City officials on April 13 announced their selection of a new fire chief. The City Council unanimously chose David Brannigan, who has been serving as Berkeley’s fire chief, from a field of more than 30 candidates to lead Piedmont’s Fire Department, City Administrator Sara Lillevand said.
Brannigan replaces former Chief Bret Black, who left late last year for a post in Washington state after serving for about two years. Michael Despain has served as Piedmont’s interim chief since Black’s departure. Brannigan is the youngest son of career military parents and a graduate of Villanova University.
He worked in the software industry and coached high school rowing until he joined the Berkeley fire department in 2002. He has worked his way through the ranks in Berkeley, managing the emergency medical services division, city-wide disaster planning and training. Under his leadership, Berkeley adopted its first emergency operations plan and expanded public disaster preparedness.
“I believe Chief Brannigan will serve the city of Piedmont well,” Lillevand said. “His nearly 20 years of local experience and his regional leadership roles will bring a great deal of value to Piedmont.”
Said Mayor Teddy Gray King, “The fact that Chief Brannigan knows Alameda County so well will be a great asset. His experience will make his transition seamless.”
His formal appointment will be considered at the April 19 council meeting.
Arts center opening seventh juried art show Saturday
The Piedmont Center for the Arts is opening its seventh annual juried art show on April 17. View a large variety of contemporary two-dimensional works by Bay Area artists with the theme “Transitions.” From a record high of 500 submissions of original art, 35 pieces were selected by guest jurors Rene de Guzman, senior curator of art at Oakland Museum, and Danielle Fox, principal of Oakland’s Slate Gallery.
Cash awards totaling $4,000, a gift from the John P. Thornborrow family, will be given to the top award winners, with an emphasis on emerging artists. The show will be up at PCA from noon to 2 p.m. on weekend days April 17 through May 16. Visits will be capacity-controlled, with advance registration only. The PCA is at 801 Magnolia Ave. in Piedmont. Visit piedmontcenterforthearts.org for reservations.
— Linda Davis, correspondent
City installs pickleball courts at park in Montclair Village
Pickleball has landed in Montclair Village. Thanks to the city of Oakland and the Oakland Parks, Recreation & Youth Development Department, pickleball courts have recently been installed in Montclair Park. This popular sport makes for the perfect outing, so get those paddles clapping.
For picklers looking to get in the game, Montclair Sports Tennis in its new Mountain Boulevard location has pickleballs and paddles for everyone from novices to professionals. In case you’re wondering what the traditional wager is for a pickleball match, it’s frozen yogurt, so if you win or lose be sure to visit to the Tutti-Frutti or Yogofina shops in the village.
— Montclair Village Association
Montera Middle School online auction runs April 16-30
The Montera Middle School online auction is happening from April 16 through April 30. Go to paybee.io/@montera to bid on more than 300 items from Bay Area businesses. Raising funds for our online auction is critical to our PTO’s ability to fill the gap between public funding and our school’s real financial needs. With your support, we can sustain a strong academic and enrichment program despite continued cuts from the district. E-mail [email protected] with any questions or last-minute donations.
— Montera PTO
First Covenant Church kids camp registration now open
First Covenant Church (FCC), Oakland, next to Safeway on Redwood Road, has provided a day camp for kids in the community for more than 40 years. This summer’s camp will be a hybrid of in-person and online days. Campers must be entering grades one through seven; those about to enter grades eight or higher can apply to be counselors. Camp online will consist of a live event webinar (with skits, songs and online interaction) from 9 to 10:45 a.m. and a small-group Zoom session (with games, crafts and snacks) from 10:45 to 11:30 a.m. Registration is open, so check FCC’s website at oaklandfcc.org for more details and to see clues for what this summer’s theme will be.
— FCC, Oakland
Online author chats to benefit school district libraries
The group Friends of the Oakland Public School Libraries (FOPSL) will host a series of Thursday-evening author chats via Zoom in April to help raise funds to support Oakland public school libraries, including for the purchase of new books, resources for librarians and e-books for the new Oakland Unified School District’s Digital Library.
The remaining chats will feature Te-Ping Chen (April 22), an Oakland native and author of the acclaimed “Land of Big Numbers;” and Gayle Tsukiyama (April 29) an award-winning author of “The Color of Air.” Tickets are $30 per event or $75 for all three. For tickets and more information, visit fopsl.org/tickets online. FOPSL is dedicated to ensuring that every Oakland public school student has access to quality school library services.
County DA to address League of Women Voters May 6
The League of Woman Voters, Piedmont, is hosting two upcoming programs. There will be an open forum virtual “cocktail party” from 5 to 6 p.m. April 22, at which participants can share their views on topics of the day. From 4 to 5 p.m. May 6, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley will speak on women’s issues. No registration is required for either program, and nonmembers are welcome to join in. For more information, visit lwvpiedmont.org.
— Linda Davis, correspondent
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