Boat Stuck by Park Street Bridge

A small sailboat found itself stuck on the Park Street Bridge at about 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 30.

According to police, the sailor on board the small craft, about 12-15 feet in length, was unable to turn around at the bridge as planned.

Lacking the sail or engine power to fight the current, which was moving east and pushing the boat toward the bridge, the boat — or rather, the boat’s mast — got stuck on the bridge as its captain tried unsuccessfully to turn it at the bridge.

At about 6 p.m., the U.S. Coast Guard gave the sailboat a tow into the current and towed it west until the sailor on board was able to move it further west and into the estuary on his own.

Several members of the Alameda Police Department and the Alameda Public Words Department organized the effort to help move the craft from the western side of the Park Street Bridge.

Nearby at the Dragon Rouge Vietnamese Bistro, a deck-full of bar and restaurant patrons watched the action.


Regular Dumping Along the Estuary

There seems to be a lot of summer cleaning going on in Alameda.

Old furniture and other belongings are being dumped on a regular basis along the Alameda-Oakland Estuary, behind the old Del Monte Building on Buena Vista Avenue. Occasionally, it gets cleaned up — only to be replaced by another large pile of trash a couple days later.

Some folks may be trying to avoid paying the cost of taking old belongings to the dump. But there are other options.

According to Alameda County Industries, residents can schedule throw out up to 2-cubic yards of garbage and recyclable materials and up to three bulky items once every 12 months — at no charge.

ACI asks residents to call one month in advance, if possible, and to review the guidelines for bulky pick ups.

To report dumping and/or trash left in town, call the city’s code enforcement office at (510) 747-6817.


Speisekammer Busy as Euro Soccer Peaks

Today’s match is Spain vs. Portugal — in the first of two semi-final matches being held in Europe this week — and being shown live via ESPN at the Speisekammer Restaurant on Lincoln Avenue (at Park Street)in Alameda.

The German pub has been drawing lots of soccer fans for the past few weeks, thanks to the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship.

The match that starts at 11:45 a.m. tomorrow, June 28, will surely bring in a big crowd: Germany vs. Italy.

According to some news reports, Italy hasn’t lost to Germany at a World Cup or European Championship in seven previous meetings.


New Ferry to South SF Tied to Hefty Support

The new ferry line that links Alameda and South San Francisco, according to San Francisco Chronicle columnists Matier & Ross, entails a $100 subsidy for every $14 round-trip ticket.

The writers say that, over the next two decades, spending on the ferry service will include:
— $26 million for the new Oyster Point ferry terminal, paid for largely with San Mateo County sales tax money,
— $16 million for two 140-seat ferries, paid for from Bay Area bridge tolls, and
— $2.6 million annual operating subsidy, also paid from Bay Area bridge tolls.

According to the columnists, this is about $94 million in total spending.

If an estimated 100,000 riders take the ferry each year, public support to the tune of about $47 per ride is needed.

According to estimates from the Water Emergency Transportation Authority, the 472,000 riders on the Alameda/Oakland Ferry to San Francisco benefit from a subsidy of $8 per ride. It’s $15 for those traveling to/from Sausalito and Larkspur.


South San Ferry Service in Full Swing

The service between Alameda-Oakland and South San Francisco started June 4 and served as a good substitute for commuters affected by the Bart fire and service disruption of June 14.

The East Bay-South San Francisco service is the first new water transit route on the Bay in nearly 20 years and goes direct from Alameda’s Main Street Ferry Terminal and Oakland’s Jack London Square to the new Oyster Point Ferry Terminal.

Tickets are $7 each way.

Ferries leave Alameda for South San Fran at 6:25, 7:25 and 7:55 a.m. Monday through Friday. Return trips are set for 4:15 and 5:45 p.m.

The ride lasts about 45 minutes and includes free WiFi.

“Our vision for the future of transportation around the Bay Area includes a robust ferry system, starting with this important step in serving the vibrant and growing employer base in South San Francisco,” said Nina Rannells, executive director of San Francisco Bay Ferry, in a press release. “In addition to providing an alternative to our increasingly congested roadways, this ensures emergency access to the Peninsula and San Francisco Airport if highway transit is ever disrupted.”

The ferries can take on more than 30 bicycles. In addition, the Peninsula Congestion Relief Alliance and Genentech shuttles meet ferry arrivals and deliver riders to major employer locations.

The two vessels serving the route carry up to 149 passengers and travel at a top speed of 25 knots.


America’s Cup Plan on Planning Agenda

The next Alameda Planning Board meeting is set for 7 p.m. this Monday, June 25 at Council Chambers, City Hall.

The full agenda is online, but one of the main items is a discussion focusing on Artemis Racing Team’s use permit to operate a temporary floating dock, temporary crane and associated temporary facilities on the taxiway and Seaplane Lagoon in front of Building 12 and Building 40 of Alameda Point over the next year or so — for the America’s Cup competition.

Several documents describing the specific plans are found online, as well.

In addition to this case, there will also be a discussion of the Alameda Point North West Territories design concepts and presentation by UC Berkeley Landscape Design Studio students.

A third item on the agenda is Foley Investments’ design review and use permit proposal to construct two new one story commercial buildings and parking and landscape improvements at 1600 Park Street.


Come to Meeting on Proposed Bike Lanes

Alameda’s Public Works Department will host a second community meeting to discuss the idea of remarking Shoreline Drive and Westline Drive to provide bike lanes along the waterfront.

Here are the details:
7 p.m., Thursday, June 28
Lum School’s Multi-Purpose Room
1801 Sandcreek Way at Otis Drive

In addition to installing bike lanes, city staff hope community members will share their views on reducing the number of travel lanes, putting in up to 20 bike racks, adding bus shelters on Shoreline Drive at Kitty Hawk Drive and on Grand Street at Shoreline Drive, providing a shuttle bus landing area on Westline Drive south of Shorepoint Court and adding up to two crosswalks.

At the June 28 meeting, city staff members will review comments and suggestions received during the first forum on the bike lane concept. They will also share a presentation of potential options that address the comments received from the community and lead and small group discussions.

For more information on the project, go online to a specific webpage that lists this and other projects and scroll down to Shoreline Drive/Westline Drive Proposed Bike Lane Project (at the bottom).

Those who cannot attend the June 28 working session can share written comments by mail with Gail Payne, Transportation Coordinator, at City Hall West, 950 West Mall Square, Room 110, Alameda, CA 94501 or by e-mail at gpayne@ci.alameda.ca.us.

All written comments will be part of the official public record. Any questions or concerns should be directed to Gail Payne by phone at (510) 747-7948.


Another Body Found in Nearby Water

A few days after Oakland police pulled a body out of the Oakland-Alameda Estuary, authorities removed another corpse from the water near the Coliseum complex.

A passenger on Amtrak’s southbound Coast Starlight said there was a a dead man in the water at around 10:45 a.m. on Friday morning.

The man had been in the water for at least a week, according to one news report.


Alameda Library Hosts Reception for Pueblo Artist

On Sunday, June 24, a reception is planned from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Alameda Free Library to kick off a new show by Mateo Romero, a Berkeley native who is now based in the greater Santa Fe area of New Mexico.

Romero is considered a top contemporary Pueblo painter, says library volunteer Ruth Belikove. Through his father Santiago Romero, his connection to the Southern Keresan Cochiti people and exposure to the Rio Grande Pueblo world, he came to develop his skills and appreciation of Native American traditions.

The artist attended Dartmouth College and received an MFA in printmaking from the University of New Mexico. He is currently a fellow in painting at the School of American Research in Santa Fe, where he has a studio. He lives in Pojoaque Pueblo with his wife and three children.

Another artist featured by the Alameda Free Library is Owen Smith, who lives on the Island. His art is on the cover of the June 18 edition of “New Yorker” magazine, and now two of Owen’s paintings on display in the West End Library, shares Belikove.

Smith’s latest magazine painting, “Soda Noir,” is designed to complement a story about New York Mayor Bloomberg’s plan to make large sodas illegal. The artist also recently did some paintings for a show at a San Francisco Museum of Modern Art café.


Summer Sailstice Set for Saturday!

Alamedans and sailors from around the Bay Area are invited to celebrate the summer solstice and boating at the Encinal Yacht Club on June 23. Started by “Latitude 38” magazine associate publisher John Arndt, Summer Sailstice is now in its 12th year as a free event that aims to encourage community members to enjoy sailing.

Activities planned for Saturday include an on-the-water harbor “stroll,” regatta, scavenger hunt, educational seminars, sailing demonstrations, a boat-building contest, free sailboat rides, live music and an evening party. There will also be food and beverages for sale.

At noon on Saturday, the U.S. Coast Guard is planning a rescue demonstration. “As Summer Sailstice grows, we want people to recognize the solstice not as the first day of the summer season but as the biggest day of the sailing season!” said Arndt.