November 2014

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

Schools officials have set up a procedure for commercial property owners to obtain partial refunds on the Measure H parcel tax.

November 29 is national Small Business Saturday, a day to shop local and express gratitude for the small businesses that add character and variety to our lives.

As you read this, we'll be less than a week from - cue music: dun dun DUN! - Thanksgiving! Yes, the holiday of gluttony. Of course, it's also a great time to be with family and/or friends and to think and talk about things that you're thankful for.

Despite what you may hear, most landlords are not raising rents by double digits, several landlords said Wednesday night.

Awakened in the pre-dawn hours by the sound of raindrops, I was, momentarily, completely disoriented. The sound was so unusual that for a moment I couldn't place it and my mind went careening off into a universe of dislocation dominated by the news of the night before.

The City Council voted Wednesday to approve an exclusive agreement with Alameda Point Partners to negotiate a deal to develop a 68-acre waterfront town center at the former Naval Air Station, despite opposition from residents who think the lame duck council should wait and let the new council decide.

Alameda’s Board of Education said goodbye to a pair of exiting trustees Tuesday – and got the rundown on the big business the new board will embark on next year.

For most of the last seven years I’ve covered Alameda’s news, most recently as the editor of The Alamedan. But this fall, I went back to school to pursue a new career. This means I need to significantly dial back my commitment to the site, which has to date been a full-time, volunteer gig.

The Alameda Food Bank needs your help putting holiday meals on the tables of 1,000 Alameda families.

The food bank kicked off a turkey drive on October 27, with a goal of collecting 1,000 turkeys for needy Alameda families. But as of Friday, the food bank had collected just 50 frozen turkeys. They’ve got just one more week to meet their goal.

Video courtesy of the Alameda Education Foundation.

On November 4, almost two in three Alameda voters passed Measure I, a facilities bond that will provide $179.5 million for our community’s schools. This result means the economic health of our school district’s facilities, and our entire community will be greatly improved.

The Board of Education meets at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, November 18 in the Alameda High School cafeteria, 2201 Encinal Avenue (enter on Central Avenue side).

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Broad Brush, your 60-second news review. Here’s what happened this week.

What better way to celebrate the change in seasons than with a tequila/margarita tasting? My companion for this agave-filled adventure was Kimberly Skuta, a friend and certified tequila expert who earned her master’s degree from a program run by the venerable Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant in San Francisco.

One of the great running-related features of "The 'Meda" is that we have a terrific collection of teenage runners here. Right now is a tense time for these high schoolers because the section meet (the "North Coast Section/Les Schwab Tires Championships presented by Farmers") is coming up on November 22 at Hayward High School.

Island residents beset by rising rent costs got a chance to air their grievances at a community meeting Wednesday night.

Alameda voters have narrowly elected schools trustee Trish Spencer as their mayor in a stunning electoral upset, effectively abandoning a dozen years of progressive, pro-development leadership in favor of a populist mayor who has promised to slow development of the Island.

Since the former Naval Air Station closed in 1997 and the Alameda community lost over 15,000 jobs, developers have come and gone with their ideas of what Alameda Point should become.

Mayor Marie Gilmore conceded the Alameda mayor's race Wednesday at a press conference in front of City Hall, saying she will not seek a recount of votes cast in the super-close race.

A computer hacker apparently shut down the city’s website this weekend.

Saturday night at sundown I was walking along Shore Line Drive next to the beach when I saw three jet boaters heading at full throttle toward the Bay Farm Bridge. By the time I got to the bird sanctuary observation deck, I could see the three jet boaters stuck in the mud.

Alameda Fire Chief Mike D’Orazi is retiring, again.

D’Orazi is leaving the Alameda Fire Department on December 27 after serving as its chief for the past three and a half years. City Manager John Russo is appointing Deputy Chief Doug Long as his interim replacement.

Alamedans have experienced a week of suspense as they wait for all the votes to be counted in the super-close mayor’s race.

It's 4 a.m., and the alarm goes off. Normally I’m an early riser, but never this early, so it’s a very important reason that gets me out of bed and moving purposefully.

City staffers have selected a finalist in the contest to develop a waterfront town center at Alameda Point.

The Golf Commission meets at 7 p.m. Wednesday, November 12 in Conference Room 360 at City Hall, 2263 Santa Clara Avenue.

Updated at 10:34 a.m. Monday, November 10 in BOLD

Mayoral challenger Trish Spencer extended her lead over incumbent Marie Gilmore on Sunday, a shift that may close the door on Gilmore’s chances of keeping her seat.

Trish Spencer holds a shrinking lead over Marie Gilmore in mayor's race, with the gap between the candidates now at 58 votes, results released Saturday evening by the Alameda County Registrar of Voters show.

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

Mayor Marie Gilmore edged closer to challenger Trish Spencer in the mayor’s race Friday, and fewer than 100 votes now separate the two candidates.

With an additional 5,015 Alameda votes counted, Spencer still leaders the race with 9,681 votes to Gilmore’s 9,590 votes.

The first of three public meetings to discuss the issues tenants and housing providers are facing in Alameda is set for this coming Wednesday, November 12 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Social Hall at Mastick Senior Center, 1155 Santa Clara Avenue.

As I promised at the end of last week's blog, here is a recap of the PAC-12 Cross Country Championships, held last Friday.

The razor's edge margin in the Alameda mayor's race got a little tighter Thursday, with Mayor Marie Gilmore gaining ground on her opponent, school board trustee Trish Spencer.

On a warm, dry November night, officials of the East Bay Municipal Utility District discussed plans to respond to the current drought by financially rewarding residents in Alameda and the district's other cities who save water and penalizing those who squander it.

The older we get, the more difficult it becomes to live with physical changes that challenge our daily life. Our bodies take longer to heal, our ability to compensate for limitations diminishes, and we tend to experience fear more.

Voters issued a stunning rebuke to Alameda’s incumbents Tuesday, with the tally so far showing they intend to send City Councilman Stewart Chen, longtime school board trustee Mike McMahon and Mayor Marie Gilmore packing.

Here's our Liveblog coverage of Election Night.

If you haven't already voted by mail, today is Election Day. You can look up your ballot and polling place on the Alameda County Registrar of Voters website.

The Department of Veterans Affairs officially took ownership of 624 acres of Alameda Point on Monday, which it hopes to transform into a new, one-stop medical and benefits center, a national cemetery and a wildlife preserve.

Halloween fell on the San Francisco Giants' World Series Celebration Day this year and is scheduled to do so again in 2016, according to the San Francisco Bay Area Calendar of Events.

Last week, we offered you our quick takes on your candidates for mayor and City Council. Today we’ve got part two of that story, with a rundown on three candidates for two school board seats and also, the Measure I school bond.

On Tuesday I received a message on our home machine from a “Deputy Mike Crawford” of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department, asking me to return his call as soon as possible. With my husband at a dinner meeting, I was looking forward to an evening of having the house, the fridge and the remote to myself – watching baseball (or not), ironing, or not, cooking, or not. Heaven!

The City Council meeting scheduled for Wednesday, November 5 has been canceled.

Election Day is Tuesday, and if you're looking for information on Alameda races, you've come to the right place. The Alamedan has assembled a comprehensive guide to local races, and you can check out all our information on our Election 2014 page.

Here's a table of contents:

Candidate questionnaires
Candidate videos
Candidate profiles: Mayor's race
City Council race
School board race
Alameda Health Care District Board race
BART and AC Transit board races
Alameda County schools superintendent race
Measure I school bond
City candidate forum: Story, video, tweet by tweet
School board forum: Story, tweet by tweet
Campaign finance stories: October 8, October 9, October 27
Campaign Column blog posts

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