Alameda News

About a month ago I ran into a friend while covering a school board meeting. When I told her I was getting ready to launch a new local news website, she laughed.

“Didn’t you learn anything from the last time?” she asked.

The question was of course intended to be humorous. But my answer is an emphatic “yes.” Over these last several months I’ve come to realize that people really do want news – and that there’s a lot of it that you’re not getting right now.

October 5, 2011 was to be a watershed moment in the city’s long struggle to revitalize the defunct Naval Air Station Alameda. That night city leaders signed a new deal with the Navy that would put most of the former base into the city’s hands by the end of 2012, free of the $108.5 million price tag the Navy had demanded in prior years.

Should the city support a half-cent sales tax increase for public safety buildings and equipment while it makes cuts in libraries, recreation and other departments?

That’s the question the Alameda City Council must answer before March 7.

City Manager John Russo on Wednesday night outlined a comprehensive plan to replace aging police cars and fire trucks and remodel an earthquake-damaged fire station with funds from a half-cent sales tax increase voters would consider at a special June election.

The measure, if approved by two-thirds of the voters, would raise about $1.8 million annually over 30 years.

Mike Robles-Wong’s eldest daughter, Maya, has been a competitive rower since her days at Lincoln Middle School. While a student at Alameda High, she trained five or more days per week for most of the year.

Robles-Wong said she tried to add as many Advanced Placement classes to her schedule as possible to be competitive for college, but she couldn’t make them all fit. He’s in favor of a proposal from school district officials to allow student athletes to skip out on a year of physical education.

A proposal to swap the Mif Albright golf course to developer Ron Cowan for cash and land he owns on North Loop Road would need to earn four votes from the City Council to pass, according to a legal opinion released by the council Tuesday night. But a second of the council’s five members is now saying it’s “not likely” she will vote for the swap plan.

Councilwoman Lena Tam told opponents of the plan who packed City Hall on Tuesday that the council’s earlier request for alternatives to the swap suggest it is “not going to happen.” Councilman Doug deHaan has long said he opposes the swap proposal.