November 2012

Photo courtesy of Raintree Studios.

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

Photo by Deanne Fitzmaurice.

Don Lattin, Distilled Spirits: Getting High, Then Sober, with a Famous Writer, a Forgotten Philosopher, and a Hopeless Drunk (University of California Press, 2012)

The following is an excerpt from Chapter One of Distilled Spirits - Getting High, then Sober with a Famous Writer, a Forgotten Philosopher, and a Hopeless Drunk, published in October by University of California Press.

2011 Grand Prize Winner WAHOO, owned by Gary and Diane Thompson. (Notice that they even decorated their inflatable dinghy!)

From the outside, 2301 Monarch looks like yet another drafty government building on Alameda's former Naval Air Station. Inside, however, is a different story – or stories, if you stay long enough to hear John Walker tell them.

It’s time to throttle back on the East Bay Regional Park District lawsuit and the city’s rhetoric in the media over the federal land near Crab Cove and get to a solution. Neither serves the public’s interest, on the Alameda side, maintaining a certified housing element and on the EBPRD side, protecting and enhancing one of its premier coastal parks, Crab Cove.


As a companion to today's piece on Alameda schools leaders efforts to draft a new technology plan for the district's classrooms, I wanted to reach out to readers to ask you what you think the district and its students need in terms of tech.

Schools leaders are drafting a fresh plan to integrate technology into Alameda’s classrooms.

The first sign of whether the city is serious about bringing its budget under control will occur when City Manager John Russo presents his proposed contracts with the public safety unions to City Council for approval, as he has promised to do shortly.

One thing is certain: Although reducing staffing levels or pay scales might result in significant savings, it ain’t gonna happen.

Plastic bags catch the wind at the Altamont Landfill. Photo by Rebecca Jewell.

City leaders will be kicking the tires on what staffers are calling “a sensible and targeted approach” for bringing jobs to Alameda Point that focuses on expanding the business sectors that already call the Point home.

Recently in Alameda there have been several difficult conversation going on in multiple forums about Alameda queer culture. For those unfamiliar with present day vernacular, that is a discussion of the folks in Alameda who identify as Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) and/or Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ).

The Alameda Soccer Club will be taking over a no-cost lease to manage soccer fields at Alameda Point that were once handled by an out-of-town club. The soccer clubs using the fields will pay to maintain them in lieu of rent.


We have just completed a national election in which the main mantra was “jobs, jobs, jobs” and the main focus was the economy.

When Warmington Homes put the most recent phase of its Grand Marina housing development up for sale, Audrey Lord-Hausman and her husband, Richard, stopped by to take a look. The couple lives in a split-level home and Lord-Hausman, who has difficulty walking after multiple knee surgeries, anticipates that someday, they’ll need to move.

Dear Editor,

The Alameda Education Foundation’s (AEF) Adopt A Classroom empowers Alameda public school teachers by providing $500 donations directly to classroom teachers. AEF has set a goal of 130 Adopt A Classroom donations for the 2012-2013 school year. I’m happy to report that as of November 2012, we have reached 70% of our goal! Thank you to the following donors:

Alameda Unified is kicking off its annual “kindergarten roundup” enrollment process early this year. It all begins at 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 29, when the district’s nine traditional elementary schools hold their hour-long kindergarten information night.

A top administrator who guided City Hall through a tumultuous time will be taking the helm of the City of Burlingame.

Updated at 3:36 p.m. Friday, November 16

With all the votes tallied after 10 days of counting, Stewart Chen has earned a two-year term on Alameda’s City Council, earning a close third-place finish in the council contest.

With your help, the Alameda Food Bank reached its goal of collecting more than 500 turkeys to distribute to needy Alameda families for their Thanksgiving tables.


Welcome to our weekly edition of The Broad Brush, your two-sentence news review. A lot happened this week, so let’s get started.

Click the photo above to see the slideshow; photos courtesy of the artist. Artist photo by Michael Singman-Aste.


The Maritime Report is taking a few weeks off. Happy sailing!

Election Day may feel like a distant memory for weary voters and candidates who lived through a lengthy campaign season, but the closing of the polls heralded a fresh round of ballot counting for elections officials – votes that could determine the fate of some close races.

Video streaming by Ustream

Video recorded by Donna Eyestone.

School board members won’t be signing off on a proposal to purchase an office building leased to house 85 district office employees – at least not at the end of this year, as district staff was set to recommend.

Management at the Raley's grocery chain and the union representing local grocery workers have reached a tentative contract accord, a spokesman for the store announced today. The company isn't offering the details of the deal until after the union's members vote on the proposed contract.


A person who is very dear to me recently expressed a commonly held misconception about our political system, to wit; “They’re all thieves. No matter who gets in they do what they’re told by the big money boys.

Alameda South Shore Center anchor Kohl’s is asking the Planning Board to extend its hours for this coming holiday season and beyond.

Updated at 8:20 a.m. Tuesday, November 13

Workers at Raley’s, Bel Air and Nob Hill Foods stores across Northern California – including the Nob Hill Foods in Alameda – went on strike on November 4 after 15 contentious months of negotiations ended with Raley’s imposing a final contract offer it gave to the United Food and Grocery Workers union for its consideration four weeks earlier.

This Tuesday, Alameda’s Board of Education will look at different options for purchasing the district office space Alameda Unified is now renting in Marina Village. A decision on whether to purchase the space could come next month.

Photos by Petty Officer 1st Class Thomas McKenzie.

Updated at 12:05 p.m. Tuesday, November 13

Some 650 East End elementary students watched the U.S. Coast Guard conduct a training exercise this week. Photo by Jack Boeger.

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

Click the photo to view the slideshow.

To view our photo slideshow, click the picture above. Photos by Jack Boeger and Donna Eyestone.


Here are the uncertified final results of the November 6 election. Alameda County Registrar of Voters Dave Macdonald said he hopes to have the results certified by Thanksgiving.

1. W.W. Chipman and Gideon Aughinbaugh

2. 1853; the name means “grove of poplar trees” and was selected by popular vote.

3. William Knowland

4. 1973; amended in 1991 to require new homes be built on a minimum of 2,000 square feet of land each

5. Alameda is a charter city, which gives Alameda flexibility to determine its own form of government.

Launch of the Artemis Racing AC72, November 3, 2012. Photo by Sander van der Borch.

Alameda Hospital is seeing a glimmer of financial hope as programs administrators set up to pull the hospital out of its fiscal slump are paying off more handsomely than expected.

Photo by Jack Boeger.

Some 600 East End elementary school students were treated to a search and rescue demonstration Wednesday that was conducted by the U.S. Coast Guard on the border of Bay Farm and the main Island. Students watched a simulated rescue of someone in the water, who was brought into an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter by a Coast Guard crew.

Tony Daysog raised only a fraction of the money some of his opponents in the City Council race did. So he decided to invest some sweat equity into his campaign, knocking on doors all across the Island. The strategy appears to have paid off for the urban planner and former City Councilman, who will be returning to the dais after securing a second-place finish in Tuesday’s contest.

Updated at 1:03 a.m. Wednesday, November 8 to reflect full precinct count

School board Trustee Trish Herrera Spencer led a pack of eight candidates to keep her seat despite robocalls that questioned her record.

Alameda voters overwhelmingly told the City Council on Tuesday night that they want the final say in determining if public park land should be sold or traded.

With all of the votes counted, Measure D won, with 15,247 yes votes, or 78.21 percent to 4,249 no votes, or 21.79 percent. A simple majority was needed to pass.

Alameda Health Care District Board incumbents Mike McCormick and Jordan Battani beat challengers in a Tuesday night race that may determine the future of Alameda’s only hospital. The hospital lost approximately $1.9 million this fiscal year despite bringing in more than $6 million in annual revenue from a parcel tax approved by voters in 2002, and its financial sustainability is uncertain.

Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft was leading a field of seven candidates for one of what will probably be three seats on Alameda’s City Council on Tuesday.


Results as of 12:17 a.m. Wednesday, November 8 with 100% of Alameda precincts counted



5:12 p.m. Wednesday, November 7: The Alameda County Registrar of Voters has reportedly announced that they've got another 140,000 ballots left to count; counting them stretch at least into next week, the Oakland Tribune reports. With some additional ballots counted, Rob Bonta maintained his slim lead over Abel Guillen in the race to represent Alameda, Oakland and San Leandro in the state Assembly while Tony Daysog's second-place numbers in the City Council race held, slipping just a few hundredths of a percentage point from yesterday's numbers. Meanwhile, both of the county tax measures on the ballot, Measure A1 and Measure B1, were still failing as of 4:20 p.m. Wednesday.


The best part of Halloween in Alameda is the parade of kids, from babes in arms to early teens, who come out trick or treating.


Today is the final day to vote in the 2012 Presidential election. The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. today; you can find your polling place and more on the Alameda County Registrar of Voters website. A list of all the races on your ballot is available on the League of Women Voters' Smart Voter website, and more information on the local candidates and ballot measures is available in The Alamedan's elections center.

Meanwhile, we'll be covering the election live today; you can get all the results and more right here on The Alamedan starting at around 8 p.m. You can also join our Election Party at 6 p.m. today at Blue Danube, which is at the corner of Park and Alameda; you can RSVP by clicking here.

Video by Donna Eyestone; click to view.

When Bernice Rodriguez’s mother retired after more than two decades as a bakery manager for the Raley’s grocery store chain, she wanted to make sure her medical benefits would remain in place.


If you haven’t voted in this fall’s election yet, tomorrow’s your last chance. And if you need information on local races, we’ve got what you need right here, in our Alameda Elections ’12 elections center.

Some local political candidates and their supporters offered fresh disclosures detailing late contributions and spending last week, while a handful of others offered a late accounting of the contributions they have received.


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

Larry Valiska of the Alameda Police Department's crime scene investigations unit.


Late October begins the fall party season, and the maritime world of Alameda was been alive with social events last week!

Preservationists are working on a potentially sweeping overhaul of the rules that guide preservation of Alameda’s historic homes and other historic resources that could subject alteration plans for nearly every structure in Alameda to additional review and impose costly fines on those who perform illegal work.