Make Neptune Point part of Crown Beach
Several of us have formed "Friends of Crown Beach" to support the East Bay Regional Park District in its pursuit of acquiring the Neptune Point parcel. This parcel is needed for expansion of the heavily used Crab Cove visitors center and will provide additional space when school buses take children to Crab Cove.
The East Bay Regional Park District has carefully nurtured Alameda's Crown Memorial State Beach for many years. The beach reaches from Broadway, including the Elsie Roemer Bird Sanctuary, to Crown Harbor, including Crab Cove. It is Alameda's crown jewel and used by more than 1 million visitors annually. The Park District has expressed interest in the Neptune Point parcel since 2006, when it first became surplus federal property. In 2008, as part of Measure WW, voters approved funds for the acquisition. The Alameda City Council endorsed the use of Neptune Point for park purposes on Sept. 16, 2008.
Yet in July 2012, the City Council rezoned the Neptune Point parcel from "administrative/office" to "multifamily residential" with up to 95 residential units.
The Park District, which received no notice from the city of the proposed rezoning, has since filed a lawsuit against the city. It alleges violation of environmental protection laws and Measure A of the Alameda City Charter. The Park District is asking the Alameda County Superior Court to order the residential zoning rescinded.
Friends of Crown Beach is soliciting community support for the Park District. The Alameda City Council needs to understand we want Neptune Point to become part of Crown Beach.
Our website, friendsofcrownbeach.com, provides additional information and an email address. We look forward to receiving comments and, hopefully, messages of support from Alameda Journal readers.
Don't move ACLC to Wood Middle
I ask the Alameda Unified School District Board of Education not to allow the Alameda Community Learning Center to move onto the Wood Middle School campus. I believe this will lead to the facility eventually being given completely over to the charter school, making inevitable the closure of Wood Middle School as a public school option for Alameda's West End students. This is against the intent of the existing Measure A parcel tax. There are other options that have not been adequately explored or explained to WMS staff and families. We deserve to have every possible alternative solution explained and discussed publicly at a board of education meeting. It is unconscionable not to do so. Other points to consider are:
In October, there were two teachers from ACLC on our campus saying to our staff that we were going to share a facility next year. The following day there was a man here measuring our entire facility and grounds stating the same. We called the district office to confirm and were told that it was not true, yet the week after Thanksgiving break we read online and in the papers that it is to be. Just last week, two times representatives from ACLC and the district were on campus checking out the entire facility and grounds.
Our portables are deemed unfit and unsafe -- a report said they have outlived their life and need to be replaced, yet this is the space we are hearing they will occupy. Wasn't the same thing said about the district office? Shouldn't the same provisions be made for the students of Alameda?
We were told the old Island High site is in the same condition as our portables and the site will be sold. Why, when the district has a need for the space? Since there is a need, couldn't the site be saved, money put into replacing those portables and ACLC have its own campus?
There is inadequate parking for WMS staff. How are we going to sell the neighborhood on increased parking by adding an additional staff, plus driving students (assuming high school students will still be a part of ACLC)?
Why was the Junior Jets program given parent phone lists for all AUSD fifth-grade parents to solicit enrollment for their programs? Does AUSD feel the Junior Jets should get preferable treatment over all other six to eight alternatives? How are we to compete under this unfair advantage? Quite frankly, I find it shameful that a public system is pitting school against school within its own boundaries.
If two middle schools are still desirable to this district, wouldn't a move of Wood to the old Chipman site make more sense to serve both ends of the Island? The programs located there could be relocated to the Wood location and other sites (they still would have to deal with the portables' safety issues).
The AUSD Board of Education should support Wood and its community by not offering the Wood Middle School campus as a choice for relocating ACLC.
Thanks to all who help Relay for Life
The American Cancer Society's 2013 Relay For Life of Alameda Committee is grateful for the community support of this year's kickoff. The Alameda Elks Lodge hosted the event which was decorated by Balloon Mania. Food was provided by Herbs and Spices Catering, Dan's Fresh Produce, Linguini's Pizza & Pasta, La Penca Azul on Bay Farm Island, Nob Hill Foods at Bridgeside Center and Trader Joe's at South Shore, and Olympic Florist donated flowers for cancer survivors.
The kickoff brought together cancer survivors and caregivers, past participants and a few newcomers to get new information and be inspired for this year's Relay For Life. Relay is a 24-hour community campout to celebrate cancer survivors, remember those we've lost, and fight back through education and research. This year's Relay will be June 22 and 23 at Encinal High School track.
Those interested in learning more can attend an informational rally at the Community of Harbor Bay Isle Owners Association's Community Room at 6 p.m. Feb. 6, visit www.RelayForLife.org/AlamedaCA, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 510-834-3800.
Lisa Leverton, Event Chair
Relay For Life of Alameda