Blogging Bayport Alameda

June 7, 2023

45 words

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:12 am

In light of the discussions about the privacy of body cameras and machine processing of their body camera footage to flag less than optimal public interactions, I found this NPR article about a study which demonstrates that the first 45 words said to a Black driver is suggestive on how the whole encounter will go. From NPR:

When a police officer stops a Black driver, the first 45 words said by that officer hold important clues about how their encounter is likely to go.

Car stops that result in a search, handcuffing, or arrest are nearly three times more likely to begin with the police officer issuing a command, such as “Keep your hands on the wheel” or “Turn the car off.”

That’s according to a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that examined police body-camera footage of 577 routine car stops involving Black drivers.

Eighty-one of these stops ultimately involved searches, handcuffings, or arrests. That kind of outcome was less likely when a police officer’s first words provided a reason for the stop.

“The first 45 words, which is less than 30 seconds on average, spoken by a law enforcement officer during a car stop to a Black driver can be quite telling about how the stop will end,” says Eugenia Rho, a researcher at Virginia Tech.

“The car stop is by far the most common way people come into contact with the police,” says Jennifer Eberhardt, a social psychologist at Stanford University. “With the spread of body-worn cameras, we now have access to how these interactions unfold in real time.”

The words or actions of the person behind the wheel of the car didn’t seem to contribute to escalation.

“The drivers are just answering the officers’ questions and explaining what’s going on,” says Eberhardt. “They’re cooperative.”


June 6, 2023

Hazard pay

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:11 am

Folks, you should head on over to Drew Dara-Abrams’s The Morning Bun to read all about what happened at the Grand Street street safety meeting. It’s really quite good so I don’t want to spoil anything by highlighting it here.

It’s funny because I just read an astounding thread on Alameda Peeps about a bunch of 14 year olds who were being super obnoxious and disrespectful at the movie theater. The responses ranged from “yeah, they were out of line and the theatre did the right thing by kicking them out” to “they should have been beaten by their parents to make them behave” and “the police should have been called on these little shits” or “the parents and children should be SHAMED for acting this way.” Anyway, we know that obnoxious and disrespectful behavior is not just the purview of the young but, somehow, it’s okay when adults do it when they feel REALLY strongly about keeping their parking or not building houses around their houses.

City staff needs hazard pay when walking into these meetings in “good” neighborhoods.

June 5, 2023

Nice package

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 5:59 am

Looks like things are getting slow at the City Council right now, maybe it’s the lead in to the summer break, I don’t know but because the City Council is getting look at what Assemblymember Mia Bonta is up to, we also do.

These are the two that are most Alameda relevant:

AB 1706 is, of course, that piece of triangular land that juts out in front of the Del Monte/Alta Star Harbor site, Remember, at the City Council level this project needed four votes in order to pass because it involved a transfer of land. The no vote was Tony Daysog and the fourth vote was Trish Spencer. Had this project not received that key fourth vote all the units identified in the Housing Element from the Encinal Terminals project would have needed to been reallocated to other sites because. at that point, developing on Encinal Terminals would have been infeasible. It will be interesting to see if anyone pooh poohs that part of Assemblymember Bonta’s legislative package.

AB 1661 is really exciting because it will, hopefully, lower the cost even more of building ADUs which, thanks to loosened State legislation forcing the hand of local jurisdictions, has now become the go to real estate hook of choice. (Seriously, look at any home for sale in Alameda where there is room to shoe horn any ADU, you’ll see the ADU opportunity being listed as a plus for the home). Permits for ADUs have spiked and you can see them popping up everywhere if you take a peek around main houses across the island, While cheaper than buying a new house, the costs for construction can still run very high, add to that most ADUs in Alameda have to be ground up builds because you can’t crane the prefab versions over the power lines in Alameda. So being able to just hook up an ADU to existing gas and electric meters would save a bit on money and, if your ADU will simply be used for family, the need for separate metering is overkill.

June 2, 2023

FAFO: the book banning edition

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:10 am

You all know this is a hobby horse of mine so I found this rather hilarious:

June 1, 2023


Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:01 am

There tends to be a lot of noise on the online PRA system but sometimes, someone asks for records that are sort of interesting. This PRA request seemed to be most interested in police staffing but made the request broader to, maybe, not tip a hand but did receive a response regarding historic staffing levels of the Alameda PD, including a breakdown of where that staffing is within the PD structure as well.

It demonstrates, as folks have been saying for years now, the number of funded police officers has never decreased. Alameda, like so many other cities, has been slowly bleeding officers away for a myriad of reasons and has never been up to the full budgeted 88 for at least a decade now.

May 31, 2023

Testing to teach

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:13 am

The School Board is supposed to be presented with the “School Level Initiatives to Support African American Achievement at Ruby Bridges Elementary School, Wood Middle School, and Encinal Jr. & Sr. High School” at tonight’s special School Board meeting. Given that the District is being mandated by the state to address the lack of achievement and, unfortunately, these schools don’t have the luxury of changing demographics to “improve” their test scores these are new programs which, hopefully, will do the job that they’re setting out to do.

Unfortunately even though I anticipated being able to review the slides or presentation this morning because the presentations were supposed to be uploaded yesterday, they haven’t been:


May 30, 2023

Permitted fun

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:01 am

I don’t know how much these Alameda Point car shows effect people not on the West End but man oh man was it loud on the west side on Sunday.

I mean, there are forever informal car meet ups around the Hornet and any stretch of vacant asphalt on Alameda Point and most of the time it’s pretty harmless. Just a bunch of people excited to look at each others’ cars and take amazing photos of their vehicles with an unparalleled backdrop. But this weekend there seemed to just be more around AND we made the stupid decision of walking down RAMP to get home which was a mistake that our ear drums took a long time to recover from.

So, it turns out that this is what happened per APD’s Facebook page:


May 26, 2023

It only takes one person

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:00 am

to ban a poem from a Florida school district because it made some parent uncomfortable. What was all that again about both sides trying to control what happened around schools across the US? That local analysis aged like milk.

May 25, 2023

Does it advance the plot

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:16 am

Other other day #2 son was a bit later coming home from school (he’s a Freshman at Encinal) and relayed to us that he had been asked by one of the teachers who oversees the tutoring program if he would help an ELD student to understand Romeo and Juliet. I did know that he was actively engaged Romeo and Juliet because one of assignments was to memorize the opening sonnet. I told him he should just set it to the tune of Will Power from Something Rotten since it has iambic pentameter set to music (which is always easier to memorize than just straight lines). But I digress. Anyway, he mentioned that even though this student is not a native English speaker they were also enrolled in a regular English class. Romeo and Juliet is complicated enough for native English speakers and readers so it just feels as though some of our students across the district are not being set up for success.

But across the district we can see that schools with lower numbers of economically disadvantaged students have higher test scores which either means that (1) the schools are doing better at educating economically disadvantaged kids or (2) the lower number of students needing intervention means that teachers can better target struggling students. When divvying up funding folks want to believe it’s number 1 but honestly it’s almost always a factor of #2. We know where students are struggling and we know which students are struggling but when it comes budget time to distribute funds to help struggling students we still divide it equally rather than equitably across elementary school sites. We’re not setting up students at schools with the greatest need up for success.

Anyway, here are the numbers for how economically disadvantaged students doing across Alameda’s elementary schools. Unsurprisingly the schools with the lowest number of unduplicated students don’t always have enough students to show disaggregated data by grade.


May 24, 2023

It’s the same budget

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:06 am

I promised that I would share the test scores for economically disadvantaged students across the district’s elementary schools but first wanted to post these numbers that I pulled from the District’s slides from last night.

To note, these are not spreadsheets from the District, but these are their numbers. I took the numbers and rather than rolling them into one lump sum and then divvying them up by number of students I separated the unrestricted dollars including unrestricted general fund and parcel tax money from the restricted dollars. The total unrestricted is money that the district can distributed more subjectively. Restricted dollars are just that. They have to be allocated in a very specific way because of how they are allocated to the district. So when we say that we are distributing money with a lens toward equity we are, but we aren’t. We have to send Title 1 dollars (restricted) to Title 1 schools. That’s why you see only three elementary schools receiving Restricted General Fund money.

In hindsight I should probably have not rolled together LCFF Supplemental and Restricted General Fund because there is a level of subjectivity when distributing the LCFF Supplemental because even though it comes into the District based on need, it’s not strictly restricted like, well, Restricted GF. Because if you look at how, say LCFF Supplemental money is allocated to Maya Lin which has the highest unduplicated population of the non Title 1 schools, they’re only receiving $774 per unduplicated student. Compared to that Edison with 22% unduplicated students is receiving $1310 per unduplicated student.

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