Odds & Ends

The San Francisco Chronicle has a nice article today about neighbors who have taken down fences to combine their backyards. Not mentioned in the article is a block of houses in Berkeley known as “The Meadows” where the fences have been down for for a number of years. I’ve been to another shared backyard in Oakland, and imagine there are others out there in the area.

Also in the news is the Public Commons for Everyone Initiative, which was passed last night by the Berkeley City Council. Normally I don’t report on politics here, but this is worth pointing out because it is of interest to walkers. The initiative is meant to make shopping districts more inviting by banning activities such as smoking in front of businesses, yelling, urinating in public, etc. The initiative has been criticized by homelessness advocacy groups. As the initiative begins to be enforced, I will report on what changes (if any) I notice when walking in commercial districts.

In response to my post about Front Porches, Georgia at Local Ecologist noted that she is a member of the Professional Porch Sitters Union, an informal group that encourages sitting on the front porch. Somehow I missed NPR’s series on porches from last summer, which talks about the porch sitters union and other porch-related topics.

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