Blogging Bayport Alameda

March 22, 2019

Everyone says that all the time

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

One of the arguments against the Wellness and Respite Center is the insistence that, while the speaker(s) are not against the project in general, it simply does not belong “here.”  The “here” in this case is on McKay Avenue.  Instead, these speakers suggest, it should go on the base aka Alameda Point.

As referenced by the wise beyond his/her years high school student at the climate action strike the other day “everyone says that everywhere.” And, in Alameda’s case, it should be modified to “everyone says that all the time.”

For those that are too new to Alameda to remember or have simply forgotten the placement of Alameda Point Collaborative and other homeless services providers at Alameda Point was not something that everyone widely agreed was a good thing, even when Alameda Point was largely vacant and barely any of the land was spoken for.

In fact, I wasn’t around when the debate first occurred, but I was around for the infamous video to be released during the 2006 City Council campaign to understand what sort of opposition was faced by APC and others.

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March 21, 2019

Everyone except some people

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

The Friends of Crab Cove (FOCC)– who are apparently still using the name “Crab Cove” even after the East Bay Regional Park District asked them not — released a video the other day which is supposed to be an appeal to protecting Crab Cove from wretched crowds of homeless people, but just comes off as pretty amateurish.

I’m fairly sure that anyone who watched it either (a) already buys into the narrative of Measure B protecting Crab Cove for the children or (b) hate watched it to better understand who supports Measure B.  I fell into category b, clearly.

The beginning starts of benignly asking people to talk about what they love about Crab Cove and, of course, nothing that they list will be taken away or compromised with the addition of the Wellness and Respite Center.

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March 20, 2019

Form based and not functioning

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

For all the late breaking news at the City Council always check #alamtg.   Click through to see what the happened with the discussion last night on the appeal by Unite Here.

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March 19, 2019

Still can’t get it right

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

A few things on tonight’s City Council agenda, first the cannabis item has been continued to another meeting because somehow we’re still royally messing this one up.

Screen Shot 2019-03-18 at 4.41.14 PM

In the closed session looks like local rent ordinance guru, Jeff Cambra, may be suing the City of Alameda.

The contract for the new City Attorney is up for a vote, I think it should clear okay otherwise the city wouldn’t have put out a press release announcing the City Council had selected a City Attorney.

Unite Here has filed an appeal to the decision by the Planning Board to approve the Holiday Inn Express on Park Street.  This, by the way, is one of those appeals filed to bring the owners to the bargaining table rather than actually having anything to do with this group caring about the actual issue they are bringing up.  These are the worst sorts of appeals.

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March 18, 2019

“Everyone says that everywhere”

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

If you’re on twitter and have not followed Diego Aguilar Canabal of the Bay City Beacon, you should.  He doesn’t exclusively write about Alameda, but when he does, it’s a doozy and it’s great.

On Friday, Alameda’s high school students organized — on their own — a walk out to bring attention to the issue of climate change.  It was part of a nation wide effort, but the local one was organized by the students themselves.  But there’s a twist, as there always is, and the climate change rally had one small part in the Measure A and B debate.

The tweets:

 

 

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March 15, 2019

Hot mic

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

Wow, I guess I did not expect the level of hostility that happened during the Planning Board meeting with regard to the Webster Street Cannabis dispensary permit application.

Remember, these are all appointees of Trish Spencer who was one of the biggest cheerleaders on the City Council for cannabis.  In her desire to appoint slow growth members to the Planning Board, the unintended happened as well: a more conservative Planning Board.

The biggest problem that the Planning Board seemed to have with the application was (1) the proximity to the youth serving establishments, (2) lack of parking, and (3) the consumption lounge on site.

The lack of parking, I thought, was actually a benefit for the site, but as they were talking a point about the deliveries and possible double parking on the street was a concern.  A neighbor pointed out that the Little Caesars across the street is really terrible about people double parking to pick up pizza there, it actually might be good for the dispensary to have a dedicated loading zone of some sort to avoid those issues.

The proximity to youth, well, given that the City Council already adjudicated that issue, it is not an issue that the Planning Board really has any ability to consider.

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March 14, 2019

Represented by counsel

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

On Tuesday afternoon the City quietly released a Press Release announcing Alameda’s new City Attorney.  In addition to getting a new City Manager with our new City Council we also get a new City Attorney.  From the press release:

“The City Council and I are delighted to announce our unanimous selection of Yibin Shen to be City Attorney for the City of Alameda, effective May 13, 2019. Mr. Shen, who is currently Chief Deputy City Attorney for the City of Santa Monica, brings a wealth of valuable legal experience to our City Attorney’s Office. I am confident he will be a great asset to our City,” stated Alameda Mayor Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft.

In his role as Chief Deputy City Attorney for the City of Santa Monica, Mr. Shen oversees the Code Enforcement and Municipal Divisions, supervises ten attorneys and five support staff, leads the City’s regulatory prosecutorial efforts, and provides legal advice on a wide range of topics, including First Amendment, tenant protections, law enforcement, homelessness, land use, environmental protection, sustainability, conflicts, and the Brown Act. Prior to working for the City of Santa Monica, Mr. Shen worked in private practice.

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March 13, 2019

It’s your fault

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

First off, let me just say that the whole of Bay Farm when it comes to road design is just terrible. It is the worst. Ridiculously wide streets for no apparent reason other than to encourage people to speed.

The protected bike lanes next to the sidewalks are in such shabby condition it’s actually a  deterrent to using the elevated bike path because it’s equivalent to riding over a ton of baby speed bumps.

I passed by this collision yesterday morning and indeed the driver did appear distraught, but this take from the Alameda Police Department is just…heavy sigh.

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March 12, 2019

Never there

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

This weekend the City Council will be meeting for its priority setting meeting.  Essentially it’s where the City Council sits around to determine what topics are important to tackle within the near future and which can wait a bit longer.  This is one of the many thankless tasks undertaken by members of the City Council.

But, and I don’t mean to be not thankful, but it’s sort of weird that there is nothing listed on the agenda that will be on deck for discussion.

Based on chatter at the City Council meeting itself there was some mention that each City Council member would be contacted by the facilitator to get a list of topics they would like to tackle.  But even that list isn’t on the agenda which would sort of make sense as a starting point for discussion even if it’s “yeah, I don’t think we should talk about that one any time soon.”

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March 11, 2019

Smoke gets in your nose

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

As mentioned in a comment last week, the Planning Board does have before it a use permit for a cannabis dispensary on Webster Street before the City Council handles it business resolving the actual cannabis dispensary ordinance.

This is the permit that is right around the corner from Tony Daysog’s house so if this does get to the City Council he will need to recuse himself on this particular vote.

Anyway, I guess this application will move forward, regardless of the status of the City’s ordinance because of the State law, I really don’t know and the staff report doesn’t really say.  What the staff report does have is a peek inside the plans for the building for folks who do not intend to ever set foot in the dispensary.

Just for background the building used to be a bank so there were two sets of plans in the packet, one of the bank layout and the conversion to the dispensary:

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