Open invitation to coffee, for all who want to talk

Morning, Alameda! Anyone out there want to discuss, face to face, eye to eye, any heated topics like, say, Measure H? Want to talk about our moral/ethical obligations to our fellow citizens? Want to discuss how, despite, say, an ideological commitment to ‘liberty,’ we all at some point in our lives, as infants or elders, or when injured or sick, require the help/support/even money of others. And while we might, on a good day, be able to keep up the charade that our ‘liberty’ is not contingent on others, at some time that notion will be faced with the cold, hard reality of its impracticality. Coffee anyone?

[A note: Tom Pavletic, who has not Continue Reading


This Week’s Alamedan: Joseph Huang


Lived in Alameda: Since 7th grade
Age: 18
Originally from: San Francisco. Also lived in Oakland and San Leandro.
Family: Lives with mom, dad and younger brother
Current occupation: Senior at Alameda High
What’s next: San Jose State
Career goal: Find passion/leverage it to get rich

Why Alameda?
Alameda’s definitely a step up. It’s definitely got a lot less crime and it’s really safe.

Why San Jose State?
I chose it because it’s far from home but not too far and I want to just adapt and get out of my comfort zone and develop a sense of independence. It’s kind of like starting off on a clean slate but it’s not as clean as I hoped it to be. There’s a lot of people from Alameda High going. Continue Reading


Alameda “Save our Music” concert this Friday

This Friday, May 2, at 7 p.m. in Kofman Auditorium (in Alameda High) there will be a benefit concert to try to keep music in grades one, two and three in our district’s schools. The concert is brought to you by Bay Farm parent Lorri Garrett and a host of other hardworking volunteers in the Save our Music crew. You can buy tickets to the hip-happening event online here and also learn more about the class acts, including on- and off-island talent as well as many of our district’s bright-eyed third graders. If you can’t make the show, there’s also an online auction, with items including tickets to the San Francisco Opera, a $100 gift certificate to Scott’s Shoes and a drum head signed by Metallica.

Measure H
As always, Continue Reading


Gov. Schwarzenegger calls for ‘halt’ to aerial spraying

[Ed. note: The New York Times is finally covering 4/25/08) the light brown apple moth and the government’s response.]

On the heels of this morning’s ruling by a Santa Cruz county judge to stop aerial spraying for the light brown apple moth in that county until the completion of an environmental impact report, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger today announced a suspension—until August 17—of the spraying for the moth state-wide…until, he says, there’s more investigation into the health affects of the as-yet-untested product being used. Oddly enough for us up here in the Bay Area, aerial spraying wasn’t scheduled to start until August, anyway. In the state’s press release the governor ‘says’ this:

I am confident that Continue Reading


Update: Light brown apple moth spraying halted in Santa Cruz County

Breaking news: A Santa Cruz County judge this morning ruled that the state of California has not provided enough evidence of an emergency and must, thus, complete an environmental impact report on the light brown apple moth before spraying in that county can resume.

And thanks to the reporting of Michele Ellson over at the island, we know that a host of environmental watch dog groups—despite portrayals to the contrary by the State of California—oppose plans to spray the city of Alameda and other Bay Area cities and towns with an untested and possibly unnecessary synthetic moth pheromone delivered in tiny plastic microcapsules.

The more I read about the moth—and, trust me, reading about it in all its complexity gives me a headache—the more it becomes clear that the reason for the rush to erradication (the possiblity of which many experts dispute) has to do with trade embargoes (Mexico has imposed embargoes on agriculture products from areas with the moth) and loss of business for our growers. It begins to seem like it’s more a trade issue—the moth does not result in quarantines in other world regions—than an environmental one. So let’s work to change trade requirements.


Alameda County Board of Education denies Nea Charter

Last November, the people who run the Alameda Community Learning Center, a charter school for children grades 6-12 housed at Encinal High, submitted an application to Alameda’s school board for a charter for a new elementary school called Nea (NCLC). The Alameda school board denied the charter and so, as the process goes, the ACLC/NCLC folks took their appeal to the county board of education (they can appeal next to the state next). Last night the county turned down that appeal. School 94501/94502 has more details.


Alameda schools in crisis, a state-wide problem

Tom Pavletic can blame Alameda’s school funding troubles on a bloated administration, but the actual fact remains that public schools up and down California don’t have enough dollars to provide the services they’re expected to. (Here’s a chart comparing administrative costs in Alameda Unified to those of other county districts—Alameda ranks 12th of 16.) Every district is hurting and hurting hard; every district needs outside funding sources, be it parcel tax dollars, grants or donations. Most districts are doing their best to get by with a combination of the three. Rob Siltanen, who blogs at School 94501/94502, linked yesterday to an Los Angeles Times article, California public schools seek private money just to cover basics, which attempts to track some aspects of the state-wide problem.

Education funding is complex. Why does Alameda get less than other districts? Why do local districts have to set their budgets before the state budget is final? If you want to learn more about Alameda schools, come to an informational meeting featuring some of our town’s dedicated citizens, School Board President Bill Schaff, Alameda Education Foundation Executive Director Brooke Briggance, and Jerry Nussbaum, of Kane & Associates.

Tuesday, April 29, 6:30 – 8 p.m.
Ruby Bridges Elementary Multipurpose Room
351 Jack London Ave.

Free child care will be available