Blogging Bayport Alameda

October 6, 2017

LimeBike share

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

A bit fluffy, but the City of Alameda has its first bike share.  It’s not the docked kind that you see in big cities, but rather a dockless bike share which I’m sure will be initially confusing and befuddling.  From the City’s press release:

[T]he City of Alameda is bringing LimeBike to its streets, marking the first dock-less bike share to come to the East Bay. At least 300 LimeBikes will be available throughout the island, providing Alameda locals and visitors with a more affordable, reliable, and sustainable transportation option. With LimeBike’s bike share services, people can spontaneously make short trips by bicycle to get to the ferry terminal, lunch, or run a quick errand.

“More and more people are looking for quick ways to get around Alameda,” said City Manager Jill Keimach. “This new dock-less bike share program provides more options to get around and will help reduce drive-alone trips — one of our island’s transportation goals.”

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October 5, 2017

Not ready for Amazon Prime time

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

I’m sure everyone has heard by now about Amazon’s “second headquarters” challenge to cities cross North America.  City Lab has an update on how crazy some cities/states are going to in order to woo Amazon.  But here is an older article about what Amazon is looking for when it comes to its headquarters 2.0:

Other factors in the company’s request for proposals include: aviation access (international is a plus), a talented workforce (bolstered by proximity to a university), tax incentives (“how much do you want us?”) and space to fit the approximately 8 million square feet Amazon requires to house this massive operation.

Alameda, naturally, is always looking to see how we can fit into this equation and it looks like, well, we don’t.  From Alameda City Manager’s update:

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October 4, 2017

Hail to the Fire Chief

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

So did you know that we were looking for a new Fire Chief?  And by “we” I mean the City of Alameda.

I mean, I guess I sort of knew because the existing Fire Chief had a good bye celebration and I saw a cake on someone’s Facebook post, but it seemed to not have the same fanfare as when previous department heads have left and the position needed to be filled.

There are some slightly vague details here about some purported machinations behind the scenes.  But yesterday the City put out this press release:

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October 3, 2017

I think America is broken

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:03 am

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October 2, 2017

Show me your teeth

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

On Friday, Governor Jerry Brown signed a raft of bills that are designed to help out with the housing crisis.  Most people have heard about some of the larger bills, particularly the one that will eventually go to the voters for approval (SB 4, $4 billion bond for affordable housing) and the one that places a transfer fee on non residential real estate transactions.  The most contentious bill that received a lot of attention was SB 35 which would track how cities are meeting its RHNA allocations.  For cities that are not making progress towards that goal, they would lose local control and instead a streamlined approval process would supersede local laws.

However, there were some bills that didn’t receive as much attention but could affect a city like Alameda, from Capital Public Radio:

The legislation deals with a 35-year-old California law called the Housing Accountability Act – sometimes nicknamed the “Anti-NIMBY (Not In My Backyard)” Act.

The law’s intent is to block local governments from arbitrarily rejecting development projects that comply with their existing zoning and land use policies.

Identical bills by Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) and Asm. Raul Bocanegra (D-Pacoima) would put more teeth in that law.

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September 29, 2017

National Horror Show: $1000 kitchen renovation

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

A series of tweets:

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September 28, 2017

Everyone belongs here, but just not live here

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

In light of some of the, um, less than informed comments made by members of our City Council about housing and housing construction.  There’s a good piece in the Sacramento Bee about how the recent slew of legislation — which still needs the signature of the governor — around housing won’t help the housing crisis any time soon.

Just like the initial talks about affordability by design can’t be measured yet since none of the units have actually been constructed yet.

By the way, this comment by Laura Thomas about Councilmember Frank Matarrese deserves close reading, particularly considering his intention to run for Mayor.  More on the political calculations of that some other time, but her comment is here:

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September 27, 2017

The kids are all right

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

It always warms my heart to see our young people get involved in national level politics and understand an issue that appears to be difficult for even some adults to understand. From ABC Channel 7 (there’s video too):

A few hundred students at Alameda’s Encinal High School took a knee after classes Monday — some raised a fist.

They were invited to circle around the American flag and sit, kneel, or stand for the National Anthem.

Encinal’s Student Body President Mary Malkic came up with the idea in response to President Donald Trump’s criticism of the NFL and the now nation-wide “take a knee” protest.

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September 26, 2017

Running the show

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

Last Tuesday the City Council actually made its way through the entire agenda.

I know, it’s quite shocking.

But then again, Trish Spencer did leave in the middle of the meeting to catch a flight to visit one of Alameda’s many Sister Cities, so perhaps it was just a question of the meeting being run tighter at the end in the hands of Vice Mayor Malia Vella.  It wasn’t as though some of the agenda items weren’t complicated, they were.

There was the whole direction regarding inclusionary housing which involved a lengthy update on the housing bills passed by the California Legislature.  On that particular topic it’s not 100% clear if Councilmember Frank Matarrese who has spent a lot of time on a lot of City boards and on the Council itself necessarily understands how housing gets built and how affordable housing gets built in general.   At one point when the discussion came to “middle income” housing after declaring that he didn’t really like affordable by design (because the units are “too small”) he simply said that affordability should be marked by how much the market will bear aka nothing should be done about helping out families who can’t afford the current market rate and yet earn too much for subsidized housing.  Which I suppose is a policy position to take, but is dismissive of those “middle income” families and their difficulty in finding housing.

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September 25, 2017

RESHAP shifter

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

Even more exciting than the possible cowork/cohousing development is approval of the supportive replacement housing for APC and friends at Alameda Point.

After the recent water quality issues at Alameda Point it’s even more critical that the City move forward with this project.  From the staff report:

The RESHAP Development Plan consists of relocating of 200 existing supportive housing units that are currently dispersed across 34 acres at Alameda Point’s Main Street Neighborhood and building 67 new affordable units on to a 9.7 acre parcel, south of W. Midway, west of Main Street, and east of Orion Way.  In addition, the plan includes approximately 40,000 square feet of community space for services programming and administrative offices for the Collaborating Partners, on-site property management and resident services.  The proposed uses are consistent with the Main Street Specific Plan.

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