The end of Measure A?

Ever since July 2012, when Council adopted what it called the “multi-family overlay” and slapped it on 12 separate parcels designated for residential development around town, the Merry-Go-Round has been sounding the death knell for Measure A, the provision in the City Charter prohibiting multi-family housing and limiting residential density in Alameda.

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The John and Jim show

Cynics that we are, when we first read that Vice Mayor John Knox White and Councilman Jim Oddie were going to put on a “town hall” about gun violence (which Mr. Oddie voguishly described as a “serious public health crisis”) on October 14, we immediately wondered whether the two Council members were engaging in anything more than an exercise in self-promotion.

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How do you get to Carnegie (Innovation) Hall?

For any private entity offering to lease City-owned land or buildings and renovate the property at its own expense, our pro-labor City Council has a message:  If you want a deal with the City, you’ve got to take care of the construction trades unions.

It happened in 2016, and it’s happening again now.

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Vella to City: check, please

Councilwoman Malia Vella and her backers would like Alamedans to believe that her unsuccessful defense against the charge that she illegally sought to influence the selection of a new fire chief has forced her to pay thousands of dollars in legal fees out of her own pocket.

But it isn’t so:  her re-election campaign committee, using primarily contributions from organized labor, and the City of Alameda, taking money out of the General Fund, already have paid about $60,000 of the $110,000 in legal bills Ms. Vella racked up through April.  How much, if any, of her own funds she has spent for her defense is unknown.

And next Tuesday, it appears, Ms. Vella will ask her colleagues on Council to get the City to pick up whatever balance remains owing to her lawyers and to reimburse her re-election campaign committee (and, perhaps, herself) for amounts previously paid.

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Water, water everywhere (and nowhere)

When we were reviewing the recently approved Climate Action and Resiliency Plan, the Merry-Go-Round discovered something that, at first glance, appeared rather startling:

The CARP states that its recommended “adaptation” measures are based on the assumption that Alameda will experience 24 inches of sea-level rise by 2050.  But, according to projections available through the San Francisco Bay Area Conservation and Development Commission, the flooding expected under that scenario will be isolated and minimal, and, according to the State of California’s Ocean Protection Council, the chances that it will actually occur are less than one in 200!

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The top 14 list

The Climate Action and Resiliency Plan adopted by Council on September 3 comes with a bonus:  It includes a map (with accompanying table) that purports to identify the 14 most “socially vulnerable” neighborhoods in the city.

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CARPe diem

Show of hands, please:  How many of you actually have read all 173 pages of the “Climate Action and Resiliency Plan” that Council approved last Tuesday?

All right, Vice Mayor John Knox White, you can put your hand down.

Anyone else?  (Sorry, members of the “Task Force” acknowledged at the front of the document don’t count.)

We didn’t think so.

All kidding aside, we wouldn’t anticipate that the average citizen would slog through the entire document.  But, as our readers’ humble servant, the Merry-Go-Round has made the effort.

Admittedly, we were inclined to give up when we read the beginning of a sentence on the very first page:  “The end result will be a resilient, sustainable, and vibrant city. . . .”  But a quick word search showed that there would be only six more “vibrants” (and only one “robust”) the rest of the way, so we persisted.  And right away we came upon a declaration that caught our attention: “Unprecedented levels of behavior change will be needed from Alamedans to reach the deep emissions cuts called for in this plan.”

As we continued reading through the CARP, we concluded that the quoted sentence is more than just a bit of an understatement.

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