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News Briefs

Cross country at Crab Cove, Scout cleanup, paratransit survey, and gas-powered leaf blower ban.

Alameda Asteroids host cross country meet at Crab Cove

Alameda Post - young runners race of a starting line
Photo Alameda Education Foundation.

The Alameda Asteroids, a middle school cross country club, hosted their final meet for the season on October 26 at Crab Cove. Eleven teams with 190 sixth, seventh and eighth grade boys and girls participated in four events. Girls and Boys 1.1 and 2.1 races.

Alameda Post - a group photo of young runners
Photo Alameda Education Foundation.

The Asteroids club is an Alameda Education Foundation (AEF) fall enrichment program. This year, 33 students from Alameda public middle schools trained and competed together as a team, coached by Debra Cramer and Don Porteous. Cramer has a Level 1 coaching qualification with the USA Track & Field Association and Porteous brings a wealth of experience as the Encinal High School cross country coach.

For many middle schoolers, the cross country program is their first foray into sports. It enables them to discover new talents and perseverance and grow as athletes. It also enables middle schoolers to get a taste of competing on a regional level before they reach high school.



Students learn to challenge themselves, set goals, move out of their comfort zones and work hard towards a set goal. Many parents report that the students continue running after the season is over and that this experience gives them the confidence to take on other challenges in their athletic, academic, and social lives.

AEF Enrichment classes support students’ academic, emotional, and social growth in a wide array of areas, from art to athletics to STEM fields. For more information on these programs, visit the AEF website.

Scouts clean up around Edison

Alameda Post - a group photo of Scouts and their families
On Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2022, Scouts and parents of Pack 1015 collected 71 lbs. of trash around the Edison Elementary School neighborhood during their annual post-Halloween cleanup. Photo Maurice Ramirez.

Annual paratransit survey due November 14

Alameda Post - a collage of logos for paratransit in Alameda

Each year, City staff ask Alameda residents who are older and/or have disabilities if existing transportation programs are meeting their needs. This year’s survey may be completed online until Monday, November 14. Printed copies of the survey also are available at all Alameda libraries or can be requested by calling 510-747-7513. Information about the survey and the City’s services is available on the paratransit page of the City’s website.

Alameda Post - a group of seniors stand by a bus stop
Alamedans take advantage of the Hop on the Bus program. Photo City of Alameda.

The following affordable transportation options are available for Alameda residents who are older or have disabilities:

  • Alameda Free AC Transit Bus Passes for residents who meet financial criteria and are age 65+ or between the ages of 18 and 64 with a certified disability.
  • Alameda Independent Mobility Program (AIM) provides a subsidized curb-to-curb service within Alameda County through Transportation Network Companies such as Lyft and Uber. Administered by our current 2-1-1 provider, Eden I&R, this program is for residents 18+ who are fully enrolled in East Bay Paratransit and meet the financial criteria.
  • Transportation 101 interactive workshops provide information on various transportation options such as AC Transit Clipper Card, Free AC Transit Bus Passes, AIM, and East Bay Paratransit for Mastick Senior Center members and Alameda residents. Guest speakers provide information on electric vehicles, how to obtain a clipper card and use it, safe driving courses, and more.
  • Hop on the Bus, a unique travel training program that takes small groups of Mastick Senior Center members interested in improving their transit skills on short bus trips within Alameda using AC Transit.
  • Transit App Training workshops teach how to use public transit apps to plan trips.
Alameda Post - three seniors pose on a bus
Photo City of Alameda.

Survey forms, information about Alameda’s transportation programs, and other resources such as East Bay Paratransit and a mobility device breakdown service are available online at AlamedaParatransit.com. These services are funded by Measures BB transportation sales tax dollars, which are administered by the Alameda County Transportation Commission.

For more information, please contact Katherine ‘Kat’ Kaldis, Paratransit Coordinator, Mastick Senior Center at 510-747-7513 or email [email protected].

Gas-powered leaf blowers ban starts with the new year

Alameda Post - a side by side of English and Spanish announcements of the gas powered leaf blower ban

Did you know that using a gas-powered leaf blower for just one hour puts out the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions as driving a car 1,100 miles? They also expose people who are nearby to health risks and make extremely loud noise. For those reasons, Alameda City Council has banned the sale and use of gas-powered leaf blowers, effective January 1, 2023.

The ban is part of the City’s Climate Action and Resiliency Plan to eliminate air emissions and pollutants that worsen climate change. Before the ban goes into effect in January, City staff are working to educate the public and local businesses about it. Information is available on the City of Alameda website.

The City will first attempt to educate community members about the ban and alternatives to gas-powered leaf blowers, but the ordinance does allow the City to issue citations to violators in order to bring the community into compliance. Any person may be held liable for a violation; this includes the person using a gas-powered leaf blower, an employee, a business, a tenant, or the property owner.

The ordinance also bans the sale of gas-powered leaf blowers. Businesses will not be allowed to sell such equipment after January 1, 2023, and they will also need to post a visible notice about the ban.

What should you do if you own a gas-powered leaf blower?

There are a variety of electric and battery-powered leaf blowers on the market. Please replace your gasoline-powered leaf blower and tell your gardeners/landscapers that they must do the same by January 1, 2023. You can also apply to participate in the State of California’s CORE program, which provides vouchers to purchase new equipment. In addition, all gardeners are required to have a valid Business License with the City of Alameda.

According to City staff, the ban only applies to dedicated single-use leaf blowers, so an expand-it style combination tool would be permitted. The City hopes to be promoting coupons and/or rebates for alternative tools, including electric and battery-powered leaf blowers. And don’t forget, you can always use a rake.

Finally, if you want to report an offending leaf blower, you’ll have to wait until after January 23 to go to the City’s website and enter the name of the business that is selling them or the address where you saw a gas-powered leaf blower being used.

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