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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Tonight, the City Council will consider signing off on a plan to set up a trust fund to pay future retirees’ medical bills. The city has squirreled away a little over $1 million over the last few years - money that was set aside to meet unexpected costs that didn't arise and is now slated to be put into the fund.

On Wednesday, media outlets reported that hundreds of journalists working at Patch news websites had been laid off. A source told media blogger Jim Romenesko that up to 90 percent of journalists working at Patch were laid off.

The sites’ corporate parent, AOL, announced in mid-January that it had sold a majority stake in Patch to turnaround firm Hale Global. AOL chief Tim Armstrong had promised shareholders who had become angry about the $100 million in losses the sites had suffered that Patch would be profitable by the end of 2013.

Updated at 10:04 a.m. Sunday, February 9

This Friday may be the last time local newspaper readers hear the familiar thwap of the Alameda Journal hitting their porches.

Governor Jerry Brown issued a drought declaration for California on Friday, and he's urging people to cut their water use by 20 percent. The typical Californian uses 192 gallons of water a day, according to a new website the state set up to help people reduce water use; half the water is used to water yards, it says, while nearly a third of the water people use inside their homes goes down the toilet.

The Alameda Police Department is taking fresh steps toward implementing new technology that scans thousands of license plates in search of stolen cars and crime suspects.

The department has issued a draft policy for use of automated license plate readers they hope to buy and is hosting a public forum to discuss their plans, at 6:30 p.m. February 3 in the Main Library, 1550 Oak Street. The council will consider the policy at a to-be-scheduled meeting.