours were devoted to removing graffiti at over 210 locations. And 192 tires were removed from City streets.
To report illegal dumping in progress call the police immediately at (510) 233-1214.
To report something that's been illegally dumped call (510) 965-4905
Environmental Manager Lynne Scarpa encouraged everyone to be vigilant in fighting mosquitos this year by emptying bird baths twice a week and dumping any standing water found around the home and yard.
Other departments reporting at tonight's meeting were:
- Public Works, Yader Bermudez
- Engineering Services, Edric Kwan
- City Manager, Rochelle Monk
- Mayor's Office, Marilyn Langlois
- Planning Dept., Senior Planner
John Oster, President of Greenbriar Neighborhood Council
All photographs by John Oster
(Photo: John Oster)
The Richmond Neighborhood Coordinating Council meeting was called to order at 7:00 by Bea Roberson, President of the RNCC. The minutes from the last meeting were read and approved.
Then everyone in the room introduced themselves and a brief report was given by each Neighborhood Council President, afterwards some brief announcements ensued.
Reports from the City of Richmond staff began. They included reports from:
Public Works Department Yader Bermudez
Engineering Services Eric Kwan
City Manager/Comm Coord Rocelle Monk
Mayor’s Office Marilyn Langlois
Police Department Chief Chris Magnus
Code Enforcement Tim Higares
Environmental Manager Lynne Scarpa
Planning Department Senior Planner
(Photo: John Oster)
At 8:30 we took a break and enjoyed the wonderful food provided by the joint efforts between Greenbriar and Pt. Richmond Neighborhood Councils.
Further presentations ensued. The I-80 project to defer traffic to local streets was discussed. Afterwards we adjourned.
Report by: John Oster, Greenbriar Neighborhood Council President
There has been a significant increase in auto thefts and burglaries in the Richmond area. We are therefore asking for you to be more vigilant in the coming weeks and months, especially since this type of crime moves from one neighborhood zone to another.
We will keep you posted of any significant changes, so please keep checking regularly this website. Remember if you see any suspicious behavior or activity, please report it by calling (510) 233-1214.
Avoid Fraud. Guard your personal information
Do You Want To Be A Millionaire?
by The Richmond Police Department on Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Many of us would answer yes. If not money, fill in the blank with something else, like a new car, a soul mate, a pet, or companionship. Add an unscrupulous scammer, and an unsuspecting victim and you have a recipe for fraud.
Does this sound familiar? You receive a call or e-mail from a foreign country. It is someone claiming to speak for a family member requesting money to return home. Alarmed, you quickly wire several thousand dollars to the thieves posing as your relative. Immediately they ask for more. You contact your relative and realize that you’ve been defrauded of thousands of dollars.
Not you or anyone you know? What about the sweepstakes announcement that arrives in the mail, promising you hundreds and thousands of dollars. The caveat: you have to withdraw $3,000 in taxes while they stand beside you at the ATM in order to qualify for your “prize.” They also require a social security number and a driver’s license.
Not familiar? Well how about that generous benefactor from a foreign monarchy sending you e-mails promising more riches than Ed McMahon could ever deliver if you'd only be willing to wire them money to ensure your unexpected windfall returns to you?
This is real fraud that happened to real Richmond residents. Shame, stigma and other reasons often keep people from reporting these crimes for investigation. Often people lose their savings and homes by simply trusting in someone charming with an ulterior motive. Criminals who perpetrate fraud often prey on the elderly, and those who live alone. They require advance fees and up front deposits in exchange for tempting prizes. The only prize that will be won, however, is your wallet. Fake e-mails, bogus websites, and delays after receiving your cash are the tools of choice.
Some Popular Scams:
The lottery scam involves fake notices of lottery wins. The winner is usually asked to send sensitive information to a free e-mail account. The scammer then notifies the victim that releasing the funds requires some small fee (insurance, registration, or shipping). Once the victim sends the fee, the scammer invents another fee. A new variant of the lottery scam involves fake or stolen checks being sent to the 'winner' of the lottery (these checks representing a part payment of the winnings). The winner is more likely to assume the win is legitimate, and thus more likely to send the fee (which he does not realize is an advance fee). The check and associated funds are flagged by the bank when the fraud is discovered, and debited from the victim's account.
A recent variant is the Romance Scam, which is a money-for-romance angle. The con artist approaches the victim on an online dating service, an Instant messenger, or a social networking site. The scammer claims an interest in the victim, and posts pictures posted of an attractive person (not themselves). The scammer uses this communication to gain confidence, then asks for money. The con artist may claim to be interested in meeting the victim, but needs cash to book a plane, hotel room, or other expenses. In other cases, they claim they're trapped in a foreign country and need assistance to return, to escape imprisonment by corrupt local officials, to pay for medical expenses due to an illness contracted abroad, and so on
Another advance-fee method that has been used recently on Craigslist is where the scammer will contact someone selling an item and ask them to ship the item to a location outside the US, then provide the tracking number for the shipped item in exchange for payment. The seller then sends the item and provides the tracking number, after which the scammer never provides payment. Sometimes the scammer will approach someone offering a room or apartment for rent and pose as someone moving in to their area from overseas. They will create a scenario in which they are pressured to secure the room in advance, and ask if they can secure their occupancy with a deposit. The deposit check that they send will be a fake check for far more than the amount requested for a deposit. When the check arrives, the scammer will ask for a refund of the difference between the check they sent and the agreed upon amount. The fake check will bounce and the victim has lost whatever money they "refunded" to the scammer.
Reporting fraud is nothing to be ashamed of. They shame lies at the door of the individuals who manipulate the public for personal gain. If you’re reading this message you can help protect yourself and your family. Be suspicious of anything that feels illegitimate. Guard your personal information. Never succumb to high pressure phone or internet sales tactics asking you to sign away on the dotted line without reading a document. Requests for money for contests, sweepstakes and lotteries, are always red flags. Call the police when anything suspicious occurs and confirm the facts before acting.
Report suspicious activity to (510) 233-1214
Richmond Police Department Crime Prevention Program
1701 Regatta Blvd.
Richmond, CA 94804
Crime Prevention: Richmond Police Department information page
Greenbriar Neighborhood Council for 2012
John Oster - President
Will Plutte - Vice President of Administration
Jan Wong - Secretary
Valerie Ridgers - Treasurer
Wishes to remain anonymous - VP of Communications
Egmont van Dyck - Blog Administrator (pending appointment)
Contact: Greenbriar Neighborhood Council
The Greenbriar Neighborhood Council
Modified January 24, 2012
ARTICLE I – Name
The name of this neighborhood council shall be known as the “Greenbriar Neighborhood Council”.
The geographic boundaries of the Greenbriar Neighborhood Council shall include; Kipling Drive, Kipling Court, Maison Way, Garrison Road, Skyview Place and Amend Road, from the junction of Castro Ranch Road to the intersection of Devils Drop and Fascination Circle.
The purpose of the council shall be to serve the people in the neighborhood and community in a fair, impartial way without regard to race, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation or disability. We will:
A. Help residents determine the important needs and problems of the neighborhood and community by providing a place where ideas and information can be exchanged, problems studied, and actions planned.
B. Promote a spirit of neighborliness, mutual respect, and good will among all the residents of the neighborhood.
C Provide citizens with an understanding of the whole community and develop a willingness to participate as leaders or to share responsibilities.
D. Provide the mechanism through which people of the area can speak out on its behalf and be heard beyond its boundaries in calling attention to neighborhood problems.
ARTICLE IV – Membership
Membership shall be open to all residents who have reached the age of 18 and non-residents who own property in the area. Each adult resident of the household is eligible for one vote upon payment of household dues. Household dues are $10 annually.
An application for membership shall consist of a form giving name, address, telephone number and name of organization represented. The signing of the form shall constitute acceptance of the stated purpose of the Council.
ARTICLE V – Executive Board
Section 1. Executive Board
The Executive Board shall consist of the officers of this Council and chairperson of each Standing Committee, if any. The immediate past president shall be a member for one year.
Section 2. Term of Office
Each Board Member shall serve for a term of two years or until a successor has been elected and qualified. No Board Member may serve more than three consecutive terms in the same capacity.
Section 3. Qualifications
No person shall be elected as an officer or member of the Board of the Council unless he/she is a voting member of the council.
Section 4. Vacancies
Any vacancy occurring on the Board by reason of resignation, death, or disqualification of any officer or elected member may be filled by a majority vote of the remaining members of the Board. Vacancy replacements will serve until the next annual meeting. Four consecutive absences from regular Board Meetings shall be deemed a resignation, unless excused by the Board.
Section 5. Powers and Duties
The executive Board shall have full charge of the property and business of the Council, with full power and authority to manage and conduct same, subject to the instructions of the general membership. It shall plan and direct the work necessary to carry out the purposes of the Council. The Board shall require regular reports from any committees appointed.
ARTICLE VI – Officers and Committees
Section 1. Officers
The officers of the organization shall be President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and may include Parliamentarian and Sergeant-at-Arms. The officers shall be elected for a two (2) year term, or until their successors are elected by the membership at the Annual Meeting.
Section 2. Duties of the Officers
The President shall preside at all Executive Board and Membership Meetings; appoint committees with approval of the Executive Board, and call special meetings of the membership and Executive Board as required.
B. Vice President of Administration
The Vice-President shall perform the duties of the President in the event of absence, resignation or inability to perform his/her duties. The Vice-President shall perform the duties of the Parliamentarian and Sergeant-at-Arms until those offices are filled.
C. Vice President of Communication
The Vice President of Communication is responsible for communication to neighborhood residents and to maintain the directory.
The Secretary shall keep minutes of all membership and Executive Board meetings and have custody of the records and minutes of the organization; shall give notice of all meetings of the membership and Executive Board; and perform duties appointed by the Executive Board. The Secretary shall maintain the official correspondence of the organization.
A. Treasurer. The Treasurer shall have the responsibility for the custody of all the funds of the organization, and shall expend same upon the direction of the Executive Board. The Treasurer shall maintain financial records and shall prepare an annual report for the membership at the Annual Meeting.
B. Sergeant-At-Arms. The Sergeant-At-Arms, under the direction of the presiding officer, shall maintain order and decorum among the members and all persons present at a meeting, and may even expel persons form the meeting.
C. Each officer may assist another officer in their duties.
Section 3. Creation and Termination of Committees
Either the Executive Board or the General Membership may create or terminate any committee. A newly created committee must be specified as either a standing committee or an Ad Hoc Committee when formed.
Section 4. Instructions to Committees
The Executive Board may provide written instructions to each committee chairperson within three weeks after appointment. Instruction shall define the committee’s area of responsibility and outline all specific programs to be carried out. The committee may amend its instructions by submitting a written amendment to the Executive Board for approval. The Secretary shall have all committee instructions available for each general meeting.
ARTICLE VII – Nominations and Elections
Section 1. Nominating Committee
The Nominating Committee shall be established at the October meeting. The Nominating Committee shall consist of:
A. A Chairperson appointed by the President.
B. A member elected from the floor.
C. A member of the Executive Board.
The nominees shall be selected and the election shall take place at the Annual Meeting which is usually held in January.
Report of the Nominating Committee and Nominations from the Floor. The report of the nominating Committee of its nominations for officers shall be presented at the Annual Meeting immediately following the presentation of this report, nominations may be made from the floor by any voting member provided the consent of the nominee shall have been secured.
Section 3. Elections
A slate will be presented at the annual meeting for approval. If there is more than one nominee for any position there will be a secret ballot. A majority vote shall constitute an election. Proxy voting is not permitted.
ARTICLE VIII – Meetings and Quorums
Section 1. Executive Board Meetings
A. There shall be a minimum of four (4) meetings per year of the Executive Board.
Section 2. General Meetings
A. There shall be a minimum of seven (7) days notice given for any general meeting.
B. General meetings will be called as needed, upon request of the membership, or as determined by the President.
C. A quorum of members at meetings shall consist of 5% of the membership or at least 10 members including two (2) elected officers.
Section 3. Annual Meeting
A. The Annual Meeting shall be held in January. The membership shall receive thirty (30) days notice of the Annual Meeting Date.
B. The main order of business of the Annual Meeting shall be;
1. Election of Officers
2. Reports of the activities of the past year.
3. Transaction of other business as may properly arise
C. A quorum of members at meetings shall consist of 5% of the membership or at least 10 members including two (2) elected officers.
ARTICLE IX – Financial Administration
Section 1. Fiscal Year
The fiscal year of the Greenbriar Neighborhood Council shall commence on January 1st.
Section 2. Dues
Dues shall be paid annually. The cost shall be ten ($10) dollars per household.
Section 3. Financial Reports
The treasurer shall maintain financial records and prepare an annual financial report.
Section 4. Check Signing
All Greenbriar Neighborhood Council checks will require two signatures. Officers authorized to sign checks are the President, Vice President of Administration and the Treasurer.
ARTICLE X – Acceptance of By-Laws
These By-Laws shall be effective upon acceptance by 2/3 of the members present of the Annual Meeting.
ARTICLE XI – Amendments
These By-Laws may be amended by 2/3 of the members present at the Annual Meeting.
ARTICLE XII – Richmond Neighborhood Coordinating Council
Greenbriar Neighborhood Council will remain in good standing with the Richmond Neighborhood Coordinating Council. Annual dues are to be paid and council representation for a minimum of eight (8) meetings.