Blogging Bayport Alameda

May 1, 2014

Are you being served?

I wrote a follow up comment about the Alameda Architectural Preservation Society’s case against the City of Alameda, School District and Housing Authority yesterday, but wanted to make sure that everyone saw it.   So I did ask both the City of Alameda and School District for a copy of the complaint, but no one had it.  Weird right given that the agenda item was clearly there on the School District’s closed session agenda.

Turns out as of Tuesday night the case had been filed with the court, but not yet served to the parties.

But here it is on the (now crappy pay site) Domain Web:


But on Wednesday afternoon the best City Clerk in the whole wide world sent me a copy of the papers that had finally been served on the City of Alameda.  Here’s the nutmeat of the writ:

Screen Shot 2014-04-30 at 2.03.51 PM


And so, AAPS is asking that the whole transfer be set aside until the City complies with CEQA, which means that they want a full EIR or something instead of whatever was done that indicated that the deal was exempt.   It sounds like, based on reading through this, AAPS is worried that because the School District has that new 20 acre parcel on Alameda Point which has some historic buildings on it that they are exempt from the City’s Historic Preservation Ordinance which means that they could possibly just bulldoze down the whole thing and no one could do anything!  Except we know based on the whole Historic Alameda High School thing that that couldn’t possibly be the reality, but kitchen sink approach and all.   Would the School District be any worse of stewards than the City of Alameda?  I doubt it, but there you go.

In other legally type news after someone asked whatever happened to the former City Attorney Teresa Highsmith’s case (answer: nothing happened it kinda just quietly died I think).  But the search back for information led me to a website in Sierra Madre or wherever she has been appointed to via her job with Michael Colantuono (remember the law firm she hired to investigate City Councilmember Lena Tam).

So recall that the firm Colantuono was a partner with was called Colantuono and Levin, named for him and another partner Sandi Levin.  Someone on the Sierra Madre site commented that the firm recently had been renamed to Colantuono, Highsmith & Whatley.   And sure enough, that was correct, from the website:

“I’m pleased to have both Terri and Holly as my fellow shareholders. This reflects their significant contributions to the practice of municipal law and our firm,” said managing shareholder Michael G. Colantuono.

A lesson for all future City Attorneys out there, make sure that you direct enough of your City’s legal contracts to an agency so that when you decide to leave your government job you too can become a partner at that law firm.  Congratulations to former Alameda City Attorney Terri Highsmith in her awesome new role.


  1. “Would the School District be any worse of stewards than the City of Alameda?” YES. Remember the lovely Fence erected around Historic AHS? Look for one around the BOQ soon. And I hear the BOQ has some lovely lewd murals on the interior walls which have yet to be featured in a color spread on any Alameda historical website.

    Jack Richard: Lewd is kinda your area of expertise. Will the murals be sanitized by painting them over, so the kiddies won’t see them, or has that already happened? Anyone else?

    Comment by vigi — May 1, 2014 @ 10:14 am

  2. When I was in there years ago…it is like a bunch of dorm rooms…with some common areas…by the time you tear out cement walls, re-plum the whole place, redo the electrical….put in new windows…heating…it would be cheaper to rebuild the place…the only thing historical is the birds in front….other wise it is basically a dorm…who would want to live in a 12′ by 15′ foot room. I don’t remember but I believe they had shared bathrooms. But to be honest would you live there. Maybe okay for the VA hospital….but it is cheaper for them to build a new building. People think it is historic just because it has been here for awhile…but Lucky’s has been here for like 25 years…is it historic? It is 3 rectangle buildings with no real design…it is pretty much a dorm…the nice thing about it is the lawn…but with all the open spaces they want on the base…and belt line project where is the money? When they built Ruby Bridges…they moved all the kids from Woodstock, Longfellow and the one on the Coast Guard base…and Ruby Bridges was going to be able to handle all the kids including Bayport but all those sights are open still…where is the money? Just don’t ask me for another parcel tax.

    Comment by Joseph — May 1, 2014 @ 12:04 pm

  3. Oh, they’re planning to, though. A whopper.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — May 1, 2014 @ 1:13 pm

  4. Congratulations are indeed due to Terri Highsmith, now of Colantuono, Highsmith & Whatley.

    Comment by Stephen — May 8, 2014 @ 11:39 am

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