The City of Alameda announced on Feb. 22 that it will be preparing an environmental impact report (EIR) on the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) project for a health clinic and columbarium at Alameda Point. The VA completed its environmental review for the project in 2013. The deadline for commenting on what the city should evaluate is tomorrow, Friday, March 22.
While cruising in the Indian Ocean on March 7, Lt. Cmdr. Sergio Martinez, from Alameda, writes on a screen in the Combat Direction Center aboard the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74). The John C. Stennis is deployed in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to support security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. In recent weeks, a series of events inflamed tensions between Indian and Pakistan. The two countries have been embroiled in a number of wars, conflicts and military standoffs since the partition of British India in 1947.
“The Alameda City Council and I are delighted to announce that we have unanimously selected Eric J. Levitt as our new City Manager, effective April 12,” stated Alameda Mayor Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft. “With 18 years of city management experience, we are confident Levitt will be an effective leader to our very talented group of department heads and city staff.”
Early Black migrants to Alameda establish community
Samuel G. Kimbrough fled Mississippi with his wife Mary and their children in 1915, fearing violence from the Ku Klux Klan. The family moved in with relatives in Alameda. By 1920, Samuel, a blacksmith, bought a home for the family on Lincoln Avenue near Grand Street.
The fourth annual Alameda Spelling Bee held at Otis Elementary School Feb. 2, saw last year’s third place finisher, Ella Banchieri, take the honor as the Island’s top speller for 2019. She and second-place finisher Elena Morishige dueled through spelling increasingly difficult words. The words in the final showdown included: phenomenon, complexion, propinquity, ricochet, tumultuous, surveillance, aggregation (which both spellers misspelled), catastrophe, circumference, dementia and finally, scrumptious.
Alameda is accepting the 21st century challenge to create a city that is healthy, inclusive and resilient. Some challenges the Island City faces include traffic, high housing costs, aging infrastructure and increasingly, the impacts of climate change. Alamedans have experienced three major wildfire smoke incidents in the last 15 months, including weeks of unhealthy air quality due to the recent Camp Fire. Less visibly, the San Francisco Bay is gradually rising, threatening our shoreline parks, businesses and homes.
Ocean Cleanup (OC) announced on New Year’s Eve that it has shut down its experiment to collect debris from the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” (GPGP) — a mass of refuse and debris known as a gyre. OC said that “structural malfunctioning of the cleanup system” has forced the company to return to Alameda earlier than planned.
“We will set sail as soon as an appropriate weather window is available,” OC stated.
Jim Franz ‘Retires’
The year began with the city giving Jim Franz, aka the “Energizer Bunny,” a royal send off. Franz moved to Alameda in 1981, where he got a job with the Red Cross and volunteered to sit on Alameda’s Social Service Human Relations Board.
His involvement in community affairs so impressed his fellow Island City dwellers that they named him “Man of the Year” and “Humanitarian of the Year.”