News

Harbor seals who now chill out on a crumbling dock off Alameda Point got some good news at the City Council's regular meeting Tuesday night: A project to build a new resting spot for the marine mammals is moving ahead.

The seals now use a derelict dock anchored in San Francisco Bay off Alameda Point as a “haul out” or platform to rest in between foraging for fish and other aquatic prey. But their current site is in the path of a planned maintenance and fueling site for public ferries operated by Water Emergency Transportation Agency. Up to 12 boats serving commuters on various bay routes could be accommodated at the facility.

The Alameda Food Bank has a new executive director. Cindy Houts will take the helm after the food bank's current director, Troy Gilbert, leaves on July 4.

From left to right: Interim City Manager Liz Warmerdam, Vice Mayor Frank Matarrese, City Councilman Jim Oddie, Councilwoman Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft, Mayor Trish Herrera Spencer, Councilman Tony Daysog and Fire Chief Doug Long. Photo courtesy of the City of Alameda.

With rents rising and vacancies rare here in Alameda and across the Bay Area, it’s perhaps no surprise that rent control has become one of the hottest topics on the Island. It’s also one of the most emotional, pitting renters and housing advocates who say housing is a basic human right against property owners who feel controls would take their own rights away.

If Alameda’s political leaders were to implement rent controls – and the council is showing few signs that it intends to do that – what if any relief would those controls provide to renters? What impact would rent control have on property investment in Alameda? And what other factors affect housing costs and supply?

Alameda’s City Council will get a report Thursday on homelessness on the Island and on next steps that should be taken to combat it.

The report follows a homeless count conducted last September that was spearheaded by the city’s Social Service Human Relations Board. The board decided to conduct the count after a resident voiced concern that the number of homeless people frequenting Alameda’s West End appeared to be on the rise.

A perceived increase in the number of eviction notices being handed out by property owners in Alameda has prompted some tenants to ask city leaders to consider a new tool to protect renters: just cause eviction rules that restrict landlords’ ability to make tenants move.

The “just cause” rules restrict landlords’ ability to evict tenants to a list laid out in a local ordinance, and they require landlords to tell tenants why they’re being asked to leave.

Tuesday night's six-hour gabfest included approval of an $8 million construction contract for a replacement fire station and emergency operations center, a proposal to raise sewer rates and an update on Site A. Here's your tweet by tweet.

With all the news about water shortages and climate change, it’s hard not to think maybe Chicken Little was right. Bees disappearing, millions of trees lost, metallic tasting water – all pieces of a troubling and seemingly interconnected puzzle. So what can you do to conserve?

Nearly 77,000 people now call Alameda home, new state data show – the most residents who have ever lived on the Island.

 

The city has settled a lawsuit accusing Alameda police of using excessive force against a disabled man they arrested on suspicion of stealing a cell phone charger from a local phone store.

The City Council approved a settlement Tuesday to pay Jeffrey Navarro $450,000 to settle Navarro’s claims arising from the July 27, 2012 arrest. City officials said they’re not admitting any wrongdoing in the case.