This Week’s Alamedan: Shipra Pathak

shipra sLived in Alameda: Since 2004
Age: 24
Originally from: Punjab, India
Family: Lives with mother, father and brother, Gaurav, 18
Current occupation: Full-time clerk at Walgreens; student at Laney College taking prerequisites for nursing school
Accomplishments: Earned associate’s degree from College of Alameda in 2007; won district-wide Chancellor’s Trophy Award
Career goal: Earn a master’s in nursing
Activities: Going to Hindu temple, community service

Why Alameda?
My father came first in 2001. He was looking for an apartment in a safe area. When the rest of the family came in 2004, he moved to Alameda.

Like best about Alameda?
Being new here, you get to meet new challenges every day and you and your family feel very proud when you achieve them.

Would like to change about Alameda?
Mostly I’m concerned about crime, even though we have less crime than other cities. I’m concerned about hate crime—or even saying bad words to a person of another race. Once I was working and a customer came in and said quite rude things. I was very quiet, and so surprised how anyone could talk that way to a person they don’t know anything about. I was very shocked by how people can treat others and what kind of feelings they have inside.

Word to the wise I would like everyone to be more aware of people with different cultural backgrounds and their beliefs so we could respect each other and have safe neighborhoods for everyone.


Rally for Alameda schools Thursday afternoon

[Ed. note: speakers at the rally include State Assembly Member Sandre Swanson and former 16th district State Assembly Member Wilma Chan.]

This coming Thursday at 3:30 p.m. there will be a rally on the steps of the Alameda Unified School District offices to keep the momentum going in support of public education. My understanding is that speeches/remarks will begin at 4 p.m. and speakers include the always-inspiring Brooke Briggance as well as reps from teacher and staff unions. District offices are at 2200 Central Avenue.

Come on out and be energized to, among other things, pass Measure H, the supplemental/emergency parcel tax that, as I hope you’ve heard already, will be on the June 3rd ballot.

Also, for your edification/amusement here’s a link to an Onion story about the cutting of the entire past tense from schools across the country.


Breaking news: Alameda Journal blogger now in print!

You can now read the online version of my first print column for the Alameda Journal. (Of course, you can also pick up the print version of the Journal and read it in actual ink—I know my father will!) Today I write about the light brown apple moth, lice, ants and snails.

Also look for Peter Hegarty’s coverage of Continue Reading


News Links: Light brown apple moth

The rancor in the state continues over government plans to spray CheckMate, a synthetic moth hormone delivered in plastic ‘microcapsules’ over Bay Area counties come August.

Genevieve Bookwalter reports on the United States Department of Agriculture’s response to the study issued last month by UC Santa Cruz Arboretum Director Daniel Harder. Harder says the light brown apple moth is Continue Reading


Rumor chasing: the things I do for you

Today I was just getting ready to go to yoga—a class I must go to in order to forestall great grouchiness (my kind daughter says I am not grouchy, but still)—when I heard that Lieutenant Governor Garamendi was coming to town for an event at the Bay Farm Safeway. (At first, my source said, she’d heard it was going to be Schwarzenegger himself.)

Intrepid reporter that I am, I called a very-in-the-know friend to get the scoop. As I was talking to her, she got word that it was not Garamendi but Continue Reading


“Alameda on Camera” opens tonight

Man_In_BuoyTonight is the opening of the second annual Alameda on Camera show at the Frank Bette Center for the Arts. The exhibit collects the works of 48 photographers all of whom, over a rainy, cold 48 hours in late February, photographed their 1/48th assigned area of the city. (Last year, I went to the launch party for the event and watched as the photographers drew cut-up pieces of map from a brown paper bag.) Pictured left is an imaginative photophgraph, “Man in the Bouy,” taken by one of the show’s contributors, Jeffrey Heyman, who was sent to an unpromising area near the water off Ballena Boulevard. Here’s his description:

It was raining nearly horizontally in Area 43, and I had to keep wiping away rainwater from the lens of my camera…Besides photos of the surf and the Army Corps of Engineers-lain rocks that made up the shoreline, I took a number of pictures of this large steel object, a ball-shaped thing that I later learned was a docking buoy.

Later, when I was looking over my take for the day (after I dried off), nothing else seemed nearly as interesting as the 4-foot weathered ball.

You can see all the works in the show at the Frank Bette Center through April 26.


This Week’s Alamedan: Catie Hembrow


Lived in Alameda: A little over a year
Age: 37
Originally from: South Lake Tahoe
Occupation: Registered Nurse, Trauma, Regional Medical Center of San Jose
Family: Partner, Beth Ochsner, nonprofit fundraiser; son, Sam, 4 months

Why Alameda?
It’s just a very nice place. It’s very kid-friendly and we knew we wanted to have kids—it’s friendly, affordable and safe.

Like best about Alameda?
Alameda is a small community with all the advantages of a big city—we’re so close to San Francisco, but if you forget to lock your door at night you’re OK.

Would like to change about Alameda?
I can’t think of anything!

Alameda favorites
Dan’s Produce, Java Rama, and Central Cinema has a babies night—babies in arms are no charge. It’s fun to be able to go to the movies and Sam gets to see other babies.

Read all This Week’s Alamedans here.


California Secretary of Agriculture Kawamura visits Alameda to defend moth spray program

At last night’s city council meeting—after a brief presentation on California’s strategy to control the Light Brown Apple Moth—a couple of dozen Alameda citizens stepped up to challenge the plan to spray an as-yet-unformulated concoction on Bay Area cities and towns.

While the politics of the situation are intriguing—the ’emergency’ which allows government agencies to sidestep normal health and safety requirements, the fact that the manufacturer of the synthetic pheromones is a Schwarzenegger campaign donor, and, too, that the state recently had to cancel a $500,000, no-bid PR contract to promote the spray—the basic facts remain the same: Continue Reading