The Birds of Berkeley with Oliver James

posted Apr 25, 2018, 1:22 PM by David Peattie

Thursday May 24th
Thousand Oaks Baptist Church on Catalina (just east of Colusa)
7:30 p.m. (7:00 Ice Cream social)

TONA is thrilled to have Thousand Oaks native and acclaimed artist and writer Oliver James as our featured presenter for the next general meeting on May 24. Oliver most recently authored and illustrated the charming book, Birds of Berkeley, published by local Heyday Press. Drawing on selected readings from the text, Oliver will touch on science, art, and politics in his introduction to our avian neighbors. Coincidentally, 2018 was dubbed The Year of the Bird in recognition of the centennial of our bedrock avian conservation law: the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. In celebration, Oliver will also leave us with a few concrete ways we can individually make a difference for wild birds. 

Oliver started watching birds when he was five years old in his yard on Colusa Avenue. Since then, Oliver has competed in national birding tournaments, worked as a birding tour guide, and joined ornithological research teams from Peru to Alaska. He graduated from Berkeley High in 2009 and Wesleyan University in 2014 with a degree in Biology and Environmental Studies. Oliver is also the author of A Field Guide to the Birds of Wesleyan. To view samples of his latest work visit

Homeless in Berkeley | The Pathways Project

posted Jan 30, 2018, 9:57 AM by David Peattie

Thursday February 1st, 7:30-9 p.m. at the Northbrae Church. Councilmember Sophie Hahn will lead a presentation and Q&A about the City’s efforts to address homelessness in Berkeley. The goal of the new Pathways Project is to help the homeless access housing and rebuild their lives, and to relieve impacts on our streets, parks and other public spaces and on the Downtown and other commercial areas. The presentation will cover demographic information about the homeless, an overview of what has been done in the past (and why those efforts have fallen short) and will explain how the Pathways Project incorporates national best practices to help individuals move from the streets to housing and rebuilt lives.

Living with Wildlife

posted Oct 1, 2017, 11:12 AM by David Peattie

Thursday October 26, 2017 7:00 p.m.

Warden Nicole Kozicki of California Fish and Wildlife will come to talk about bordering wilderness areas and interacting with the fauna. 

Community Meeting

posted Aug 20, 2017, 1:25 PM by David Peattie

Topic: Oaks Theater to become a Climbing Wall Gym

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017
Northbrae Community Church

A community meeting to discuss Touchstone's plans for the Oaks Theater. Touchstone Climbing plans to purchase the Oaks Theater and turn it into a climbing facility. Come to hear details and have your questions answered.

2016 Election Meeting!

posted Sep 6, 2016, 2:08 PM by David Peattie

Thursday October 6, 2016, 7 – 9 p.m.
Thousand Oaks Baptist Church auditorium 
(Catalina at Colusa)

City Candidates Forum!

District 5 candidates (7pm)
Sophie Hahn
Stephen Murphy

District 6 candidates (8pm)
Fred Dodsworth
Isabelle Gaston
Susan Wengraf

May 21, 2015 meeting: a History of Thousand Oaks!

posted May 14, 2015, 6:58 PM by David Peattie   [ updated May 23, 2015, 9:34 AM ]

A History of Thousand Oaks Neighborhood! 

[plus our annual ice cream social!]

Thursday May 21 at 7:00 p.m. -- Local author Richard Schwartz will give us . . .

Richard has been described by critics as charming, amusing, factual, poignant, and always revealing. A popular speaker, he has written absorbing books on our city's history, including Eccentrics, Heroes and Cutthroats of Old Berkeley and Berkeley 1900, as well as works on regional history. Be sure to join us for some fascinating stories about our particular corner of Berkeley. For more information on Schwartz, see

We begin the evening with a free Ice Cream Social, and this year we will have a sugar-free alternative as well as the usual fare.

Where? Our usual spot: Thousand Oaks Baptist Church Auditorium, Catalina at Colusa (about half a block east from the main church entrance).

Pharmacy Ordinance meeting postponed to June 3, 2014

posted May 15, 2014, 5:22 PM by David Peattie

The Berkeley City Manager has announced a postponement of the City Council hearing related to the proposed ordinance restricting pharmacies within 1000', previously scheduled for May 20th and announced in the TONA newsletter. The new date for hearing the item is June 3rd, 2014. TONA will wait for the actual agenda announcement, which should be available around May 27th. Stay tuned for an update confirming the change and what time the item will be scheduled to be heard.

May 2014 Newsletter Available

posted May 1, 2014, 1:17 PM by David Peattie   [ updated May 1, 2014, 2:17 PM ]

The latest TONA Newsletter including details about our upcoming General Meeting is now available on the Newsletters page.

March 6th general meeting: Walgreen's on Solano (pro/con)

posted Mar 7, 2014, 5:31 PM by David Peattie   [ updated Mar 14, 2014, 5:47 PM ]

On March 6th 2014 TONA hosted a standing-room only general meeting that included a presentation regarding the application by Walgreens for a permit to develop the property on the corner of Solano and Colusa Aves., the current location of the 76 Gas Station. Kurt Beleck representing the developer, Agree Realty, and Michael O'Brien representing Walgreens presented the pro-Walgreen case, and No Solano Walgreens was represented by Chris Gilbert and Mark Delucchi. Four 5-minute presentations was followed by a lengthy public Q&A session. Laurie Capitelli, District 5 Councilmember (left-standing in picture) described to a large crowd (over 140 attendees) the process that will ensue. The gas station will be closing, and the developers have applied for a permit, planning to lease the location to Walgreens.

Golden Acorn Award Presented to Nielsen Arts and Art Thou

posted Mar 7, 2014, 5:25 PM by David Peattie   [ updated Mar 9, 2014, 1:15 PM ]

Every year for the past 12 years, TONA has honored a local business for helping to make our neighborhood a great place to live. This year we are honoring two shops in close proximity whose owners have brought a renaissance of art to Solano Avenue. Patrick Mercer came to 1537 Solano as the owner of Nielsen Arts four years ago, taking over a framing shop that had been on the avenue for decades. Patrick remodeled the exterior and front “room” to make space for a gallery, where he features shows of local artists—sculptors, painters, photographers, ceramicists, and mixed media artists. Patrick continues to have a framing business, as well, drawing customers who want personal attention and an artistic eye in selecting mats and frames for cherished artworks. And he hosts interns from Albany High at the shop, helping them learn about framing and gallery work.

Tom Taylor opened his gallery Art Thou on upper Solano (the backstage entrance of the Oaks Theater) in 2009 and moved to 1533 Solano in 2012. He features group and one-person shows by emerging and established Bay Area artists, mostly painters, including the naturalist Peter Canty. The building where Tom is located was a dingy eyesore until he meticulously spruced it up inside and out, to create his inviting venue for viewing and buying art.

Tom and Patrick collaborated in launching the Solano Art Walk in June 2013, an evening when all art-related businesses stay open late, offer shows and light refreshments, and  encourage neighborhood residents (and anyone else) to browse up and down the street. Turnout was great, and strollers had a wonderful time. Allen Cain, director of the Solano Avenue Association commented that he had never seen so many people on Solano Avenue on a Saturday night in his many decades on this street! The next Art Walk will be in the spring. TONA is proud to give its Golden Acorn Award to these two businesses that have enriched the culture and beauty of Solano Avenue."

Tom Taylor, left, and Patric Mercer, center, receive the annual Acorn Award from Zippie Collins, Vice President of TONA.

Tom Taylor, left, and Patric Mercer, center, receive the annual Acorn Award from Zippie Collins, Vice President of TONA.

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