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News Briefs

It rained—get sandbags, Mariner Sq. Drive repaving, $5,000 scholarship, affordable housing, join the lighted yacht parade, and hate speech found at AHS.

It rained in Alameda

Alameda Post - the view looking through a window into a backyard. The window has speckled raindrops on it, and the sky outside is cloudy
Photo Adam Gillitt.

Desperately needed rain fell on Thursday across much of the Bay Area, including Alameda. As much as a half inch per hour fell during the heaviest precipitation. The National Weather Service issued a Flood Advisory for Alameda County at 9:41 a.m. that lasted until shortly before noon. Some minor, localized flooding was observed along Alameda streets. Total rainfall from Thursday morning’s storm, as recorded by the Alameda Post weather station at noon was one and one-eighth inches. Additional rainfall is expected for Alameda on Sunday and Monday.

Alameda Post - water pools alongside a road
Photo Liz Barrett.

Free sandbags at City Hall West

Alameda Post - orange sandbags are piled on top of wooden pallets
Photo Scott Piehler.

It’s raining! To help Alamedans prepare for the storm season, the City’s Public Works Department will provide up to five free sandbags to every Alameda household. Sandbags can be picked up any time at the self-serve sandbag station in the courtyard behind City Hall West, 950 West Mall Square, Alameda Point.

Alameda Post - a temporary sign is set up on the road. It says "Sand Bags. Five bags per resident."
Photo Scott Piehler.

In addition, free sandbags will be available this Saturday, December 3, from 8 a.m. until noon, near City Hall West, at Lexington Street and West Tower Avenue. Please note that if it is storming, staff may not be available for assistance.

Get tips on storm preparedness from the City of Alameda website. To report malfunctioning traffic signals, downed trees or branches, flooding into a traffic lane, piles of leaves or debris obstructing a parking lane, or a storm drain clogged with leaves and debris, call the Public Works Department at 510-747-7900 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.; after 6 p.m. call 510-337-8340.

Mariner Square Drive repaving project and road closure

The area to be repaved is marked in red.

The City of Alameda will repave Mariner Square Drive between Wilma Chan Way (formerly Constitution Way) and Marina Village Parkway starting on Monday, December 5. The project will take two weeks to complete. During those two weeks, Mariner Square Drive will be completely closed to all traffic. Drivers will need to use other routes to travel through the area or access properties in the immediate area for the duration of the project. Detour signs and temporary traffic control will guide motorists through Marina Village Parkway.

The city advises there will be minor increases to noise and dust in the area. Questions about the project should be directed to Trung Nguyen at the Public Works Department, at 510-747-7900. This project is primarily funded by Alameda County Measure BB, vehicle registration fees, and SB 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017.

Van Sickle Scholarship applications now open

Applications for the $5,000 Ken and Shirley Van Sickle Scholarship are now open. The college scholarship is open to graduating seniors who live Alameda and attend one of our four public high schools—Encinal High School, Alameda High School, Island High School, and Alameda Science and Technology Institute. Selection is based on a combination of academic merit, leadership qualities, and financial need.

The scholarship is named in honor of Ken and Shirley Van Sickle, two distinguished educators who devoted many years to teaching Alameda students. Their son, Keith, created the scholarship 36 years ago. He is a 1976 graduate of Alameda High School and went on to earn degrees from Stanford and Harvard.

Last year the scholarship was awarded to David Velasquez of the Alameda Community Learning Center. Velasquez is now a freshman at San Jose State University studying business administration.

Application deadline for the scholarship is January 14, 2023. Application forms are available from each high school’s counseling center. For further details, email [email protected].

Still time to apply for affordable housing

Alameda Post - the front of the new Star Harbor apartment buildings. The old brick front of the original Del Monte plan is visible, and tall apartments stand in the middle of the building in a second tier. It is night, and lights wrap around the building.
Alta Star Harbor apartments, as seen from Clement Avenue, are nearing completion. Photo Adam Gillitt.

The first rental units designated as affordable at Alta Star Harbor Apartments—the former Del Monte warehouse—are available. Interested parties may enter a drawing for the 14 available units. To qualify, households must have moderate income of 120% of the area median income or less: $137,100 for a household of two or $171,350 for a household of four. Preference is given to Alameda Unified School District employees and people who live or work in Alameda. The deadline to apply for the drawing has been extended to Monday, December 5 at 5 p.m. To learn more and apply to enter, visit

Ride the Ferry in the Lighted Yacht Parade

Alameda Post - the deck of the SF Bay ferry with garland. Cartoon candy canes line the bottom of the photo.
Photo SF Bay Ferry.

The very best view of the annual Lighted Yacht Parade this Saturday night, December 3, is from one of the decorated boats—and you are invited to ride along.

A San Francisco Bay Ferry will be strung with lights, floating in the parade, and taking passengers along for the ride. Boarding begins at about 5 p.m. and is first come, first served—no advance reservations are available, so get there early. Approximately 200 seats will be available to walk-up riders.

On the night of the parade, go to the Main Street Alameda Ferry Terminal, 2990 Main St., and bring a new, unwrapped toy for each member of your party. The toys will go to toy drives organized by local firefighters. If you don’t bring a donated toy, you will have to purchase a mobile ferry ticket for each member of your party—$4.50 per passenger—using the San Francisco Bay Ferry app. Clipper cards will not be accepted.

Enjoy your close-up view of the Oakland and Alameda waterfronts and the other decorated boats in the parade!

KTVU reports Principal’s letter to parents about hate speech at Alameda High

Earlier this week, KTVU News reported about hate speech that appeared on several walls at Alameda High School before the Thanksgiving break. The N-word was scratched into a stairwell wall and a restroom, a swastika was tagged in a restroom, and “whites only” and “blacks only” were written on the mirrors above two sinks in the same restroom, according to a newsletter Principal Robert Ithurburn sent to parents on November 18.

“Sadly, it seems like annually I am having to report of some incident of bigotry, hate speech, or racism that we have had on campus,” Ithurburn wrote. “It is difficult for me not to express my disgust for these incidences.”

Ithurburn said school officials reviewed camera footage but were not able to determine who did the tagging. At a school assembly before the break, Ithurburn asked students, “Is this who we want to be? What kind of community do we want to have?” He added that these racist incidents damage the rich benefits of having a diverse student population at the school.

According to the news report, Ithurburn said teachers have been asked to process the incident with students and to “encourage/empower students to report such acts of hate to a trusted adult so that we may determine who is responsible.” He added that “all students deserve the right to feel safe at school and we need to do whatever we can to allow for that.”

School administrators told KTVU they were planning sharing circles for students to talk about the hate speech and have created lessons on the dehumanizing effects of bigotry and racism.

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