Alameda News

Image from the bart.gov website.

BART is shutting down transbay service this weekend to perform work on its tracks. So how will you get around?

Alameda's planners are seeking permission to make changes that they say would make it cheaper and easier for local homeowners to construct improvements.

The Planning Board will consider the proposed changes tonight.

So let's do the math, folks. A simple example. Landlords and their apologists are claiming parcel taxes and sewer fees and permit fees are breaking their backs and the only way to stay out of lifelong traction is to raise the rent. Okay. So they raise their rents 20 to 50 percent because they claim that's what is necessary to stay in business. Let's ignore the obvious problem that comes with a different solution for now (i.e. taxes, and permit and sewer fees needing to be directly addressed at city level).

Instead, let's say this:

1. Those are straw dog arguments.

A tie-breaking vote brought an end to an extended school board meeting Wednesday evening where Gray Harris was selected for and sworn in to the Alameda Board of Education to fill the empty seat of Nielsen Tam, who died of leukemia on May 24.

With the Bay Area’s housing crisis in the backdrop, the City Council on Tuesday took a small step toward giving tenants a way to combat rising rents.

By a unanimous vote, the council gave its initial approval to an ordinance that would require landlords to take part in hearings conducted by the city’s Rent Review Advisory Committee.

The committee's members mediate tenant landlord disputes over rent increases. But its recommendations are not binding, and renters have complained that the committee procedures are essentially unenforceable.

The council also agreed to undertake a formal study of what some are calling a local housing crisis.

A former school board member and a onetime president of the local teachers' union are among the five people seeking appointment to the Alameda Board of Education.

Board members will consider candidates for the vacancy left by the passing of Nielsen Tam at a public meeting to be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Island High School. Each candidate will have 20 minutes to make their pitch for the appointment and to take questions from school board members; a candidate will need votes from three of the four board members to win the seat.

The last time the Alameda Housing Authority debuted an affordable housing project specifically for seniors, George Bush was president — George H.W. Bush. Independence Village at Webster Street and Atlantic Avenue opened in 1991.

“To develop affordable senior units is extremely financially challenging,” authority Executive Director Vanessa Cooper said in a written statement. Even though plans the former Del Monte warehouse will add just 31 housing units for low-income seniors to the city’s stock, they represent an important opportunity, she said.

In 1866, the Western Pacific ran out of money after completing the first 20 miles of track. This forced the railroad to halt construction east of Vallejo Mills in the middle of the desolate canyon along Alameda Creek. The following year, the Central Pacific decided that the route from Sacramento though San Jose to San Francisco was too long. The railroad found it more expeditious to instead run trains to Oakland and then use ferry boats to carry passengers to San Francisco.

This 1867 decision enhanced the role ferries would play in shuttling commuters around the Bay Area.

Things have been relatively quiet lately in the battle over the Harbor Bay Club. In the last year, there have been no hearings or votes taken on the proposal to move the Bay Farm Island athletic club to a new site near the Harbor Bay Business Park.

But behind the scenes, proponents and opponents have been hard at work solidifying support, refining their messages and contacting city officials in anticipation of when the development plan comes before the Planning Board.

The Alameda Education Foundation and a list of other local nonprofits have kicked off their annual Equipped 4 Success backpack and school supply donation drive.

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