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Layoffs of Alameda city staff expected today

Michele Ellson of The Island stayed up to watch last night’s city council meeting and has this on job cuts in the city: “…the word is that we’re getting a list of the positions to be cut today, so I’m sure there will be more to come.” She also has, for your edification, a list of current city employees and their salaries and benefits. Both Alameda bloggers John Knox White and Lauren Do have other info on cuts to city staff.

Oh! For context: Oakland layoffs, Fremont layoffs, and Bay Area layoffs.

Posted on Wednesday, May 6th, 2009
Under: Alameda firefighters, Alameda Power & Telecom, City Council | 1 Comment »

Alameda city employees. A salary report.

Michele Ellson over at The Island has a complete listing of city staff salaries. Top earners? Lowest earners? Overtime pay? You can read her whole report here.

Posted on Friday, May 1st, 2009
Under: Alameda firefighters, City Council, the economy | 3 Comments »

Alameda: Smoking in doorways

There is almost no time you can walk by the Lemon Tree on Santa Clara Avenue and not get a face full of smoke. Step through the door of some of our nicest local cafes and you will, from time to time, walk through a plume of smokey air. In order to prevent that unpleasant health hazard, many jurisdictions have passed ordinances disallowing smoking in public spaces. California state law, for example, prohibits smoking within 20 feet of the doorways of public buildings. And right now Martinez is considering a host of laws governing smoking in public spaces, including bans on smoking within 20-feet of any enclosed area where smoking is already prohibited as well as at parks, bus stops and public events.

Straight from Wikipedia (for your easy perusal) here is a sampling of bans on smoking in effect in California:

Belmont, October 9, 2007, banned in parks and other public places, as well as inside apartments and condominiums.

Berkeley, March 26, 2008, banned smoking all commercially zoned sidewalks

Burbank, April, 2007, banned in most public places including outdoor dining and shopping areas, parks, service lines and within 20 feet of all building entrances/exits.

Calabasas, 2006, banned in all indoor and outdoor public places, except for a handful of scattered, designated outdoor smoking areas in town. Believed to be the strictest ban in the United States.

Los Angeles, 2007, banned in all city parks.

San Diego, July 11, 2006, banned smoking at all City of San Diego beaches and parks, including all beaches from La Jolla to Sunset Cliffs.

San Jose, October 2007, banned in all city parks.

You can check out Wikipedia’s list of smoking bans from around the country here.

Posted on Thursday, April 16th, 2009
Under: California, City Council, Going Green, Island Life | 4 Comments »

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? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, March 4th, 2009
Under: City Council, Development, Going Green, Island Life | 6 Comments »

Alameda City Manger Debra Kurita out

So the rumors have been bubbling up for weeks, but today—after a closed-door city council session earlier in the week–Alameda’s City Manager Debra Kurita, who has served the city for more than three years, tendered her resignation.

The Alameda Journal has this story. Michele Ellson at The Island has this. A while back I did this profile of Kurita. I’m sure we’ll be learning more details in the days to come.

Posted on Thursday, February 26th, 2009
Under: Alameda firefighters, City Council, Island Life | 1 Comment »

Alameda fire department cuts make KTVU

KTVU ran a story tonight on Alameda fire station “brown outs.” They interviewed Alameda firefighter Dom Weaver and Councilmember Frank Matarrese, both of whom have been opposed cuts all along. For balance, they interviewed a woman in a cafe, saying, generally, that tough times call for budget cuts and, too, they interviewed Mayor Beverly Johnson, who talked about the millions upon millions the city has trimmed from its budget in recent years.

While the story mentions the economic downturn as an underlying cause of the cuts, it fails to Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Sunday, January 11th, 2009
Under: Alameda firefighters, City Council, IAFF, Island Life, Prop. 13, the economy | 2 Comments »

Alameda City Council to discuss rotating fire station brown outs tonight

Michele Ellson over at The Island has a bit about the brown outs. The meeting is at City Hall and starts at 7:30 p.m. The agenda is here. John Knox White has more on other issues to be discussed at the meeting, including what the hours at the wine bar, the Alameda Wine Company, should be.

Posted on Tuesday, January 6th, 2009
Under: Alameda firefighters, City Council, Island Life, the economy | No Comments »

“Save our City! Alameda” runs new ad

A group called “Save our City! Alameda” has launched a 30-second ad. Here’s a list of supporters of the group (you’ll have to scroll down to see all the names), which include David Howard, Pat Bail, Art Lipow and David Kirwin. You can watch the ad (which I happened to catch as I was flipping channels the other night) below.

Here’s Lauren Do’s analysis of the the claims made in the spot, and also more info about “Save Our City! Alameda” from Michele Ellson over at The Island. And here’s the Alameda Journal story on the current state of Alameda Point development plans.

Posted on Monday, January 5th, 2009
Under: Alameda Point, California, City Council, Development, Posts with video, Save our City | No Comments »

Alameda City Council approves sale of AP&T’s telecom business to Comcast

Last night, past midnight, Alameda’s City Council approved the sale of the money-losing telecom part of Alameda Power & Telecom. Michele Ellson had a write up in last week’s Alameda Journal. Some history:

The city embarked on its cable business a decade ago, after voters gave approval. The city originally planned a $10 million investment in the system and up to $20.5 million in financing. Ultimately, the costs grew to include $44 million transferred from AP&T’s electric operation and a total of $39.3 million in bonds.

The sale of the money-losing venture had been greeted with relief by many in the city:

City Auditor Kevin Kearney called the deal a “miracle.” In February, the Public Utilities Board directed AP&T staff to look at three options for the future of its telecommunications line, including refinancing its existing bonds and providing the same services, refinancing and adding a voice service, or selling the system.

Mark Northcross, a consultant hired by the utility to help examine those options, said the cable business doesn’t make enough funds to refinance the bonds without putting up money from its electric business or the city’s General Fund as a guarantee. And he said adding a voice component could cost the city, which is facing its own budget crisis, an additional $2 million. “Selling the system now eliminates further financial risk for AP&T and the city,” Northcross said.

My understanding is that those with alamedanet.net email addresses will have 18 months to transfer them over. Current customers should expect info about changes to their cable packages and rates in the mail Look for more discussion of the deal at Lauren Do’s blog here and here.

Posted on Wednesday, November 19th, 2008
Under: Alameda Power & Telecom, City Council, Island Life | 1 Comment »

Alameda Power & Telecom moving toward sale of troubled telecom

As has been in the news lately, Alameda Power & Telecom is working on the sale of its debt-ridden telecom business. Apparently there has been an offer from Comcast. Some details here and here. More info, I’m sure, will be forthcoming. Ahh, Michele Ellson has the scoop.

Posted on Thursday, November 13th, 2008
Under: Alameda Power & Telecom, City Council, Events | 5 Comments »