Jewish and Asian American residents laud Piedmont for being a safe, welcoming community

Representatives from Piedmont’s Jewish and Asian American community were on hand Monday night to receive proclamations from the City Council honoring their contributions to the city as part of Jewish American and Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Both groups praised Piedmont’s city staff and police department for creating a safe environment for their communities.

Resident Nicki Gilbert, speaking on behalf of Piedmont’s Jewish community, told Council that the proclamation was particularly meaningful at this moment in time, and because May 6 also happened to be Holocaust Remembrance Day. “It feels incredibly warm and safe in this room right now,” Gilbert said. “I don’t think any of us here tonight take it for granted. We all have friends who have not felt that, in cities right next door. I want to extend gratitude to the Piedmont police department and the department of public works. Your unwavering support and tremendous willingness to always be there for us is incredible.”

The taking of Israeli hostages by Hamas on Oct. 7 and resulting Gaza War have led to an increase of anti-semitic incidents around the country and in the Bay Area. Anti-semitic graffiti was recently found at several locations around town before public works cleaned it up the same day it was discovered.

“It’s important to feel safe in our community and we do,” said Cassindy Chao Bierhaus after Mayor Jen Cavenaugh read the second proclamation honoring the Asian and Pacific Islander communities. “We’re feeling happy — there are so many new activities that we all share. There’s still a lot to be done but we are very appreciative.” Robin Wu, a longtime PAAC member (31 years) and leader echoed Gilbert’s praise of the police department for their quick response to issues of concern. A spate of physical attacks against Asian Americans in the Bay Area over the last several years raised concerns about rising Anti-Asian violence and sentiment.

Wildwood Elementary School celebrates 100 years

Wildwood Elementary School is the smallest of Piedmont’s three elementary schools; it opened in 1924. The Mission Revival style building was expanded in 1946 as part of the New Deal and is a California Distinguished School. Wildwood’s new principal Melissa Daymond and PUSD Superintendent Dr. Jennifer Hawn received the award on behalf of the school community. “Each era has contributed to our history,” said Daymond. “Our focus remains on innovative education, community engagement, and the holistic development of our students.”

Pop-Up Putt Putt in Piedmont Park award winners

Piedmont Recreation Department Director Chelle Putzer announced the winners of this first-time community event held on April 21 in the Community Hall parking lot.

The community was invited to create a themed mini golf course. The 15-hole course was free and open for community play from noon – 4 p.m. Putzer said about 260 players stopped in that afternoon, and she thanked Ace Golf for their golf simulator and Schoolmates staffer — DJ Kev — for providing music.

The winners:

“So Piedmont” award: “Piedmont is the G.O.A.T.” Two young residents, Adam Phillips and Jordan Pike, accepted the award.

Best kid theme: “Pee Wee Fairway” by Barry Fisher at the Very Berry Labs

Best use of recycled materials: “Magnolia Avenue” Recreation Commissioners Rebecca Posamentier, Jenny Feinburg, and Dick Carter made a replica of the Rec Department building.

Most Creative: Woody and Laura Miller for “Sneaky Tiki”

Most Clever: “Piedmont Pinball Putt Putt” by Nicole Verhalen

Best Overall: PRD’s Akil Danjuma for “Home on the Green”

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