by Anneli Rufus
Tonight is National Night Out, the annual crime-fighting "holiday" on which neighbors meet each other at thousands of block parties all over America.
Research has shown that crime is lower in areas where neighbors know each other or at least recognize each other. This year marks the 25th annual NNO. Starting around 7 p.m., over 375 block parties will begin in Oakland alone, along with business-district parties in Old Oakland's Lafayette Park and along Grand Avenue, where live music and free dance lessons are among the planned attractions. NNO block parties will also take place in other East Bay towns including Albany (whose main event is in Memorial Park) and Berkeley, whose police department offers a list of locations here.