Alameda News

Local author Eric Johnson just released his debut novel, Summer School Zombocalypse. A former chef turned stay-at-home-dad, Johnson claims he was inspired to pursue his long-forgotten dream to write after opening a fortune cookie that read, "You have a charming way with words and should write a book."

Published by Second Wind Publishing, the book is available at local bookstores and online through Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com. In the meantime, Johnson offered up this Q&A to introduce readers to his work.

Students at Bay Farm School recently responded to First Lady Michelle Obama's #GimmeFive dance challenge by learning this dance, featured on the Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Nielsen Tam, a longtime educator and second-term school board member hailed as a soft-spoken champion for Alameda’s youth and for equity in the Island’s schools, died Sunday night after a months-long battle with leukemia. He was 69.

“Niel helped us move forward as a school district and as a community, without looking for his own personal gain, but for the betterment of educating our children,” said Margie Sherratt, who worked with Tam both as an educator and school board member.

A spate of deadly police shootings in cities across the country – and the city’s recent settlement of an excessive force case here at home – have prompted questions about when and how police use force.

The answers? Rarely. And, it depends.

Alameda police used force during one out of every hundred arrests between 2010 and 2014, data provided by the department show. And the department’s chief said that it has systems in place to train and guide officers in their use of force and to monitor whether officers used too much force during a call.

More than 100 dancers from Alameda and Encinal high schools glided, stomped, and twirled across the gym floor at Alameda High School on May 21 in celebration of the sixth annual Alameda Harvey Milk Day Celebration.

Alameda’s development-watchers have a new tool to help them keep track of development proposals and construction projects on the Island.

The city has partnered with San Francisco-based app developer BuildingEye to create an interactive map that will make it easier to find planning, building and code enforcement data the city had previously offered in database form.

Reading Alameda Public Works Director Bob Haun’s May 21 op-ed, “The City Does Employ Engineers for Its Projects,” reminded me of the old adage, “saying it’s so doesn’t make it so.” Mr. Haun does a fine job of laying out the “facts” as he wants you to believe them, but when you scratch the surface of his claims, you uncover the telltale glint of fool’s gold.

The Planning Board will consider approvals tonight for a 31-unit apartment building for low-income seniors proposed to be built as part of the Del Monte warehouse development.

The board will consider approving the development plan and design for a three-story apartment building on the corner of Buena Vista Avenue and Sherman Street, adjacent to the Del Monte warehouse. The board will also consider a recommendation to the City Council to give the Alameda Housing Authority a nearly half-acre parcel the city owns there to build on; the rest of the land needed for the project will be provided by developer Tim Lewis Communities.

It puzzles me that tenant activists should push for private enterprise to subsidize housing through the support of rent controls, and "just cause termination" laws. Housing is a "very basic human right," tenant activists argue, a "human service" fulfilling a vital societal need. Aren't those just the sort of vital services we expect government to provide? Air traffic control, for example, is something so important that we entrust it only to the government. Public health services are another example. It's no wonder that landlords push back when asked to subsidize this basic human right. They don't see that there's anything in it for them.

Today’s Island city began life as a peninsula where Native Americans — members of the Ohlone tribe — first lived, more than 3,000 years ago.

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