Blogging Bayport Alameda

November 7, 2014

Why ask why

Filed under: Alameda, Election, Errata — Lauren Do @ 6:07 am

I’m reposting this response I left in the comments from two new commenters who sort of hit the blog hard with lots of questions and then got a little more hung up on the “anonymous comments” tip than what they actually swung by to ask.  As a note for those that are new here or don’t remember, I don’t mind anonymous comments and in fact wrote a whole blog post about it five years ago.  To nutshell, anonymous comments are cool, just please try to stick with the same handle as much as possible.

From that blog post:

But on the other hand, the cost of putting full name behind your opinions can be very high, particularly when you are dealing with politics, and local politics are the worst.   While some people may decry “personal attacks”– whatever that is defined to be in that person’s mind — criticizing someone’s position on an issue or even flaming someone virtually is a far cry from some of the antics against folks who have been forthright enough to reveal their name in comments and on blogs.   Lawsuits, wikipedia entries, writing letters to donors (p.37) and then gloating about it, filing complaints with the FPPC, digging into people’s financial records and alleging ethics violations (p.86), threats of lawsuits (p. 99, 188, 121),publishing people’s personal information…those are the types of things that chill and destroy meaningful dialogue, not anonymous commenting.

And of course what also destroys meaningful dialogue is — even if done in jest — that people were considering this sort of thing:

I know a group of peoples which are trying to buy a house next to his and turn it into an1/2 way house , Nothing He will be able to say , it will definitely be an interesting time , Not in my neighborhood ……..

The person they are referring to is a sitting Planning Board member to whom, I’m guessing, the “group of peoples” disagrees with.  But I digress.


May 4, 2011

Numbers in context

I’ll be writing about the City Council meeting tomorrow, in case any one was wondering.   But in the meantime, I wanted to talk about yet another post from Denise Lai’s Raising Hell for Good.   I had made a promise to myself that I would be leaving that site alone for a while, but one of last week’s posts had bothered me all weekend that I felt as though I need to clear up some of the information that was presented as “facts” in the actual piece.

So, first she kicks off the post with a premise glommed from Alameda County Food Bank’s website that, generally speaking, one in six people rely on food banks and of that number half are children.   She then goes through the process of calculating how that would relate in Alameda city numbers:

1/6 x 70,000 = 11,800, 11,800/2 = 5,900, and 5,900 = 38% of the 15,576 children in our city.

And surmising that:

Extrapolating for our city, likely conservative numbers for the West End, we are looking at a full 38% of our children relying on the food bank for survival.


April 29, 2011

Courtesy title

Filed under: Alameda, City Council, Errata — Tags: , — Lauren Do @ 6:02 am

Updated to add information about The Island of Alameda closing shop (scroll to the end)

Of course in the days of Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and breaking news nothing stays fresh for long.   Seriously, I literally just commuted home and had dinner and had missed Tweeting immediately about the officialness of John Russo being offered the City Manager job.   You can see the details of the contract here.   Big numbers are, of course, base salary among other things.   He is being offered $215K as a base salary, with $10K increases every year if his performance “meets expectations” or better every year.   The contract starts June of this year and ends in 2016.  He’ll also be getting $15K every year in a 457 deferred compensation plan in addition to the standard PERS benefits, health benefits, etc.

To compare, Debra Kurita’s base salary was $195K, Lisa Goldman as Acting City Manager recently got a bit of a raise to compensate her on the additional work she was taking on, it was in the $200Ks, but I can’t find the agenda item right now, and Ann Marie Gallant’s base salary was $250K.   But more on this next week, because that’s not what this post is about…

Apparently in addition to not really understanding what “fair use” is, our media type people don’t understand what “courtesy photo” means either.   Although, brief digression, on the subject of fighting for your right to party, if you haven’t seen the extended cut of the Beastie Boys Fight for your Right revisted, it’s totally worth watching for the Will Farrell cowbell cameo alone.

Anyway, in the Alameda Sun yesterday on the front page there was a story about the former Alameda firefighter who a jury awarded damages to for, I’m guessing because the article is unclear, wrongful termination? discrimination?  it’s unclear from the actual article itself.   Essentially the article is about the history of the case, judge granting summary judgment to dismiss, summary judgment granted, appeal, appeal granted, jury trial, and now the result.   Puzzlingly, the only photo that the Alameda Sun decided to run was that of another firefighter, not the one who sued.  Granted, the other firefighter did play a role which led to the suing Firefighter’s dismissal, if any photo would be of interest it would be that of the guy who just won almost $700K in damages and attorney fees.


February 12, 2009

It’s not media, it’s alamedia!

Filed under: Alameda, Errata — Tags: , , — Lauren Do @ 7:00 am

It’s rather appropriate that we all had a long protracted discussion on media and what we can or cannot expect from our local media sources.  I still have more thoughts about media and journalism in general which I will leave for another time and another post.   However I did want to draw your attention to some serious OMG moments I have had lately in regards to the various Alameda media.

The first is good.  Michele E. (award winning, degree in journalism, field tested, new blogsite make sure you update your RSS feeds or bookmarks: wrote an amazing — some might call it, investigative — piece on the comparison between the Alameda budget and a city of comparable size, Redwood City.    The differences are rather startling when you see where the priorities are — budget wise — in comparison.  Worth a read or several reads, although as she disclaims within the text, it’s not meant to be conclusive, after all there are many variables not account for.   Still it’s a pretty good snapshot at what the priorities are in Alameda as opposed to Redwood City.   Some other interesting pieces of data that would help round out the ability to compare and contrast would be median income, median age, population of children…some basic census data, which I suppose I could go and research, but it’s so much more Alameda to ask someone else to do it.   [insert winkie emoticon here]   


February 4, 2009

Truth in editoralizing

Filed under: Alameda, City Council, Errata — Lauren Do @ 7:00 am

At a recent City Council meeting, Councilmember Lena Tam provided a report back to the Council about a meeting she attended of the East Bay division for the League of California Cities.  She mentioned that one of the speakers was Dan Hatfield, who is the editorial page editor for MediaNews, which owns both the Alameda Journal and Alameda Times-Star.  


January 29, 2009

Has time rewritten every line?

Filed under: Alameda, Errata — Tags: , — Lauren Do @ 7:00 am

Okay, so I have a confession to make. I haven’t been keeping up with my Don Roberts Show watching.   I know you are all super disappointed, but it has become more and more difficult for me to find the time to watch.    And I know it’s relatively easy now that the episodes are available on-line…archive for posterity (I think?)    But someone sent me this link to one section of last week’s show with Pat Bail for those who choose not to click through:

There are some people, and we certainly saw a good number of those people, that they get vicious pleasure out of being mean and nasty and whatever.  So, you know, I certainly have my crtiticisms of our local government, I’ve had criticism of out national government as well, but I don’t think I’ve ever personally attacked anyone and called them stupid or a liar or…you know maybe a liar [Don Robert: Ha ha ha!] but certianly not viciously. [DR: uh huh.]

Ahh… Pat Bail, how soon we forget about our own personal attacks.   I guess the “vicious” is subjective though.  Let’s take a short trip down memory lane, shall we?


January 23, 2009

Total ellipsis of the heart

Filed under: Alameda, Errata — Tags: , — Lauren Do @ 7:00 am

There is this punctuation thing in the English language that allows, when you are deliberately omitting text or sections of text taken from somewhere else, you to indicate to your reader that you are omitting text or sections of text.   I find this highly useful in order to provide transparency to my readers when I am quoting somebody or something.

This neat little device is called an ellipsis.  It looks like this:

If I were to say it outloud, “dot dot dot.”   In morse code, the three dots stand in place of the letter “S.”  The reason why we use an ellipsis, according to wikipedia is:


October 16, 2008

Do as I say, not as I do

Filed under: Alameda, Errata — Lauren Do @ 7:00 am

Updated below 7:50 a.m.

C’mon, you didn’t really think I was going to let this one go, did you?   Don Roberts writes on Alameda Daily News:

In yesterday’s edition of the Alameda Journal, Eve Pearlman incorrectly wrote in her front page column, that the position of School Boardmember “pays nothing”. In fact, each Board Member is entitled to a maximum payment of $300 per month for attending 2 meetings, or is entitled to a payment of $150 per month for attending only one meeting. Eve Pearlman could have obtained that information with a simple phone call to the School District prior to publishing her false column. Pretty dweeby, Eve.


June 2, 2008

Not quite “award winning”

Filed under: Alameda, Errata — Lauren Do @ 7:43 am

But oh so close.

So I said I was probably going to blog about the school parcel tax until Tuesday, but it’s not every day when you get featured as “Blog of the Week” by the San Francisco Chronicle next to such internet luminaries as Stuff White People Like and Gone Fishing.

Accolades and speculations about the growing size of my ego can be placed here.


March 13, 2008

Giving up the Golf

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda Point, Errata — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 7:10 am

Taking a bit of a break from all the school talk, this article was in the New York Times a while back, with the news that folks simply are not golfing as much as they used to.  Highlights:

…Over the past decade, the leisure activity most closely associated with corporate success in America has been in a kind of recession.

The total number of people who play has declined or remained flat each year since 2000, dropping to about 26 million from 30 million, according to the National Golf Foundation and the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association.

More troubling to golf boosters, the number of people who play 25 times a year or more fell to 4.6 million in 2005 from 6.9 million in 2000, a loss of about a third.

The industry now counts its core players as those who golf eight or more times a year. That number, too, has fallen, but more slowly: to 15 million in 2006 from 17.7 million in 2000, according to the National Golf Foundation.


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