September 2014

Rising rents are becoming a hot topic around town, and it's no mystery why: More than half of Alameda's homes are rentals, and nearly half of Island residents rent. We're starting this blog in an effort to answer your questions about the trajectory of rent costs in Alameda and the number of people whose housing may be impacted by them.

As I was winding up an unproductive drive around Alameda Point looking for birds last Saturday, I came upon the gate to the Alameda Point Collaborative farm. It was wide open and work was happening. I decided to check it out.

Friends of one of the suspects in a string of early-morning fires Sunday are expressing disbelief he was involved in starting them.

The Encinal High School varsity football team will forfeit this Friday's Island Bowl following a bench-clearing incident at a game last Friday, the district's spokeswoman confirmed Monday.

Alamedans rubbed shoulders with city leaders and representatives from a quartet of development teams Monday at an open house designed to give the public a better idea of who may be shaping the future of the former Naval Air Station.

A legislative staffer who has served on several local committees and a pair of city councilmen – one incumbent and one former – are vying for two open City Council seats this fall.

The Social Service Human Relations Board meets at 7 p.m. Thursday, October 2 in Conference Room 360 on the third floor of City Hall, 2263 Santa Clara Avenue.

Alameda police have arrested two men in connection with a string of apparent arson fires that took place within a seven-block radius on and around Park Street Sunday morning.

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Broad Brush, your two-sentence news review. Here are your headlines for the week.

Jamie Banes and Silvie Lukacova have occupied studio space at Autobody Fine Art for the past two years, and when a break in the gallery’s exhibition schedule permitted, they self-curated a two-person show.

How long does it take to train for a marathon? A half marathon? A 5k? The answer is, of course, it depends. But on what?

A school board veteran, a special education teacher and an accountant who helped start a local youth sports league are vying for a pair of seats on Alameda’s Board of Education this fall.

You don’t have to look far to find a dietary recommendation for almost anything: blood type, body type, gender, race, region – you name it, it probably exists. With all of this “noise,” how can you determine the right plan for you and your family?

Leaders of The Academy of Alameda Middle School charter want to open a grade school program in the fall of 2015.

Visitors to the computer lab that supported my college journalism program were greeted by a wall-length sign (on dot-matrix paper, no less) that bore this bromide: If your mother says she loves you, check it out.

A plan to build 414 new homes in and around an historic Del Monte warehouse all but sailed through the Planning Board on Monday, though Planning Board members voted to hold off on okaying a required traffic management plan until some fixes are made.

Welcome to a special Monday night tweet by tweet, covering the Planning Board hearing on proposed redevelopment of an historic Del Monte warehouse. Here's what happened, in tweets.

My family and I were long-term members of the Harbor Bay Club, but terminated our membership when the club no longer provided me, or my family, with the programs and services we enjoyed and required. Now we are all excited about the prospect of a new, bigger, and expanded Harbor Bay Club.

This past Thursday night, we participated in an extended lesson in civic life which first left us very impressed and then very surprised.

Alameda has good neighborhood elementary schools, a pair of candidates for the local school board say. And they said they intend to keep it that way.

Two of the three candidates for Alameda's Board of Education offered their views on Alameda's high school situation, the future of the Measure A parcel tax and more at The Alamedan/Alameda Sun's Saturday morning candidate forum at Maya Lin School. Here's the readout, tweet by tweet.

The Board of Education meets at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, September 23 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 60-second news review. Here’s what happened this week.

Special interests beware: Contributing money to candidates for Alameda’s mayor and City Council will not buy you influence, according to candidates who attended a candidate’s forum at the Main Library sponsored by The Alamedan and the Alameda Sun.

City candidate forum

Alameda's City Council and mayoral candidates came out Thursday - along with a standing room only crowd - for The Alamedan/Alameda Sun's candidate forum. Here's how it all played out, in tweets.

As members of our city leadership, I would like to ask if the concept of “maximum capacity” is a part of your decision-making process when considering the numerous, high density development projects that are either underway or close to being underway all across our Island?

One of the most basic differences in ways to exercise is whether to exercise with others or alone.

As promised, we’ve posted videos featuring (almost) all of your mayoral, City Council and school board candidates today. It’s our effort to give you a more personal sense of who your candidates are. Our candidate videos – and all of our election coverage – is available on The Alamedan’s Election 2014 page.

Bike Walk Alameda produced this video to show cyclists ways of riding safely on Alameda's streets.

Members of the City Council voted Tuesday to abandon plans to create a city-sponsored rents task force, opting instead to allow a local attorney to lead a community-based process to explore concerns about rising rents.

Alameda's City Council narrowly voted down a proposal to form a city-sponsored task force to examine the nature and impact of rent increases, instead opting to adopt a surprise proposal to proceed with an informal community process. That and more, in tweets.

Today I'm excited to present your local school and city candidates' responses to our Election 2014 candidate questionnaires. You can find candidates' responses to questions in the candidate questionnaire section of our Election 2014 page.

What skills do you possess that make you uniquely qualified to be Alameda’s mayor?

What skills do you possess that make you uniquely qualified to be Alameda’s mayor?

It’s 2025 and the vision you had for Alameda when you were elected in 2014 has come to fruition. Describe Alameda.

It’s 2025 and the vision you had for Alameda when you were elected in 2014 has come to fruition. Describe Alameda.

It’s 2025 and the vision you had for Alameda when you were elected in 2014 has come to fruition. Describe Alameda.

Do you support passage of Measure I? Why or why not?

As a longtime member of the Harbor Bay Club, a strong supporter of the proposed new Harbor Bay Club and resident within the Headlands development of Harbor Bay Isle, I am very frustrated with the many misrepresentations that those who are opposed to the club have been stating regarding a number of topics. But specifically for this letter, I want to speak about traffic.

Do you support passage of Measure I? Why or why not?

Do you support passage of Measure I? Why or why not?

There is nothing quite like pain to concentrate the mind. We share this trait with all other living beings. There is nothing that will take your mind off the mundane facts of life and nail it into one place than an action like poking oneself in the eye.

In honor of learner and tutor accomplishments, Alameda Reads will hold a celebration from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. September 23 at the Alameda Free Library’s main branch.

Alameda Council Boy Scouts of America invites boys in grades one through five to join one of our nine Cub Scout packs in the city of Alameda.

The City Council meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday, September 16 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.

After a long and frustrating renovation of the old A-1 Vacuum & Sewing location on Park Street, Sergio Silva of Team Silva Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and his wife, Rebecca Trissell of Yoga Alameda, are planning to open their his-and-hers studio Tuesday.

One of the interesting quirks of running is that it's possible for a person to excel without having started at a young age.

James Ellroy, bestselling author of L.A. Confidential, The Black Dahlia and other acclaimed crime novels, essays and autobiographies, will be appearing at Alameda’s Books Inc. tonight to promote his new book, Perfidia.

The discussions about preparing to die prompted me to come home and look at my will. When I went to get it out of my safe, it was not there. Eventually I surmised that I had accidentally disposed of it in the process of downsizing when we moved to California a year earlier.

The school board is preparing to cancel contracts that put cell phone antennae on top of a pair of Alameda schools.

School board president Margie Sherratt's surprise announcement that the board plans to cancel contracts permitting cell antennae at two schools dominated Tuesday night's news. We've got that and more, in tweets.

It seems Alameda’s firefighter and teacher unions aren’t the only groups seeking to influence this fall’s races.

Incumbent BART director Robert Raburn is facing two challengers – Alameda City Councilwoman Lena Tam, who also serves as the East Bay Municipal Utility District water resources planning manager; and Larry Lionel Young Jr., a teacher and Realtor from Oakland. Meanwhile, Elsa Ortiz is running unopposed to keep her Ward 3 directorship on the AC Transit board.

We live with two cats, siblings from the same litter of gray tabbies: A male named Leon, after Leon Redbone; and a female named Bessie, after Bessie Smith. They are very nice cats, as cats go.

In today’s alert, we’ve got hearing dates for the Del Monte development project, finalists to develop a commercial campus (or outlet mall) at Alameda Point and some updates on plans and projects to come.

The Library Board meets at 6 p.m. Wednesday, September 10 in Conference Room 224 at the Main Library, 1550 Oak Street.

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Broad Brush, your weekly headline review. Here’s the news for this week.

Capone's opened on Saturday, August 30 and it's already the talk of the town, but not in a good way. The focus of the attention appears to be on the arrest of one of the owners, Mark Strachan, on opening night after getting involved in a dust-up with police. I was there that night and witnessed the scuffle firsthand, although I did not see what preceded the incident.

Kids are all finally back in school (except for some college students), so you know what that means, right? Yes: They'll probably start bringing home those exotic cold viruses any day now.


The Alamedan/Alameda Sun city candidate forum will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, September 18 in the Regina K. Stafford Room in the Main Library, 1550 Oak Street. And you can check out your school board candidates from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday, September 20 in the multipurpose room at Maya Lin School, 825 Taylor Avenue.

A condo resident seeks an expansion of Alameda County Industries' on-call pickup service, saying it could help curb illegal dumping of mattresses and other big items.

Alameda Hospital has long played a central role in our unique Island community.

It's been a long time since our last report on the waters around Alameda. Lots of folks are sailing, kayaking, cruising in power boats and generally having a great time. With the end of the summer approaching, let's take a look at a couple of upcoming events.

The City Council has signed off on a pair of finalists vying for the right to develop a key piece of Alameda Point.

Saturday mornings are special in Alameda as they are one of two farmer's market days (the other is Tuesday).


The Pappo Athletics won the Alameda Little League Majors championship and attempted a regional conference bid (ultimately losing to Walnut Creek); this video offers an inside look at the team and experiences from the players' perspective.

Candidates for four open Alameda Health Care District Board seats offer a range of policy and practical health care experience – and a universal desire to continue providing care right here on the Island.

The Historical Advisory Board meets at 7 p.m. Thursday, September 4 in council chambers on the third floor of City Hall, 2263 Santa Clara Avenue.

Sometimes the third time is the charm – at least, for Alameda public charter schools Nea Community Learning Center and Alameda Community Learning Center.

I want to give back to my community by helping us build on our past support of local health care services while proactively engaging in a larger health care system making a significant transformation.

As a doctor of public health and throughout my health leadership career, I have an underlying driving force in my professional and volunteer work: I see health as much more than the absence of illness – I see it as community well-being.

As an incumbent, I feel it is important to continue the work that was started and still needs to be done.

I grew up here in Alameda and I consider it a privilege to give back to my community whenever possible.