Blogging Bayport Alameda

October 5, 2015

Everywhere, USA

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda-ish, City Council, Development — Lauren Do @ 6:05 am

Just so folks don’t think it’s a strictly Alameda phenomenon of opposing development, recently the Planning Board in Berkeley approved a large downtown project that would bring 302 residential spaces to Berkeley.   That proposal met a fair amount of oppositions, but look at how the opposition and proponents were described:

Opponents cited the scale of the project, flaws in the approval process, concerns about earthquake safety and worries about the impact of construction on nearby Berkeley High School. Advocates called for more housing in Berkeley and for increased activity downtown. To a remarkable extent, the divide in opinion was generational: older commenters were opposed; younger ones approved.

“We have to stop letting the perfect be the enemy of the good and get housing built now,” said Eric Panzer, chair of Livable Berkeley. He said many opponents had secured housing in Berkeley years ago and wanted to “pull up the drawbridge.”

Also, check out some of the strong comments from the Board members:


September 24, 2015

700 years

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda Neighbors, Alameda-ish, Business — Lauren Do @ 6:04 am

Despite City Councilmember Tony Daysog declaring that there is “too much housing” some elected officials around the Bay Area would disagree with that assessment.  In Medium, San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener points to a map produced by the MTC that shows, visually, the shortfall of housing units by 2040.   From the piece:

To address the Bay Area’s housing needs, the region adopted housing goals for the 2015–2040 time period, with each city or town having a numerical target for housing production. The Bay Area as a whole needs to produce around 660,000 units between now and 2040 to keep up with population growth.

We need much stronger incentives for local communities to accept new housing, for example, establishing a stronger connection between transportation funding and housing production. The region can provide these incentives, and the State Legislature can provide even stronger incentives.

Yet, regardless of how we approach the problem, change is necessary. If we continue to make it incredibly hard, expensive, lengthy, and at times impossible to add housing, imagine what housing costs will look like with 2.1 million additional people, and imagine what our roads will look like as more and more people are forced into lengthy commutes since they simply can’t afford housing within the Bay Area.


September 16, 2015

So sue me, what can you do me

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda Neighbors, Alameda-ish, City Council, Development — Lauren Do @ 6:06 am

As posted in the comments, a great article in City Lab reports on the initiative to “Sue the Suburbs” over lack of housing construction.  Now, I think we all realize that the likelihood of this effort being successful is pretty small, but it will bring even more attention to the problem and the lack of solutions being offered by our policymakers and if it is successful, well, that would be huge.

The suburb in question here is the city of Lafayette which makes a pretty easy target given its demographics and amenities (like a Bart station).  Before our city leaders get too comfortable watching another city go through public scrutiny of its lack of housing construction, it’s interesting to note that from 2007-2014, Lafayette met a higher percentage of its RHNA housing allocation than Alameda.  The ABAG page is somehow broken right now, but according to the City Lab piece, Lafayette constructed 65% of its RHNA numbers.  Alameda, only 6%.  And yet there’s “too much housing” right Tony Daysog?

But back to the effort, highlights from the SF Business Times reporting:


July 2, 2015

Ctl Alt Delete

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda-ish, City Council — Lauren Do @ 6:02 am

EBCitizen posted an interesting piece the other day about Fremont’s email retention policy which came under fire by Alameda County’s Grand Jury.   Excerpt:

An Alameda County grand jury report released Monday strongly faulted the City of Fremont for an email retention policy that subverts state transparency laws by deleting government emails after just 30 days. It also called for the city to completely overhaul its email policy.

Cities in the state must abide by a government code requiring emails to be retained at least two years. However, in Fremont, city officials and staff are allowed to label all unsaved emails as “preliminary drafts.” In addition, they are allowed to pick and choose which emails are saved or purged. If no designation is given, according to the grand jury report, they are automatically purged after 30 days.

As a reminder, this policy by Fremont was one that the City of Alameda was relying on a few years ago to justify not producing emails during a standard public records request.


April 15, 2015


Filed under: Alameda, Alameda-ish, Public Resources — Lauren Do @ 6:05 am

There’s a City Council meeting tomorrow on the Budget, different from the other budget meeting that was discussed at last week’s meeting that caused so much confusion for Mayor Trish Spencer.  Maybe I’ll write about the budget meeting tomorrow, but who knows.

As I mentioned there are some awesome quotes from last week’s meeting from a few City Council members including Jim Oddie who threw some major shade at someone on the City Council who sits around in coffee shops complaining about issues but then doesn’t do much to actually get anything accomplished. I wonder who he was referring to… Anyway, hopefully I can get some video spliced in the next week or so, but no promises.

What I did want to write about was a referral placed on next week’s regular City Council meeting by Marilyn Ezzy-Ashcraft which may seem very cryptic if you haven’t heard the rumor mill with regard to Alameda’s representatives to regional bodies.


April 13, 2015

Supply and demand

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda-ish, City Council, Development — Lauren Do @ 6:03 am

Despite some folks in Alameda “feeling” like housing units have been built unfettered in Alameda lately, as I mentioned in last Monday’s post, the California Legislative Analyst’s office concludes it’s simply not true.  Everyone wants jobs and businesses to come to their cities, but no one wants to build the housing to go somewhere else.  Unfortunately that “somewhere else” is limited and forces those on the lower end of the economic scale to brave six hour round trip commutes while some on the island find navigating from Peets to the Alameda Marketplace “challenging” as a sufficient reason to block housing development.

Excerpts from the LAO report, worth a read if you have the time, or if you are an elected official who, ostensibly, should be using facts and data to shape policy decisions as opposed to gut feelings and anecdotal evidence.

First their super helpful five major points in case you don’t want to read the whole thing and like to make snap judgments about a whole document based on a handful of words:

  1. California’s Home Prices and Rents Higher Than Just About Anywhere Else.
  2. Building Less Housing Than People Demand Drives High Housing Costs.
  3. High Housing Costs Problematic for Households and the State’s Economy.
  4. Recognize Targeted Role of Affordable Housing Programs.
  5. More Private Housing Construction in Coastal Urban Areas.


April 1, 2015

No joke

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda-ish, Development — Lauren Do @ 6:01 am

Someone posted this article on Facebook yesterday and I thought it was too good not to share.  While everyone is scrambling to create jobs for “tech” and insist on only having high paying jobs in their cities, the piece quotes that for every high paying job there are five service jobs that are created as a result.  Problem is: we’re not creating enough housing to keep up with housing those high paying tech jobs, let alone the lower wage service jobs that are created as a result.  We can keep making excuses as to why we can’t build any more where the jobs are located and in the meantime it forces the people who provide just as important services to commute long distances in order to be able to afford reasonable accommodations.

Excerpts from the piece, the tale of Ronnie Thomas who bikes to a Stockton train station then catches a bus in Fremont to commute to Stanford is particularly sobering.  And you thought your commute was bad…


March 31, 2015

Life in the bike lane

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda-ish, Transportation — Lauren Do @ 6:01 am

That article that commenter MI posted in yesterday’s comment is nothing short of excellent, I wanted to excerpt a few passages for people who may not commit to reading the whole thing.  It’s mostly about Oakland, but given the Alameda has even better terrain and a built in mostly 25 mph speed limit island wide, it’s a shame that we don’t do a better job with bicycle infrastructure to further encourage increased bicycle usage:


November 11, 2014

Happy Veterans Day

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda-ish — Lauren Do @ 6:01 am

Thanks to those who have served. Including my father and my husband’s father.

October 16, 2014

Good morning Saigon!

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda-ish, Warm Fuzzies — Lauren Do @ 6:06 am

I’m back people!  Miss me?  Know I was gone at all? Wondering why I didn’t throw up profiles for the school board?  All those questions and more will be answered in the next few posts.

So, yeah, I was gone since around the endish of September.  Long story short, my parents are celebrating 40 years of being a parent unit and wanted their family to celebrate with them in Vietnam.  So for the last two weeks and some odd days, the Blogging Bayport gang was melting in the heat and humidity (and occasionally downpour) in Vietnam.  Just an FYI, I wasn’t born in Vietnam so going to Vietnam is not necessarily “going back” for me.   It’s like going to any foreign country except for the huge leg up I have because I do understand the language, but speak it rather poorly.  The husband likes to make fun because when I speak Vietnamese I tend to speak it in a high voice which is a huge difference from my normal speaking voice, but I explain that it’s because my facility with Vietnamese tops out at like third grade or something so I probably sound like a third grade girl.  Anyway, it’s useful for overhearing people talking smack about you because people tend to be surprised when I speak Vietnamese to them.  Probably because the existence of my white husband and my mixed kids.   Or because most Vietnamese folks seemed to think I looked Taiwanese or Korean or Japanese.  (See, even other Asian people have difficulty identifying where some Asian people’s roots are from)


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