Blogging Bayport Alameda

September 20, 2022

I’ll be watching you

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

Look, I would like to live in a “safe” community as much as the next person but there’s a line that I think folks are all too eager to cross when they are afraid of the crime boogeyman. Tonight the City Council will be finalizing a vote to approve fixed ALPRs to “protect” Alameda. How we got to 35 fixed ALPRs around Alameda, I have no idea.

The staff report has no list of where those ALPRs will be mounted which I’m not sure how the City Council can approve the purchase of something that they have no visibility on where it’s going. Here’s a big concern about the ALPR company that is being recommended. While I don’t think the other companies would have been a lot better and maybe they are the best of the set but still anyone with an imagination can come up with ways that this technology can be abused and what we are being told is that we should simply trust this company and trust the folks of the police department who were tasked with assessing the RFP responses that they did select the company who would be the best stewards of this data.

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September 19, 2022

No context staff report

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

There is an item on tomorrow night’s City Council agenda that should be deeply concerning to people, even those that are super rah rah police. The police department is asking for the ability to make policy changes without the approval of the City Council.

This seems bad.

From the staff report:

The Alameda Police Department (APD) contracts with Lexipol for the generation, retention, updating, and publishing of our policy manual.  Part of the contract includes periodic review and revision of the policy manual to reflect current best practices, emerging case law, and new legislative changes/mandates.  In additional Lexipol, the PD further engages in regular review and proposes policies modifications when operational changes occur or when the need for new internal procedures are identified.  This report provides recommended changes to various policies based on legal developments and/or recommended best practices.  This report also recommends that the City Council authorize the Police Chief to make future updates to police policies without prior City Council approval, which is in line with industry standards. 

The staff report goes on to explain:

Relating to general policy development and implementation, prior to June 2020, consistent with general industry standards, the Police Chief retained the discretion to update police policies.  At the June 16, 2020 City Council Meeting, City Council directed a change to that policy, requiring “all Policing policy changes [] be brought to the City Council for approval before implementation, in the instance where changes in State or federal law or courts rule that change is required, changes can be made and brought to the next available Council meeting for ratification….”  See Minutes of June 16, 2020 City Council Meeting.  Since that direction, the City has hired a new Police Chief and the new Chief has commenced an overall review of policing policies in an effort to further enhance policing practices in Alameda.

Hey I wonder what happened in early 2020 which warranted a response from elected officials to provide a bit more oversight since that staff report fails to cite any reason why.

Hmm…

Hmm…

Welp, I guess we’ll never know.

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September 16, 2022

Reframe refrain

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

There are some people that have no problem existing in their shamelessness. Donald Trump for one. More locally, Trish Spencer. She has attempted over the years to reframe her absolute opposition to Lesson 9, a curriculum which was designed in response to LGBTQ+ folks in schools saying “hey, please let people know we exist and that people shouldn’t treat us poorly because of that.” Look even with our increasingly more aware world in the year 2022 apparently there has been a bit of an issue with some new students as young as 6th grade at Encinal making references to LGBTQ+ people in a derogatory way, so we have come a long way but there are miles and miles to go.

Remember that even the Associated Press characterized Trish Spencer as the member who was opposed to Lesson 9, “This has torn apart our community,” said school trustee Trish Herrera Spencer, the board member most opposed to the gay curriculum and who opposed adding the supplemental books. She said the board’s latest action did not take into consideration “the strong beliefs” of all in the community. [emphasis added]

When the District later attempted to expand the curriculum to include more “protected classes” Trish Spencer changed her mind on what it was that she wanted:

What I am anxiously looking forward to is which Trish Herrera Spencer will be appearing for this particular School Board meeting.   Will it be the Trish Spencer from early August that wanted to suspend teaching of all anti-bullying materials until such time as a curriculum is developed that “goes to reducing bullying against all of our students and enumerating the six protected classes: religion, gender, LGBT, disability, race, ethnicity, and…um…uh…I’m not sure if I left one out…disability, and also disability. ”   Or will it be the Trish Spencer from the last School Board meeting who believed that a generic, off-the-rack anti-bullying curriculum would be the best bet for addressing all the protected classes.    My guess is that we’ll see a continuation of last meeting’s Trish Spencer, but then again maybe we’ll see an entirely different iteration of Trish Spencer with a completely different take on the curriculum.

So it is with great surprise that I read Trish Spencer’s response to the Asian Pacific American Democratic Caucus and reframed her support/lack of support/opposition to Lesson 9 all those years ago:

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September 15, 2022

Interests that are special

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

You should be seeing ads running in the Alameda Sun any day now since A Better Alameda has just had a flurry of checks written to them by the usual suspects. In addition to the $5000 which was made out to A Better Alameda when they were opposing everyone (including Paul B) they now have brought in quite a bit more cash to “better” Alameda.

Given the demographic of these contributors I think this is less about “bettering” Alameda rather than trying to keep it exactly the same or as close to 1973 as possible.

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September 14, 2022

Graphics design is my passion

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

Looks this is going to be a super shallow post, I’m not going to sugar coat it. While I do think that the cost for running in local elections have gotten pretty expensive, there’s really no excuse for bad graphic design though. Like, you can contract with someone on Upwork for $30 for a campaign logo (seriously you can, I just looked it up) if you don’t want to shell out for pricey campaign consultants and their graphics folks. Because we, collectively as a community, should not be subjected to this level of MS Paint work

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September 13, 2022

First of the forums

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:16 am

Last night the League of Women Voters had its first 2022 candidate forum featuring City Council candidates. I live tweeted as best I could the questions and answers but my internet and headphones were acting up so for some candidates I didn’t get a full snapshot of what they were saying:

You can scroll through that if you want an idea of what was asked and what was answered last night. I have to say the questions asked were a little clunky but I tried to summarize as best as I could.

Here are the general takeaways about each candidate:

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September 12, 2022

Rumor mongering

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 12:42 am

Just in case anyone decided that they might take a chance and cast a vote for Leland Traiman for the School Board I wanted to share one piece of recent correspondence from Leland Traiman to the Superintendent.

Granted the email itself is not written by Leland Traiman but it’s something that he felt comfortable sharing and appended information as though the allegations made in the email were true. In fact, this is follow up to a meeting that he had with the superintendent. Based on what was written to the Superintendent “I was wrong, it was Georgia, not North Carolina. Specifically Atlanta” it appears as though he was sharing the unfounded allegations and conspiracy that his good friend had sent. This is not a person who should be at all involved in the governance of Alameda schools.

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September 9, 2022

Do or donut, there is no try

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

Not sure if everyone peeped the latest entry into the #alamtg Twittersphere but there is an Alameda Donut in town and it’s asking questions of candidates for office. I’ve been asked a few times if I knew who was behind the donut and my answer is that I have some thoughts but understand that some folks would prefer to be anonymous and I can respect that. Just like commenters here I know folks want me to curb some of the worst of the anonymous comment offenders but, honestly, I can understand how people want to be able to say what they want and not fear that their livelihood or their IRL friendships might be threatened because they phrase something poorly on line.

This is, of course, not to blanket excuse bad behavior and shitty statements and there are some shitty statements that exist out there that people probably need to own IRL as well but, look, I’m not going to be the arbiter on that.

So I’m viewing the skepticism and pushback from the Alameda Donut account with great interest. As I’ve seen, so far, there’s nothing that screams anything untoward or strange. The questions being dripped out of the account that have, purportedly, been sent out to candidates seem highly reasonable so far. Like there’s a question that asks School Board candidates how they voted on School Bond Measure B. We can guess at three of four of the candidates: Gary Lym – yes, Ryan LaLonde – yes, Leland Traiman – no, but we have no idea how Maria Elena Moreno Van Maren voted and I would like to know that answer.

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September 8, 2022

Blue acres

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

Heads up to anyone interested about swimming pools in Alameda, the Rec and Park commission will be reviewing possible options for an Aquatic Center including a possible location.

Both locations are on the West End which pleasantly surprising:

Both locations are fine but I think the Sweeney Park location is slightly better since it will be more accessible to more of the island using non car options. The bike access to the Sweeney Park location is excellent given the new connections both east and west of the site. Of course the North – South connection is a little iffy but Alameda’s never been great at creating those North – South connections.

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September 7, 2022

Watching the “watchdogs”

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

Here’s where A Better Alameda’s new and improved PAC “name change” may run into possible pit falls. So remember that the committee was supporting Trish Spencer, Tony Daysog, and Bill Pai. But it also was opposing, by name, all the other candidates not named Trish Spencer, Tony Daysog, and/or Bill Pai:

Which means that even though they are now supporting Paul Beusterien at one point they did not. And during that one point that they did not they collected money and were fundraising for a PAC which would oppose him, by name. So far, $5000 was brought into ABA PAC to oppose Paul Beusterien’s run for City Council.

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