News

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.

A long-sought field of dreams for disabled youth has moved a step closer to reality. The Recreation and Park Commission will consider a conceptual plan for a refurbished Estuary Park on Thursday.

A Bay Farm Island basketball court is in line to become the first piece of city property to sport a corporate logo.

Youth movement and low scores prevailed in Alameda Commuters golf action this past weekend. The Commuters tournament teed off Saturday at the Chuck Corica Golf Complex with 220 of the best amateur golfers in Northern California.

Alameda Municipal Power wants its two dollars (and 25 cents).

A New York-based foundation has rescinded a major grant it awarded to Alameda in December, marking a setback in the city’s disaster preparedness efforts.

The city announced Tuesday that the Rockefeller Foundation had withdrawn a promised “resilience” grant – a move so unexpected that some questioned whether the announcement could be an April Fool’s Day joke. But a representative for the foundation confirmed Wednesday that the award had been withdrawn.

At the time it was awarded, a city staffer said the grant award could total $1 million over two years; it was also to include technical assistance for implementation.