What’s unusual about this crazy amount of things to do this week? We’re glad you asked! A lot of them are really kinda… serious: meetings about serious topics, scientific research and documentation, historical events, symphonies, bicycle movies about Rwanda, future planning and job stuff… It’s OK, though, because it’s here in Oakland. Much of it is bound to be joyful, even if it seems serious on the surface — and the rest of it was meant to be fun in the first place anyway. Enjoy!

Friday, February 21

SBA Regulatory Fairness Forum for Small Businesses
10 a.m. to Noon
Waterfront Hotel, 10 Washington Street

The Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of the National Ombudsman will hold a forum for small business owners to discuss federal regulations, compliance audits, regulatory fines and enforcement actions affecting small businesses. The National Ombudsman holds Regulatory Fairness hearings and forums across the country to give small business owners a means to comment on unfair enforcement actions, government audits and excessive fines or regulations. The Ombudsman directs specific issues raised by participants to the appropriate federal agency for a high-level fairness review, and works across government to address those concerns, reduce regulatory burdens and help small businesses grow. All members of the small business community, trade organizations, chambers of commerce and media are invited to attend. There is no cost to attend and advance registration is encouraged.

Writers Writing: Recognize Your Literary Voice
6 – 7:30 p.m.
Tech Liminal, 555 12th Street, Suite 110

Write your way to better listening and communication in this interactive workshop with instructor Valerie Haynes-Perry. Whether you want to improve your business or personal writing, listening out loud can help. Register here.

Amilcar Cabral Book Event
6 – 9 p.m.
EastSide Cultural Center, 2277 International Boulevard

Celebrate Black History Month with LeftRoots, SOUL, and MXGM, as we celebrate the legacy of Amilcar Cabral and the launch of a new book on the topic. Revolutionary, poet, liberation philosopher, and leader of the independence movements of his native Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde, Cabral had a profound influence on the pan-Africanist movement and the Black liberation movement in the U.S., and provides insights relevant to struggles for self-determination and economic democracy today. Childcare and Spanish Interpretation will be available. For more information, visit www.eastsideartsalliance.org.

Ceasefire Oakland/LifeLines to Healing Night Walk
6:30 – 9 p.m.
Cosmopolitan Baptist Church, 988 85th Avenue

The City of Oakland and local faith-based organizations are continuing neighborhood Night Walks on Fridays as a way for community members to get involved in Operation Ceasefire. These walks are organized by residents and faith leaders in areas where Ceasefire is focused. Volunteers are trained in advance and are accompanied by other volunteers for the duration of the walk. The purpose of the Night Walk is to reach out to communities affected by violence. For more information, call (510) 639-1440 or email fridaycommunitynightwalks@gmail.com.

Symphony Concert
8 p.m.
Paramount Theatre of the Arts, 2025 Broadway

The Oakland East Bay Symphony, led by Conductor Michael Morgan, presents this concert. There will be a pre-concert talk at 7 p.m. with Oakland Symphony Chorus Music Director Dr. Lynne Morrow and composer Mary Fineman.

57th Street Gallery Presents Tracy James
8:30 – 11 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.)
57th Street Gallery, 5701 Telegraph

Tracy James is an accomplished and well-traveled vocalist. Presently she is a lead and background vocalist, performing at corporate functions, public and private venues, and Casinos. Musicians are Tracy James, vocal/keys; Glen Pearson, keys; Tony DeWayne, guitar; Connell Page, bass; Robert Stewart, horns; and William Norwood, drums. Admission is $15. For more information or to make reservations (recommended), visit www.57thStreetGallery.com.

Saturday, February 22

Lake Merritt Weed Warriors’ Workday
9 a.m. – noon
Meet on Lakeshore Avenue at Hanover

Recent rains will make it easy to weed, and there are lots of spent agapanthus blooms to deadhead. Be sure to bring water, and favorite gardening tools (gloves, trowels, pruners), if you have them. The City Public Works Agency will also have some loaners. Lake Merritt Weed Warriors are an informal, can-do group dedicated to maintaining the beautiful, Measure DD-funded landscape improvements around Lake Merritt. Workdays usually occur on the last Saturday morning of each month.

Black History Month Tour
10 a.m.
Mountain View Cemetery, 5000 Piedmont Avenue

This is a free, docent-led tour by Gaye Lenahan and Sara Calhoun, highlighting African-Americans who are buried in this historic cemetery.

Black History Month Walking Tour
10 a.m.
African American Museum & Library at Oakland, 659 14th Street

This free guided walking tour highlights African-American leaders who helped shape present-day Oakland. For more information, visit www.oaklandnet.com/walkingtours.

Brazil in Africa
10 a.m. – noon
Merritt College, 12500 Campus Drive, R-110 (Newton-Seale Student Lounge)

In this free event featuring food, music and entertainment, the Department of African-American Studies’ Fulbright Awardees will “teach back” and share the curriculum they developed as the result of 30 hours of pre-travel training and 30 days in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil in December of 2013. The curricular products will be available to everyone at no cost as a means of creating access to teaching and learning about the African presence in Brazil. For more information, contact Dr. Siri Brown.

Public Safety Town Hall
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
McClymonds High School, 2607 Myrtle Street

Hosted by Mayor Quan, Chief Whent and Superintendent Gary Yee, this event for West Oakland residents (OPD Area 1) will be the first in a series of town halls throughout the City. The police reorganization and how community policing can be strengthened will be discussed, as will how the City and OPD can work with schools and improve job opportunities.

Mother/Daughter Basketball Skills Challenge
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Rainbow Recreation Center, 5800 International Boulevard

This free workshop for girls ages 6 to 14 and their parents/guardians is designed to get parents involved in their daughters’ sports and community activities. The challenge is composed of four basic skills tests:  passing, shooting, dribbling and defense. Each participant will be evaluated individually within an age bracket (6 to 8, 9 to 11 and 12 to 14). Individual challenges will be available for girls ages 15-17. Everyone is a winner in this contest and special prizes will be presented to the top two teams in each group. Participants will also be able to compete in the all-skills challenge. To register, visit www.oaklandnet.com/parks and use activity #22106.301.

Lend a Hand Foundation Stay in School Workshop
10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Lakeview Auditorium, 746 Grand Avenue

The Lend a Hand Foundation presents its Stay in School program, “Text, Deception and Social Media,” to provide youth ages 12 – 17 with support to overcome obstacles affecting and preventing school attendance. Discussion topics include Internet safety, cyber- and other bullying, and information sharing. Adults are welcome. Attend a workshop to get involved. RSVP to Aralyn Hayes.

Pledge of Resistance Training to Stop Keystone XL
10:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
350.org office, 1729 Telegraph Avenue

The Center for Biological Diversity is co-hosting a free activist training with Credo Action, the Rainforest Action Network, and The Other 98%. To stop Keystone, we need people ready to take to the streets to make our presence felt — and if President Obama OKs the Keystone XL pipeline, opponents may need to employ dignified, peaceful civil disobedience. Whether you’re a seasoned organizer or an activist looking to get involved, this free training will give you skills to be a leader in the fight against Keystone XL. You’ll learn the skills you need to engage in nonviolent civil disobedience and help plan an action at the State Department building in San Francisco. RSVP to Valerie.

African-American Quilt Guild of Oakland
Noon – 3 p.m.
West Oakland Branch Library, 1801 Adeline Street

The public is invited to this annual demonstration and workshop. Supplies will be provided so you can make your own quilt.

Lost Landscapes of Oakland
3 – 5 p.m.
Oakland Museum of California , 1000 Oak Street

This event features a selection of rare, archival and ephemeral films from the Prelinger Archives depicting moments throughout Oakland ’s history. Active discussion is encouraged throughout the screening. For more information, visit www.museumca.org.

Community Building & Healing Through Mindful Drumming
3 – 6 p.m.
Attitudinal Healing Connection, Inc., 3278 West Street

Mindful Drumming is a transformative learning process that offers individuals opportunities to experience diversity through rhythm and sound. This art form facilitates building relationships and community while addressing issues in a communal manner. Participants will use the twin concepts of rhythm and sound as a way of raising awareness and consciousness for a rich experience of healing ancient wounds as well as increased joy and peace. There will be drums available. Author Kokomon Clottey will facilitate this gathering. For more information, visit www.ahc-oakland.org.

Discussion: “Who Are We?: Exploring Black Identities”
6 – 7:30 p.m.
Peralta Hacienda Center for History and Community, 2488 Coolidge Avenue

Join in an intriguing discussion about African-American identity during Black History Month. Participants will discuss black identity as placed within a complex social construct that forces one to pick a side when of mixed racial heritage. Learn how family history and personal experience shape the way people align themselves on the cultural and racial spectrum. This event is moderated by Rick Moss, Chief Curator of the African American Museum and Library at Oakland (AAMLO), and is part of the “What I Hear, I Keep: Stories of Oakland’s Griots” exhibit.

Teen Inclusion Dance
7 – 9 p.m.
Studio One Arts Center, 365 45th Street

The Inclusive Recreation program is hosting a Teen Inclusion Dance for youth ages 13 and up. Teenagers with special needs and their peers, friends and families are invited to dance the evening away while a DJ spins tunes. The family-friendly event is a great opportunity to socialize with friends and make a few new ones. Light refreshments will be served. Families are encouraged to stay if individual assistance is needed. For more information, please contact Erin Burton, ADA/Inclusion Services, at eburton@oaklandnet.com or Joy Sledge, Recreation Leader, at jsledge@oaklandnet.com.

57th Street Gallery Presents Rhonda Benin
8:30 – 11 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.)
57th Street Gallery, 5701 Telegraph

San Francisco Bay Area vocalist Rhonda Benin has earned a reputation for not just a good voice, but showmanship, magnetic stage personality, humor, and of course, her great dancing. Rhonda’s impressive resume includes performances at a number of Bay Area, national and international venues, including being a featured vocalist at the prestigious JZ Club in Hangzhou, China, spending 3 months performing before standing-room-only crowds. Admission is $15. For more information or to make reservations (recommended), visit www.57thStreetGallery.com.

Sunday, February 23

Lake Merritt Bioblitz
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Rotary Nature Center , 600 Bellevue Avenue

Participants will photograph and document all life inside of Lakeside Park, home to North America’s first wildlife sanctuary. Tora Rocha and Eddie Dunbar of the Pollinator Posse and Insect Sciences Museum of California will be presenters at the Lake Merritt Bioblitz, hosted by WildOakland and Nerds for Nature. Participants should bring their smartphones and cameras to take photos, and then upload images and information to iNaturalist, an online database of life on Earth. Click here to RSVP.

OMCA Family Drop-in Workshop: HistoryMakers/ScienceMakers Series
Noon – 3 p.m.
Oakland Museum of California, 1000 Oak Street

Celebrate Black History Month and explore the legacy of black pioneers in science and invention with presenters from the Museum of African-American Technology Science Village. No reservations are required and all ages are welcome. For more information, visit www.museumca.org.

Monday, February 24

West Oakland Specific Plan Community Meeting
6 – 8 p.m.
City Council Chambers, City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza

Concerned community members can attend an open meeting and two upcoming hearings related to the publishing of the West Oakland Specific Draft Plan and Draft EIR. The DEIR and the Draft Specific Plan may be reviewed on the project website.

Tuesday, February 25

West Oakland Job Resource Center Orientation
9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
West Oakland Library, 1801 Adeline Street

Job seekers will receive information about: jobs in the construction industry and how to access those jobs; information on the trades, unions and their requirements; pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship training opportunities; and job placement assistance on construction projects in the local area. For more information, email westoaklandjobresourcecenter@gmail.com.

Oakland City Council Committee Meetings
times listed below
Oakland City Hall, 1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza

The City Council is the governing body of the City of Oakland, and consists of eight members who are elected directly by the citizens of Oakland: one representative from each of seven districts, and one at-large representative. The Council sets goals and priorities for the City, as well as approving the City budget, adopting ordinances to help the City serve its citizens, and appointing members to various boards and commissions. Most of the Committees of the City Council usually meet on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month (although it is recommended to confirm the day and time, as this is subject to change). A downloadable agenda is available here.

10:30 a.m.: Public Works Committee
noon: Finance and Management Committee
2 p.m.: Community & Economic Development Committee
4 p.m.: Life Enrichment Committee
5:30 p.m.: Public Safety Committee

For more information, click here or call (510) 238-7370.

Wednesday, February 26

Public Hearing: Proposed Household Hazardous Waste Program Fee
3 p.m.
StopWaste, 1537 Webster Street

The Alameda County Waste Management Authority will consider adopting a fee of $9.55 per year per residential unit, collected through the property tax roll. Details about the proposed fee and public hearing are online.

AC Transit Board of Directors Meetings
times listed below
Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District, 1600 Franklin Street, 10th Floor

The Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District is the third-largest public bus system in California, serving 13 cities and adjacent unincorporated areas in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. AC Transit has been serving the East Bay since 1960, taking over from the Key System and its predecessors, which carried passengers via buses, horse-drawn rail, electric streetcars, and ferries over the previous 100 years. AC Transit’s mission is to provide safe, convenient, courteous, and reliable transit service.

3 p.m.: Planning Committee
3:30 p.m.: Finance and Audit Committee
6 p.m.: Board of Directors

For more information, visit actransit.org.

Cal Shakes Presents Twelfth Night
4:30 p.m.
EastSide Cultural Center, 2277 International Boulevard

This is an all-female production of William Shakespeare’s play, directed by Michelle Hensley of Minneapolis’ Ten Thousand Things. For more information, visit www.eastsideartsalliance.org.

Oakland Board of Education General Meeting
5 – 9 p.m.
Paul Robeson Building, 1025 2nd Avenue, Board Room

The Governing Board, commonly called the Board of Education, is the elected policy-making body of the public education system within the City of Oakland. The Governing Board’s primary responsibility is to ensure that every student served by the District is well educated and demonstrates high academic achievement. For more information, visit bex.ousd.k12.ca.us.

Hot Topics with the League of Women Voters
6 – 7:30 p.m.
Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, 475 14th Street

How much do you really know about the workings of Oakland city government? How can you and your neighbors be more active in shaping city policies and actions ahead of time, instead of reacting after local officials do something you don’t like? Join us as we address these and other questions with the help of guest speakers Susan Stuart Clark of Common Knowledge and Steve Spiker of Open Oakland.

10Y NCPC Monthly Potluck and Meeting
6:30 – 8 p.m.
Sacred Heart Church, 4025 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way

Come at 6:30 for a casual potluck, or at 7 p.m. for the meeting, or both. This event repeats on the fourth Wednesday of every month. Contact NSC (Neighborhood Services Coordinator) Paul Brekke-Miesner at (510) 238-3102, or PSO (Problem-Solving Officer) Trode for additional information.

Foraging in the Bay Area with Kevin Feinstein
6:30 – 8 p.m.
Pollinate Farm and Garden, 2727 Fruitvale Avenue

From urban neighborhoods to the wide open spaces, from garden weeds to wild forest mushrooms, learn more about the food that is growing all around us. We’ll also discuss bigger-picture issues such as sustainability, safety, and legality. Register online.

Burbank Millsbrae NCPC Meeting
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Andrew Kim Korean Catholic Church, 3200 62nd Avenue

This meeting recurs on the fourth Wednesday of every other month. For more information, please contact Chair Nancy Sidebotham, or NSC (Neighborhood Services Coordinator) Araina Richards.

Thursday, February 27

Chabot Space & Science Center is Bringing the Stars to The Library
10 a.m.
Melrose Branch Library, 4805 Foothill Boulevard

The Chabot Space & Science Center’s StarLab, a traveling planetarium, will visit the Oakland Public Library. This educational and entertaining program will feature representations of the Milky Way as it was observed by the Greeks and Chinese in ancient times. Participants will be treated to stories that were historically told to explain the movements of the heavens and will learn how astronomers are discovering answers to some of the age-old mysteries. For more information, contact librarian Laurie Wilhalm.

Oakland City Council Rules and Legislation Committee Meeting
10:45 a.m.
Oakland City Hall, 1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Hearing Room 1

The Rules and Legislation Committee usually meets at this time (although it is recommended to confirm the day and time, as this is subject to change). A downloadable agenda is available here. For more information, click here or call (510) 238-7370.

City Slicker Farms Farm Park Council Community Meeting
6 – 7:30 p.m.
Willie Keys Recreation Center, 3131 Union Street

This is an update and discussion on design changes. City Slicker will also create and commit to a set of communication practices that honor City Slicker intentions of mutual respect.

Film Screening: Rising From Ashes
7 p.m.
Grand Lake Theater, 3200 Grand Avenue

The award-winning film Rising From Ashes is a documentary about Team Rwanda and the aftermath of the genocide there in 1994. It is a visually stunning film, as you can see by checking out the trailer at www.risingfromashesthemovie.com. This event is sponsored by Bicycle Trails Council of the East Bay.

To list an event for February 28 – March 6, send the details to meg@oaklandlocal.com by noon on Thursday, February 25.

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