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    Albany’s schools have little room for transfer students

    September 30th, 2007

     By Linjun Fan

    After five years of encouraging families outside the city to transfer their children to Albany schools, the district is facing an overcrowding problem that may force it to shut its doors to non-residents.

    The Albany Unified School District has nearly 150 more students enrolled this year than last year and can barely house the 3,794 students in its three elementary, one middle and one high school. Cornell Elementary has a portable classroom to accommodate a boom in first-graders. At Ocean View Elementary School, students are divided into three groups that eat lunch at different times to avoid crowding.

    Read the rest of this entry »


    Albany Superintendent Wong announces his retirement

    September 27th, 2007

    Dr. William Wong, Superintendent of Albany Unified School District By Linda Fan

    Albany Unified School District Superintendent William Wong announced his retirement at a school board meeting Tuesday, effective July 2008.

    Wong was hired as superintendent by the district in July, 2002. During his tenure, he successfully tackled a major financial crisis, turning a $1 million shortfall in school reserves that year to a $2 million surplus reserves today.

    Read the rest of this entry »


    Albany’s biggest controversy: Waterfront Planning

    September 26th, 2007

    albany-070916-050.jpg 

    A statue made out of scrape iron and sticks by amateur artists on Albany Bulb, the tip of a former landfill stretching half-a-mile into the San Francisco Bay. Photo by Linjun Fan.

    Waterfront planning is a major issue for the city of Albany. A majority of residents are against extensive commericial development of the 160-acre land by the San Francisco Bay, but their opinions vary on the kind of development they want to be carried out. Most of the land is now occupied by Golden Gate Fields racetrack, while several dozen acres of land were accumulated as a former landfill. Should the area be largely preserved as a park, or  some constructions for urban use be allowed? How to cooperate with the racetrack’s parent parent company Magna Entertainment Corp., who owns a large portion of the waterfront, if at all? And how to fund the projects? Or should the waterfront just be kept the way it is now? These are the questions that have faced the city for decades, and no consensus has been reached up until now. The city recently hired an independent consultant to prepare a framework report for the planning. The report was releaesd in early September, which summarized the issue and described four senarios for its development. (Click for details: Neuwirth & Associates Preliminary Report.) An revised version Neuwirth & Associates Final Report of the report was submitted to the City Council for approval in October. It’s important that the public voice their opinions and get involved in the planning process. Please follow the latest development of the issue and share your ideas here.


    Albany’s biggest controversy: Waterfront Planning

    September 26th, 2007

    albany-070916-050.jpg 

    A statue made out of scrape iron and sticks by amateur artists on Albany Bulb, the tip of a former landfill stretching half-a-mile into the San Francisco Bay. Photo by Linjun Fan.

    Waterfront planning is a major issue for the city of Albany. A majority of residents are against extensive commericial development of the 160-acre land by the San Francisco Bay, but their opinions vary on the kind of development they want to be carried out. Most of the land is now occupied by Golden Gate Fields racetrack, while several dozen acres of land were accumulated as a former landfill. Should the area be largely preserved as a park, or  some constructions for urban use be allowed? How to cooperate with the racetrack’s parent parent company Magna Entertainment Corp., who owns a large portion of the waterfront, if at all? And how to fund the projects? Or should the waterfront just be kept the way it is now? These are the questions that have faced the city for decades, and no consensus has been reached up until now. The city recently hired an independent consultant to prepare a framework report for the planning. The report was releaesd in early September, which summarized the issue and described four senarios for its development. (Click for details: Neuwirth & Associates Preliminary Report.) An revised version Neuwirth & Associates Final Report of the report was submitted to the City Council for approval in October. It’s important that the public voice their opinions and get involved in the planning process. Please follow the latest development of the issue and share your ideas here.


    Albany residents gathered to memorialize Ruth Meniketti

    September 23rd, 2007

    Two longtime dancing pals of Ruth Meniketti attended her memorial at Albany Community Center on Saturday noonTwo longtime dancing pals of Ruth Meniketti attended her memorial at Albany Community Center on Saturday noon. Photo by Linjun Fan.

    Nearly 100 people gathered at the Albany Community Center Saturday to remember Ruth Meniketti, an active member of the community for almost half a century. Meniketti died at the age of 86 after being struck by a pickup while she was walking on a street near her home in June.

    A devout environmentalist, Meniketti refused to drive all her life.

    “She never owned a car. I could only take her down to the bus if necessary,” recalled her son Marco Meniketti , who had to plead with his mother to take a ride. Read the rest of this entry »


    Demographics of Albany

    September 16th, 2007

    According to the United States Census Bureau, there were 16,444 people, 7,011 households, and 4,269 families residing in the city of Albany in the year of 2000.

    The city’s population was 61.3 % White, 25.1 % Asian, 8.0 % of the population were Hispanic or Latino, 4.1 % African American, 3.17 % from other races, and 5.83 % from two or more races. The biggest ethnic group is Chinese, which accounts for 13.5% of the city’s total population. Read the rest of this entry »