News

The Recreation and Park Commission is expected to make a recommendation Thursday night on whether to restore or replace the Clark Memorial Bench in Jackson Park.

Alameda’s Planning Board stopped short of recommending the city enact rent controls Monday, opting instead to ask the City Council to consider setting up a task force to study whether people are being displaced by rising rents.

THE STORY: The East Bay Regional Park District and environmentalists are battling to halt plans to develop 48 homes on a 3.9 acre property across the street from Crab Cove, which the federal government is in contract to sell to developer Tim Lewis Communities. So far, two lawsuits have been filed over the property and plans to develop it, and local parks lovers have qualified a measure for the ballot that would prohibit housing development there.

THE STORY: About this time every year, the City Council considered a new annual budget – until last year, when City Manager John Russo and his team put Alameda on a new, two-year budget cycle. On Tuesday night, the council okayed changes to the budget for the new fiscal year, which begins on July 1.

THE STORY: The Alameda County Waste Management Authority – aka Stopwaste.org – has been considering a $9.55 per residential unit fee to pay for the disposal of old paint, motor oil and other hazardous wastes.

THE STORY: 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.

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. Police Chief Paul Rolleri said the readers should be operational by the end of this summer.

On Tuesday night the City Council considered a plan to blunt the traffic development Alameda Point will create, got the rundown on planned I-880 improvements and heard from someone who's fed up with people playing hoops on his street. But the main event was a discussion on license plate readers.

The City Council will consider approving 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. The new trust will be open to fire department employees hired after June 7, 2011.

Approval of the plan would mark a shift in the way the city handles its employee pension and retiree health benefits while helping to restore benefits newer firefighters lost in a pair of recent contract deals – albeit at the workers’ own cost.

Preservationists have dropped a lawsuit that threatened to undo a complex cash and land swap deal between the city, the school district and the Alameda Housing Authority.