The Broad Brush: Your News in 60 Seconds

The Broad Brush: Your News in 60 Seconds

Michele Ellson

Need to know what happened in Alameda this week, and fast? Here’s this week’s edition of The Broad Brush, our weekly news review.

Parks advocates scored a major coup in 2009 when a court ruled that Union Pacific had to sell the former Alameda Belt Line property back to the city at 1924 prices. Now city leaders are asking the public what kind of park they should build on a major portion of that property. The city is hosting community design input meetings for a new Belt Line park from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, February 9 at the Albert H. DeWitt Officers Club and from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday, February 13 at City Hall.

An historic home that languished for years as its owner and the city battled in court is set to get a makeover. Mila Zelkha’s Mint Condition Homes, an Oakland-based design and development firm that acquires and rehabilitates troubled homes, has purchased the mansion-turned-apartment house at 1617 Central Avenue, and efforts to tidy up the property began this past weekend.

Schools leaders are getting ready to draft a long-term facilities plan for the first time in half a century – and also, to figure out how to pay for the schools the plan says Alameda will need. Meanwhile, Alameda’s teachers made a fresh public push for a new contract at Tuesday night’s Board of Education meeting, saying they’d like better pay and benefits.

Clement Street bicycle lanes, street and sidewalk maintenance and continued funding for a shuttle to BART top a list of priority transportation projects okayed by the City Council on Tuesday.

Last month’s shootings at a Connecticut elementary school have spurred fresh questions about whether schools should be doing more to keep students safe, though local schools officials say they're confident they're doing the right things. Meanwhile, hundreds of the Alameda Unified School District’s youngest charges are on wide-open school campuses where some basic security measures aren’t being followed, visits to three of Alameda’s elementary schools showed this week.

News in brief(er): Alameda Little League player evaluations are this weekend … Alameda Municipal Power has launched its annual Green Powerstar Awards Contest, which honors innovative approaches to energy saving. Applications are due on March 4 … and the Planning Board has opted to tweak its food truck guidelines.