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 Alameda news in brief. Here’s what happened on the Island this week.

As a two-time performer at Carnegie Hall, former honors soloist for the Colorado and Stanford Suzuki Institute, and second-place winner of the 2014 American Protégé Competition for Piano and Strings, Alameda cellist Isabelle Brown-Lyden has the resume of a professional – and she’s just 12 years old. Brown-Lyden started playing when she was 4 and performing when she was 5.

The new Mif Albright nine-hole course at the Chuck Corica Golf Complex will officially re-open to the public on Saturday. But a week full of ceremonies honoring the course preceded the opening.

The City Council approved a plan Tuesday that would establish a trust to supplement newer firefighters’ pension and retiree medical costs. Workers would fund the supplemental retirement and health plan by paying 3 percent of their salaries into a tax-exempt trust to supplement their existing retiree medical and pension benefits.

Alameda Unified's leaders want to fix and upgrade the district's schools; they've been working for nearly two years to put together a plan that details the district's facilities needs with an eye toward a separate bond program to pay for the fixes. The school board met Tuesday night to consider a plan that would prioritize restoration of Alameda's two main high schools.

Alameda police will soon be equipped with license plate readers that can scan and store thousands of license plate numbers that can be automatically checked against lists of stolen cars and wanted criminal suspects and saved for future use in criminal investigations. The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to allow the police department to spend up to $80,000 to purchase four of the license plate readers from Livermore-based Vigilant Solutions.

Our tweet by tweet coverage of Tuesday’s City Council meeting is here.

BART’s leaders could ask voters for money to help them pay for new train cars and to modernize the rail line’s stations, Alameda’s BART board director told local Kiwanians during a luncheon Wednesday. Director Robert Raburn said the $2.6 billion in funding need to pay for 775 new cars will come out of the regional rail line’s budget. But he said BART may need to ask voters for the cash to pay for another 225 board members believe the system needs to fill new stations and meet growing demand.

Bus and ferry riders could see some changes in the cost of their commute. The Water Emergency Transportation Authority is considering plans to standardize fares across the Bay Area and to raise them 3 percent a year for five years.

Alameda's high school graduation rates outpace those of Alameda County and the state, though the data - for the 2012-13 school year - varied by school and group.

Alameda’s Catholic school teachers are signing contracts containing controversial new language requiring their private behavior to model and promote Catholic teachings. An administrator at St. Joseph Notre Dame High School said none of the school’s teachers has publicly said they’re leaving as a result of the new language, though she acknowledged people at the school are concerned about it.

Local, regional and state agencies conducted a multi-million-dollar effort last year to clear the Alameda/Oakland Estuary of sunken vessels that were determined to cause a navigation hazard and they chased away “anchor outs” illegally perched in the channel. But a pair of “anchor outs” has returned, posing a fresh challenge to public agencies and marina managers seeking to keep the Estuary clean.

News in brief(er): Hundreds of people turned out Saturday for Encinal High School’s Extravaganza of Bands … former Encinal High principal Frank Hanna has died … and an affordable housing project for developmentally disabled people has opened.