November 2017 President’s Message by Cindy Towles

Hi Neighbors!   There are always good things happening in Cherryland, if you’re paying attention.   On October 26th, at Taqueria El Mezcal on Lewelling, there was a victory party to celebrate the County Board of Supervisors’ agreement to the establishment of an Eden Municipal Advisory Council (EMAC) for Ashland, Cherryland and San Lorenzo!   I popped by for a few minutes to congratulate the team.  This milestone resulted from the survey that Alameda County mailed out to residents of the area this summer where 73 percent of those that returned a survey said they wanted a MAC and only 24 percent said they thought they are being represented adequately by the county.

In case you didn’t know,  MACs meet and discuss issues ranging from housing developments to public art to proper signs on businesses. Their recommendations are then given to the supervisor who usually takes into account local preferences.   Much as we at the CCA have been doing, but with an important difference.  In a recent article in the San Leandro Times, the articulate Keith Barros said, “[…] Instead of being divided communities, we will now become a united voice much stronger than the sum of its parts. We will have each other’s backs and while we decide together, we will rise together.”

The next step for the Eden MAC will be for Supervisor Chan and Supervisor Miley to appoint an ad hoc committee to work on the framework for forming the council – deciding the number of representatives, the bylaws, and more. It’s hoped that the EMAC will be running by this time next year.

Speaking of paying attention, in Jun or July, I was coming up Blossom to turn right on Mission and first noticed a sign that said “Cherryland Art Gallery”.   You could have knocked me over with a feather.   I went up to the door and no one was there but got the website and contact info and got in touch with the owner/curator, Rene Capone.   We had a delightful conversation and I introduced him to the community at our August General Meeting.   Turns out he was attracted to this neighborhood in what he thought was Hayward, but found out it was Cherryland by the time the sign went up!

Rene has been a part of our community for a year or so, but was busy at first with caring for his grandmother who had been living at a local assisted living facility as well as recovering for multiple bone surgeries himself.   It was unfortunate that I met him so late in the game, because I would have like to have connected him to helpful people and entities early on.   To make a long story short, the Cherryland Art Gallery will be closing at the end of November due to lack of funding and Rene will go back to the galleries of others in San Francisco.

Still, I was glad that the atmosphere in Cherryland is improving so much that an Art Gallery would even want to be here, another couple of years and I think we may become a place where one would be feasible.   I will keep in touch with Rene and I let him know that he’s welcome to come back anytime.  Maybe a program at our community center when and if it ever gets built.   Don’t get me started.

But for a time it was a little Camelot-ish:

Each evening, from December to December,
Before the sandman sprinkles sand,
Think back on all the tales that you remember of Cherryland.
Ask ev’ry person if he’s heard the story,
And tell it strong and clear if he has not,
While building an Eden from a desolate land
Don’t let it be forgot
That once there was a spot
For one brief shining moment was the Gallery Cherryland…



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