Blogging Bayport Alameda

August 3, 2021

Pride goeth…

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

Tell me you haven’t paid attention to Alameda politics without telling me you haven’t paid attention to Alameda politics…

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August 2, 2021

Corporate rabbit hole

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

Just in case you’ve been watching a lot of AD18 candidate forums and have been wondering what defines a “corporate democrat” here it is. Well, “here it is” at least when wielded by a politician who claims to not be a politician but manages to duck out of answering nearly every question asked of her using the one simple trick of announcing “corporate democrat” to punctuate her inability to articulate any meaningful policy.

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July 30, 2021

Not understanding the assignment

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

Look I was largely going to stay out of the whole AD18 run off because honestly it’s not at the top of my radar of things to care deeply about. However after watching the Asian Pacific American Democratic Club Caucus forum I was honestly surprised about the endorsement vote from the local Alameda Democratic Club for Janani Ramachandran because, reader, the answers provided were not great from Janani R.

First she barely answered a question. Sure she would talk after a question was asked but expecting it to be a direct answer was an exercise in futility which is why it’s funny that she claims to not be a politician because she certainly dodges questions as well as any battle tested politician. The first big red flag was when she talked about how Project Roomkey/Homekey were not successful because they were “too expensive.” That was when my eyebrows raised the first time. For those that aren’t aware of those programs here are a few articles. What the program demonstrated was that, with enough funding and the need for sanitary units to quarantine folks during an unprecedented pandemic, we can make something like Housing First happen which is a step toward ending homelessness, but I digress. Most of the Project Roomkey/Homekey units come online quickly and way lower than a typical affordable housing project let alone one that provides supportive services. I’ve written about Alameda’s own costs per units which have topped out at nearly $1 million/unit. To be so blithely dismissive of a program which housed an extraordinary number of people in an extraordinary short amount of time speaks to a lack of understanding about the depth of the issues of homelessness.

But in the same question when she complained about the size of the program, the cost of the program, and the misspending of the program and you could have closed your eyes and sworn she was some Republican grinding an ax about government spending she then said we need a wealth tax to fund more housing. Which was par for someone not having any real solutions but only able to complain about what other people have tried to accomplish.

But look, I already live tweeted two forums because I thought she did worse at the APA Caucus that at the Alameda Demo Club one which is why she was able to secure the nomination so I watched that one to see if the APA Caucus one was simply an off day. Turns out, no. She didn’t do better. I’m not 100% sure if the vote was FOR her or AGAINST Mia Bonta but suffice it to say one would only think Janani R. did well if you think that calling someone a “corporate democrat” as a rebuttal to every statement is compelling and amazing.

I’m not that basic.

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July 29, 2021

On topic

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

At Monday’s Planning Board there was a little design review item for the Wellness Center. Naturally opponents to the Wellness Center had thoughts on this topic. What was fun was the absolute boss move by outgoing Planning Board president Alan Teague to let speakers know in advance that he would not be entertaining comments that went outside of the scope of the agenda item and that he would be moving on to the next speaker if folks weren’t able to follow basic rules.

Reader, as you can guess, people were not able to follow basic rules. You might be asking why the PB president knew that some Alamedans would be unable to actually stay on topic? Well you need not look any farther than the public correspondence on the issue which was a veritable kitchen sink of correspondence which was largely a waste of time for these volunteer members of this board who were forced to read through all of OGC member Carmen Reid’s documents, again because she wanted to submit them again. Then she must have worked some other group into a frenzy to try to request that the building should not be demolished because those letters were in the packet too even though that issue had already been settled at the City Council level.

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July 28, 2021

This vax was made for you and me

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

Yesterday anyone with students at AUSD probably received an email about some of the COVID protocols for return to school in August. Specifically:

What follows are some key components of our opening, aligned with the most recent guidance, that I can make you aware of today relative to the opening of schools.

  • Masks will be required indoors for all students -regardless of vaccination status- in AUSD schools 
  • Masks will be optional outdoors in all AUSD schools 
  • Adults in K-12 school settings will initially be required to wear masks when sharing indoor spaces with students regardless of their vaccination status 
  • State and county public health will continue to assess masking requirements and recommendations, and will update or extend guidance on masking in schools no later than November 1

Now, what also happened yesterday is that we learned the the California State University system has followed the University of California system and is now going to require that all students, faculty, and staff have a Covid-19 vaccination before the start of the school year. CSU joins about 607 other universities and colleges across the US which have adopted vaccine requirements:

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July 27, 2021

Let them dodge cars

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

On Sunday Pulse Point registered this collision at Versailles and Otis:

I don’t know the details other than it was some sort of crash involving a vehicle. This location is notable because it used to be the starting point of a Slow Street during the height of the pandemic last year until the entrance to the Slow Street was moved a few blocks away from Otis. Turns out the Slow Street was moved at the insistence of one City Council member: Trish Spencer.

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July 26, 2021

Is it safe

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

On the Planning Board’s agenda tonight is a review of the draft Vision Zero action plan. The goal? Make the city safe enough so people stop dying or being injured on Alameda streets.

What is good about the plan, other than being brought into existence and — hopefully — its actions actually implemented, is the baseline information that it presented about traffic safety in general. Highlights:

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July 23, 2021

Room for rooms

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

During the RFP process in 2018 we got a glimpse at how much it would cost to just make the Carnegie Library building useable. In 2001 the City dumped $3 million to seismically upgrade the building, test for leaks and give the old building a new roof. Even with that work completed the cost for new electrical systems, heating, disability access and other assorted work is estimated to be around $6.6 million for the more expensive alternative when the City released its Planning Report in 2007. I don’t know how much improvements above and beyond what was slated to put in a fully functional planning and building department would be to add private rooms and common space.

For context Alameda will be receiving $28.6 million in ARPA funding and the estimated cost to purchase and renovate the Marina Village Inn is around $20 million.

But since I do not work for the City and do not need to figure out how to fund this other than suggesting that these one time ARPA funds would go a long way toward rehabilitating this long dormant historic building and providing a much needed resource in our community. But for those who may think that the building can’t possibly hold that many folks, it’s a lot bigger than it looks on the outside.

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July 22, 2021

I’m here to remind you

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

That the Carnegie Library sits vacant and unused and Alameda has an opportunity to use once in a lifetime funding to do what the private sector has been unable to do: rehabilitate and put the building to use.

I’m pretty sure I’ve written about the nearly perfect placement of the Carnegie Library to services, retail, and transit which would make it ideal to providing much needed accommodations for our unhoused population.

And before you say that Carnegie libraries shouldn’t be used for residential purposes I’ll stop you right there and point to a library in Scotland which was converted into “social housing.”

This building is a lot bigger than Alameda’s Carnegie but it just shows that if a city is willing, the work can be done.

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July 21, 2021

Old college try

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

NIMBYs rejoice, Alameda’s application opposing its RHNA has been duly filed with ABAG and its now in their hands to determine the fate of Alameda’s RHNA. But no fear, Alameda is in good company with all the other high resource communities in the Bay Area who believe themselves to be so special that they deserve special dispensation.

Alameda’s own Zac Bowling put together this handy cheat sheet of which communities in the Bay Area have filed appeals and even though Alameda asked for a 50% reduction (aka Tony Daysog’s splitting the difference) we’re not the worst culprit asking for the highest percentage reduction. That honor goes to the City of Sausalito which is asking for an 83% reduction. Danville runs second asking for a 73% reduction.

Our first listed constraint is — what else — A/26. From the letter:

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