September 2013

The Alameda Recreation and Park Department showcased the best the Island has to offer during its Everything Alameda celebration Saturday in Washington Park. The brand-new event showcased local museums, clubs, businesses and performers, offering kids' activities, water demonstrations and a special celebration commemorating the 60th anniversary of the parks department's day camp program.

On the consent calendar for the October 1 city council meeting is a recommendation to authorize the Alameda Police Department to seek grant funding for the purchase and implementation of automated license plate recognition systems (ALPRs).

The City Council meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday, October 1 in council chambers on the third floor of City Hall, 2263 Santa Clara Avenue.

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Broad Brush, your two-sentence news review. Here are your headlines for this week.

Last week the Alameda Police Department initiated a field test of an automated license plate recognition system. Within 60 minutes, the officer using it reclaimed a stolen car.

Governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill to increase California’s minimum wage from $8 an hour to $10 by 2016. But will people earning that wage be able to afford living in Alameda?

As planning continues on Alameda Point and other city-related projects, the City Council is considering legal agreements that city staffers said would benefit builders, workers and the public.

Photo courtesy of S.A. Kushinka.

Is it really over?

The school board on Tuesday extended Superintendent Kirsten Vital’s contract for an additional year, members said, to provide some continuity in the district office as the district seeks to create and fund a plan for the future of its facilities in the face of major changes to the way schooling is delivered and paid for.

Here's what happened at Tuesday night's school board meeting, in Tweets.

Harbor Bay Club is hosting a National Women’s Health & Fitness Day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. today (Wednesday, September 25). The event is free and open to the public.

Bev Buhnerkemp and George Phillips of the Alameda Education Foundation present Henry Haight Elementary School music teacher Stella Moya with $500 collected through the foundation's Adopt A Classroom program. Contributed photo.

Dear Editor,

The Bay Bridge’s temporary closure earlier this month was a minor inconvenience for most. But it was an exasperating headache for Treasure Island residents, who relied on sparse shuttle buses and ferries to transport them on and off of the island that weekend. The closure and its impacts raised a critical question for Island residents: Could all of Alameda’s bridges and the Posey and Webster tubes become impassable in an emergency, stranding Island residents?

Outgoing Alameda Food Bank Executive Director Hank Leeper. Contributed photo.

The Alameda Food Bank is once again seeking a new executive director. Hank Leeper, who was hired to helm the food bank in May 2011, is leaving at the end of this month.

The first official day of fall has come and it arrived in usual Bay Area fashion. The penultimate day of summer was as it should be, hot and sunny and perfectly in keeping with the season.

Alamedans combed Robert W. Crown State Beach on Saturday as part of the 29th Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day.

The city scored a victory against investors in its former cable and Internet business last week when a federal appeals court nixed the investors’ $10 million fraud case.

For the week of September 24, 2013


The Planning Board holds its regular meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, September 23 in council chambers on the third floor of City Hall, 2263 Santa Clara Avenue.

Welcome to The Broad Brush, our weekly, two-sentence news review. Here’s what happened this week.

Welcome to The Broad Brush, our weekly, two-sentence news review. Here’s what happened this week.

The once bustling Harbor Bay Landing now resembles more of a ghost town than a shopping center. But recent work on Harbor Bay Landing’s roofs has made some Alameda residents wonder if things are about to turn around.

A high-end senior community on Alameda’s waterfront is seeking permission to expand onto the site of a former Chevy’s restaurant.

Dear Editor,

I’d like to thank the community for supporting the Equipped 4 Success community wide school supply drive. Thanks to our generous community, 1,000 Alameda public school students were able to start the school year on the right foot with new backpacks filled with school supplies.

At the beginning, it looked like Emirates Team New Zealand was going to run away with the America's Cup. But then Oracle suddenly found their stride.

Members of the City Council agreed Tuesday to give the school district a $1.15 million loan to rehabilitate the Encinal Swim Center. But if schools leaders don’t agree to the terms of the loan in the next 30 days, the city could terminate its joint use of the district’s pools.

Contributed photo.

ACLC’s move from Encinal High School to 400 Grand Avenue (adjacent to Wood Middle School) was expected to be the big news on campus this year. Yet only a couple weeks into the new school year, that move was eclipsed by ACLC’s big move in API score – to a record-setting 869, topping the school’s previous high of 863 in 2008.

Tonight, the school board will be getting information about what goes into a facilities master plan, along with a timeline for developing such a plan and how that might fit into an effort to put a schools bond on the November 2014 ballot.

So what is a facilities master plan, and how is it created?

Whew! Just back from visiting my daughter and grandson after a hiatus of nearly four years in the wilds of central Colorado, in Crestone at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains overlooking the San Luis Valley.

We here at The Alamedan are looking for a little information about our audience. To help us, please take this quick - and anonymous - six-question survey. The information will be used to inform our efforts and as part of a package we're assembling for potential sponsors. Thanks in advance for your assistance!

Efforts to combine the operations of struggling Alameda and San Leandro hospitals with the public Alameda Health System cleared what proponents called a critical hurdle on Friday when Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill that addresses workers’ pensions.

For the week of September 16, 2013

Public Utilities Board

The Public Utilities Board meets at 7 p.m. Monday, September 16 in council chambers on the third floor of City Hall, 2263 Santa Clara Avenue.

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Broad Brush, your local news in review. Here’s what happened this week.

Studio 23 Gallery is run by Wesley and Jessica Warren - Wes and Jess - a couple who met in 1994 at Wes’s coffee house/art gallery in St. Petersburg, Fla. when Jess brought her paintings in and had a show there. The couple moved to Alameda from Atlanta a year ago with the intention of focusing more on their painting.

Restaurant Review: Acapulco Restaurant, 2100 Lincoln Avenue 239-4912

Your reporter is just back from being on a stake boat, in this case a power boat with skipper and several crew all from the Oakland Yacht Club (which readers of this column are aware is in Alameda). It was a windy, blustery day out there, but bright and sunny and great for sailboat racing!

What do you want to know about Alameda’s schools? We here at The Alamedan are planning our coverage for the new school year and would love to know. One of our core goals is to make sure you get the news you need, and we can’t think of a better way of doing that than asking you.

Updated at 5:03 p.m. Wednesday, September 11

A pair of West End schools were locked down as a precautionary move Wednesday morning as police investigated a report of shots being fired in the area.

Bryan Cardenas and Alfred Feria were one of a pair of doubles winners in the 100th Annual City of Alameda Tennis Tournament. Contributed photo.

Alameda's Board of Education conducted another painful discussion about a potential schools bond Tuesday. Here's the Tweet by Tweet.

Photo from the BART blog.

Alameda could someday be home to its own BART station, the Island’s BART representative has said, which would be a boon for city leaders seeking ways to blunt the traffic impacts of development being considered at Alameda Point and elsewhere.

Photo courtesy of Cendrine McNeil.

Police are continuing to investigate a man who they said crashed his Dodge Ram truck into cars along Fernside Boulevard and Windsor Drive on Monday evening. The man's actions damaged 10 cars, including his own, but no one was injured.

The traffic that development at Alameda Point will – or won’t – create was the central focus of Monday’s Planning Board hearing on a draft report detailing the potential environmental and other impacts of the proposed development scheme.

UPDATED at 4:10 p.m. Tuesday, September 10 to reflect results of state investigation.

Officials with the California Department of Education said Alameda schools officials followed the law when they moved more than a dozen special education students from Will C. Wood Middle School to the new Junior Jets program on the Encinal High School campus this year.

After my mother died, I realized for the first time in a pronounced, internal way that people who are significant to me will die, that mothers die, and that I will die. That reality as a definite meaning had eluded me.

For the week of September 9, 2013


The Planning Board meets at 7 p.m. Monday, September 9 in council chambers at City Hall, 2263 Santa Clara Avenue.

Welcome to another edition of The Broad Brush, your weekly, two-sentence news review. Here’s what happened this week.

One of the many challenges to be faced by the city and developers seeking to revitalize Alameda Point will be rising seas. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last estimated that the world’s mean sea level could rise by between 7 and 23 inches by 2099 (new estimates are due in just a few weeks); state-level estimates put sea level rise on California’s coasts as high as 69 inches by the turn of the next century.

Proposed development at Alameda Point and elsewhere on the Island could back up traffic at a host of major intersections – in the Park Street business district, on the East End and in Oakland.

Many moons ago, we asked our readers what questions they had about Alameda Point, and what information they were lacking. Several of you asked for maps - of the buildings marked for preservation and demolition, and also, of the toxics that remain.

This column comes out on Thursday, so the first Red Bull Youth America's Cup is now in the sports history books. As I write on Tuesday afternoon, having just watched the first three days of this regatta, I can honestly say this kind of racing is what we've been waiting for all along. The AC45s are fast and agile; the sailors (aged 19 to 24) are excited and skilled. The regatta is being blessed with perfect weather; it makes watching from anywhere a real pleasure.

School district officials and police sought to calm jittery parents Tuesday in the wake of a reported sexual assault of a student Friday on the Ruby Bridges Elementary School campus.

If you're a regular visitor to The Alamedan, you may be noticing a few changes to our website.

The Neptune Beach Community Celebration takes place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. this Saturday, September 7 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, September 8 on Webster Street between Central and Pacific Avenue.

Summer is just about over, and 12-year-old Niles Wesley spent his holiday camping in Bernie Falls, playing with RC cars, and earning gold medals for all four disciplines of the Northern California Nevada Cycling Association’s Junior District Track Cycling Championships.

If you’re a fan of KQED’s Antiques Roadshow (and who isn’t) a trip to Michaan’s Auction House on Wednesday mornings is a chance to get a taste of the world that the show has made so famous.


The City Council meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday, September 2 in council chambers on the third floor of City Hall, 2263 Santa Clara Avenue. The public meeting will be preceded by a 6 p.m. closed session.