The Broad Brush: Your News in 60 Seconds

The Broad Brush: Your News in 60 Seconds

Michele Ellson

Photo by Michele Ellson.

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

A state appeals court has ruled the school district exceeded its taxing authority when it imposed a parcel tax that required some property owners to pay more than others, a decision that could ultimately force the school district to pay back millions of dollars in taxes it collected and spent and that may have implications for other school and special districts that tax some property owners differently than others.

There was big news on the contract front this week, with workers at Raley’s and Nob Hill Foods stores considering a tentative agreement eked out by their unions and Raley’s management and the City Council set to consider contracts approved by Alameda’s police and firefighters. Both contracts will see workers paying a portion of the cost of their health care premiums, though the grocery workers will take temporary pay cuts while police and firefighters will get their first raises since 2006. The City Council votes on the public safety contracts on Tuesday, while grocery workers will have until December 17 to have their say.

The owners of a Clement Street property dotted with abandoned warehouses has dropped his fight to nullify a city order to tear them down. Demolition continued this week after a 14-month court battle over what one city staffer called “the worst case of urban blight” on the Island.

In other development news, the Planning Board will consider approving a plan Monday that could put 275 new homes on former Navy property adjacent to the Bayport housing development and the Posey Tube. The Alameda Landing housing development would encompass a Target-anchored shopping center set to open in October 2013.

Youth employment in America is at its lowest level since World War II, according to a report released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Children Now this week. Local schools and nonprofits are working to turn the tide by building programs that offer clearer pathways to work.

Winter storms soaked Alameda over the weekend, knocking down trees, flooding streets and knocking out power to hundreds of customers.

And the board that governs Alameda Hospital will be working to fill a vacancy that’ll be left when Stewart Chen officially joins the City Council on December 18. The board was slated to approve a timeline and process for making the appointment on Wednesday.

News in brief(er): The city will be drafting two-year budgets under a plan approved by the City Council on Tuesday that top city staffers said would make more time for other efforts and create more spending accountability … on Wednesday, the council signed off on a jobs strategy for Alameda Point … Alameda’s former vice mayor, Rob Bonta, was sworn into his state Assembly seat on Monday … backers of a measure to boost Alameda County’s transportation sales tax aborted a recount effort this week … a furnace fire displaced residents of an apartment house on the 2100 block of San Jose Avenue and caused an estimated $60,000 worth of damage … and Alameda police will join their colleagues at 20 other police agencies in setting up an “Avoid the 21” checkpoint to find drunk drivers, on December 22.