Blogging Bayport Alameda

January 22, 2019

Safety over sharrows

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

The other day #1 daughter asked if one day she and her friends could bike from our house to Southshore.  My response was…sure, but there’s that unsafe bit between Encinal and McKay Avenue that I’m not thrilled about.

However if the Central Avenue improvements happen then there will be a safe biking route from our house to all the way to and down Shoreline.  Tomorrow night the Transportation Commission will get to give their recommendation of which the four options they would like to consider for future study for the Central/Webster intersection, but (hopefully) the TC will approve the two-way bikeway between Paden and McKay Avenue.

From the staff report:

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January 21, 2019

Happy MLK, Jr Day

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

January 18, 2019

There’s always one

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

At the School Board’s next meeting they’ll take up the recommendation from the Haight Elementary School community to change the name officially from Haight Elementary to Love Elementary.

But, stuffed in the powerpoint presentation on the topic there was this one downer bit that was inevitable because people are sometimes very very terrible:

screen shot 2019-01-17 at 3.55.13 pm

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January 17, 2019

Good eats

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

Did you know that January is the month that folks go out to eat the least?

That’s why the City of Alameda is launching its annual Restaurant Week today.  The program runs for the next week or so and features a lot of popular Alameda joints.

From the website:

Here’s how it works! January is often a slow month for local restaurants. From January 17-27, you can support Alameda’s dining scene by visiting participating restaurants, who will be offering prix fixe menus and specials. New this year is a raffle. Pick up a raffle card at any participating restaurant and get your card stamped at every participating restaurant you visit. When your card is fully stamped, turn in your card to any participating restaurant to be entered to win over $1,300 in Alameda restaurant gift cards.

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January 16, 2019

Carrot and the stick

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

This has been sitting in my browser for a while but it’s notable from Governor Gavin Newsom’s new budget.  From CALMatters:

Cities and the NIMBY homeowners who populate them are often blamed as the biggest obstacle to producing more low-income and market-rate housing.

To incentivize cities to approve more projects, Newsom has proposed $500 million in awards to cities and counties that meet new, short-term housing goals.

The housing quotas assigned to local governments are often laughably flawed. Beverly Hills, for example, met its state-mandate affordable housing target last year with three measly low-income units.

Newsom wants to revamp the whole housing-goal setting process. Statewide, the goals are are going to bigger than what they used to be.

That $500 million is the carrot, and most cities are eager to revamp the seemingly senseless way in which they’re assigned housing quotas. But along  with that carrot could be a thorny stick.

Newsom proposes taking away transportation funding—including revenue generated by the recently enacted gas tax—from cities that fail to meet longer-term housing goals.

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January 15, 2019

Put the right letters together and make a better day

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

It’s very exciting that our outgoing Governor and our new Governor has decided to really put some money into tackling the issue of homelessness.  Given that it doesn’t appear that our housing crisis is coming to an end any time soon, we’ll have to face the reality that visible homelessness will not be so hidden from Alameda any longer.

We are fortunate that a local church volunteered space to open up a warming shelter on the coldest of nights, but not every night is cold enough and yet the need is there.

In fact, as I’m sitting here typing this out on Park Street it’s raining at around 5:00 PM and I just spotted a gentleman with a shopping cart and all his possessions in said shopping cart seeking somewhere dry to spend the night.

On the City Council’s agenda tonight there is an item to give direction with regard to homeless fund allocations.  Here’s how the proposed funding breaks down:

screen shot 2019-01-14 at 4.59.08 pm

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January 14, 2019

Do over

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

So despite the attempts by the City Attorney’s office to insist that nothing untoward happened during the noticing of cannabis related agenda item which lead to a filing of a open government commission complaint.  Out of an “abundance of caution” the City has decided a do over is in order.  From tomorrow’s agenda:

On November 7, 2018, City Council adopted Ordinance Nos. 3227 and 3228 concerning cannabis businesses in Alameda. Those Ordinances are now in effect. A complaint, however, was filed under the City’s Sunshine Ordinance that the agenda title for these ordinances when the City Council considered their introduction did not reflect certain provisions in the ordinance that was introduced on October 16, 2018, and then adopted on November 7, 2018. The Open Government Commission conducted a hearing on the complaint, sustained it and, as a remedy, held that the Ordinances were deemed null and void and that the Council may consider re-noticing the ordinances following a public hearing.

The City Attorney’s Office had advised the Commission and the Council that the Sunshine Ordinance had not been violated and that the Commission did not have the legislative authority to render a legally adopted ordinance null and void.

Given the decision of the Commission and the opinion of the City Attorney, the City Manager and staff are recommending that the two ordinances be re-introduced and adopted, and that Ordinances Nos 3227 and 3228 be subsequently repealed when the new ordinances are adopted and become effective.

Rather than risk future confusion over the legal status of Ordinance Nos. 3227 and 3228 (and the likely accompanying use of limited city resources), and to further sustain public confidence in its public officials and legal processes concerning the adoption and enforcement of its laws, staff’s proposed solution as the most expeditious and balanced one, with the least amount of risk, that would best serve interests of the community as a whole.

Accordingly, in an abundance of caution only, the City Manager and staff are recommending that the two ordinances be re-considered and that Ordinance Nos. 3227 and 3228 be repealed.

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January 11, 2019

I’ve got no grassroots

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

Many thanks to Mike McMahon for posting the Friends of Crab Cove filings yesterday.  There are some interesting contributions on the filings that were filed apparently in a rush after Steven Tavares’s piece came out and/or the FPPC complaint was lodged.

Based on their filings, in an eight month period FOCC raised nearly $26K and has spent almost as much as that.  The bulk of the money came from the management company of Neptune Plaza ($10K), Crown Harbor’s HOA ($4.5K), and Timberloft Trust ($4.5K).

And for those of us that actually thought that this was a grassroots operations, those misconceptions should be totally dashed because the FOCC used HOA and outside landlord interest money to pay almost $20,000 to professional signature gatherers.

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January 10, 2019

Tainted cove

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

In case you missed it, the City Council last week voted to place the Open Space initiative on the ballot in April in a Special Election.  The cost should run somewhere in the hundreds of thousands of dollars because that’s how much special elections cost.  The reasoning, according to the Council majority, is because if the City Council were to wait for the 2020 general election the cost could be a lot higher to the City if (1) the ballot initiative is successful and (2) a court decides that the ballot initiative constitutes a “taking” of the property.

But none of that seems to matter to the Friends of Crab Cove who persist in insisting that their position on the issue is the only one that counts.  That any and all property is “open space” if it’s not currently being used.  That even though the East Bay Regional Parks District had repeatedly announced that they do not want a bunch of abandoned buildings, FOCC still insists that it should be a part of Crab Cove.

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January 9, 2019

Dignity, always dignity

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

I’m back, like really for real back and not just set some posts to auto update back.  In case you were wondering, my vacation was fine but I did come back with a terrible cough so that was a lot of fun.  I did get a chance to listen, via podcast, the last City Council meeting where former Mayor Trish Spencer had the longest, most un-noteworthy proclamation ever read aloud to her.

Typically I know that staff writes proclamations but there is no way that any professional level staff would think that particular proclamation was any good.  However having been on the writing proclamation end of the business I also know that sometimes the person or organization on the receiving end of getting a proclamation can always submit whereas statements of their choice.  I’m pretty sure this is what happened here because it contained absolutely no meaningful legislative accomplishments.  Like none.  I mean, I guess it could be because Trish Spencer had no meaningful legislative accomplishments, but if you need to put in every single ribbon cutting you’ve been to in your proclamation then perhaps you need to reassess your desire to serve as an elected policy maker.

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