The Broad Brush: The year in review

The Broad Brush: The year in review

Michele Ellson

City leaders took the deeds for hundreds of acres of Alameda Point in a drizzly ceremony in June. Video by Michele Ellson.

What were the big news stories of 2013? Here’s a month-by-month Broad Brush breakdown of the year’s Alameda news, along with links to all of 2013's big stories.


The City Council okayed Alameda’s first non-Measure A compliant homes in 40 years … the Encinal High School health center won a big federal grant … four people vied for an Alameda Health Care District seat vacated when Stewart Chen joined the City Council … the murders of 20 children and six adults at a Connecticut elementary school reopened the discussion about school safety … Alamedans offered a lower-key response to the start of President Barack Obama’s second term … the Alameda Point Collaborative launched California’s first landscape apprenticeship … parents offered concerns about a plan to move the Alameda Community Learning Center onto the Will C. Wood Middle School campus … and teachers declared an impasse over pay proposals.


City leaders signed off on new park and field fees … Chinese students toured Alameda … rising rents drove an elderly Alameda couple from their longtime home, a case that prompted some City Council members to call for rent controls … a judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by the siblings of Raymond Zack, who drowned in the waters off Robert W. Crown State Beach in 2011 while a dozen police and firefighters watched … and Alameda Backyard Growers celebrated their third anniversary.


A resident petitioned Big 5, asking the store to stop selling guns in Alameda … the city rescinded a controversial ban on children at the Island’s dog parks … an appellate panel upheld a court decision to strike down portions of the Measure H parcel tax, and the school district set aside money to pay potential refunds … schools leaders and the teachers union signed off on a new contract after a bruising battle … the Board of Education contemplated a new transitional kindergarten program and looked toward a financially brighter futureconstruction began on a housing complex for disabled people … and the City Council considered development and design rules for Alameda’s former auto row.


Greenway Golf initiated renovations of the city-owned Chuck Corica Golf Complex … Alameda Hospital got a two-year extension on needed seismic fixes … Harbor Bay Isle Associates proposed moving the Harbor Bay Club and building 80 luxury homes in its stead … city leaders pitched a fight against a bill that they said would eliminate their seat on the ferry board … local runners who participated in the Boston Marathon told their stories about the marathon bombing’s aftermath … and the city began drafting new rules for backyard animals.


The city evicted a boat yard from its longtime Alameda Point perch, creating chaos for boat owners there … a group of women heading to a bridal party were the victims of a deadly limousine fire … the owner of a nursing home leased by Alameda Hospital sued over losses allegedly incurred by a delay in the hospital’s takeover of the facility … Alameda Credit Union announced plans to merge with Provident Credit Union … schools leaders said the cost of making Historic Alameda High School earthquake-safe for students could top $27 million … the local scouting community asked the Boy Scouts of America to lift its ban on gay scouts and leaders … a new apartment complex crafted from a blighted former motel opened near Park Street … the Alameda Fire Department and Alameda Hospital expanded their ambulance transport partnership … police looked into a local bar in the wake of stabbings and a shooting there … Alameda celebrated the late San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk’s legacy at an Encinal High School event … schools leaders considered bonds for school facility fixes … and Google purchased a local wind energy company.


A critic of Alameda Hospital quit its governing board … the East Bay Regional Park District voiced its opposition to a plan to build homes on federal property it wanted for a Crab Cove expansion … the City Council considered rules to govern cottage food operations … members of the Board of Education voiced their opposition to a proposal to buy the office building that houses school district headquarters … the state budget offered Alameda some good news for the first time in years … and the city took title to hundreds of acres of Alameda Point.


BART workers went on the first of two strikes … the Bank of Marin announced plans to acquire the Bank of Alameda … the City Council considered guidelines for parklets and cost cuts for retiree medical care … the College of Alameda got an interim president after its prior president left for a new job … residents bemoaned planned bus stop changes … the city held its annual Fourth of July parade … and residents questioned the city’s enforcement of its much-ballyhooed smoking ban.


Police canines vied for the title of top dog at Alameda Point … Alameda Hopsital managers projected a $1.1 million loss for the final six months of 2013 … Alameda’s fabled T-shirt league was poised for a comeback … police denied claims from a group of residents who included Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley that In-N-Out Burger is a magnet for crime … the East Bay Regional Park District kicked off a restoration project at Robert W. Crown State Beach … and the Planning Board considered plans for a town center at Alameda Point.


The Alameda Unified School District failed to reach federally mandated test score targets, putting the school district on a path to state intervention and sanctions even as scores rose ... schools leaders assured jittery families Alameda’s schools are safe in the wake of a sexual assault of a student at Ruby Bridges Elementary … the Cardinal Point senior community proposed expanding on the site of a former Chevy’s restaurant … the city prevailed in a lawsuit over bonds for Alameda Municipal Power’s former telecom business … the Alameda Food Bank sought a new director … and the Board of Education extended Superintendent Kirsten Vital’s contract.


The City Council talked about potential labor agreements for work done at Alameda Point and license plate readers for police … ground was broken on a new Walgreens on Park Street … protesters shut down a planned Chinese flag raising ceremony … Alamedans cleaned up Robert W. Crown State Beach … the Board of Education picked a firm to craft a new master facility plan … a restaurant owner was fined for shorting workers’ wages, charges he denied … Target opened in Alameda … BART workers went on strike … the Oakland Yacht Club celebrated a century ... and a judge handed former Alameda Fire Chief David Kapler the city’s quarter-million-dollar legal bill after Kapler dropped the remains of his lawsuit against the city.


Alameda’s schools prepared to teach new Common Core standards … West End residents protested additional cargo screenings being conducted in Alameda … the Bay Bridge Troll’s Alameda twin was reunited with his brother in an Oakland museum … the City Council debated what some members felt was a lack of openness in the city’s Alameda Point developer selection process … the city released a draft plan for the new Jean Sweeney Open Space Park … old boats were exhumed from the bottom of the Oakland/Alameda Estuary, while a set of rusting oil storage tanks were torn down … the Pacific Pinball Museum took steps toward a deal with the city to fix up and move into its old Carnegie Library … the Alameda Health Care District Board okayed a deal to merge into the Alameda Health System … a judge ordered a record judgment against an Alameda couple accused of defrauding immigrants … and an Alameda girl saw her artwork incorporated into the new fourth bore of the Caldecott Tunnel.


Alameda was one of just a few dozen cities in the world to win a major disaster preparedness grant … the city hired former state Senate leader and native son Don Perata to lobby for its causes in Sacramento … the head of Alameda Municipal Power announced he was leaving the Island to head Riverside County’s public utilities … Alameda Unified began accepting applications for new magnet schools and innovative school programs … an Alameda man who predicted the end of the world died ... parents sought additional school security in the wake of the Newtown shootings ... the City Council agreed to provide VF Outdoor $1 million in tax breaks if the company expands ... the U.S. Coast Guard investigated the death of a seaman during a search and rescue mission in the Bering Sea ... and a pair of local nail salons were honored for going green.