News

Cindy Houts is the new director of the Alameda Food Bank. Photo courtesy of the Alameda Food Bank.

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.

Houts, an Alameda resident, joins the food bank after seven years of running Alameda County Meals on Wheels. She has volunteered for the Alameda Food Bank and has been a rider and fundraiser for AIDS/LifeCycle. She has also coordinated volunteers for Rebuilding Together Oakland.

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.

Alameda's City Council okayed a 7.7 percent garbage pickup rate hike to help Alameda County Industries cover the cost of better pay and benefits for its recycling workers. But council members held off on new rent dispute mediation rules. Here's the tweet by tweet.