1

Orinda passes $502 permanent parcel tax

While many here in Alameda like to blame fiscal mismanagement, administrator pay, unions, or you name if for the financial challenges facing the Alameda Unified School District, other communities are stepping up and funding their schools as the dollars provided by the State of California continue to fall short of what a community actually requires to provide a meaningful education for a community’s schools. Orinda’s parcel tax passed with 70 percent of the voters saying yes.

6

Very exciting Alameda City Council Show last night

Luckily, even though I started watching the show late (a bit after 10 p.m.) and stopped when council took a five minute break at 11:30 p.m. (they finally adjourned at 12:16 a.m.), I still got to catch some action.

The owners of 1150 Bay Street—Gold Coast!—have planned an extensive and what sounds like tasteful and green-friendly update of their home, with the aim to restore many of the original elements of the poorly-maintained house. The problem? They wanted to build a porch on the front. And the problem with that? Not actually anything, legally speaking: the proposed porch is well within the 20-foot required set back in the City of Alameda. The problem, then? Continue Reading

0

Otis third grader unable to return to adoptive family in Alameda

A bit ago, two Alamedan parents and their son brought a little girl into their family. From their website, here’s how it began:

Tsering Dolker Gurung was rescued from the Upper Dolpo region of Nepal by a Monk “Lama Tenzin” when she was six years old…Our family Tricia Parrish, Philip Kaake and Emmett Kaake, was inspired by Lama’s mission and wanted to help. We started sponsoring Dolker at CED (Lama Tenzin’s orphanage) and decided to extend our mission to adopting her. As her sponsors, we brought her to the United States in July of 2008.

Recently, the family went to Nepal to finalize the adoption. But they were unable to bring Dolker back to Alameda.

Dolker had been in our community for 6 months when the entire family traveled to Nepal to finalize the adoption. Unfortunately, Nepal is a politically unstable country and is in the process of writing new adoption laws. The adoption could not be completed and Dolker had to be left in Nepal.

You can see pictures and video, and read more about the story—including a piece Dolker wrote for her third grade class at Otis Elementary School—on the family’s website, Bring Dolker Home.

0

Alameda, a newcomer’s perspective

This blog, Desperately Seeking Root Beer (not sure what the title’s about), has a post up, Alameda: An Introduction. The post details a newcomer’s impression of Alameda (there’s lots of nice visuals), and the the writer, Andy M., notes things people said to him when he was moving to Alameda:

I’m not sure I’ve ever been there. I hear it’s nice though.
Sure Andy, I’ll meet you in Alameda. Umm, how do I get there?
How long does it take you to get to Oakland?
I’ve been to Alameda for breakfast, but it’s a bit out of the way.”

As well as comments people have made since:

It’s kind of stuck in the 50s, but at least that means good diners.
Fogue-town.
[as in old fogies]
It still feels like a military town.
It’s over-policed.

I know the nine years I’ve lived here make me a newcomer in many people’s eyes, but it is interesting to be reminded of those sorts of reactions to Alameda. And to see they still exist—even nearly a decade after I made the move to the Island.