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 two-sentence news review. Here are your headlines for this week.

The city scored a victory against investors in its former cable and Internet business last week when a federal appeals court nixed the investors’ $10 million fraud case. The Ninth District Court of Appeals ruled that attorneys representing Nuveen Municipal High Income Opportunity Fund and a trio of other Nuveen funds failed to show how the former Alameda Power & Telecom’s alleged misrepresentations in documents that accompanied a 2004 bond offering led to the $10 million loss they suffered on their investment.

Alamedans combed Robert W. Crown State Beach on Saturday as part of the 29th Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day. They were among the more than 50,000 volunteers who volunteered for cleanup duty at 850 sites across the state.

The Alameda Food Bank is once again seeking a new executive director. Hank Leeper, who was hired to helm the food bank in May 2011, is leaving at the end of this month.

The Bay Bridge’s temporary closure earlier this month raised a critical question for Island residents: Could all of Alameda’s bridges and the Posey and Webster tubes become impassable in an emergency, stranding Island residents? A top city official says Alameda is not likely to find itself in that predicament.

The school board on Tuesday extended Superintendent Kirsten Vital’s contract for an additional year, members said, to provide some continuity in the district office as the district seeks to create and fund a plan for the future of its facilities in the face of major changes to the way schooling is delivered and paid for. The contract addendum approved Tuesday night extends Vital’s contract to serve as Alameda Unified’s top official through July 1, 2016.

As planning continues on Alameda Point and other city-related projects, the City Council is considering legal agreements that city staffers said would benefit builders, workers and the public. On Tuesday night, the council learned about labor agreements that could set conditions to prevent labor strife and benefit local residents in hiring.

Governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill to increase California’s minimum wage from $8 an hour to $10 by 2016. But will people earning that wage be able to afford living in Alameda?

Alameda police are asking the City Council for permission to seek the funding the department needs to buy an automated license plate reader that they say will better enable them to track stolen vehicles, criminals and missing persons. But civil rights advocates fear the systems, which scan and store license plate and location data for guilty and innocent alike, are ripe for abuse.

News in brief(er): Standard and Poor’s has upgraded the city’s bond rating.