The Broad Brush: Your News in 60 Seconds

The Broad Brush: Your News in 60 Seconds

Michele Ellson

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

The City Council is preparing to sign off on a major real estate deal that’s been two decades in the making. On Tuesday, the council will consider allowing Alameda’s city manager to affix his John Russo to the deeds for 1,379 acres of Alameda Point, a deal city staffers hope to close on June 4.

Representatives of Alameda’s local Boy Scout council will be voting in favor of a proposal to lift their national organization’s ban on gay youths – and will recommend the Boy Scouts of America extend that change to adults. The leaders of the Alameda Council voted unanimously on Thursday to support a proposal to be voted on May 23 that would lift the national organization’s ban on gay youth. The vote followed a survey that showed an overwhelming percentage of Alameda’s Scouting community opposes the ban, a view that was reiterated by members in letters and at a meeting held Wednesday.

A bill co-authored by Assemblyman Rob Bonta that would levy taxes on ammunition to help fund public safety services in violence-plagued communities and also, children’s mental health services, has cleared one Assembly committee and is headed to another. The Alameda Democrat’s bill would levy a 10 percent tax on bullets starting in July 2014, raising an estimated $92.4 million a year for public safety and mental health programs.

Housing advocates and city leaders gathered Wednesday to celebrate the long-sought transformation of the former Islander Motel into an apartment complex for low-income workers. The city and its affordable housing developer partner, the Berkeley-based Resources for Community Development, transformed the motel into a sustainably built complex with 62 studio apartments.

America's Cup Race Management Regatta Director Iain Murray and Golden Gate Yacht Club Vice Commodore Tom Ehman held a press conference Tuesday in San Francisco. The purpose was to "announce the members of an independent panel to review all aspects of training and racing of AC72 yachts in the 34th America’s Cup." Meanwhile, Artemis Racing held a private ceremony for Simpson on Thursday.

Alameda fire investigators are trying to determine the cause of a home fire that caused an estimated $400,000 worth of damage and injured three firefighters. A woman who was in the two-story Victorian on the 800 block of Cedar Street when the fire began escaped unharmed with the help of a neighbor who saw smoke.

Alameda boasts a variety of homes, from owner-occupied single-family homes to studio apartment rentals; there’s just not enough housing in the Island city. At least that was the consensus Saturday morning at the Homes are the Heart of Alameda panel discussion and home tour in which 30 people, mostly affordable housing advocates, discussed plans for more varied types of housing in Alameda and looked at spots where such housing is planned and others where it is successful.

News in brief(er): Alameda Civic Ballet has been honored as’s regional ballet company of the week … and an elderly woman discovered a burglar in her living room on May 10, one of a string of burglaries that police said have plagued the center of the Island.