Blogging Bayport Alameda

April 22, 2021

Puts on the film of him

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

Tuesday evening the Police Department released a more detailed summary of the incident which led to the death of a human being in Alameda. You can read it at the link above but I’ll note that some Alamedans took great issue with the term “scuffle” being used in the press release. While better than the first press release that went out, the press release still leaves a lot of unanswered questions which, given recent events, feels untenable to a large swath of Alameda and rightly so.

Here’s the important bit for transparency hawks though:

The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office is conducting the primary criminal investigation into this incident. The Alameda County Chief of Police and Sheriffs Association has a policy that persons who die while in custody or under an officer’s control constitute a critical incident. In response to this policy, the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office was notified and sent personnel to conduct a separate, parallel investigation. 

The City will also contract with an outside investigator to conduct an administrative investigation into this incident. Three officers involved in the incident with Mr. Gonzalez have been placed on paid administrative leave, per the Department’s standard procedure in these types of cases. 

Video from the officers’ Body Worn Cameras (BWC) have been turned over to investigators from the Sheriff’s Office and District Attorney. The Alameda Police Department will coordinate releasing BWC video to the public with the investigating agencies, which must interview all involved parties prior to release. We anticipate releasing the video after interviews are completed which is anticipated to be by the end of next week. 

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April 21, 2021

Need to know

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

If there was a week that the Alameda Police Department wishes they were still on their “social media ban” I would imagine it would be this week and it was a pretty marginal community communication at that and APD is getting positively hammered about this framing and the lack of transparency from these public servants.

This messaging from APD is particularly unacceptable in the wake of the Derek Chauvin ruling and how the murder of George Floyd was first framed before cell phone video was released.

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April 20, 2021

Hard passthrough

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

I hate to be the one that says “…but mom n’ pop landlords,” but I’m actually going to say that today.

Why am I bringing this up? Well tonight the City Council will be voting on the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) for the rent stabilization ordinance and apparently the tenant stakeholder group is unhappy about this. There’s a long background for reference here but the long and the short of it is that this CIP needs to happen because the option of holding increases to only a percentage of CPI isn’t going to fund putting a roof on a building.

The thing is, if there’s not an easy way for mom n’ pop landlords to fund a new roof they’re going to sell the unit because it’s easier than trying to figure out how to navigate the CIP pass-through or through the fair rate of return petition process. Anyone who will be buying a unit at existing market value will not be interested in keeping the rent exactly the same and the tenant in place. They’re more likely going to want to move in to the unit which will remove a unit from the already stressed rental market.

Already the bar is pretty high to get a CIP, a landlord would have to have significant improvements which exceed $25,000 for the project.

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April 19, 2021

It’s a little too late

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

Leave it to Tony Daysog to have a Council Referral that both does nothing but also manages to strongly telegraph his xenophobia when it comes to folks from outside Alameda. On Tuesday’s agenda Tony Daysog wants the City Council to: Consider Directing Staff to Provide COVID-19 Updates and Increase Outreach. Except for the fact that the Mayor is constantly providing COVID-19 updates which means that he’s probably playing Minesweeper during those times.

But it’s the “Increase Outreach” part which is the weird part, particularly in light of (1) California/Bay Area/Alameda County/Alameda’s robust vaccination efforts, (2) Governor Newsom signaling a full economic reopening in June, and (3) Alameda County’s overall COVID-19 numbers and status in the orange tier. This is what he’s seeking:

3.  Direct City Manager to step-up outreach even more (above typical daily\weekly\monthly outreach levels) during the month of May, especially in the weeks and days leading-up to the Memorial Day weekend, in an effort to (a) stave-off much-discussed “fourth wave”, and (b) assist national efforts toward meeting President Biden’s July 4th “small gatherings” Covid-19 goal.

A.   City Manager prepare summary of heightened outreach efforts targeting:

i. Park Street and Webster Street commercial areas

ii. Neighborhood parks

iii. Other community gathering areas

4. Transmit letter encouraging East Bay Regional Park to step-up outreach at Robert Crown Memorial Beach even more (above typical EBRP daily\weekly\monthly outreach levels)  during the month of May, especially in the weeks and days leading-up to the Memorial Day weekend, in an effort to (a) stave-off much-discussed “fourth wave”, and (b) assist national efforts toward meeting President Biden’s July 4th “small gatherings” Covid-19 goal.

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April 16, 2021

A lie can travel halfway around the world

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

Earlier this week I somehow got sucked into a Facebook rabbit hole debate about the Alameda Police Department and the never ending falsehood about there being a “hiring freeze.” What was amazing about that debate was that other people on the thread tried valiantly to provide actual proof that there was never a hiring freeze but the folks who were pushing that line of conversation never needed anything beyond a “well that’s what I think” or “my sources told me” to double or triple down on their bad information.

And folks, how is that any different that all the misinformation we and our family members are all confronted with on Facebook in general? The slow death of local news sources has left a huge information hole and unfortunately it’s being filled with misinformation and people’s gut feeling. So I realized what folks fighting the good fight and providing actual data and video proof are missing from their Facebook fights: quotes on decorative backgrounds.

Some folks will believe anything as long as it’s on top of a landscape scene or in decorative fonts.

So, with that, here are some helpful Facebook images for future debates about APD and hiring:

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April 15, 2021

Crowded room, friends with tired eyes

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

East Bay Citizen with the list of confirmed and possible candidates in the run off to fill Assemblymember Rob Bonta’s seat:

James Aguilar, San Leandro USD trustee
Victor Aguilar, San Leandro councilmember
Mia Bonta, Alameda USD trustee
Janani Ramachandran, attorney
Malia Vella, Alameda councilmember

Showing Interest

Rebecca Kaplan, Oakland councilmember
Sheng Thao, Oakland councilmember

So far only one candidate from Oakland (Janani Ramachandran) and two a piece for Alameda and San Leandro. I think the similar last names for the San Leandro candidates might end up being problematic for both candidates.

I have not had a chance to watch the video yet, but here’s a first look at some of the candidates from the Metropolitan Greater Oakland Democratic Club, looks like the only candidate who showed up for the forum were Malia Vella and Janani Ramachandran, Victor Aguilar sent a proxy. Both James Aguilar and Mia Bonta sent pre-recorded messages.

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April 14, 2021

Do you really want to hurt me

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

I didn’t realize how much news had broke last week that I forgot to talk about this issue:

Essentially what had happened was that a few students at Alameda High School had posted in private messages photos of themselves giving a Nazi salute (three separate students) and using the soft r n-word. The soft r n-word post was accompanied by two male students thumbs-downing a “We Believe” sign.

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April 13, 2021

“…equality feels like oppression”

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

In the case of Alameda and re-opening of schools swap out “equality” for “equity” and you pretty much have it. Last Tuesday in the case of the dueling meetings, I didn’t get a chance to talk about what happened at the School Board meeting. The School Board voted to not work on expanding the in-person schedule and instead concentrate staff efforts on the fall re-opening. Because it’s essentially the same set of staff people working on both efforts and the more they are bogged down with shuffling kids around this year, the less time they have to figure out a comprehensive re-opening effort for the fall which is looking really bright given the news about the Pfizer vaccine on the cusp of approval for kids 12 – 15 which would pretty much cover middle through high schools.

As you can imagine the public comment leading up to the decision was highly overwrought and included this gem which I still can’t stop thinking about:

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April 12, 2021

Shots!

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

Nothing for today other than to point out that today is the 15th anniversary of this blog.

I know right?

Also if you haven’t gotten your vaccine yet it looks like everyone 16 and older are now eligible so hurry and schedule those vaccines let’s get these numbers even higher!

April 9, 2021

Exclusionary and harmful

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

It’s something that, I think, I mentioned either here or on twitter but the recent release of Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan includes some money for housing. And not just any housing but housing policy that targets the inequities which have been built into our system for decades. And not just anything that has nothing to do with Alameda but a piece of policy that Alameda voted to uphold only last year that this President is full throated saying is a major problem: exclusionary housing.

Here’s the bit:

Eliminate exclusionary zoning and harmful land use policies. For decades, exclusionary zoning laws — like minimum lot sizes, mandatory parking requirements, and prohibitions on multifamily housing — have inflated housing and construction costs and locked families out of areas with more opportunities. President Biden is calling on Congress to enact an innovative, new competitive grant program that awards flexible and attractive funding to jurisdictions that take concrete steps to eliminate such needless barriers to producing affordable housing.

Eliminate exclusionary zoning and harmful land use policies. Exclusionary and harmful land use policies. And what are exclusionary zoning and harmful land use policies? According to Joe Biden: minimum lot sizes (hello charter amendment 26-3!) and prohibitions on multifamily housing (good day charter amendment 26-1).

I mean, we all told you that A/26 is terrible but now you’re hearing it from the president too. I’m not sure how much that moves the needle for the “neighborhood character” crowd but it’s nice to get the affirmation.

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