May 2014

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

With all the changes in media and news outlets in this modern era, it can be interesting – not to mention fun – to reminisce by looking back at newspapers from yesteryear.

St. Joseph Garden Club's 20th Gardens Galore tour was held on May 18, and Mike Lano was there, camera in hand. Here's a sampling of the 260 photos Lano shot of the tour.

A recent news story from The Independent reported that lack of exercise has become a bigger health

Alameda Unified’s pension costs could nearly triple and those of its teachers could rise by 25 percent under Governor Jerry Brown’s proposal to reform the California State Teachers Retirement System, or CalSTRS.

Jordan Battani, the longest-serving member of the board that governed Alameda Hospital and a key player in its affiliation deal with Alameda Health System, has resigned her seat. Her resignation was effective May 23.

On May 22nd The Alamedan published a “Vital Statistics” piece on the graduation rates for Alameda public high schools, including our city’s charter schools. While not precisely inaccurate, the stats for Nea Community Learning Center were misleading.

On this Memorial Day weekend, filled with meals with friends and phone calls to family, when barbecue and corn on the cob are the order of the day and half the country travels to see the other half, I was disturbed by an image I couldn't banish from my mind.

Alameda’s Board of Education voted unanimously Tuesday to take another step toward putting a bond measure on the November ballot.

The Board of Education voted unanimously to move forward on a proposed bond measure - just when it appeared they were putting one off until 2016. Here's the tweet by tweet.

THE STORY: The Alameda County Waste Management Authority – aka – has been considering a $9.55 per residential unit fee to pay for the disposal of old paint, motor oil and other hazardous wastes.

The newly opened Jack Capon Villa is a recipient of a Gold Nugget Award of Merit.

Fresh water conservation efforts are occurring at a seemingly unlikely place: The local car wash.

The Planning Board is set to consider design plans for 52 new homes and 37 condominiums to be built where a warehouse once stood along Buena Vista Avenue.

The Transportation Commission meets at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 28 in council chambers on the third floor of City Hall, 2263 Santa Clara Avenue.

THE STORY: The federal government made a deal to sell homebuilder Tim Lewis Communities a 3.89-acre property on McKay Avenue.

Dear Vice-Mayor Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft:

It was troubling to hear you say, at Tuesday's council meeting, that you "could not follow (my) argument."

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Broad Brush, your Alameda news in brief. Here’s what happened on the Island this week.

Alameda’s Catholic school teachers are signing contracts containing controversial new language requiring their private behavior to model and promote Catholic teachings.

THE STORY: Local, regional and state agencies conducted a multi-million-dollar effort last year to clear the Alameda/Oakland Estuary of sunken vessels that were determined to cause a navigation hazard and they chased away “anchor outs” illegally perched in the channel. But a pair of “anchor outs” has returned, posing a fresh challenge to public agencies and marina managers seeking to keep the Estuary clean.

This year's Bay to Breakers was a little unusual. Not dramatically so, but definitely unique.

Bus and ferry riders could see some changes in the cost of their commute.

BART’s leaders could ask voters for money to help them pay for new train cars and to modernize the rail line’s stations, Alameda’s BART board director told local Kiwanians during a luncheon Wednesday.

Alameda's high school graduation rates outpace those of Alameda County and the state, though the data - for the 2012-13 school year - varied by school and group.

"Authentic" is a word that has been circulating around the personal development field for some time now. But a lot of people don’t really know what it means to be authentic, much less how to be authentic.

Alameda police will soon be equipped with license plate readers that can scan and store thousands of license plate numbers that can be automatically checked against lists of stolen cars and wanted criminal suspects and saved for future use in criminal investigations.

On Tuesday night the City Council considered a plan to blunt the traffic development Alameda Point will create, got the rundown on planned I-880 improvements and heard from someone who's fed up with people playing hoops on his street. But the main event was a discussion on license plate readers.

The Alameda Table Tennis Club is offering $20,000 in scholarships to local elementary school students interested in learning the sport.

The City Council will consider approving a plan Tuesday that would establish a trust to supplement newer firefighters’ pension and retiree medical costs.

Alameda Unified's leaders want to fix and upgrade the district's schools.

This morning we dropped my sweetie's brother off at the Oakland airport for his return flight to Maryland. Tears were held back, hugs exchanged and regards to his wife were given.

As a two-time performer at Carnegie Hall, former honors soloist for the Colorado and Stanford Suzuki Institute, and second-place winner of the 2014 American Protégé Competition for Piano and Strings, Alameda cellist Isabelle Brown-Lyden has the resume of a professional – and she’s just 12 years old.

How many clowns were on last Monday's 5:20 p.m. ferry commute home to Main Street in Alameda? I'll let you decide.

The City Council meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 20 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 weekly, two-sentence news review. Here’s what happened this week.

Nearly 10 months since the initial announcement heralding a new, upscale wine and tapas place on Park Street, Wine and Waffles is open for business - and business is booming.

I ran my first road race in 1978. At the time, the Bay to Breakers ("B2B") was unique because of the "huge" number of runners - about 12,000.

The past week alone brought queries about the apparent return of anchor-outs to the Alameda/Oakland Estuary, the dismantling of a dock that doubles as a home for a family of seals, the grand opening of Alameda’s first affordable housing complex for developmentally disabled people, some upcoming car wash fundraisers that will showcase water-saving efforts in the face of California’s drought and the overhaul of the city’s Mif Albright golf course. All of these stories are worthy of exploration. And with a little help from you, we may be able to cover more of them.

Alameda’s two high schools could be the focus of a bond the Alameda Board of Education is considering for the November ballot.

We have all heard the saying, “you are what you eat.” But it would be just as accurate to say “you are what you think.”

A quiet race for the 18th Assembly District seat translated into a polite - if predictably partisan - debate Tuesday during a League of Women Voters forum.

The Alameda Recreation and Park Department has named winners for its 32nd annual “Eggstravaganza” Coloring Contest.

Baseball is a life lesson. Win or lose, the lessons remain the same. Successful coaching eventually leads to positive results … always.

Preservationists have dropped a lawsuit that threatened to undo a complex cash and land swap deal between the city, the school district and the Alameda Housing Authority.

Alameda's Board of Education is considering a bond program to upgrade its school facilities. Here are the school board's questions about the proposed bond structure, and answers from the district's bond advisor, Vincent McCarley; meanwhile, our school bond explainer is here.


Mother's Day was just upon us, the most important commemoration of the year!

Alameda lost a high-profile grant that was supposed to help the Island bounce back from a disaster. E-mails obtained by The Alamedan offer new information detailing how it happened.

I’m writing to express my thanks to Superintendent Vital and the AUSD School Board for their approval of a long-term lease of the Woodstock campus.

The Board of Education meets at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 13 in council chambers on the third floor of City Hall, 2263 Santa Clara Avenue.

A long-sought field of dreams for disabled youth has moved a step closer to reality.

Hobbled by the recession, the former Pillow Park Plaza furniture store at 1419 Park Street is once again a busy, all-in-one shopper’s paradise.

For my next few posts, I'll be writing about a Bay Area running institution that many Alamedans enjoy every year: The Bay to Breakers.

A red-hot real estate market coupled with a more aggressive effort to attract new businesses has accelerated interest in the acres of available space at Alameda Point.

I used to be a fan of Chip Johnson, the San Francisco Chronicle columnist who writes about the East Bay.

Now I’ve had my confidence shaken.

I called a woman I was very close to when I was growing up to make arrangements to get together when I would be in Florida, and she mentioned that she had just turned 70.

A long-sought field of dreams for disabled youth has moved a step closer to reality. The Recreation and Park Commission will consider a conceptual plan for a refurbished Estuary Park on Thursday.

The Navy is seeking public input on its decision to halt the cleanup of contaminated groundwater east of Alameda Point after determining the toxins won’t hurt residents, workers or schoolchildren.

Alameda Education Foundation had the opportunity to thank Alameda public schools teachers and parent volunteers at Salute to Education on April 25.

Alameda High School math teacher Michael Lamb has been named the school district’s 2013-14 Teacher of the Year.

A Bay Farm Island basketball court is in line to become the first piece of city property to sport a corporate logo.

Summer came to Alameda on May 1 this year and we retreated to our back yard to greet it. We sat on our back porch under a canopy of morning glory vines and sipped ice water and enjoyed the gentle breezes.

A few weeks ago, we put out the call for your questions about the city's plans to develop Alameda Point. (Mostly, you wanted to know about traffic.) City Manager John Russo and his team at City Hall forwarded their answers late last week. Here are your questions, and their answers.

On the ferry going home, two women are discussing a traffic jam they both got caught in the day before.

The City Council meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 6 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 weekly, two-sentence news review. Here’s what happened this week.

It’s official: Alameda Hospital is now part of the Alameda Health System, Alameda County’s public health system.

I tweaked my back a couple of weeks ago. I'm blaming it on the Franchise Tax Board - I was bending over our kitchen table slightly to address the envelope with our state tax return when my lower back seized up. Ugh.

Supporters of a park on land slated for development as a residential neighborhood submitted petition signatures for a possible ballot measure that would bar the city from allowing homes to be built there instead.

Youth movement and low scores prevailed in Alameda Commuters golf action this past weekend. The Commuters tournament teed off Saturday at the Chuck Corica Golf Complex with 220 of the best amateur golfers in Northern California.

The recent wet weather has not lulled Alameda Point Collaborative into a false sense of security.