February 2014

A heron rises above the water in “Taking Off,” a serene watercolor painted by a man who murdered a woman in her Bakersfield home after sexually assaulting her. The image is being used to advertise “Inside Out,” which opened at REDUX Studios & Gallery on February 14, featuring artwork from some of the more than 700 men on San Quentin’s death row. Is his crime irrelevant, or entirely the point?

Police are urging East End residents to be vigilant and to lock their doors and windows due to a rash of thefts from cars and also, a series of burglaries that occurred while residents were at home.

This is an exciting week for us here at The Alamedan: On Friday, we turn the corner on two years of providing you high-quality local news coverage and a voice in local affairs. I’d like to thank you for reading, and for your story ideas and support of our work.

Managers at Alameda Municipal Power are making plans to convert the bulbs in nearly 5,500 city streetlights, most of which are high power sodium, to light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs, a change they say could reduce streetlights' energy use by 45 percent and save them $316,000 a year. The two-year, $4.4 million conversion job is expected to commence during the 2015 fiscal year, which begins in July. Here are some vital stats.

State law *permits* but does not *require* public agencies to negotiate real estate deals, like this Alameda Unified School District/City of Alameda land swap announced yesterday, in closed session.

To help families navigate their middle school options, The Alamedan asked the leaders of Alameda’s public middle school options to offer some basic information about their programs.

Alameda's Board of Ed offered their thoughts on plans to implement at STEAM program at Will C. Wood Middle School, a complex cash and land deal with the city and physical education requirements at the Island's high schools. Here's the tweet by tweet.

City management apologizes to the business community for the way in which the business license tax audit was conducted.

The Alameda Theatre & Cineplex is hosting a First Pitch Benefit Party for the 2014 T-Shirt League on March 20.

Homeowners could soon see a new fee added to their property tax bills, to pay for the disposal of old paint, motor oil and other hazardous wastes.

The city, school district and Alameda Housing Authority are in the midst of negotiating a complex deal that could see the district winning funding to refurbish Encinal High School’s pools and a 20-acre plot at Alameda Point in exchange for title to its former Island High School site on Eagle Avenue and ownership of a waterfront site the city would like to develop.

The Navy recently published a draft of its work plan for an old industrial waste dump that sits on the northwest corner of Alameda Point. Concerns have been voiced regarding the Navy’s plan.

As an integral part of my geezerhood status, I am learning a new game: Waiting For Test Results.

In a surprise award ceremony Friday at the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building in Oakland, Benjamin Jenkins was awarded a Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor in the United States, for his service.

The Board of Education meets at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, February 25 in council chambers on the third floor of City Hall, 2263 Santa Clara Avenue.

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

Alamedans reported roughly the same number of crimes in 2013 that they did the year before, newly released data show, after two years of seeing crime numbers decline.

In the two years since Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter took the keys to the city's animal shelter - saving it from closure - the nonprofit has boosted the number of animals it serves, improved conditions and raised more money than the group needed to pay its share of running the shelter.

In her State of the City speech Tuesday, Mayor Marie Gilmore signaled her eagerness to start redeveloping the Alameda Naval Air Station after a 17-year wait.

Thomas John Theodore Phillips, 28, of Manhattan Beach, Calif. died peacefully and surrounded by his family on Saturday at his sister’s home in Claremont, Calif.

City Hall is better organized, the city is greener than ever before and Alameda Point will soon see development after a 17-year wait, Mayor Marie Gilmore said Tuesday during her annual State of the City address.

Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter has developed a strategic plan intended to guide the nonprofit’s operation of the Alameda Animal Shelter for the next three years.

A local judge has dismissed a wrongful termination suit lodged by the city’s former top administrator, closing the book on a tumultuous period at City Hall that saw an exodus of top staff and a flurry of claims and lawsuits.

City Councilman Tony Daysog is considering a run for another office: The Congressional seat being vacated by Rep. George Miller.

I'm not sure that Valentine's Day isn't my favorite holiday, though I'm very conflicted about that. It's like admitting to a slightly shameful taste for fast food or bad taste in furnishings.

The Spin Doctors Yo-Yo Club, also known as Spindox, is Alameda’s own yo-yo club.

The City Council meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday, February 18 in council chambers on the third floor of City Hall, 2263 Santa Clara Avenue.

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Broad Brush, your weekly news in review. Here are your headlines for this week.

Visitors can experience the USS Hornet's paranormal side for themselves at the Second Annual Grey Ghost Paranormal Conference, hosted by the Hornet and Alameda Paranormal Researchers. The event takes place on Saturday, February 22.

I'm sure you have read information in the media related to the legal difficulties I faced in the early days of my practice as a young chiropractor more than 20 years ago.

Supporting and maintaining new computers and equipment are proving to be challenges the district may need to hire more staff and broaden bandwidth to address.

Two and a half weeks ago I got an e-mail from my colleague Steven Tavares, who runs the East Bay Citizen political website.

City Councilman Stewart Chen’s resume omits a potentially embarrassing episode.

On Tuesday night the school board got a rundown on Alameda Unified's English learners and had a lengthy tech talk. Here's the tweet by tweet.

A quartet of Encinal High School student athletes have signed commitment letters for college programs.

Thoughts of a drought may have been put on hold during this weekend's rainstorms. But now that the clouds have cleared, authorities are again urging Californians to conserve water.

A group of locals who want Crab Cove to expand on federal property where houses are proposed to be built has submitted language for a proposed ballot measure to the City Clerk.

It's always been “Sunny Southern California,” and that's just the natural way of things. Except for this dry winter full of sunshine and moderate temperatures when the “Southern” disappeared and the whole state basked and tanned and dried out to a fare-thee-well.

The school district and commercial property owners who a court decided were unfairly taxed under a 2008 school parcel levy are working to negotiate a settlement in the property owners’ five-and-a-half year old case.

Alameda Unified School District

How many Alameda students are learning English as a second language, and how are they doing? Here's a breakdown; a full presentation is available on the school district's website.

The Board of Education meets at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, February 11 in council chambers on the third floor of City Hall, 2263 Santa Clara Avenue.

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

Wescafe Creamery is located at 1536 Webster Street, the site of the old Wescafe restaurant.

A Southern California developer wants to replace an Oak Street warehouse with condominiums and small shops. The Planning Board will weigh in on whether to review the plan on Monday.

Representatives from the city, the East Bay Regional Park District and developer Tim Lewis Communities have agreed to attend mediation in an attempt to end their legal fight over a 3.899-acre property the park district had hoped to obtain to expand Crab Cove.

I came to fully understand the process of entering midlife when I researched, reflected, and wrote my dissertation. The awareness that others shared the same experience was validating and clarifying. Hopefully this writing is helping others achieve the same appreciation.

City leaders signed off on a pile of planning documents Tuesday night that will ease the way for development at Alameda Point.

The City Council signed off on a pile of planning documents Tuesday that will pave the way for development at Alameda Point. Here's how it all went down.

Third grade students at Franklin Elementary School got a special visit from a member of the San Francisco 49ers football team on Friday.

City leaders want to start socking away some extra cash to pay down Alameda’s growing retiree medical debt.

The City Council is preparing to approve a slew of planning documents that will ease future development at Alameda Point, and I'd like to toss my few pennies into the ring.

Google may be expanding its private transit service for employees from the streets of San Francisco to the waters of San Francisco Bay.

Young thespians competed in Alameda's first-ever Shakespeare Monologue Competition this past Saturday at Encinal High School.

Alameda Unified's suspension and expulsion rates declined last year, newly released state data show, though rates for African American and Latino students remained disproportionately high.

The City Council meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday, February 4 in council chambers on the third floor of City Hall, 2263 Santa Clara Avenue.

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Broad Brush, your weekly headline review. Here’s what happened in Alameda this week.