October 2014

Election Day is Tuesday, and if you're looking for information on Alameda races, you've come to the right place. The Alamedan has assembled a comprehensive guide to local races, and you can check out all our information on our Election 2014 page.

Here's a table of contents:

Candidate questionnaires
Candidate videos
Candidate profiles: Mayor's race
City Council race
School board race
Alameda Health Care District Board race
BART and AC Transit board races
Alameda County schools superintendent race
Measure I school bond
City candidate forum: Story, video, tweet by tweet
School board forum: Story, tweet by tweet
Campaign finance stories: October 8, October 9, October 27
Campaign Column blog posts

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

Arson charges against one of the two men accused of setting a string of fires on and around Park Street on September 28 have been dropped. Alameda police said Stephen Petersen, 27, of Alameda has been eliminated as a suspect in connection with the fires based on evidence collected over the past several weeks.

Some of today’s younger Alamedans may be familiar with Neptune Beach through nostalgically named organizations and events like the Neptune Beach Pearls baseball organization and the Neptune Beach Community Celebration, the great annual block party event held along Webster Street, along with some landmark signs at Alameda South Shore Center that pay the old amusement park tribute. But what was Neptune Beach, and was it really known all over the world?

As a longtime Alameda resident, I get the desire to protect what we have. So I support careful review of any development that might impact our quality of life, after the facts come out.

I had an opportunity the other night to speak and demonstrate strength exercises to one of the

Over the past several months, The Alamedan has put together a comprehensive body of information about your local candidates and ballot measures. But with Election Day looming in just a few days, we know your time is running short. So we’ve decided to offer the quick-and-dirty take on candidates for mayor, City Council and school board, and on Measure I, the local school bond.

Alameda's Board of Education okayed a new elementary charter school Tuesday night. The school, which will be opened and operated by managers of the existing Academy of Alameda charter, is set to open kindergarten and first grade classes next fall.

THANK YOU! Our Alameda community has been simply amazing in reaching out with copious time, abundant resources, heartfelt dedication and continuous energy in assisting all efforts to help arson victims from the multiple fires that took place on September 28.

With the holidays approaching, the Alameda Food Bank and local Scouts are beginning preparations to assist needy Island families. The food bank kicks off its annual turkey drive on Friday, while the Scouts’ Scouting for Food collection effort is set for November 15.

Updated at 5:16 p.m. Thursday, October 30 in BOLD

With Election Day less than a week away – and formal campaign finance disclosure deadlines safely behind us – independent groups are unleashing tens of thousands of dollars to fund a mountain of last-minute mailers touting (or trashing) local candidates and ballot measures.

On October 3-4, Woodside High School hosted 38 local teams in the annual off-season FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC). FIRST promotes robotics and engineering in schools around the world. The organization allows students in elementary school, middle school, and high school, as well as adults, to compete in robotics at levels from local to international.

Alameda’s ASTI Aztechs, Team 4186, participated in the competition’s high school division.

This is only my fifth October in Alameda, but I'm about ready to join the ranks of those who believe it's the best month of the year. Summer stretches deep into the month, outdoor activities are usually pleasant - and, oh yes, the Giants are playing for the World Series title.

A 72-year-old Alameda man is facing a murder charge in the shooting death of his wife.

City Councilman Stewart Chen has taken the lead in Alameda’s campaign money race, newly released donor disclosure documents show.

The Board of Education meets at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, October 28 in council chambers on the third floor of City Hall, 2263 Santa Clara Avenue.

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

The Planning Board is set on Monday to consider signing off on a parking plan for the proposed redevelopment of the Del Monte warehouse.

I hate to be a "Debbie Downer," but sometimes things don't go the way you want them to go. I'm talking about getting injured.

The City of Alameda doesn’t have any rules governing the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords – and specifically, no rules governing rents, terminations and evictions.

So what rules do govern rentals, and what rights and responsibilities do tenants and landlords have?

A federal judge who ruled earlier this month that a bankrupt California city’s pensions can be cut like any of its other debts is set to consider a contested exit plan that doesn’t contain pension cuts on October 30.

As part of our mayoral candidate profile a few weeks ago, we wrote that the Alameda Education Association was backing incumbent Marie Gilmore for mayor.

Looking for information on California propositions and state candidates on the fall ballot? The folks at KQED News and The California Report have put together a handy (and embeddable) guide explaining the half-dozen state propositions on the ballot and offering the quick and dirty on candidates for eight statewide races, reproduced here with their permission.

I am ashamed at the vitriol being expressed by so many of you against the Alameda Sun, which is owned locally. Are you trying to take away the owners' income and force the closure of a local business?

Sunday morning, we ate pancakes. We ate them in the downstairs hall of the Elks Lodge along with several hundred neighbors in support of the unfortunate victims of the Park Street-area fires.

For those who have had the pleasure of knowing him, this will forever ring true: The Rev. Roger Bauer is a man you won't forget.

The Department of Veterans Affairs is holding a public ceremony to commemorate the transfer of hundreds of acres of Alameda Point set to serve as a future clinic and columbarium site.

The City Council meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday, October 21 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 are your headlines for the week.

With the addition of a new winery, Building 43 Winery, and Rock Wall Wine Company’s ability to now stay open later during the summer months, Spirits Alley appears to be on the brink of a growth spurt.

Over the past several months, issues concerning residential rental housing have come into public awareness. Through the efforts of Renewed Hope Housing Advocates, the Planning Board proposed the formation of a task force to address the concerns of residents who rent apartments, condos, townhouses, and single family homes.

Since last week's topic was interval training, I want to cover another type of faster running, the tempo run.

Two experienced administrators are vying to take over an office that makes few headlines but provides critical services to the Alameda County public education system and local schools.

The Elsie Roemer Bird Sanctuary on Alameda’s South Shore is a good place to view migrating birds right now. The number of birds you will see depends on where the tide is.

According to traditional Chinese medicine, which includes acupuncture, herbs and nutrition, winter is the time to nourish and recharge the kidneys and adrenals. Taking nature’s cue, this is a time for rest, energy conservation, and restoring your resources.

Emergency calls placed in the wee hours of September 28 paint a dramatic picture of the impact of a series of fires that ripped through a seven-block radius on and around Park Street, recordings obtained by The Alamedan show.

Members of the City of Alameda Democratic Club are fuming over a mailer the club’s leadership sent to local voters that they say appeared to extend the club’s imprimatur to candidates its members didn’t endorse, while others are upset that the club’s campaign office offers campaign materials from some of the same candidates. A few are so upset they said they’re quitting the club in protest.

A few hours north of San Francisco, in the Mayacamas Mountains, sits the world’s largest geothermal field. The Geysers steam field covers more than 2,000 acres and provides electricity to thousands of Californians, and Alameda Municipal Power owns a significant share of its output.

These are the times that try people's patience - the times when our officials and wannabe officials demand that we pay attention to those who run our affairs, and try to make intelligent choices at the ballot box.

COMING UP

Public Utilities Board, 7 p.m. Monday, October 20, council chambers, 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.

I love family-owned restaurants – the ones where Mom and Dad are host, waiter and busboy all at the same time while their children sit quietly at a table off to the side keeping themselves busy until it is time to go home. This is Abigail’s Moroccan Cuisine.

Fifty million people in the United States — one in four children — don’t know where their next meal is coming from. Here in Alameda, more than 5,500 people used the services of the Alameda Food Bank in 2013.

I recently contributed to a medically reviewed "article" (one of those slideshow things you see on many websites) on Healthline.com about the benefits of interval training, and it made me think that would be a good topic for my blog this week.

Alameda’s Rent Review Advisory Committee reviews complaints about potentially excessive rent increases and tries to mediate disputes between landlords and renters over a touchy subject that both may have a tough time discussing unaided: Money.

A late campaign finance filing shows Councilman Stewart Chen has raised almost as much as the top city candidate for office this this fall.

I learned that the board of directors for my Harbor Bay homeowners association voted to support the Harbor Bay Neighbors in their opposition to the new Harbor Bay Club. I was never asked or contacted about this and I never gave the board the authority to count me in opposition.

Mayor Marie Gilmore has out-fundraised challenger Trish Spencer by a five-to-one margin, just-released campaign finance disclosures show, though City Council candidate Jim Oddie appears to have raised more money than any city candidate.

Here's what we know so far.

Alameda police are rescinding a ticket they gave a homeless veteran on a charge he was illegally living in his car.

Wow! Thanks to the generous Alameda community, the Alameda Education Foundation made 62 Adopt A Classroom presentations in September.

In today’s alert, we’ve got details on plans for shops and townhomes in an old Oak Street warehouse, a planning extension for Mapes Ranch and the latest news about Alameda Point.

Early on the morning of September 28, arsonists allegedly rampaged through downtown Alameda, setting seven blazes and unsettling us all.

If you're an absentee (AKA vote-by-mail) voter, Monday marked the first day you could turn in your ballot for this fall's election. If you need to know more about any of the candidates or local issues before you, we've got it all on our Election 2014 page.

The Recreation and Park Commission meets at 7 p.m. Thursday, October 9 in council chambers on the third floor of City Hall, 2263 Santa Clara Avenue.

 
Welcome to this week’s edition of The Broad Brush, our 60-second news review. Here are your Alameda headlines for the week.

 
Philosopher and cultural critic George Santayana said: “To successfully navigate your future, you must know your past.” And Alameda, thankfully, has had several prior generations pass on knowledge and links to the Island’s celebrated and remarkable past.

With the onset of fall, days are getting noticeably shorter. Whenever we get to this point in the year, I start thinking about the likelihood that I will have to exercise when it is dark outside, and that reminds me to think about safety.

Two attorneys with a history of engagement in local politics are squaring off in the mayor’s race this fall. Here's our in-depth report on the candidates.

This letter was issued to Encinal High School families and staff and Alameda Unified School District staff, and submitted to The Alamedan for publication.

Another prevailing theme in our lives as we get older is how our bodies are changing. We pay more attention to visual signs of aging and are more focused on body stress and pain.