Blogging Bayport Alameda

October 22, 2018

Leaks everywhere

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

Before we dive right into the specifics of the DA’s report around the whole Jill Keimach recording people without their permission thing.  Let’s talk a little bit about documents being leaked.   This is particularly relevant because of the Alameda Sun piece that seemed to think that the East Bay Express article about Trish Spencer’s two $50 checks was some how illegitimate because of how Steven Tavares received the information about the deposited checks.

Specifically:

According to Spencer, documents were somehow delivered to Tavares, not in the normal course of business via a Public Information Request. “There have only recently been Public Information Requests for these documents and staff has not yet responded,” she stated.

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October 19, 2018

All hat, no cattle — the op-ed version

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

A few things are very clear about Trish Spencer’s recent op-ed in the Alameda Journal.  First: it’s obvious that she believes that Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft is her toughest competition and not Frank Matarrese.   The first step of “informative” bullet points goes directly after Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft and not Frank Matarrese.   Two: it’s a bit of a word salad and some people may not read it, but for those that do and do not understand Trish Spencer’s penchant for voting “no” on EVERYTHING, it will come off as reasonable.

When you look beyond the surface and consider the bullet points — particularly the points about how she never supported revenue generating mechanisms for the City to help with infrastructure costs and other city expenses —  her next few paragraphs about the unfunded liabilities and deferred maintenance ring very hollow.  While the City has had some windfalls in money in the form of the transfer tax increase (the work of another City Council and another Mayor which Trish Spencer probably would have voted against too) and huge property exchanges in the recent past, City Staff and this Council majority has been very strategic about using those one-time windfalls to help address these very issues.

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October 18, 2018

Don’t look back in anger

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

I’m not a huge podcast listener, I realize I should be but I can’t seem to figure out the whole “how do I download this shit” thing on to my phone.  When I really need it I guess I’ll sort the whole thing out, but for the time being the only podcast that I’ve listened to recently has been Steven Tavares’s Steven Tavares is Angry podcast and mostly only when something specific to Alameda is on tap.

If you haven’t listened for the specific Alameda stuff you really should.  There are two podcasts in a row with Alameda specific stuff.  First was the episode when he talked about the Alameda Sun writing about his East Bay Express article (so meta).  The only thing that will make the whole thread better is if the Alameda Sun writes about his podcast referring to their article… It could be an endless referential loop and I’m here for it.

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October 17, 2018

No on K, litter is not OK

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:07 am

Can we talk a little bit about how many Yes on K signs are just constantly being placed on public property?  I don’t know if it’s because the Yes on K campaign just has a dedicated staff person to surreptitiously go around in the middle of the night or in the middle of the day when people are at work or school and pop these signs every where, but it feels like once one gets taken down another twenty reappear in its place.

Maybe the Yes on K campaign overbought on signs and so they want to be able to get their money’s worth out of the signs so they don’t care if they end up in the City’s storage yard.

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October 16, 2018

Support the people

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

There’s a biggish item on the City Council agenda tomorrow about cannabis, adding retail businesses, and delivery only cannabis licenses too. . Something something about the possibility of adult use if the folks who have circulated their petition for a ballot initiative is successful.

Can I just say that I am agnostic on the whole cannabis thing except the fact that the smoked variety is really quite an unpleasant scent.  Before anyone says anything about regular tobacco cigarettes, I don’t like those as well, but weed is a level of skunky that is up there with patchouli and baby vomit as my least favorite scents.  But I digress.

More interesting will be what is happening outside of the City Hall before the City Council meeting. Specifically a huge No on K rally.

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October 15, 2018

A sympathetic ear

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

Someone in a thread last week mentioned that the Alameda Sun “article” telling the “other side” in the whole check depositing mystery may show that the whole release of the issue was politically motivated.

Of course it’s politically motivated, all leaks that come out of any organization is typically politically motivated.   If staff is serially unhappy, they’re going to make it known to anyone who can make it very very public that something is going wrong in the organization.  It happens ALL the time.  I was actually surprised it didn’t happen a lot more with Trish Spencer as the Mayor because when Ann Marie Gallant was City Manager City Hall leaked like the Trump White House.

But you know what stranger than a leaking City Hall?  Is a local newspaper which feels as though its their responsibility to act as stenographer for their favorite Mayor by putting aside any pretense that its actually going to attempt any level of journalism and instead going for the access variety of it.

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October 12, 2018

I alone

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

So, I knew that City Council candidate Robert Matz was sort of a thin skinned defensive dude from his interactions all over social media over varying topics.  I’ve watched random threads on Facebook groups get hijacked by his defensiveness and dismissiveness of questions and critiques leveled his way.   I’ve read updates about his performance at different candidate forums and him not seeming to understand how the city government works at all. And I’ve watched the taped version of the Alameda Demo Club’s city council candidate forum and seen him in action.

Here’s the thing, if Robert Matz had just kept his head down and ran a low key “aww shucks” sort of campaign he may have won very easily as the not-this-dude-not-that-dude-he’s-the-only-one-left decision.  But the guy thinks he’s the smartest person in the room at all times and has zero awareness on what has been done in the City on a policy level for the past year let alone the past five to ten years.  It’s the awful “only I can fix it” sort of attitude that is toxic and dismissive of people who have been slogging away in the trenches for a long time.

Here’s some examples from live tweets of the LWV event last night.  What I enjoy about this tweeter is that she acts as more than just a stenographer and does a good job at providing context.

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October 11, 2018

Failure to report

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

It’s so funny that a newly form group that purports to be all about good governance seems unable to endorse anyone (and post the answers to their questionnaire that supposedly informed their decision on who to endorse) who claims to be about ethics and good government but appears content to bend those rules when it comes to themselves.

Also, it’s unclear why the City Council isn’t going to take up the Trish Spencer cashing those League of California Cities checks.  I realize that no one wants to be seen as capitalizing on the issue politically, but it really should be addressed in some form.

Anyway, this was a bit of old news, but EB Citizen had the information on this about a two weeks ago.  Apparently a complaint was lodged with the FPPC that Tony Daysog, who has been “grassroots” campaigning forever at the Farmers Market which is like right outside his front door but he makes it seem like he schleps down there every day from Timbuktu or something, wasn’t following the FPPC rules.

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October 10, 2018

In abstainia

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

On Monday night the Planning Board, as a whole —  in the face of fairly typical Alameda opposition — but LOTS of support as well, voted to recommend to the City Council to remove the G overlay in a 5 – 0 vote.

But, you might be thinking: wait a sec, Lauren, doesn’t the Planning Board have a lot more members than just five?  You’re right, it does.  Also, as a reminder because Trish Spencer has done her best to not follow “tradition” and renominate members up for re-appointment, there is only one member of the Planning Board who is not a Trish Spencer appointee.  So rather than violate the Alameda Municipal Code, two of the Planning Board members: Sandy Sullivan and Ronald Curtis both opted to abstain rather than cast a vote to recommend removal of the overlay.

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October 9, 2018

Stick to the basics

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

The League of Women Voters, which is one of the best groups around for quality information during election time has made recommendations on local Alameda ballot measures.

For the sales tax ballot measure, the League is staying neutral on that particular topic, but for Measure K, the League opted against neutrality and gave a definitive “No” recommendation:

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