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.
[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.


Alameda featured in Chronicle article

Hey! Our little island in the San Francisco Bay is the subject of an article in the San Francisco Chronicle. In it, feelancer Dana Perrigan interviews such local notables as Woody Minor, Doug deHaan, Marie Gilmore and Pat Bail. I like this quote about development, from Bail:

“You can’t squeeze a size 16 woman in a size 4 dress,” says Bail, “and you can’t squeeze thousands of more people on this island.”

I like that Bail has such a vivid way of speaking.

And, too, I enjoyed this observation from real estate agent Jerry Nussbaum.

“At the Fourth of July Parade, half the town is watching the parade and the other half is in it.”

Which is something I myself have found myself to be true. The whole article is here.


In Alameda: Life on the Bay

I was off-grid a bit more than I expected last week. Colorado! Home of high mountains and lots of greenery. But I’m back, and ready to live, once again, the Island life. The weekly column I write for our home-town press the Alameda Journal is up online line. This week it’s “Soaking up life on the Bay.”

Past “Life on the Island” columns
June 24, 2008: Alamedans get back to basics to save environment
June 17, 2008: Fear can limit the joys of childhood
June 10, 2008: Never underestimate the power of one
June 3, 2008: Paying the price to have good schools
May 27, 2008: A civil rights issue in our time
May 20, 2008: What’s cooking in the hot weather?
May 12, 2008: When a man needs a cave
May 5, 2008: Enjoying that small-town feel
April 28, 2008: Support of tax teaches lesson
April 21, 2008: New garage can be a good habit
April 14, 2008: When the earth shakes, duck
April 7, 2008: Snails, ants, lice and light brown apple moths


Just in! Measure H vote even closer…

Well, the Alameda County Registrar of Voters has released another round of votes…which brings the Measure H tally to 11,001 ‘yes’ votes—for 66.66 percent. Measure H is getting ever-closer to passing! Tomorrow, according to spokesman Guy Ashley, county employees will be working on verifying and tallying the provisional votes…expect results to trickle in throughout the week.


Alameda’s Measure H…When? When? When?

Hello! So, it sounds like there will be more Measure H votes counted by this afternoon…but only the remaining absentee ballots (I’ve heard that there are between a few dozen and a hundred of these for the whole county.) “I always say it’ll be three or four in the afternoon,” said Alameda County Registrar of Voters Spokesman Guy Ashley. “But then it’s four or five…so some time around then.”

We’ll have to keep waiting, says Ashley, for county workers to verify and tally the remaining provisional ballots (there are an estimated 6,500 of these county-wide). “With every provisional ballot, we have to check a number of things,” says Ashley. “If someone shows up at the polling the place and there’s some reason to say, ‘Hmm, I shouldn’t give you a regular ballot, you’re at the wrong polling place, you’re not on a roster,’ we give them a provisional ballot. And that let’s us go back and research whether they’re able to vote.” As provisional ballots are verified throughout the week, says Ashley, they will be posted on Alameda’s new favorite web site: the Measure H page at the Alameda County Registrar’s office.


Alameda’s Measure H…more news coverage

Okay, so KRON 4 doesn’t quite have all the details right (Measure H is not a ‘sports bond,’ for example). But our little parcel tax is getting network air time. And that’s kinda nice.

[Below you should see a YouTube-style insert of the video of the KRON story…but I have heard a report (thanks, HLA) that it’s not working with some browsers. So if the video’s not below, try this link….and, because the video may be messing with my formating, you may have to scroll down to find the rest of the blog.]

There’s also a CBS story up tonight, too.


New Alameda Measure H results just in! It’s squeaky close.

The Alameda County Registrar of Voters has just updated their site with another batch of votes. There are now 10,905 ‘yes’ votes for Alameda’s Measure H school parcel tax—that’s 66.65 percent. While it’s not quite up to the 66.67 percent it needs to pass, the vote is really, really, really close. And, according to Alameda County Registrar spokesperson Guy Ashley, there’s still more provisional votes left to tally. Look for those counts next week. For more details go check out Michele Ellson over at The Island. And Mike McMahon has a chart and some further info as well.


Alameda’s Measure H: Here’s something for all you nail biters out there…

It looks like we’ll have some more votes counted this afternoon, but not all. Here’s a statement just in from the Alameda County Registrar of Voters Spokesman Guy Ashley:

Our staff is counting vote-by-mail ballots as we speak. We expect to get through the remainder of these ballots today. We will update the results this afternoon, as soon as we can. The provisional ballots are still being processed. That process will NOT be completed today and most likely will stretch into mid-week next week. How many of those ballots are from Alameda or any other area of Alameda County is impossible to say.

So today we will likely have a count of all the ballots people handed in at their polling places on Tuesday (what Ashley’s calling “vote-by mail,” what others have been calling absentee). And then the counting of the provisional votes, about 6,500 of them county-wide, will continue next week.


In Alameda: Measure H headquarters all abuzz

andyandchantalatkaseI was over at Measure H headquarters this morning making phone calls and learning about my volunteer assignment as a poll watcher.

Today, my husband and I will be helping out our precinct captain, Anne Cevallos. We’ll be noting ‘yes’ voters who’ve already cast their ballots and giving reminders to those who haven’t gone over to the polls yet.

And, please remember, on the Democratic ballot Measure H is all alone on the back! Tricky, no? Also, it’s only regular voters who the campaign was able to contact who make the poll watching list volunteers are working with. So, if you’re not a regular voter and/or the campaign somehow didn’t reach you, let this serve as your reminder: go vote.

Pictured above are Andy and Chantal Currid. I don’t actually know what Andy’s official title for the Measure H campaign is—does he have one?—but he’s done buckets and buckets of work over the past months for Measure H. And, if you’ve been involved at all, you know that he’s very often up into the wee hours sending emails about what’s been done and what needs to be done. Chantal is no slouch either, helping out in all sorts of ways, including recruiting for phone banking and providing behind-the-scenes technical support.

kaseprecinctchart Also pictured is part of the chart which volunteers will be updating throughout the day as precinct workers call in, reporting vote totals in their areas. Happy election day! And happy democracy! Be a part of it.


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.