Archive for June, 2011

Meatless Mondays

June 20, 2011

From wikipedia:

Meatless Monday is an international campaign that encourages people to not eat meat on Mondays to improve their health and the health of the planet. Meatless Monday focuses its initiative on Mondays for multiple reasons. Monday is typically the beginning of the work week, the day when individuals settle back into their weekly routine. Unhealthy habits that prevailed over the weekend can be forgotten and replaced by positive choices. A weekly reminder to restart healthy habits also encourages success.

NYT reporting that the concept is catching on in some places:

A new nationwide pro-veggie effort, however — aimed at persuading people to go meatless at least one day a week — has been embraced here Aspen) more than in any other city in America. At least 20 institutions and restaurants, including Syzygy, are offering vegetarian choices on Mondays under a plan announced this month.

Why not give this a try today? It is a healthy choice for you and for the earth as well!



While Alameda gently sleeps …

June 14, 2011

Our friends across the bay have just approved a new neighborhood proposed for Treasure Island.

The plan, almost 15 years in the making, calls for 19,000 new residents to live in a new neighborhood wrapped in open space and dotted with high-rises, one as tall as 450 feet. Residential units would be within walking distance of shops, a grocery store, a school and new ferry terminal.

Over the next 20 to 30 years, they intend to morph the island from an aging former Navy base into a state-of-the-art neighborhood with a mix of affordable and market-rate homes, all designed to save water and energy.

The comparisons between Alameda Point and Treasure Island might not be fair (due to all the cleanups etc that we’ve been saddled with), but the fact remains that we’re still lacking a coherent vision on how to move forward, 14 years after the base was closed.

Is APD slacking off?

June 13, 2011

Admittedly, the sample size is extremely small (just 1, moi) but I can’t help but wonder if Alameda’s much vaunted 25 mph speed limit is of late being observed more in the breach. I often see traffic speeding by on Stargell Avenue between Main and Webster at near freeway speeds and have yet to see a single ticket being issued.

I’ve had cars pass me on Lincoln and Otis as well and they were definitely going much faster than 25 mph.

Gotta ask: Is APD slacking off?

This ain’t going away anytime soon

June 9, 2011

The fallout over the tragic drowning on Memorial Day continues unabated (as it rightly should).  Now we have the EBX asking a lot of disconcerting questions:

Did firefighters and police officers let Zack kill himself out of protest or in an effort to send some kind of message? Or did they refuse to put their lives on the line because they’re disgruntled? Were they asking themselves: “Why should I risk my life when the city doesn’t have my back?”


The article also raises this unfortunate aspect of Alameda’s politics:

The Alameda firefighters’ union wields substantial political power on the island, so criticism from elected officials may remain muted.

If there was ever a time for an unbiased investigation of the facts, this is perhaps as good as it can ever get. Alameda’s elected representatives owe it to themselves (and more importantly, to the city and to Zack’s mother) to conduct a transparent investigation into the events, regardless of the campaign contributions by the firefighter’s union.

Beverly Johnson: MIA?

June 8, 2011

I recognize nobody is raking in the big bucks while serving on the City Council and that it is a voluntary position, for the most part. But what I don’t get is why Beverly Johnson wasn’t at the council meeting yesterday — especially when the Fire Department made the (fatal) decision to keep the rescue swimmers away from the water under her watch as Mayor!

Free bicycle safety classes

June 4, 2011

Poignant article in the NYT re: bicycle accidents in the bay area:

For the Sorensen family of Alameda, the sound of knuckles rapping on the garage door was a familiar annoyance. It was their 13-year-old son, Brandon, who knocked on the door so frequently to put away his bicycle that his parents finally got him an access code to open the garage on his own.  “Now, I would love to get up every couple of minutes to get him,” said his father, Kurt Sorensen, a Southwest Airlines employee.

Please watch for and sign up for the free bicycle safety classes, organized by EBBC.


Unwelcome attention for Alameda

June 1, 2011

First it was the false prophet of doom (aka the Rapture Pastor) who happens to live in our fair town!

Then, (on a much more serious note) the unfortunate suicide that occurred on Memorial Day while the police and fire personnel were  passive onlookers:

An apparently suicidal man waded into San Francisco Bay on Monday, stood up to his neck, and waited. As the man drowned, police, fire crews, and others watched idly from the shore. Why? Officials blamed a departmental policy, stemming from budget cuts, that prevented them from jumping in to save him. Fifty-year-old Raymond Zack spent nearly an hour in the water before drowning. A crowd of about 75 people, in addition to first responders, watched from the beach in Alameda across the bay from San Francisco as Zack inched farther and farther away, sometimes glancing back, a witness told the San Jose Mercury News. “The next thing he was floating face down.”

Also on Daily Kos

What is especially galling about this entire episode is that any potential savings from eliminating the water rescue team is going to be negligible when compared to a human life that could have been saved and should there be a lawsuit filed against the city as a result of this bungling of epic proportions.  Alameda couldn’t find a way to pony up $40k for the training, yet miraculously always finds a way to pay the outsized salaries and pension benefits to the very folks who did nothing but stand and watch as a man was dying.

This is certainly not Alameda, the place that time forgot.