This week’s “Life on the Island”

The column I write for the Tuesday edition of the Alameda Journal is up online already. The headline: We’re not on the school yard anymore. Many of my past columns are still online as well. Oh! And here’s a link to last week’s “Life on the Island,” Alameda mom clean and sober for 14 years, which I wrote in recognition of National Recovery month, which is September. I am grateful for “Diane”‘s willingness to tell me her story.


  • Von

    Thank you you have proven one thing to me–if Karl Rove speaks out againt McCain! Then McCain could not be part of the Bush Administration and therefore will not be a continuation as liberal wish to say.
    Also I have read the Illnois bill on sex education as it is online and no where does it indicate or say age appropriate, it does however say that preventing HIV and sexually transmitted illness would be taught as young as kindergarten. Is that age appropriate? Read the bill before you make comment that show you lack background information which doesn’t inspire trust.

  • bob

    I agree with many of your observations regarding Alameda Politics. I’ve been on a few Alameda Blogs and several of them for some reason evoked incredibly nasty conversations. These conversations were typically about the same things: The naval base, the building of new retail and the hinted proposals for new housing developments. Or it could be about the theater, the schools and the endless reams of trouble they seem to be having, and of course the perennial favorite: Measure A.

    But when the dust clears, it seems to me that even though a lot is discussed- truly imaginative ideas- like building green housing developments complete with buses and so on, nothing gets done. In many ways, the politics of Alameda matches those on Capital Hill: A virtual gridlock of inaction.

    The problems are very real. From the perspective of a young family, the biggest is that Alameda is simply too expensive. I mentioned that before on a previous reply. But it is, and even though most homeowners here would agree with that statement, none seem all too willing to entertain the idea of fixing the problem because as many say, building affordable housing would affect their ” Quality of life”. This to me is the root of negative local politics. Sort of like a who got here first argument.
    Alameda is a bedroom community. Its main industry is selling houses. The Bay Area’s attitude towards housing is that its an “investment” and all attempts to keep its value accordingly high by limiting its availability with countless regulations. This goes for Alameda too. But at the same time, this attitude makes people here paranoid about any new changes that could in fact threaten this setup. By Enabling looser building and development standards would surely cause housing prices to fall. While I agree that allowing rampant out of control growth leads to sprawl and unattractive neighborhoods, There has to be a balance made at some point instead of doing absolutely nothing, getting into endless arguments, and as you witnessed- outright name calling.

    Anyhow, at least for people like me and my Wife, the so-called ” housing crisis” means we could potentially afford to buy here in a few more years once prices fall enough.So whether people want change or not, it happens anyway. The Bay Area and indeed Alameda included are examples of what happens when you price out your residents to the point where they make financially risky decisions. The price is correction and adjustment,which for future generations is a good thing.