When last we left off in the great saga of Ann Marie Gallant and her many lawsuits against the City of Alameda. She had just lost her first appeals case and the lower court that the appeal was kicked back to essentially ruled that Ann Marie Gallant had no case against the City of Alameda. They also awarded the City lawyers fees for the whole debacle to the tune of $330K. Naturally, Ann Marie Gallant did not go quietly into the night and turned around, hired new counsel and filed another appeal. That appeal was riddled with procedural problems from the start but eventually corrected itself just in time for briefs to be filed, answered to be filed and probably another cool $50K in legal fees expended between both parties.
Essentially from my quickie read of Ann Marie Gallant’s briefs, her lawyers are hinging on her case being kicked back to the lower court because the judge didn’t use the correct definition of the word “terminated.” Ann Marie Gallant’s lawyers say that the dictionary definition is the right one and the City says, nuh uh, we’re going to use the terms of the actual contract itself. You know, four corners, contracts 101, that sort of thing.
The City Council tonight will decide if they want to move forward with staff recommended “Preferred” developers from the submissions solicited months ago for site B at Alameda Point. Site B is also know as the site near the one that would have been offered to the Berkeley Labs if they had selected Alameda. Speaking of which, I’m not sure what the status of the Richmond location is at this point. The last article I read about it in 2013 was something along of the lines of the funding being uncertain. So maybe Alameda did luck out in not getting selected if the whole LBNL project is in indefinite limbo at this point.
As a refresher, this is where site B is.
I would highly suggest for anyone on the staff of the Alameda Unified School District that if they want to push through any high controversial issue right now that it is the time to do it.
The reason why? Because Trish Spencer is running for Mayor she has temporarily turned over a new leaf. It’s like a completely different Trish Spencer exists and now sits on the School Board. One that is complimentary of District Staff and encouraging of their work.
I mean, I have never seen this Trish Spencer before, ever. It’s like someone completely different has taken over her body. Someone who is running for higher office and doesn’t want to be seen as a cranky contrarian that votes against everything. She was *gasp* defending District Staff for once instead of saying that she didn’t trust the information that they were presenting.
Very recently New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill which allows New York City to have a default speed limit of 25 mph for the whole city. This was done in order to reduce the number of traffic related fatalities to zero in a campaign called, wait for it, “Vision Zero.”
Of course Alameda is well known for our almost island-wide 25 mph speed limit (with several notable exceptions like Appezzato and that one road into Bay Farm whose name I always forget) but it’s a number that people both like and is often not obeyed because some people don’t see the point of it. I can’t tell you how many times someone has crossed the center line to pass me because I was going “too slow” at the posted speed limit.
This opinion in the New York Times about the speed limit reduction suggests that we need to go beyond just lowering the speed limit, but create visual cues for drivers to place their speed in context, from the piece:
I don’t go to South Shore that often and probably will go even less once Alameda Landing opens, but I’v always found the pronouncements about South Shore being “dead” or that there are so many empty store fronts to be sort of odd. Especially since the new owners have been working pretty diligently to fill up those empty store fronts. The fact that they found someone to take over the abandoned Borders, which was all sorts of massive was pretty impressive.
So I looked on the South Shore website to see if I could find a map directory that would show how many vacant units are actually left. The problem, South Shore hasn’t updated their map to reflect their new tenants yet:
Remember how about a year ago when the Alameda Landing project came before the Planning Board to update the Board on their progress and one of the slides had indicated that Panda Express was going to be a retailer?
Then later the folks from Catellus said don’t pay attention to those labels those are just people we’re talking to but have yet to be confirmed.
In good news, enrollment is up at Alameda Unified School District from last year according to the five day report. More kids means more attendance money for the district and more little minds to educate. There are so many little Transitional Kindergartens running around that the district launched a TK class at Lum where there was not a TK class last year.
In bad news because the enrollment is up that means that certain elementary schools are overenrolled which means that some kids are going to get bumped, which is going to be really sad and really hard for those kids, here’s how it’s looking:
Looks like the City is moving forward with the promised taskforce to examine housing and rent costs in Alameda. The structure is a seven member task force with appointees supposedly representing stakeholders in housing and rent costs in the City of Alameda. They’ll be tasked (heh) with answering four key questions with the help of one staff person who will essentially do all the grunt work of research, etc.
I’m going to leave this article right here in case you want to know how bad the problem is in San Francisco and so Alameda is receiving some of that spillover.
The questions the taskforce will tackle are:
In lieu of going to Capone’s on Sunday night because I wasn’t sure if it was actually open since no one decided to pick up the phone number that was listed on their website, we decided to go to American Oak. I mostly selected American Oak because (1) I hadn’t been back since the remodel after the unfortunate fire and (2) their super snarky tweet about the dress code at Capone’s.
So I decided to myself, hey self, someone said that you should start a restaurant review blog because you have so many opinions about the City’s restaurant guide — which according to the City Staff on Tuesday night had been vetted through the different business associations and used business licenses to cross reference. Since I’m too lazy to start a whole other blog about it, I thought, why not try it out on my current blog. What gives me the qualifications to review restaurants? Nothing really, other than the fact that I like to eat and I promise not to post any photos of poorly lit photos of food. I give you my very first (and possibly last) restaurant review: American Oak.
Did you know that American Oak doesn’t take reservations? They don’t, it’s first come first seat. Also, here’s there Yelp page if you want to look at those as well.
In less crime blotter-y news and in happy totally nice Alameda type news on Tuesday night the City Council received an update on the Estuary Park (the big park that is going in around the old North Housing on the West End) and it apparently is going to be super awesome. According to the public speakers who represent some of the sports organizations in Alameda, the is a huge under-served need for fields in general and especially lighted all weather fields.
This new turf, which will be synthetic is a highly valued commodity because it doesn’t get all wet and damage when (or if) it rains. The lighted field means that practice can continue long after it gets dark which is super important during the winter when daylight savings kicks in.
As a reminder here is what it will look like. The top section it phase 1 which has most of the funding in place. The bottom graphic is phase 2