The Broad Brush: Your news in 60 seconds

The Broad Brush: Your news in 60 seconds

Michele Ellson

Here in news-land, it was a crazy busy week. The Board of Education learned that Alameda's schools need more than $92 million in repairs, the City Council signed off on an Alameda Point development strategy and there was this thing that happened Tuesday where people walked thousands of envelopes they forgot to put in the mail into their neighborhood schools and churches.

That last point was about Tuesday's election, of course, and here's the quick and dirty: The local Measure C sales tax increase for vehicles, equipment and facilities failed, falling well short of the 2/3 majority it needed to pass; voters overwhelmingly approved the Measure B parcel tax for the Peralta Community College District, and that's $48 a year for eight years; and Vice Mayor Rob Bonta topped a field of four candidates in the primary vote for the 18th Assembly district, easily besting the second-place finisher, Peralta Trustee Abel Guillen, who he'll meet on the ballot again in November.

As mentioned earlier, the Board of Education on Tuesday got a long-awaited facilities report showing the district's facilities need more than $92 million in repairs, including nearly $20 million for Alameda High School; separately, district officials are preparing seismic retrofits to Alameda High this summer that will include a eight-foot-high fence around portions of the campus including the Adult School, whose classes have been moved to the Woodstock Education Center in the West End. The district is also contemplating a district office move from Alameda High to a new building in Marina Village at a cost of up to $552,000 a year in rent or $5.3 million to buy.

The City Council unanimously approved a stripped-down strategy for readying Alameda Point for new development on Wednesday with a focus on preparing for potential commercial development there, though some council members and longtime Point development supporters said they preferred a staff-recommended strategy that included planning that would also ease the way for housing. Mayor Marie Gilmore and Councilwoman Lena Tam said May 8 that they didn't want to assume the risk of funding the staff-proposed $5 million plan, while Bonta asked for a more limited version of it. The council also voted to place an initiative to eliminate their ability to okay swaps of city land without a public vote on the November ballot and to reduce the membership of several city boards and commissions.

In brief: School district officials announced that unions representing their non-teaching employees have ratified contracts. The contracts, which offer a 1 percent pay increase this year and a 1.5 percent increase in 2012-2013, are expected to be ratified by the Board of Education on Tuesday. Gotta renew a library book on the run? The Alameda Free Library has put a new mobile app in place that will allow you to do just that. anywhere. The app allows you to search the the library catalog, check your account, get live homework help, and more. It's at The city has installed new parking kiosks on Park Street between Central and San Jose. There's a grace period on those but enforcement begins June 25. "(I)f you don’t pay for parking and display the receipt on your dashboard, you WILL GET A TICKET," city officials said in a press release.

Events: The first Concerts at the Cove, featuring the California Beach Boys, takes place at 5:30 p.m. today at Crab Cove, and it's free ... and the city's 46th Annual Sand Castle and Sculpture Contest is Saturday at Robert W. Crown Memorial State Beach. Registration starts at 9 a.m. and the judging begins at noon.


Submitted by barbara kahn on Sun, Jun 10, 2012

moving the distri ct offices is a choice the initial rationale was that it was required by the

moving the district offices to expensive facilities is not necessary. Originally the rationale was that the state architect demanded it under the Field Act. But since the Field at applies only to k-12 schools, they had to come up with a different story,. In these days with funds for everything being in short supply. this move which does nothing for children deserves careful scrutiny by the board and by the community. The board ir it runs true to form will rubber stamp this decisions of the superintendent with a 3=2 vote (Margie Sherrat and Trish SPencer have questioned it) . We may not agree with city council decisions, but they do not roll over and play dead for the city manager. There is an election this November and 3the 3 seat majority can be changed.