Blogging Bayport Alameda

August 20, 2019

Slow down in town

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

Both #1 daughter and #2 son are Junior Jets now and while walking them to school yesterday  (okay, I drove but parked far away to not add to the congestion) we noticed some very questionable speeding around the school during drop off time.  #2 son asked why someone would drive like that around school.  I told him that sometimes people were more concerned about getting their kids to school quickly than being mindful about other kids.

So maybe we can all just slow down a little bit as we travel past either our kids’ schools or just any school in general since it’s other people’s babies that are crossing streets and just trying to get to school.

As a reminder, the greater the speed in which you’re traveling the harder it is to stop.


August 19, 2019

Duck walking and talking

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

It’s amazing that we’re getting reporting about Alameda from a British newspaper.  I don’t think we’ve seen this level of outrageous landlord tenant behavior since the Central Avenue apartments evictions which kicked off the rent stabilization discussion in Alameda.

This happens to be about the Dunes in Alameda which is located on Shoreline.  From the Guardian.

[T]he 87-year-old is faced with a threat that he is afraid he won’t survive: his California landlord is evicting him to bring in wealthier tenants, and he has nowhere else to go.

The landlords, who have been fighting to evict Rishin for a year, also targeted his terminally ill son, Yaroslav, who lived with him in the apartment until his death in April. The owners, whose formal reason for the eviction is “desire to lease the unit at a higher rental rate”, sent multiple termination notices and threats to the family while Yaroslav was fighting cancer and while he was in hospice care.



August 16, 2019

Fare hoping

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

It’s pretty funny in a super depressing way that the center of the tech world, the Bay Area, is so far behind other cities and other countries when it comes to public transportation and how to pay for it.

I mean, yes, it great we have the Clipper card which works on most forms of transit, but other places have made it possible to use your phone or even contactless cards to pay for transit.  Imagine that!

From the Verge:

New Yorkers can use Apple Pay to ride the Metropolitan Transportation Authority starting May 31st, the company announced today. Previously, the company’s CEO Tim Cook had said Apple Pay would begin rolling out to the MTA’s subways and buses in “early summer.”

People who want to use Apple Pay to ride the MTA will need to download the latest version of iOS (12.3) and watchOS (5.2.1), and then authenticate a credit or debit card to use with a new feature called Express Transit. After that, you won’t need to open an app or unlock your phone to use it with the MTA.

It’s part of the MTA’s public test of its new fare payment system called OMNY, which stands for “One Metro New York.” To start out, this tap-to-pay system will only be available on the 4/5/6 subway lines between Grand Central Station in Manhattan and Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center in Brooklyn, as well as the buses in Staten Island.


August 15, 2019

Smart move

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

And the full statement:

For immediate release —

Today I notified Alameda City Manager Eric Levitt that I am withdrawing my request that the City reimburse legal fees I had incurred responding to allegations made by the former city manager. I do so in the spirit of allowing me and the City to fully focus on the teamwork necessary to addressing the tough issues of school safety/security, housing affordability, homelessness and vital services for all Island families.

I want to thank the community who have so vocally supported the City and my vision over the last several years. Be assured that I will continue to champion issues of concern to Alamedans in our collective fight to ensure that core needs, values and services are protected amidst unrelenting attack by the federal government, climate change, and the effects of gentrification.

Thank you!

Councilmember Jim Oddie


August 14, 2019

I’d like to make a withdrawal

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

Hot of the public records requests:


August 13, 2019

Bringing back shop class

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

#1 daughter is participating in some sort of activity in which she helps incoming sixth graders to Encinal’s Junior Jets to understand the ins and outs of being a student on a high school campus.  Even though I am near the Encinal campus almost every day I don’t actually go past it until today.

I have to say, I’m a little concerned about the state of construction at Encinal and how it can be at all functioning for students who are starting NEXT WEEK.

Look I know everyone is super excited about how pretty the Historic Alameda High School looks, but whole wings at Encinal are missing an entire wall.  An entire wall.


August 12, 2019

The fee is too damn high

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

In no big surprise, a study commissioned by the state has confirmed that development fees increase the cost of housing.


I mean, it’s pretty obvious.  But sometimes not so obvious for your average citizen who knows little about development fees yet want to make pronouncements about what developers should pay for.

From the LA Times:

In California, local government fees on housing construction, which can be used on parks, traffic control, water and sewer connections and other services, were nearly three times the national average in 2015, according to a 2018 Terner Center report. In some cities, researchers found, fees can amount to 18% of median home prices.


August 9, 2019

National Horror Story: can someone reboot this country?

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

There’s something seriously broken here.


August 8, 2019

Charter side by side: Oakland

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

I was going to check through a bunch of neighboring Charter cities to see if anyone had language like ours regarding interference.  I started with a list and started working my way down then figured I should just start with the closest cities and work my way outward.

The City of Oakland, folks, is a charter city and they have language in their charter which covers what our section is supposed to cover but they do it much more explicitly and it’s very clear.

As a reminder, here is Alameda’s language:

Neither the Council nor any of the members thereof shall interfere with the execution by the City Manager of his or her powers and duties. Except for purposes of inquiry, the Council and its members shall deal with that portion of the administrative service for which the City Manager is responsible solely through him or her. An attempt by a Councilmember to influence the City Manager in the making of any appointment or the purchase of any materials or supplies shall subject such Councilmember to removal from office for malfeasance.


August 7, 2019

Here in my car

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

Great piece in the Guardian about homelessness and vehicle living in the Bay Area.  Because it’s easy for most of us to look at huge encampments of homeless people and scoff, but when there are faces behind those cars and tents it makes a huge difference.

And when those vehicle living children grow up to become adult policy makers, that’s when the real difference can be made.

From the piece:

“I recognized the signs,” [Vallie] Brown, now a San Francisco lawmaker, said. “When you see a van or a car with curtains up, or a towel rolled up in the window for privacy. People with their doors open, and you see a bunch of stuff in their car, or they’re airing out clothing.”

“They don’t consider themselves homeless,” she continued, adding that the line between living in a vehicle and being homeless is sometimes blurry.

All around the Bay Area, they hide in plain sight, the vehicles doubling as shelters. Some, as Brown described, are easily recognizable – an overstuffed RV with so many items strapped to the sides that the wheels appear sunken down, a van with a taped-up window, a camper so antiquated that it doesn’t seem operational. Others can pass as your neighbor’s car: a 2006 Lexus sedan in great condition, a late-model vehicle kept neat for Uber and Lyft rides.

San Francisco counted 1,794 people living out of their vehicles in 2019, a 45% increase from the last homeless count in 2017. Across the bay in Alameda county, home of Oakland, officials counted 2,817 individuals living out of vehicles – more than double the 1,259 they counted in 2017.


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