Blogging Bayport Alameda

August 17, 2009


Just a hodgepodge of miscellaneous news

First the BART strike has been averted, proceed as normal folks.   But, according to the SFGate article, some folks may be trying out alternate modes, so if you still want to try out taking the ferry, it’s actually a pretty neat ride.

The lawsuits against Measure H are moving towards positive resolutions, with the Beery case appearing to be more farther along.   Borikas has declined to join up with Beery to work to develop a new parcel tax that businesses will be happy with, preferring to keep the terms of their settlement offer private.  

The petition over at John Knox White’s site has amassed an amazing number of signatures in support of the three school board members under threat of recall.   While the vast majority of signatures are from Alameda residents there are a few non Alameda residents as well showing their support as well.   If you have not yet signed, please do so and if you know of others that would like to show their support as well, please pass along the link.

On that topic, word is that the group organizing the recall effort (S.E.R.V.E. Alameda) will be having a press conference on Friday and have asked permission to do it at City Hall.   Additionally, they want to have a town hall meeting on August 29 to “discuss school district issues” also at City Hall.   It’s a good strategy, nothing adds an air of legitimacy more than having a meeting at City Hall.

The Firefighters have put out their rebuttal document to the consultant report that has been oft quoted by City leaders.  I’ve only skimmed the document, but wanted to put it out there for those interested.

Mark Haskett of the now defunct Central Cinema is looking to take over the Parkway Theater in Oakland.  Redroom posted a bit of an email from the programmer and host Will Viharo who said that talks continue between Mark Haskett and Councilmember Pat Kernighan:

Mark has very specific ideas on how to streamline the original business model. He shares my view that the overhead should be split between a team with specific theater experience and one with restaurant experience, working in concert under one roof. This has always seemed the most cost effective and efficient way to operate this kind of business, as far as I’m concerned.

And last but not least, CASA is hosting two workshops on the Zero Waste Implementation plan, one for businesses and the other for the community at large.   If you can’t make it out to the meeting, you can participate via a Webinar (business and community).  Those meetings are set for Wednesday starting at 8:30 a.m. for the business one.   The community meeting will be at 7:00 p.m.   Both will be held at City Hall in the Council chambers.

But on Tuesday, CASA will be hosting a meeting on Climate Change in general starting at 7:00 p.m. at First Congregational Church Social Hall, 1912 Central Avenue.   The first part will feature Alamedan, Srikant Subramaniam who will talk about the “Science of Climate Change” and the second part will feature Joyce Mercado, green guru, who will talk about “the Art of Making a Difference.”   Seriously though, I think Joyce Mercado knows every in and out about recycling and other such things in Alameda and she makes it accessible to the average person.


July 16, 2009

The tide is high

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda Point — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:30 am

John King has a great article about the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission’s design competition on how to deal with the issue of sea level rise in the Bay Area.  

Out of 131 entries, the jury panel selected six winners and divided the money equally to the six teams.

I found two of the six winners to be the most compelling.   The first, called “Folding Water” drew me in because of this graphic:



April 24, 2009

I want to ride my bicycle

Filed under: Alameda, Transportation — Tags: , , — Lauren Do @ 6:30 am

I was just reading an article in the New York Times about how the latest “It” thing for fashionable New Yorkers is a Dutch bicycle.  The article had a cute discussion of an attorney that used to ride in his suit and tie before he crashed with another bicyclist — neither were on Dutch cycles — but clearly that doesn’t stop folks in Amsterdam from riding their bikes in all sorts of clothing and, apparently, helmetless.

I think those Dutch bicycles are rather neat, but I have always had an affinity for simple bikes.  My own ride is a pink (yes, pink) beach cruiser complete with child seat in the back and a horn in the shape of a turtle.   I love that bike.   The only thing I am missing is a good basket to schlep stuff in.   Usually I use the child seat if I am childless, but that’s sort of a drag since I always have to be mindful of the stuff potentially falling out. 

This is an interesting excerpt from the NYT article about bike culture:

…George Bliss, who teaches at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, and is the owner of Hub Station, a vintage bike shop in the West Village, believes the best P.R. for everyday biking comes from people outside the biking world, not inside….

Tomorrow, is, of course the big Earth Day Festival at Washington Park, so if you are going to be heading out there, what better way than on your bike?   The weather is supposed to be beautiful and Bike Alameda will be offering Free Bike Valet parking so you don’t need to worry about finding a place to lock up your bike.

April 23, 2009

Unemployed…in Greenland?

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda Point, Development, Election — Tags: , , — Lauren Do @ 6:55 am

Okay, quick quiz, which organizational body do you find to be the most authoritative?

  1. United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
  2. Pacific Institute
  3. International Scientific Congress on Climate Change
  4. San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission

And just so you aren’t basing this on length of the name alone, let me give you a brief summary of the mission of each group:

United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

…The IPCC is a scientific body: the information it provides with its reports is based on scientific evidence and reflects existing viewpoints within the scientific community. The comprehensiveness of the scientific content is achieved through contributions from experts in all regions of the world and all relevant disciplines including, where appropriately documented, industry literature and traditional practices, and a two stage review process by experts and governments. 

Because of its intergovernmental nature, the IPCC is able to provide scientific technical and socio-economic information in a policy-relevant but policy neutral way to decision makers. When governments accept the IPCC reports and approve their Summary for Policymakers, they acknowledge the legitimacy of their scientific content…

Pacific Institute

The Pacific Institute is a nonpartisan research institute that works to advance environmental protection, economic development, and social equity.

…works to create a healthier planet and sustainable communities. We conduct interdisciplinary research and partner with stakeholders to produce solutions that advance environmental protection, economic development, and social equity—in California, nationally, and internationally.

International Scientific Congress on Climate Change

The main aim of the congress was to provide a synthesis of existing and emerging scientific knowledge necessary in order to make intelligent societal decisions concerning application of mitigation and adaptation strategies in response to climate change.

The congress aimed to identify and synthesise the science, technology and policy advances required in order to ensure sustainability of global communities in the current and coming decades.

San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission

The Bay Conservation and Development Commission is dedicated to the protection and enhancement of San Francisco Bay and to the encouragement of the Bay’s responsible use.

The Commission’s large and diverse membership–which includes representatives of virtually everyone who has an interest in the Bay–allows BCDC to serve as a forum where affected agencies and interests can gather to coordinate their perspectives. As a result, BCDC’s decisions often represent a political consensus of what is in the best interest of the Bay…

Don’t click through until you’ve made your decision.  Honor system folks!


April 22, 2009

Things ain’t what they used to be

Filed under: Alameda, Warm Fuzzies — Tags: , — Lauren Do @ 6:30 am

Which is why you should get out to Alameda’s Earth Day Festival  and Sustainable Living Symposium.  It’s what Marvin Gaye would have wanted you to do.   The festivities are this Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at Washington Park.   The Sustainable Living Symposium is all a part of the City’s efforts to cut our greehouse gas  emmissions collectively.   What is great about a lot of the programmed activities is that it shows you, regular old citizen you, a few ways to make positive change even if you can’t make the big committments like going all vegetarian or giving up your car.  When Michael Ruhlman waxes poetic about the wonders of duck confit, vegtarianism is not an option, but I digress.

So here is a listing of the events with brief descriptions of what’s going on:


October 27, 2008

CASA in the House

Filed under: Alameda, Public Resources, Transportation — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 7:00 am

Mark your calendars Alamedans because Community Action for a Sustainable Alameda (CASA) will be having a meeting this Thursday (day before Halloween) from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. to talk about next steps toward getting Alameda further towards its goal of reducing its carbon footprint 25% below 2005 levels by 2020.  The meeting will be at the Alameda Main Library.


January 17, 2008

A climate for change

Filed under: Alameda, City Council — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:50 am

Fairly recently our own Climate Protection Task Force had recommended adoption of a shiny new report called the Local Action Plan for Climate Protection, it is chock full of action items for the city to take in order to help protection our environment.   This item will not be before the City Council until early February so if you feel strongly aboout the issue of climate change, this one’s for you.  As you will notice, solving the greenhouse gas emissions by telling our garbage companies to stop using three separate trucks to collect recycling, garbage, and compostables was not one of the items, but I digress.

Some of the action items are sort of a nice sentiment, but I feel it will be difficult to actually get folks to conform to.   One that I am particularly thinking about is Initiative number 5 (p. 24) which is to “encourage” Alameda employers to offer flex hours, compressed hours, and better telecommunting options.  I suppose that some companies could offer it, I think it’s more of a feel good initiative than one that will actually substantially reduce the number of car trips taken by employees of these Alameda companies.  


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