Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

Just in time for Halloween

September 12, 2009

A marginal improvement from January!


Merit pay for teachers: Redux

March 11, 2009

I thought it was weird that the teacher’s union would simply reject the notion of merit pay by trotting out lame excuses. Obama is attempting to shake things up now and I hope he succeeds!

“Good teachers will be rewarded with more money for improved student achievement, and asked to accept more responsibilities for lifting up their schools,” he said in a wide-ranging education speech before a meeting of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Washington.

Cue the same old tired response from the union:

Teachers’ unions say merit pay causes teachers to compete against each other, rather than collaborate, and is unfair to those who work in disadvantaged areas where it can be harder to boost student performance.

Showing how much the union is disconnected from reality!

But polls show the policy is overwhelmingly supported by the public, and it offers Obama a chance both to burnish his reformer credentials and point to a split from party orthodoxy.

Mad(off) map!

March 3, 2009


Nobody from Alameda, but a lot of (former) investors in our vicinity!

Enroute to a post SF Chronicle

February 26, 2009

It looks like the Chronicle is bleeding red ink and might cease operations if they can’t make “significant” cuts!

In a statement, Hearst said that if the savings cannot be accomplished “quickly,” the company will seek a buyer, and if none comes forward, it will close The Chronicle. The Chronicle lost more than $50 million in 2008 and is on a pace to lose more than that this year, Hearst said.

A couple of writers from are proposing a mashup to replace the paper.

Imagine what you could do with a daily news organization if you subtract the paper and assume the Internet (and iPhones and Twitter and…). That’s what we said to ourselves around our dinner table the night that the Chronicle news broke. What could San Francisco look like post-Chronicle? We made a wiki, wrote down some thoughts, and released it into the world as the San Francisco Post Chronicle.

Consequences of campaign disclosure laws

February 8, 2009

Not directly related to Alameda (or maybe it is …). Today’s NYT, reporting on the unintended consequences of the campaign disclosure laws!

For the backers of Proposition 8,victory has been soured by the ugly specter of intimidation.  A Web site takes names and ZIP codes of donors supporting the measure and overlays data on a map. The targets of this harassment blame a controversial and provocative Web site,

Halloween … in January?

January 22, 2009


I grabbed this screen shot of ADN before it was too late … Don Roberts and Pat Bail appear to have morphed into a single entity. Egads!!!:)

The Latest Must-Have for Yuppies?

April 30, 2007

The answer: “a blog about the neighborhood”, according to this report in the NYT:

First come the renovated condominiums, the latte bars and the expensive baby strollers. Next, apparently, come the bloggers.

One Web site’s survey of the prevalence of blogs in urban neighborhoods found a link between gentrification and the number of people who feel compelled to think out loud about the changes in their backyards. The site,, crowned Clinton Hill in Brooklyn as the most blogged-about neighborhood in America.

Before the survey, the staff of was “not conscious that local blogging would be so closely allied with gentrification,” said Steven Berlin Johnson, a founder of the site. Change, he said, “makes people particularly interested in every little development in their neighborhoods.”

Flight tracker

April 10, 2007

Here’s a nifty flight tracker that can be used to find out details about the occasional low flying aircraft buzzing overhead. All you need is the time of day and the date to track down the pesky offender. The tracker offers a “live” option (10-minute delay) and a replay mode. Needless to say, do file a complaint if the aircraft noise is particularly bothersome.

Watching the flight icons as they moved around was quite interesting (the tracker displays flight ID, origin/destination, aircraft type, altitude) and somewhat addictive 🙂

Scoop! Council candidates in developer’s pockets

October 18, 2006

Or as Herb Caen would say, “item item hoozgotta item”.

Continuing one of the “finest” Alameda traditions set forth by the venerable Don Roberts, Alameda Musings has scooped all the other “award winning” newspapers to report that City Council candidates Matarrese and Tam are beholden to developer’s special interests. In what is thought to be the first such occurrence of its kind, this information was disclosed voluntarily by the developer.

End of summer hiatus

August 26, 2006


A tip o’ my hat to say thanks to all those who have stopped by this blog. Alameda Musings will take a two week end of summer hiatus while I’m on a bicycle from Prague to Budapest — contemplating the scenic vistas in Bohemia 🙂