Blogging Bayport Alameda

August 26, 2013

Throwback today

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda Landing, Business, Development — Tags: , — Lauren Do @ 6:06 am

All right this post is going to be graphics heavy, you’ve been warned, because the remnant parcel tenants have shown their cards and now everyone has brand new designs — you’ve seen the ones for Chase Bank already — but Safeway went in a completely different direction as did In N Out for their building design.    I tend to like a lot more modern looking buildings, glass and steel I love it, so when I initially saw that both Safeway and In N Out had went more historic, I’ll admit I was a little disappointed and expected to hate it so much.

And I did sort of hate the initial photos I saw of the In N Out design, mainly because they were flat and black and white and had all these measurements on them.  Bring on the renderings!  I also hated the Safeway gas kiosk because I thought they were going to go in the other direction which was to make the gas canopy as light and airy feeling as possible to make it almost disappear, but no, they decided to go heavy and bulky and, I have to say, it works.   It works because it’s clear what the inspiration is and that is the Posey Tube.


August 22, 2013

Master of your eminent domain

Filed under: Alameda, Business, Development — Tags: , , — Lauren Do @ 6:02 am

A few days ago I tweeted out that residents around the Neptune Pointe parcel (McKay Ave aka the parcel that East Bay Regional Park District believes should be handed over to them) received a notice by the General Services Administration (aka the Feds) that they would be starting eminent domain proceedings because of the disagreement as to who owns McKay Avenue and utility easements or who has the right to access whatever.

From the letter:

Due to claims by the East Bay Regional Park District regarding the Federal government’s rights to McKay Avenue, the United States has initiated eminent domain proceedings to secure ownership of McKay Avenue subject to reservation of rights for the State of California and residents of McKay Avenue. By taking ownership of this roadway, the Federal government can facilitate the modernization of the roadway and utilities retained by the Government and ensure all security requirements are met.

The letter goes on to assure the public that the eminent domain will not affect them and that the site will still remain open to the public.   It will be interesting to see how this proceeds because, generally eminent domain has to have a “public benefit.”  If the EBRPD wasn’t in the process of suing the City of Alameda over the zoning of the Neptune Pointe parcel perhaps they would have had a strong ally in this battle against the Feds.


July 17, 2013

In audit we trust

Filed under: Alameda, City Council, Public Resources — Tags: , , — Lauren Do @ 6:07 am

It’s taken me about a month or so to fully catch up on City meeting watching.   When I came back from from early June vacation I had a “to be viewed” pile of videos that I had missed in addition to current meetings.   Someone told me that I had to watch the budget meeting from June 11 and I had ended up watching the same (wrong) video twice because I wasn’t sure if I had missed something from a very long and very protracted meeting about putting liens on people’s houses who had managed over the years to rack up huge building permit violations.  Needless to say that was not a fun discussion to listen to and brought out the crankiness in many a City Council person on the dais.

When I finally started watch the correct video I settled in to a long, rather dry, discussion of the budget.  And then, public comment.   Generally where the magic happens during any City meeting.   The Mayor called up City Auditor Kevin Kearney and whoa!  Let me just say that I didn’t expect him to stand up and say what he did.   Since the Kevins (City Auditor Kevin Kearney and City Treasurer Kevin Kennedy) are put up on a pedestal in this town by a fair number of people and mostly people who have a lot of complaints with the current administration and City government, I about fell over when he started speaking.  So, video is here (starts around 52 minutes into the video feed).

But here’s a selected transcript for those who don’t have time for video:


June 26, 2013

Crosswalk section

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda Landing, Business, Development — Tags: , — Lauren Do @ 6:06 am

So here, I’m just going to say it.   I don’t agree with anything that any of my Bayport neighbors said at the Planning Board meeting on Monday night.   At all.   In fact, I’m a little embarrassed by the xenophobic comments that elicited not one, but two Planning Board members to chastise the speakers.    It saddens me more than anything else.   I can handle concerns about traffic, I can handle concerns about liquor licenses, I can handle concerns about late night operating hours.   But what I can’t handle are suggestions about “people from outside Alameda” as code for undesirables and disparaging remarks about homeless people.  What I can’t handle is people who conflate a random crime spree with businesses that are in the nascent planning stages.

Also, I would appreciate if people from Bayport would stop talking about Bayport as though we are one monolithic unit that feels the same way, because I do not endorse what was said last night by my neighbors.

So I’m going to leave it at that, because, shit, I still have to live here.

I will make one comment though as to people who think that In-N-Out will not make an appropriate “gateway” welcome sign.   Right now, it’s a weedy vacant lot.   I think that is even less of an appropriate gateway welcome.   But in general, there needs to be work on the screening through landscaping.


June 21, 2013

In-N-Out In

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda Landing, Development — Tags: , — Lauren Do @ 6:01 am

It’s official.  It’s In-N-Out coming to Alameda Landing’s drive-thru parcel, I mean “entry site.”   But in addition to In-N-Out the parcel will be rounded out with a Chase Bank and the Safeway Gas Station which we all knew was coming since there was that whole Safeway wants a gas station thing.   Look, the whole entry site is turning out to be a little low rent, but honestly, given the difficulty of actually getting into that site, it’s amazing that they were able to get anyone interested in it at all.     I mean, when Catellus first sold this as a drive-thru development they really knew their market.   All of the retailers are of the drive thru variety, except I guess some people do actually eat at In-N-Out.

So here’s the general plan.   Everyone knows where they are right?  At the top is Webster, bottom is Stargell.   In-N-Out will be at the, um, rounded tip.  The Safeway gas will be closest to the Safeway.



June 18, 2013

Fixing a hole: the numbers

Filed under: Alameda, School — Tags: , — Lauren Do @ 6:08 am

So here are the numbers of what it will cost to fix all the facilities — with the exception of the Historic Alameda High School — if we were just to repair all of the identified problems in existing campuses.

The summary:

Screen Shot 2013-06-03 at 5.10.48 PM

And the breakdown by type of repair:


June 11, 2013

Enroll call

Filed under: Alameda, City Council, School — Tags: , , — Lauren Do @ 6:01 am

Tonight the City Council agenda is kinda meh, it’s the budget again because something was wonky with the construction project list. The interesting stuff is all going on at the School Board.   But first, one thing that is notable is that the City finally decided to make the complete spreadsheet of the budget available for those that were interested in the nitty gritty numbers to crunch.   It was kind of silly for staff to initially withhold the document.   I’m glad someone came to their senses at the City and decided that there is absolutely no reason to not allow people to see the actual numbers.

The full budget-y goodness can be found here.  But back to the School Board.

First up there’s a whole agenda item about the Wood Middle School and its program improvement status and enrollment. I guess there is a need for this agenda item because there have been suggestions that District Staff have been calling families to urge them to go to the Junior Jets program at Encinal. Staff contends that they have been calling families who indicated that they were both attending Wood AND multiple other schools, so they were simply trying to figure out where those students were actually going to.    Which is what the School District should do.   However, the one valid beef that Wood supporters do have is the fact that the District moved ACLC to the Wood campus, citing the additional space there, but have been informing inter District students (that means kids not from Alameda) that Wood is now impacted with resident students (that means kids from Alameda) and they have the option of enrolling in the Junior Jets program or going to Bay Farm for 7th grade only.   But that number of students is probably pretty small, plus folks generally aren’t too sympathetic about students from outside Alameda attending Alameda schools.


June 10, 2013

The goal is elevation

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda Landing, Business, Development — Tags: , — Lauren Do @ 6:00 am

On tonight’s Planning Board agenda are the facade designs for the Alameda Landing retail.

Here’s the Safeway and the floor plan for the Safeway.   Looks to be about the same overall layout as a typical Safeway, maybe a touch smaller at 46K sq ft compared to the South Shore Safeway which is a little less than 60K sq ft.

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June 7, 2013

Cottage Food industry

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda Point, Public Resources — Tags: , — Lauren Do @ 6:07 am

Last year the state legislature signed into law the California Homemade Food Act which essentially allows people to make food stuffs in their home kitchens and legally sell them.   This is also known as “Cottage Food Operations”.    Before you freak out about salmonella or anything like that there are limitations on the types of foods you can make it your home, such as:

  • Baked goods without cream, custard, or meat fillings,such as breads, biscuits, churros, cookies, pastries, and tortillas
  • Candy, such as brittle and toffee
  • Chocolate-covered nonperishable foods, such as nuts and dried fruit
  • Dried fruit
  • Dried pasta
  • Dry baking mixes
  • Fruit pies,fruit empanadas, and fruit tamales
  • Granola, cereals, and trail mixes
  • Herb blends and dried mole paste
  • Honey and sweet sorghum syrup
  • Jams, jellies, preserves, and fruit butter that comply with the standard described in Part 150 of Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
  • Nut mixes and nut butters
  • Popcorn
  • Vinegar and mustard
  • Roasted coffee and dried tea
  • Waffle cones and pizzelles


June 6, 2013

SpEd off

Filed under: Alameda, School — Tags: , , — Lauren Do @ 6:06 am

So remember this post I wrote on the difference between last year’s budget and this year’s budget for AUSD and it appeared that there were cuts to the school site budgets.  Turns out the reason why it appeared that there were cuts is because from last year to this year District staff removed Special Ed service dollars from their budget.

Screen Shot 2013-06-04 at 6.32.04 PM


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