City officials are considering whether to accept part of a waterway separating Oakland from the Island’s East End that the federal government has long sought to hand off.

Alamedans who live near Rittler Field and others who happened to be passing by Thursday evening may have done a double take in order to process a surprising sight: a helicopter parked in a corner of the field, accompanied by a lineup of fire trucks and police cars.

When Angela Hockabout was priced out of her rental home in 2013 after being handed a $450 per month rent increase, she felt like she had nowhere to turn. But thanks to Hockabout, that’s no longer the case for others in her situation.

In September she founded the Alameda Renters Coalition, which provides information and moral support for renters experiencing crisis and also, advocacy for renters’ needs.

“My main thrust is just providing support to renters and helping them find resources to fight rent increases,” Hockabout said.

Arthur Weil knows the face of hate. Weil, a former history teacher and Holocaust survivor, spoke before an audience Saturday on the U.S.S. Hornet Museum.

Property owners who The Alamedan has interviewed and others who have commented on prior stories in The Alamedan’s running series on rents have said the recent rise in rents is only part of the story of rental housing in the Bay Area. They said the free market cuts both ways, impacting both tenants and landlords.

A symbol of the Island’s shipbuilding past is set to be demolished. An 86-foot-tall shipyard crane built during World War II and located next to the Main Street ferry terminal awaits the wrecking ball. Tonight, the City Council will consider a contract to remove it.

Last fall, the City Council passed on a proposal to create a city-sponsored rents task force whose charge would have included collecting data on the Island’s rental market. So City Councilman Tony Daysog, who had favored the task force proposal, decided to collect some of that information on his own.

Daysog offered a brief presentation on U.S. Census data he culled at the council’s January 20 meeting, where council members considered some options for strengthening rights for renters. The upshot: While the median rent in Alameda falls below what the federal government considers unaffordable, it’s rising – as is the proportion of local renters who are paying unaffordable rents.

Alameda’s housing authority is preparing to open the wait list for its Section 8 rent voucher program next week, the first time in a dozen years new spots have been available.

People who apply will face stiff competition for a spot on the list, while the lucky few who succeed in winning one will face a tough rental market.

“We would love to talk more with (property owners) who would like to know more about the program,” said Vanessa M. Cooper, executive director of the Housing Authority of the City of Alameda. “But we realize the market is really tight at the moment.”

The City Council tacked rising rents on Tuesday. Here's what the council did and what you had to say about it.

The public got a chance to comment Wednesday night on a list of suggestions to address Alameda’s rising rents, and now it’s up to a group of tenants and landlords to make recommendations to the City Council.

Some of the 50 or so residents who attended the event at Mastick Senior Center assumed some conclusions would be reached at this meeting. But instead of recommendations based on what was presented in prior hearings, community facilitator Jeff Cambra had the group examine six discussion points proposed by the city’s Rent Review Advisory Committee, which mediates disputes between tenants and landlords.