Blogging Bayport Alameda

October 21, 2021

Towhouse cookies

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

And this is when journalism is at its best:

For those that may not have been following along, in Alameda PPI was being used at Summerhouse Apartments.

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October 20, 2021

What a waste

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

Looks like the final numbers are in from the gubernatorial recall election and, as we all suspected, this was a tremendous waste of everyone’s time and money:

Thanks Republicans.

October 19, 2021

Fast and the furious

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:09 am

So if you’ve lived anywhere on the West End or near any arterial street in Alameda you’ve probably had the pleasure of hearing all of the cars either doing some tricks at Alameda Point involving wearing down their tires or just deciding to rev their engines really loudly and obnoxiously. Based on a Council Referral the City Council will be weighing options to make Alameda Point a wee less attractive to these ad hoc car demonstrations. From the staff report:

Alameda Point is an attractive location for car shows and other large gatherings due to large open areas.  However, these events present numerous public safety challenges for law enforcement.  Large scale events can often include hundreds of vehicles, large crowds of spectators, unsafe driving on public streets, excessive noise and trash, property damage, and negative impacts to adjacent businesses.  Public complaints relate to speeding on residential streets, noise (squealing tires and loud engine/exhaust), near misses of pedestrians, cyclists and other cars, and an increase in climate emissions.  Vehicles participating in reckless driving behavior are particularly concerning as these dangerous acts can cause harm to the driver, present significant danger to pedestrian spectators, and cause damage to surrounding structures.  Dealing with large crowds also has an inherent risk to first responders.  Adding vehicles that are driving dangerously in the presence of pedestrians only intensifies that risk.

The traffic congestion caused by large events can sometimes back up traffic on surface streets for over half a mile.  The traffic congestion also impacts the surrounding businesses, making it difficult for customers to reach the businesses and challenging to park.

From January 1, 2021, through September 20, 2021, the Police Department has received 428 reckless driving calls for service throughout the City of Alameda (City).  Of those 428 calls for service, 109 were generated from Alameda Point.  The Monarch Street area accounts for 50 of those 109 calls for service.  In addition, the Police Department has sent multiple reckless driving crime reports to the City Prosecutor’s Office for charging since January of 2021.  Multiple cases have subsequently been charged by City Prosecutors while others are pending review.

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October 18, 2021

Closing the time gap

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:08 am

The City Council will be considering a proposal to extend the hours at the Alameda Point Day Center to provide Alameda homeless population with 24 hours of services between the day center itself and the safe parking program.

From the staff report:

Staff is recommending that the City Council authorize the City Manager to execute an agreement in the amount of $137,194 with The Village of Love to extend the open hours of the Day Center to support individuals experiencing homelessness in Alameda. The center is currently open Monday-Friday from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. If approved, this funding would allow the center to be open the following additional hours: Monday-Friday 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm and Saturday-Sunday 9:00 am – 8:00 pm starting October 25, 2021.  The extended hours would increase access to safe, comfortable indoor spaces with connections with services. Extended hours would also be more compatible with the Safe Parking program, allowing participants to have a safe place to reside 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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October 15, 2021

The longest walk

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:05 am

One fun thing that NIMBYs like to bring up when there’s any discussion about building is around evacuating in the case of a natural disaster. When you point out that, in the case of an earthquake, we’ll probably need to shelter in place they try to find the next possible natural disaster to distract with — even if it’s a once in a lifetime tsunami.

While California does seem to be preparing for the worst case scenario, they want to remind you that to get levels of inundation as drawn in these maps, there would need to be 9.2 earthquake in Alaska which would give Bay Area residents something like five hours to evacuate to higher ground.

So yes, while Alameda will be nearly completely flooded in the case of the once in a millennia tsunami, looks like there’s some high ground in the middle of Alameda where a large portion of people can wait it out. Bay Farm folks should probably head to San Leandro. You can zoom in here if you wanna make sure your address is safe. Mine is not but I have five hours to cross somewhere into Oakland or mid Alameda. Even if I have to go by foot I think five hours is sufficient.

October 14, 2021

You’ve been busy Alameda

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:04 am

I periodically check in on the new PRA tracking site but, honestly, haven’t been for a long time because many of the requests were sort of boring and looking specifically geared to very individual issues. But yesterday former OGC Commissioner Rasheed Shabazz tweeted this:

Which means someone has been busy using the PRA system for their own personal “research.” Don’t get me wrong, I think I might have done a request like this in the past but it was more like “hey, can I get a copy of whatever this person PRAed?”

So I wanted to see what other strange requests, or super specific requests which seem awfully targeted, might have flown through the PRA system.

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October 13, 2021

Bending toward justice

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:03 am

Last night the School Board dispensed with the business of filling Mia Bonta’s vacated seat in very short time. I mean, it was short after the super long question and answer period which went seven rounds and, honestly, because of the strength of the candidates and the alignment of the candidates on nearly all of the issues that came up during the Q & A session the answers ended up sounding pretty much the same.

There was one super interesting question about math in AUSD and was answered by, I believe, the former Lincoln Middle School teacher applicant but I was only listening to the feed and not actively watching so I could be mistaken. If you didn’t know AUSD has real problems with math in the Algebra and beyond state. I could write reams about this which I may eventually end up doing. But that was the premise of the question. The answer, which I found interesting, discussed what the Oakland Unified School District is doing around math which includes a complete reorientation of how math is broken up from Algebra and beyond to really help demonstrate mastery of the subject by, I think the term was “looping” it was some sort of circle reference, so that students were touching on the same subjects over and over with increasing difficulty and rigor year after year. There was an abandonment of the traditional trajectory of Algebra, Geometry, Pre-Calc, Calculus and instead it was all just varying difficulties of math. It was definitely an interesting way of engineering math for mastery rather than just plowing students through math and having the majority of them hate the experience.

But I digress.

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October 12, 2021

Circle time

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:02 am

Looks like Chochenyo Park will finally be getting its little play area after much debate and people actually opposing having a playground here. The final approval for this more natural play space will be on deck at the Rec and Park commission on Thursday:

It will be located here:

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October 11, 2021

To infinity and beyond

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

Only one major item on the Planning Board’s agenda tonight which should mean a reasonable ending time for this body and that is a conditional use permit for the expansion of Astra Space which is pretty exciting. From the staff report:

On December 8, 2016, the City signed a short term lease with Astra to establish their headquarters and research, develop and build prototypes of their small-scale rocket system and test engines inside Building 397.  At the time, Astra Space, Inc. had only been incorporated for less than a year.

On June 13, 2017, the Zoning Administrator approved a use permit for outdoor tanks and outdoor material storage at Building 397 (PLN17-0276).

In 2018, Astra started testing rocket engines inside Building 397.  On Dec. 31, 2018, the City of Alameda signed a lease with Astra to expand their operations into the southernmost portion of Building 360 (1900 Skyhawk Street).

By July 2019, Astra completed a partial Tenant Improvement of Building 360, with approximately 71,000 square feet of headquarters and manufacturing workspace in Alameda.  All headquarters and office functions were moved from Building 397 into Building 360 at that time.  Building 397 is now used for engine testing operations only.

In July 2021, Astra Space started trading on the NASDAQ as the first public launch company. As of September 2021 Astra employed 255 people at the Alameda site.  Twenty three percent (23%) of the employees live in Alameda, 18% in San Francisco, and 14% in Oakland.  Forty three percent of the employees are people of color and 20% are women. Astra’s workforce includes not just engineering and technology roles, but also skilled labor roles including machining, welding, and other vital manufacturing roles.

On July 22, 2021 Astra submitted an application for a Conditional Use Permit to expand their operations to include and rehabilitate Building 372 for additional indoor engine testing capability, and expand their current headquarters and production space into the remainder of Building 360 (approximately 110,000 square feet).

In 2022, Astra expects to start launching rockets (in Alaska) with 19 kg payloads for NASA while developing a rocket that will carry 100 kg payloads.  By 2025, Astra hopes to be able to deliver 300 kg payloads as well as a ‘Space Bus’ to deliver multiple satellites into space.

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October 8, 2021

Pick your fighter

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:08 am

On Wednesday evening the list went up on the School District’s website of who will be vying for the Mia Bonta’s vacated School Board seat. The names:

1.     Stephanie Chenard

2.     Ardella Dailey

3.     Katie de Vries

4.     Marisa Johnson

5.     Ryan LaLonde

6.     Diane Lang

7.     Jen Nguyen

As a reminder, the selected individual will need to run for election in 2022 as they will be serving out the remainder of Mia Bonta’s term.

Unlike in past appointments there will be no pick three to move on or even any sort of ranked choice voting it will rely on someone on the Board to make a motion, secure a second and a straight yes or no vote. From the staff report:

  • Candidates will give a three-minute opening statement (names will be drawn randomly to determine the order).
  • Each of the four seated Board of Education members and three student Board Members will have an opportunity to interview each candidate for three minutes.
  • At the close of the final round of questions, the Board President will entertain motions from the Board to appoint a candidate.
  • Once that motion is seconded, the Board will discuss and then vote on the candidate.
  • If there is no second, that candidate will not be considered.
  • In the event that a majority of the Board does not approve any candidate, Board members will be able to move to reconsider a previous motion for a candidate.
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