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Archive for April, 2008

Charter schools in Oakland, charter schools in Alameda

The Education Report‘s Katy Murphy has a new post (with some interesting discussion) on the bill written by Assemblyman Sandré Swanson to halt the creation of charter schools in Oakland. Assembly bill 2008 is relevant to Alameda because, as a district like Oakland with declining enrollment, our town is poised to face, on a lesser scale of course, some of the financial challenges brought by the creation of charters.

Posted on Saturday, April 19th, 2008
Under: Schools | 1 Comment »

Hey Alameda, what do you do during an earthquake?

Hello! Here’s a link to my column from Tuesday, When the Earth Shakes, Duck.

Posted on Friday, April 18th, 2008
Under: Print columns | 1 Comment »

Video: Today’s school budget protests in Alameda

New at 11:10 p.m: Below is Oakland Tribune video of today’s protest and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. If you watch until the end—it’s only two and a half minutes so probably you can hang in there—you get to see the governor say one of the most amusing/perplexing things that’s been coming out of his office lately. He talks about how education in California is currently ‘overfunded.’


Thanks to school board member Mike McMahon for the link to this KPIX story on today’s protests. Enjoy the video of parents and students talking about why public schools matter. Hopefully more links to come.

New at 4:46 p.m: Here’s the KCBS story.

New at 4:48 p.m: Here’s an ABC 7 story from today on the long-term impact of cuts to education in our state: Higher Education cuts could be devastating to California.

New at 9:45: The Oakland Tribune’s Josh Richman also filed a story on Schwarzenegger’s visit. He writes about the governor’s softening rhetoric on taxes and the state’s decaying infrastructure.

Posted on Wednesday, April 16th, 2008
Under: Events, Posts with video, Schools | No Comments »

Alameda students, parents and teachers protest school budget cuts

Peter Hegarty’s story about the school walk outs and parent and teacher protests that greeted Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger when he visited the USS Hornet in Alameda today is here.

Posted on Wednesday, April 16th, 2008
Under: Events, Schools | 1 Comment »

Alameda city council opposes light brown apple moth spray

Alameda’s city council voted last night to oppose the state’s plan to spray Alameda and surrounding cities with an untested synthetic moth pheromone delivered in plastic microcapsules. Michele Ellson over there at The Island has the details.

Posted on Wednesday, April 16th, 2008
Under: Going Green, Light Brown Apple Moth | No Comments »

Protest planned for Governor Schwarzenegger’s visit Wednesday morning

Every protest needs friendly, happy kids, no? Below is video of two startlingly cute first graders standing in a trash can during the Alameda Education Foundation’s Step Up and Donate/Public Education is too Valuable to Throw Away awareness campaign last month.

As you may or may not have heard—it’s hard to know, isn’t it? Just who’s heard what?—Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will be Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, April 15th, 2008
Under: Events, Posts with video, Schools | No Comments »

Over there across the Alameda estuary: Jingletown art show

There’s only a few more days to catch Alameda photographer Jan Watten’s work, which is up now through April 25 at the Pro Arts Gallery at 550 2nd Street in Oakland. The 10-person show, called Jingletown Junction, is a celebration of the art and artists who’ve made their home in the area of East Oakland between the High Street and Fruitvale bridges.


Watten, who also participated in the recent Alameda on Camera project now up at the Frank Bette Center, says her work for the Jingletown show includes portraits of neighborhood artists, many of whom she’s worked around for years. “I lived in Jingletown from 1984 to 1997,” says Watten. “Then then I got married and moved to Alameda—but I kept my studio because I loved it so much.”

Watten has two pieces in the show:

One piece is called An Aspect of my Jingletown [pictured left]. In the late ’80s, I started photographing people with objects—with something they felt revealed something about their identity. I’m going back to those people and photographing them again. The work is a grid of faces.

I also have some photographs I took with a plastic camera, a Holga. I photograph the neighborhood. I’m in love with my Holga—it’s freeing. You go out and you never know what you’re going to get. It’s sort of like zen photography.

The East Bay Express has a nice little write up of the show and more on the history of the Jingletown neighborhood.

Posted on Monday, April 14th, 2008
Under: Events | 1 Comment »

LBAM report out: pheromones over Alameda

When I first heard of the light brown apple moth, I promised myself I’d never use the LBAM acronym—because who calls a little brown moth “LBAM?” It’s goofy. But there it is, up there in the headline, in all its space-saving goofiness.

The state has released its report on whether the spraying of Checkmate (synthetic moth pheromones in plastic ‘microcapsules’ for time release) in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties last fall caused illnesses. Chris Metinko’s story about the findings is here. It is no surprise that the state found there was not enough evidence to conclusively Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, April 14th, 2008
Under: Light Brown Apple Moth, Nuisances, Off-Island Life | 2 Comments »

Governor Schwarzenegger is coming to Alameda

Our very own California governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, will be in town Wednesday April 16, visiting the USS Hornet where he’ll participate in an ‘open conversation’ (as opposed, I guess, to a closed one) as part of the Bay Area Council’s annual conference.

Those who pay attention to these things have lately been noticing a shift in Schwarzenegger’s language: from a staunch anti-tax stance, to a more open rhetoric, one which includes the possibility of raising taxes to fund vital state services like, say, education and parks.

For any of you who may have somehow missed it, Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Friday, April 11th, 2008
Under: Events | No Comments »

Pete Stark is coming to town (Alameda)

US. Representative Pete Stark, who has served in congress since 1973, will hold a town meeting in Alameda, from noon to 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 12, in council chambers at City Hall. Stark, who holds an MBA from the Haas School of Business and made his fortune in banking before turning to public service, regularly tours through the towns in his district to hear from voters like us.

Stark was an early opponent of the Iraq War, speaking on the House floor against the resolution authorizing military force in Iraq on October 10, 2002. He said, in part (my source here is Wikipedia):

Well then, who will pay? School kids will pay. There’ll Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Thursday, April 10th, 2008
Under: Events | No Comments »