Blogging Bayport Alameda

February 4, 2008


Filed under: Alameda, Errata — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 7:05 am

As I mentioned last week, the January 30, 2008 Don Roberts Show had some moments that were worth mentioning.   And they all happened within the first five minutes of the show.   That day’s show featured the owner of Lucky JuJu Pinball, Michael Schiess.  Here is how the introduction to Michael Schiess went down:

Don Roberts: Now let’s talk to Michael Scheiss (shy-SUSS) the owner of Neptune Beach Amusement Museum and Lucky JuJu Pinball Gallery.  Welcome to the show, Michael.

Michael Schiess: Thanks.

DR: I love that name, Michael

MS: But I gotta…my last name is actually pronounced Schiess (SHE-suss).

DR: I’ll call you Scheiss (shy-SUSS)

MS: (laughing) No, you don’t want to do that because it’s a cuss word in German.


February 1, 2008

I apologize for the inconvenience

Filed under: Alameda, Errata — Lauren Do @ 6:48 am

Generally I do not really like to write about crime blotter type issues.   It’s not really my thing, but I found the short article in the Journal about the robbers who apologized to their victims amusing in a few ways.  Highlights:

Two men who forced their way into an apartment and demanded cash on Wednesday apologized to the family as they were leaving, saying they had targeted the wrong residence.

“It seems they were searching for something,” Alameda police Lt. Art Fuentes said Thursday, noting the lengthy time the men spent in the apartment. “But whatever it was, they couldn’t find it.”

The robbers ordered the husband and wife, along with their 5-year-old daughter, to wait in a bedroom during the search. No one was hurt, police said.


January 29, 2008

Wine around town

Filed under: Alameda, Errata, Warm Fuzzies — Lauren Do @ 7:22 am

So I’m guessing that the wine industry is much like the tech start-up one…you either pray to hit it big on your own and be able to build a nice cushy campus where people ride around on Segways or you hope to get bought out by a much bigger company that appreciates your product.    In the case of Rosenblum Cellars, they did the latter, as reported yesterday by just plain dave.

While at first this seemed like a pretty small news story, it’s been covered by a number of news outlets, but the Santa Rosa Press Democrat did the most thorough story:

British beverage giant Diageo announced Monday that it has agreed to buy zinfandel specialist Rosenblum Cellars for $105 million.

The acquisition is aimed at strengthening Diageo’s high-end wine portfolio, which is managed in Napa.

“The company currently does not have a brand primarily focused on zinfandel,” Diageo said. “The addition of Rosenblum Cellars will immediately give it one of the most recognizable names in a booming category.”


January 25, 2008

Only in the EBX

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda Theater, Errata — Lauren Do @ 6:58 am

Filed under, “Really?”  The EBX, taking a break from its weekly dose of dissing AC Transit, Ron Dellums, or Don Perata, has decided to celebrate the wonder of wonders that is the Alamedan’s Not So Anonymous forum.   Speaking of AC Transit, Oakland blogger, V Smoothe, was none too happy with the liberties taken by Robert Gammon in his piece about AC Transit, apparently the first of two parts.   My personal opinion on the VanHools, they are okay.  I liked the old buses, and the new ones are fine.   The only buses I loathe are the coach style ones that make you climb 20 stair steps and squeeze through the tiny little aisles.   They may be comfortable for a long haul, but are a bitch to navigate into.  But I digress.

Anyway according to the EBX, unlike you all mud-slinging commenters, the touchy feely goodness currently happening over at Tribe.netis refreshing in its non-snarkiness.   I guess EBX must have missed the touchy feely goodness that went on for weeks and weeks in the comment section of the Pork Product post.


January 11, 2008

Up for grabs

Filed under: Alameda, Errata — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:52 am

It is official, Gina Mariani is stepping down from the Planning Board.   I had heard rumblings previously, but it has now been made reality with the release of the ubiquitous press release.    So what does that mean, City Hall watchers?   Well, Don Roberts is already prophesizing doom for the “Measure A” voice on the Planning Board with this statement: 

…Based on the current makeup of the Planning Board, all of whom were nominated by Mayor Beverly Johnson, the chances for appointment of a Measure A supporter appear to be highly unlikely.

And Pat Bail is putting out feelers to see if anyone would bite on the issue of supporting her appointment to the seat:

…Pat Bail to Replace Gina Mariani on Planning Board?


Sorry to read that Gina Mariani resigned from the Planning Board. What do you think of my chances to be appointed if I applied? Might make the meetings more interesting.
Pat Bail

While both remarks by Don R. and Pat B. are seemingly meant to convey resignation about the fact that the Planning Board will be Measure A supporter free, I read this to be the start of a campaign to dare the mayor to try and attempt to do anything but appoint a very visible Measure A supporter.   Sort of a bit of reverse psychology or some other such nonsense.  


January 9, 2008

Chili Reception

Filed under: Alameda, Errata, School, Warm Fuzzies — Tags: , — Lauren Do @ 6:43 am

Okay, taking a little bit of a break from the Charter School stuff other than to report that this was the decision made at last night’s meeting, denial of the Charter School by a 5-0 vote.

Even I am getting a little fatigued of all the Charter School talk and generally when I get obsessive about something I can talk about it forever.  It’s been on my mind so much I even had a dream about it one night.   Probably the best sign that I need a much needed mini vacation from Charter School talk, but first, I have to say that this is what I would have said had I gone to the meeting last night, if I had ended up speaking near to the end:

Good evening.  Tonight, a lot of supporters of the charter school have asked you to be couragous and take a leadership role and vote for the charter school.   However, I believe that it will take courage to vote against the charter school application.   It would be easy for you to all take the attitude that the charter school, with its endless abilities to appeal to higher and higher bodies and the power of Prop 39 behind it to say, “It’s inevitable, so let’s just make sure we have a measure of control.”

Other supporters of the charter school have told you that the “system is broken” and that they need other options, they need “choice” for their children.   When I look to the student representatives from Encinal and Alameda High that sit before you and the handful of Alameda and Encinal students that have spoken so eloquently on this subject, it is evident to me that it is not the system that is broken, but what is broken is some parents’ expectations of what the role of public schools should be.   But if these parents truly think that the system is broken, instead of jumping ship and trying to find an alternative, they should take the passion that they have for their children’s education and participate actively in the children’s education and in their children’s classrooms.

This charter school application had its bite of the apple so to speak to present their best foot forward and they failed.   They now want the school district to work with them to craft a proposal that would work, but it is not the responsibility or the role of the school district to do the job that the charter school applicants.   And to expect it speaks to the nature of the sense of entitlement that pervades at ACLC.  

Please be couragous and deny this charter school application.


January 1, 2008

Season of Alamedans

The SF Chronicle has lately been concentrating a lot on Alameda.   From their “Faces of Business” profile of Saul Griffin, who is working on wind energy project and recently received a “genius grant” from the MacArthur Foundation.   To a Seasons of Sharing storyabout the Selassie family who were recipients of Seasons of Sharing funds four years ago and have now become one of the greatest success stories for the program.

Also, there has been a noticeable uptick in the number of Alameda bloggers out there, check out the Blogroll on the right side of the page (you may need to scroll down) to see the most updated list.   Some are updated pretty regularly, some are a little on the stagnant side, but all are written by Alamedans and therefore maybe of interest to someone out there.   Some of the newer ones that I have been enjoying are Cocktail Hour (even though I do not drink) the restaurant review for Cafe Havana was particularly interesting.   I always thought that Alameda needed a good restaurant reviewer.


December 21, 2007

Airing out

Filed under: Alameda, Errata, School, Transportation — Lauren Do @ 7:59 am


As Samuel L. Jackson once posited, you gotta “ride it ’til the motherfuckin’ wheels come off.” For some reason I recall this being said as part of an interview with James Lipton on Inside the Actor’s Studio, but my memory is a little faulty.  

Yes I could have written about any numerous things before my very own “holiday hiatus”, such as the Bay Area Water Transit Authority’s purchase of two new ferries to be used as “backup.”   I suppose this will be part of the new improved “emergency” arm.   Or I could have written about the capacity issues for schools.   Or even commented on the beautiful photo in the Sun of the Alameda Theater renovation.  (Did anyone catch the part about the tobacco stains, yet another reason why smoking is bad.)

But instead, I am going to start my Festivus a little early and air my grievance:

Hello big media corporations, I am so disappointed in your attempts at settling the writers strike.   Don’t you understand that the next season of Lost is coming up?   I need my 30 Rock fixes dammit!

Happy Festivus and insert your seasonal holiday here!

December 19, 2007

Bad Moon Rising

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda Neighbors, Errata — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:59 am

While generally I would opt to talk about all things Alameda, most noteably the East Bay Express’ article on Alameda Development, but rather I have been fascinated with what has been going on in Half Moon Bay.   For those not up to speed, it’s basically this:  developer buys land many years ago in Half Moon Bay where there were already tentatively approved plans to develop housing by the previous owner.   Developer is unable to develop due to City saying that the property now contains protected wetland.  Developer says City caused the wetlands.   Developer sues and wins a $38 million award.  City freaks out because that is nearly three times their annual budget.

And of course, the City of Half Moon Bay is left with a few options: appeal, begin settlement talks with the developer, or do nothing and let Half Moon Bay lapse to become an unincorporated portion of San Mateo County putting it under the jurisdiction of the county.

What would you do?


November 23, 2007

Hey Big Spender!

Filed under: Alameda, Errata, Public Resources — Lauren Do @ 7:40 am

Ah…the day after Thanksgiving.   Nothing like spending quality time with the family that makes one think, “Hey, I need to get down to Best Buy to snag me up some heavily discounted electronics!”   But when you are purchasing yet another $20 DVD player, think about some of those quality Alameda organizations that could use some of your ducats and put than $20 to better use.   

And in particular the Alameda Civic Light Opera needs your help, from the Alameda Journal:

…”If every household in Alameda sent $10, it would help this incredible community asset,” said Teddy Tabor, a member of the ACLO board since its inception.

Opera company leaders say the nonprofit organization not only provides quality shows but a community service as well.

There’s an internship program for high school and college students, theater classes for adults, a summer camp for children and opportunities to volunteer.

Jeff Teague, ACLO’s artistic director, said the company brings people together, bridging gaps in ethnicities, income and generations. “It’s great to see how that happen,” he said…

The Editoral in the Journal also offers a plea for help but with a caveat:

…During the holiday season, there are many demands on our pocketbooks. Probably the last thing any of us feel we need right now is another plea for help, but this one is different. Anyone who has ever enjoyed the magic of a stage production knows the value of keeping musical theater in our community. Movie theaters and videos can’t compare to the thrill of seeing live performers on stage .

There are those who feel the opera company has brought the financial woes on itself and has not been fiscally responsible in paying its bills. Some see it as a drain on the community to continue to support a struggling operation. They feel there are plenty of other theaters around, so why bother to keep this one going? The answer is simple. We need this kind of cultural entertainment in our lives.

We support this effort but with a strong plea to the opera company to use the money to get back on solid financial ground and come up with a plan to make the theater fiscally responsible and viable.

…Officials say they already have more than $56,000 toward the $100,000. It’s only six weeks from the deadline, but they’ve passed the halfway point…

If you care about the arts and appreciate the years of community performances by the Alameda Civic Light Opera, now is the time to reciprocate.

And while there may be some folks positively gleeful at the notion that ACLO might go under, seeing an organization that adds so much to a community in dire straits should elicit sympathy and a desire to help. 

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