Blogging Bayport Alameda

May 8, 2017

Moving pieces

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

You know I’m not typically one that puts a lot of stock in conspiracy theories, but the need for the closure of Lum Elementary school is certainly something that solves a lot of the issues that existed for certain schools in Alameda and certainly for the district as a whole, minus the whole upsetting Lum parents/community thing.

The District has released a tentative Plan A and Plan B to address the relocation needs of the Lum student if the policy decision by the Board is to ultimately close Lum.

First, the decision to base where students will be redirected on the distance from the school to another school is sort of strange decision.  After all, most people won’t be walking their kids to school (unless of course they end up at Franklin) so diverting kids would force most parents to drive their kids to school.  Unless the District intends to send kids to certain schools depending on where they live in their own enrollment boundaries some kids who live say nearer to Crown Beach would have a ways to go if they end up being sent to Edison.

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May 5, 2017

At least you used to have your health care

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

I’m pretty livid about yesterday’s national news.

So I guess it won’t really matter if Alamedans actually have access to Alameda Hospital anymore, since 24 million people Americans will eventually lose their health coverage if this bill successfully makes its way through the Senate.

Folks with pre-existing conditions and folks with pre-existing conditions you never knew were pre-existing conditions, be prepared to be denied coverage because the law will no longer protect you.  But MAGA or something, right?

I hope every single angry person, regardless of party affiliation, shuts down any town hall or event held by any member of Congress that voted for a bill that I doubt anyone actually read.

As they say, partisanship is a hell of a drug where cutting taxes for the wealthy comes at the expense of the poor.

Donate to Planned Parenthood everyone.

 

May 4, 2017

Money for transportation, checks for streets

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

It’s older news but I wanted to highlight that Alameda is in line for some grant money for much needed transportation projects in the City (and to benefit from project outside our borders as well).

From the City’s press release here are the funded projects.  The exciting bit is that the Central Avenue improvements are fully funded.

– Seaplane Lagoon Ferry Terminal – $8.2 million in Fiscal Year (FY) 2019-20 for construction
– Central Avenue Safety Improvement Project (Main Street/Pacific Avenue to Sherman Street/Encinal Avenue) – $3.5 million in FY 2019-20 for construction so that between the two grants, which total $10.8 million, it is a fully funded project
– Clement Avenue Safety Improvement Project (Broadway to Grand Street) – $5 million in FY 2017-19 for environmental/design and FY 2019-20 for construction
– Clement Avenue East Extension and Tilden Way including Right-of-Way Purchase from Union Pacific – $8.4 million in FY 2017-19 for planning/environmental/design/ROW and FY 2019-20 for construction
– Appezzato Parkway Dedicated Bus Lanes – $9 million in FY 2017-19 for planning/environmental/design and FY 2019-20 for construction
– Citywide Street Resurfacing: Pavement Management – $827,000 in FY 2019-20 for construction

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May 3, 2017

All consuming

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

Look, I get that the Lum situation is very important.  It’s something that is all consuming for the school district right now that apparently they can’t seem to move on to the business of other schools.

This is a problem.

Ruby Bridges Elementary School was supposed to have our Innovative Plan presented before the School Board on May 9.  After the news about Lum broke, that presentation was pushed to May 23.

Now the Lum decision is pushed to May 23 and Ruby Bridges is left, in limbo, once again with Ruby Bridges’s innovative plan being presented at a meeting where the majority of the focus will be on Lum and not on anything thing else.

Not only that, Ruby Bridges’s principal is leaving at the end of the year and the District still has not posted the position for a principal for Ruby Bridges yet.

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May 2, 2017

Slow supply

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

Just in case you were wondering how well the City has done toward meeting its Regional Housing Needs Allocation, the answer is, “meh.”

The City Council will be voting to transmit the 2016 Housing Element report to the State to show the progress made toward the RHNA numbers.  This is one of those fact based reports that report exactly how much housing has come on line in a given year and not how much it “feels” like has come on line.

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May 1, 2017

Expert timing

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

I did not get a chance to get out to the big community meeting at Wood Middle School about Lum because it was Ruby Bridges Elementary’s STEAM Showcase and Silent Auction.  The Hamilton raffle winner was pulled that night so if you did not get an email you did not win.

Anyway, I read the tweets from the AUSD account and I started getting a little discouraged by the direction that some of the commentary from the community was heading in, specifically this direction:

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April 28, 2017

It’s for sale, the American dream

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

The other day I got into a, not a fight really, but a Twitter disagreement with a local realtor.  The realtor suggested in response to an article about a San Franciscan making $160K who said that he couldn’t afford to purchase a home that he should simply move in order to find affordability.  Also there was the implication that people who remark about the lack of affordability simply don’t know how to save properly.

Putting aside the whole “kids these days just don’t know how to x, y, or z” and also putting aside the whole “go forth and gentrify” message being pushed by this realtor there is a real problem with young people simply not being able to afford “the American Dream.”

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April 27, 2017

A messy business

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

Last night the big Alameda news was the possible closure of Lum Elementary school.

However, not for the reasons that one would normally think.  After all Lum is one of the larger schools in Alameda.  Lum chugs along sort of minding its own business, never really causing any issues for the District.  In fact Lum was slated to get a new building constructed to help with capacity issues.  But, because of that expansion, the District discovered that Lum was on land that had a high probability of liquefaction in the big one.

From AUSD’s press release:

Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) officials told family and staff at Lum Elementary School today that structural engineers have determined that the school cannot be guaranteed to be safe for long-term continued use because the soil on which it was built has been found to be susceptible to liquefaction in the event of an earthquake.

The risk was discovered just recently as the district was preparing to build a new classroom building on the Lum campus. Tests at the school indicate that during a strong earthquake the soils would be subject to liquefaction (a process by which sandy or silty soils lose their strength during strong ground shaking and behave like a liquid). The structural engineer subsequently determined the building could sink as much as 5 inches in a 100-year earthquake and become structurally unsafe.

The district then ordered five more samples to be taken from around the Lum campus. Each sample came back with similar results, causing concern for the existing campus buildings.  As a result, the engineers have recommended that “the district develop a plan to provide suitable alternate facilities for the students as soon as feasible.”

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April 26, 2017

Everyone actually belongs here

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

It’s been fairly easy to rag on the whole “Everyone Belongs Here” tagline. I mean, who wouldn’t want to sign on to such an inclusive sentiment. But it’s one of those things that people support in theory, but when it comes to some active steps that may affect people’s perceived quality of live, “everyone” comes with a big fat asterisk.

That’s probably a longer rant for a different time, but suffice it to say that one place where that sentiment is actually practiced is at Alameda Point Collaborative and Friends.   This video was posted in the comments section for this post and like someone remarked on Twitter the other night it should be beamed on Park Street for everyone to see and understand about the good work being done in super shoddy conditions right in our backyards.

Maybe it could be run during the ad times at the Alameda Theatres before the previews start.  It would be a nice switch up.

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April 25, 2017

All night long, but not the fun Lionel Ritchie version

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

Last Tuesday night’s City Council meeting was really just a master class on what not to do in order to move along a public meeting in an orderly fashion.  I did mention the part where it feels like everyone hates each other on the City Council right?  I mean, yeah some folks may not be enemies but there’s no way that these people actually enjoy hanging out with one another for hours at a time every two weeks.  No way.

There were some super painful portions that I may get into some other time, but it’s just too traumatizing to go back and have to listen to Trish Spencer and Marilyn Ezzy-Ashcraft snipe at each other over every single little thing.  I did want to address this super head scratching moment though during the Council Referral portion.  The City Council decided instead of ending the meeting at a reasonable 11 p.m. they were going to try to hear every single item on the agenda including the held over Council Referrals.  I could have told everyone that was a bad idea, but *shrug*.

They all realized how late it was and so Frank Matarrese wanted to table the remaining of the items to avoid having to make a motion to boot the items not yet heard to another meeting.  Marilyn Ezzy-Ashcraft points that that a City Staff person has been waiting all night long for this particular Council Referral item about the Housing Authority.  So they decide to go ahead and hear that particular Referral because they’ve made this lady wait so long.

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