Welcome to my Fall newsletter. Hope you had a pleasant summer. The City Council was on hiatus for the month of August, but has been back in full swing since then. We have new businesses coming to town, new sand for our beaches, and more. Here's what's been happening in Alameda.
30th Annual National Night Out
On August 6, I joined Alameda Police Department Captain David Boersma, Lieutenant Rob Frankland, and McGruff the Crime Dog (“Take a bite out of crime.”) at neighborhood gatherings in Central Alameda and the East End to meet residents and hear their concerns - and lots of praise - for their neighborhoods. The officers provided tips to avoid becoming a property crime victim — keep doors and windows locked, even when you’re home, and never leave unlocked bicycles unattended, even for just a minute, on your porch or driveway. One of the best crime deterrents was on display at these barbecues and potlucks — get to know your neighbors and communicate with them.
Good news at the former site of Good Chevrolet! Construction has started on the large empty lot at the corner of Park Street and Lincoln Avenue/Tilden Way. This project will contribute to the revitalization of Park Street, north of Lincoln Avenue following the departure of the automobile dealerships that once lined those blocks. Housed in an attractive brick building designed by local architect Greg Klein, Walgreens is expected to open in Spring 2014. I worked on this project as a Planning Board member and am excited to see it take shape. Among the features we required are fewer curb cuts (driveways) across the Park Street sidewalk, to create a more pedestrian-friendly experience, and sidewalks added along Tilden Way. A Shared Use Agreement with the Marketplace will also improve parking for Marketplace customers.
Sand Replacement Project
On October 1, I attended a Press Conference announcing this $5.7 million project that will add 82,600 cubic yards of sand to Alameda’s beaches, from Shoreline Drive to Crown Beach. Funding sources include a settlement payment to the East Bay Regional Park District by owners of the Dubai Star vessel that spilled 400+ gallons of oil into SF Bay in 2009, as well as FEMA and State agencies. The sand replacement was necessitated by natural erosion and wave action over the past 26 years. (Sand was last added to these beaches in 1987). To minimize inconvenience to residents and impact on the environment, barges, not trucks, are transporting the sand, which was dredged from an area around Angel Island. A pipeline system and large hoses will distribute the sand. Estimated completion date is late November 2013.
Target is Open for Business!
Highlights of the October 8 Grand Opening of Target at Alameda Landing included unveiling the creative artwork incorporated into the building's facade that recognizes Alameda's maritime history, introduction of a new, free shuttle that runs between Target and the 12th Street Oakland BART station, enabling customers and employees to get to Target without a car, and the announcement that half of Target's workforce are Alameda residents, including many College of Alameda students. As Interim Community Development Director Debbie Potter says, “This is the flip side of economic development.” Add to that the projected $300,000 annual sales tax revenue to our General Fund and it looks like Alameda hit the bulls eye.
What's In My Inbox?
Two topics have generated most of the communications I've received lately:
1. The deteriorating condition of AUSD's two swimming pool complexes, Encinal High School and Emma Hood. The pools are School District property, but the City contributes to operation and maintenance costs because our Recreation & Parks Department also uses the pools for its aquatic programs. Other users include high school swim and water polo teams, and local swim teams. The City Council and City staff, as well as the School Board and AUSD staff are working hard to determine how best to pay for the cost of maintenance and repairs going forward. We all agree that all children should learn to swim and we know that many Alameda youth swim competitively and many adults swim to stay fit. Eventually, the City would like to see a new pool complex built at Alameda Point.
2. Ron Cowan/Harbor Bay Isle Associates' (HBIA) proposal to move the Harbor Bay Club from its current location to the Harbor Bay Business Park and build 80 homes at the current Club site. The Planning Department staff is currently reviewing HBIA's application, which would require a zoning amendment, General Plan Amendment and Environmental Impact Report (EIR). These items will be heard first by the Planning Board, later this year, before coming to the City Council sometime in 2014.
Sunday, October 20th
2:00pm to 4:00pm
Judith Boyette ∙ John Brennan ∙ Anna Christensen
Eugenia Paras Hirsch ∙ Shirley Jaber Elfar ∙ Jawad Jaber ∙ Violet Jaber
Dave Johnson, DDS ∙ Hon. Doug Linney ∙ Hon. Robert Raburn
Donna Rauk ∙ Rosemary Reilly ∙ Benjamin Reyes ∙ Helen Sause
William Schaff ∙ Sen. Don Perata (Ret.) ∙ Allan Pryor & Gabrielle Dolphin ∙ Kate Pryor
Thanks so much for reading. Until next time...