June 2014

The city is seeking a new poet laureate. Applications are due July 10.

As the nation prepares to celebrate our freedom, I have another type of freedom on my mind — the end of a relationship and the freedom of being single again.

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

Wildlife watchers out at Alameda Point got a jolt in May when a section of pier used by harbor seals as a "haul out" where they can rest and nest disappeared.

Summer, also known as Fruit and Berry Season (to me), is probably my favorite time of the year.

Police arrested a 19-year-old Alameda man and cited a 15-year-old youth in connection with the Wednesday evening stabbing of a 23-year-old man in Jackson Park.

The City Council is set to decide Tuesday whether to place a citizen-sponsored initiative on the November ballot that will permit only park development at Neptune Pointe – along with a companion measure that staffers say is intended to shield the city from costs associated with any lawsuit that might be filed if the open space measure succeeds.

The Pacific Piunball Museum's plans to build “the Smithsonian of pinball” in the city’s grand but long-shuttered Carnegie Library has city leaders ready to rethink Alameda’s ban on arcades. Here's the story.

The focus on death continues quite regularly as we get older.

Voters will get the chance to decide this November whether they want to pay for $179.5 million in bonds to repair and modernize Alameda’s schools.

Alameda's Board of Education decided to pull the trigger on a bond this November, passed a budget for next year and discussed a new group of innovative school programs. Here's how it all went down.

ABC7's Michael Finney is grand marshal for the 2014 Alameda Mayor's Fourth of July Parade. Photo from the parade website.

Should Alameda’s schools go solar? School board members will discuss the merits tonight of moving forward with a plan to install solar panels atop Alameda’s public schools.

Members of the Recreation and Park Commission decided the Clark Memorial Bench should be saved, and a community group called Save the Bench has launched a fundraising effort to pay for its restoration.

The Park Street Business Association conducts a mixer for its members and guests the evening of the third Wednesday of each month.

The Planning Board is set Monday to discuss plans to redevelop the historic Del Monte warehouse as concerns over the proposed development and others along the Island’s Northern Waterfront grow.

The Board of Education meets at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 24 in the Alameda High School cafeteria, 2201 Encinal Avenue (enter on Central Avenue side).

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

Party Warehouse, a longtime bookend of the Park Street business district, is closing on June 28 after 16 years as the Island’s party supply store.

This Sunday, thousands of women will convene at Crab Cove/Crown Beach for the annual See Jane Run Half Marathon and 5k race. This is a terrific event for both women and men, as it turns out.

Alameda schools Superintendent Kirsten M. Vital is leaving the Island to run the San Juan Capistrano School District. A contract is expected to be approved by that district's board on Wednesday, the Southern California district announced Thursday.

City leaders seeking redevelopment of Alameda Point say more transit is a key strategy for reducing the amount of traffic new homes and businesses at the Point are expected to generate.

Well, the word came out last week: San Francisco is NOT on the short list for America's Cup 35, to be held in 2017.

Is chronic pain plaguing you?

A city ambulance service that provides non-critical transport of patients has passed its initial trial and is now part of the Alameda Fire Department, the City Council decided Tuesday night.

On Tuesday night, Alameda’s Board of Education has one final opportunity to vote to place a bond measure on the November ballot that, if passed, would generate nearly $180 million in funding to upgrade Alameda’s schools.

Alameda's vaunted Fourth of July parade is coming up soon, and its approach is being heralded by press releases like this one from Paul Hauser, the media contact for the parade.

While much of the public's attention toward development has been focused on Alameda Point, another area of the Island may see hundreds of new homes, a lot sooner.

Sunday evening we attended a session of the death café, which is a “movement” begun in England by a therapist who felt the subject needed ongoing discussion.

Tamara Nghishakenwa’s son, Bakari Bell, 13, has severe autism, and Alameda County pays her $11.50 an hour to take care of him. But getting by on those wages is tough in the Bay Area.

As a member of Harbor Bay Neighbors, which is in opposition to moving the Harbor Bay Club from its 35+ year location in order to build homes or a hotel, I frequently hear misconceptions and untruths that have been accepted as fact. I'd like to take this opportunity to set the record straight.

The last dog-leg of your commute to the Main Street ferry terminal contains a magic zone that starts just about where the first yellow arrow warning sign is, between Stargell and Singleton avenues.

The City Council meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 17 in council chambers on the third floor of City Hall, 2263 Santa Clara Avenue.

Police are saying no one was injured and no charges have been filed following a Saturday night crash into the Starbucks at the corner of Park Street and Central Avenue.

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

My visit to Zen Asian Fusion on a recent Monday night was spontaneous. We almost didn't go because it was Monday and, well, when you get your heart set on going somewhere, and then realize it's Monday and it's closed (as so many are) it's upsetting.

"Mommy! Mommy! There's a runner coming!" -child in a driveway as my dad approached along the sidewalk in 1987.

"Oh, never mind. It's just an old man."

The Recreation and Park Commission is expected to make a recommendation Thursday night on whether to restore or replace the Clark Memorial Bench in Jackson Park.

Bishop Barber:

As a Jesuit-educated Catholic, I have reacted with horror at your recent requirement to have teachers and employees in Diocesan schools sign a contract with faith and morals clauses.

WATER.

That's really what this blog has been about since it began. The focus has always been (and will continue to be) on things that happen in and on the water that surrounds our Island city. But this time, your Maritime Report is about water itself.

School board members okayed a spending plan Tuesday for a proposed facilities bond, though the board may ultimately decide not to place the bond on the ballot in November.

Alameda's Board of Education okayed a spending plan for a school bond Tuesday, but it's not yet clear whether they will put a bond on the ballot this fall. Here's what we got, and what you said about it.

The Alameda Music Project held its debut concert on Friday, June 6 at Maya Lin School. The hour-long concert featured five soloists and six songs by the group, including a piece written by the student performers. Photo by Lorrie Murray.

Alameda’s Planning Board stopped short of recommending the city enact rent controls Monday, opting instead to ask the City Council to consider setting up a task force to study whether people are being displaced by rising rents.

While some communities around San Francisco Bay are looking beyond a landscape of pavement to better the natural environment, city staff have decided to shelve a plan for creating wetlands at Alameda Point. Why? Because they’d rather earn lease revenue from a few buildings.

For professional reasons, my sweetie had to attend a conference in a spiffy spa/hotel in Monterey. For personal reasons (driving, aiding in getting around, fetching and carrying and general errandry and companionship) I accompanied her.

The Alameda Recreation and Park Department's 48th annual Sand Castle and Sand Sculpture Contest was held this past Saturday on Robert W. Crown State Beach, and videographer Donna Eyestone was on hand to capture the action for The Alamedan. Winners of this year's contest are listed on the Alameda Recreation and Park Department's Facebook page.

THE STORY: The East Bay Regional Park District and environmentalists are battling to halt plans to develop 48 homes on a 3.9 acre property across the street from Crab Cove, which the federal government is in contract to sell to developer Tim Lewis Communities.

I’m writing to express a concern of mine that affects may teachers.

The Board of Education meets at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 10 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 Alameda news in brief. Here’s what happened this week.

Making great art requires great talent, and a little luck. Whether pressing a shutter release or dragging a brush across canvas, the outcome is uncertain.

A rendering of the Water Emergency Transportation Authority's planned Central Bay Maintenance and Operations Facility at Alameda Point.

"Holy cow! Why would you want to do that?" I've heard that more than a few times when telling people that I plan to run the 10,000 meter event at the Pacific Association of USA Track & Field Masters Championships on June 14 in San Mateo.

What do the co-founder of Alameda’s Scandinavian Club, the Island’s first African American school board member and the late actress Phyllis Diller all have in common?

THE STORY: About this time every year, the City Council considered a new annual budget – until last year, when City Manager John Russo and his team put Alameda on a new, two-year budget cycle. On Tuesday night, the council okayed changes to the budget for the new fiscal year, which begins on July 1.

The awareness and focus on people I was familiar with who died continued as a theme in my life.

In 2012, I wrote this:

      Marvin Hamlish died yesterday. He was 68. He died of an undisclosed illness that he had for three years.

City Council members have ordered a report detailing the potential legal and fiscal impacts of a proposed ballot initiative that would rezone federal property slated for housing to allow only parks – and expressed support for a companion measure that could pause enforcement of the initiative while those impacts are addressed.

The June 3 primary offered voters a light ballot devoid of drama. Here's the rundown of the races that were the most local to Alameda, in screenshots.

Brothers playing baseball together. Seeing the two (or three, or four) young men racing out to the diamond for the first time all dressed up in their uniforms is a memory that lasts a lifetime. This is an exciting time for new baseball parents.

An Ultimate Frisbee team made up of middle schoolers has captured a state championship.

June 3 election

Here's our best-of compendium of live election night coverage, in tweets. We'll update with results and more; feel free to weigh in with your own thoughts and observations about the June 3 ballot measures and races.

After 15 years as an art teacher at St. Joseph Elementary School, Annie Heller was considering retirement to take care of an aging parent. But new contract language that seeks to dictate the private conduct of teachers in all of the schools operated by the Catholic Church’s Oakland diocese sealed her decision to move on.

An early morning fire on the 1000 block of College Avenue injured two people and caused $180,000 worth of damage, firefighters said.

Our house celebrated its 100th anniversary last year. The front porch remains as a mute reminder of the days of yore, when people actually would sit on their porches and often visit with neighbors.

This weekend I enjoyed a short bike ride over the Park Street Bridge and over another bridge on to Coast Guard Island. This was my first time on the military island and I was excited to see it while covering part of the four-day Valor Games Far West.

Rob Bonta and David Erlich are running for the 18th District California Assembly seat representing Alameda, San Leandro and much of Oakland. Berkeley-based nonprofit MapLight has compiled details on the candidates' background and fundraising, which we've embedded below (click on the candidate picture to get their details).

Perhaps you've seen the woman with the blue face on the walking part of your commute from the San Francisco Ferry Building. She sits, often splay-legged, on the sidewalk in front of the Subway sandwich shop, staring at people walking by.

The City Council meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 3 in council chambers on the third floor of City Hall, 2263 Santa Clara Avenue.