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    Homeless rebuilt camps at Albany Bulb

    October 31st, 2007

    homeless 1

    homeless 2

    Katherine Cody sat under her umbrella enjoying the bay view with  big smiles, while another homeless friend of hers took a nap in their newly-set-up tent on Sunday noon. Photo by Linjun Fan.

    Several homeless people have rebuilt their camps at Albany Bulb barely a month after the city conducted a massive campaign to remove them.

    “It’s good to be home again, “said Katherine Cody, who had camped at the Bulb for nearly a year before she was ordered by police to leave the place in late September. “I’ve just put up my kitchen and umbrella. “

    The landfill-turned Bulb has been a favorite place for homeless encampments for years, and Albany has been clearing them once in every two years. In the city’s latest clean-up effort Albany police ordered all homeless to leave their camps, and a team of 11 workers was hired for 4 days to carry dumpsters of camp garbage out of the Bulb. Read the rest of this entry »


    Albany seeks millions’ bond to rebuild swimming pool

    October 28th, 2007

    swimming poolAlbany resident Miriam Jocobs enjoyed herself in the Albany Pool Friday afternoon, Oct.26. Photo by Linjun Fan.  

    The Albany Unified School District board is considering issuing a $12 million general obligation bond to rebuild its swimming pool and a few other school facilities.

    The board will hold a special meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 6 to decide whether to put the bond measure on February’s ballot.

    If approved by voters, a majority of the fund raised through the bond—$7 to 8 million—will be spent on rebuilding Albany ‘s swimming pool.

    The pool was built in 1950s and hasn’t been renovated since then. It has all kinds of problems associated with a building that is decades’ old, according to Director of Albany Pool Stephen Dunkle. Read the rest of this entry »


    Albany seeks millions’ bond to rebuild swimming pool

    October 28th, 2007

    swimming poolAlbany resident Miriam Jocobs enjoyed herself in the Albany Pool Friday afternoon, Oct.26. Photo by Linjun Fan.  

    The Albany Unified School District board is considering issuing a $12 million general obligation bond to rebuild its swimming pool and a few other school facilities.

    The board will hold a special meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 6 to decide whether to put the bond measure on February’s ballot.

    If approved by voters, a majority of the fund raised through the bond—$7 to 8 million—will be spent on rebuilding Albany ‘s swimming pool.

    The pool was built in 1950s and hasn’t been renovated since then. It has all kinds of problems associated with a building that is decades’ old, according to Director of Albany Pool Stephen Dunkle. Read the rest of this entry »


    All dressed up at Albany Preschool pancake breakfast

    October 27th, 2007

    preschool picturePreschooler Leo Ruthenberg touches the puffy fingers of Susy Bernos, head teacher at Albany Preschool who was dressed as an orange M&M, at a boisterous Halloween fundraiser Saturday morning. Dozens of preschoolers and their parents gathered in costume at the Albany Community Center for breakfast, with proceeds going to the school. Photo by Linda Fan.


    Albany school board votes to open chief job to outside applicants

    October 25th, 2007

    parents at school board meetingDawn Kawamoto and several other parents of Albany school children wore a sign  “Open Process” at a board meeting Tuesday evening. Photo by Linjun Fan .

    The Albany Unified School District board voted Tuesday in favor of widely searching a new superintendent in response to a public backlash to Board President Miram Walden’s proposal to select an internal candidate.

    Four of five board members voted for the motion, while Walden abstained.

    “If the board could agree on internal candidates, doing that quickly could eliminate organizational chaos, ” said Walden. “That’s already happened. We are having an organizational chaos in my opinion. Therefore my goal has already lost. So what’s the fight?”

    Read the rest of this entry »


    School board to vote on superintendent-hiring process

    October 23rd, 2007

    Albany’s school board will vote on the process of selecting a new superintendent Tuesday evening. The controversial issue was heatly debated during the board’s previous meeting, with a large number of audience strongly opposing Board President Miram Walden’s proposal of choosing a candidate among the district’s current employees. Click here to read more about the controversy.

    A $7 million plan to rebuild Albany’s swimming pool will also be introduced and discussed at the meeting, which starts at 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23, in the Multi-Purpose Room of Cornell Elementary. Click here for the detailed agenda.


    Halloween on Solano

    October 21st, 2007

    holloweenCustomers were busy picking up pumpkins at Ray’s Pumpkin’s Patch on 1245 Solano Ave. Photo by Linjun Fan.

    A Halloween celebration will be held at the Patch next Saturday,  5 p.m.-8 p.m.,Oct.27, featuring a costume contest and a magic show for kids.


    Defense attorney challenged sexual assault charges against Sorg

    October 20th, 2007

    By Linjun Fan

    The attorney defending Kay Sorg, a veteran Albany Middle School teacher accused of sexual assault, told reporters Friday that the charges are groundless and the case should be dismissed.

    Defense Attorney Elizabeth Grossman said there is no evidence to support the allegations, brought by a former student who says she was sexually molested by Sorg in 1991 and 1992.

    “There is not one shred of evidence that would support or allow prosecution to go forward in this case, ” said Grossman.

    “And this is a tragedy not only for her (Sorg) but for all teachers that some person can come foward 15 years later and make false allegations,” she added later. Read the rest of this entry »


    Two houses in Albany were broken into Monday night

    October 19th, 2007

    Two houses on San Gabriel Street of Albany were broken into Monday night.

    Jim Crawford told police that he found his kitchen window broken, drawers of a dresser pulled open, and some jewelry taken away when he arrived home Monday night.

    Charles Matson, a neighbor who lives across the street from Crawford, also reported to police at around 9 p.m. the same night that his front door was pried open .

    “It was a bummer, ” said Crawford.  “This had never happened in my life, ” he added later. Read the rest of this entry »


    Hillside resident’s car was broken into again Thursday night

    October 13th, 2007

    An Albany resident woke up Friday to find his car broken into for the second time in a year.

    Michael Wallace of Hillside Street told police that a window of his 2002 Honda Civic was broken and the car door opened, though nothing was taken.

    Wallace said he just installed a new car radio because that last one was stolen a few months ago. Read the rest of this entry »


    Hillside resident’s car was broken into again Thursday night

    October 13th, 2007

    An Albany resident woke up Friday to find his car broken into for the second time in a year.

    Michael Wallace of Hillside Street told police that a window of his 2002 Honda Civic was broken and the car door opened, though nothing was taken.

    Wallace said he just installed a new car radio because that last one was stolen a few months ago. Read the rest of this entry »


    A stolen car returns home with neighbor’s help

    October 11th, 2007

    Five-year-old Coltrane Simon looked into his neighbor’s found car while a towing truck driver and his father Arthur Simon checked the condition of the vehicle.   Five-year-old Coltrane Simon looked into his neighbor’s found car while a towing truck driver and his father Arthur Simon checked the condition of the vehicle. Photo by Linjun Fan.

    Neighbors helped to take a stolen car back home to Dartmouth Street in Albany with a tow truck Wednesday, six days after it disappeared.

    The car, which belongs to Albany resident Michael Roberts, was stolen in front of his house last Thursday night, and was found abandoned on a Richmond street by police Tuesday.

    Arthur Simon, who lives across the street of Roberts’ house, went to a Richmond towing yard to get the car back Wednesday because its owner Roberts had to go on a trip to Japan in the morning.

    “I am happy that it’s over, ” said Simon after he took pictures of his neighbor’s recovered car. “I will write Michael an email with the pictures telling him his car is home now. ”

    Read the rest of this entry »


    A stolen car returns home with neighbor’s help

    October 11th, 2007

    Five-year-old Coltrane Simon looked into his neighbor’s found car while a towing truck driver and his father Arthur Simon checked the condition of the vehicle.   Five-year-old Coltrane Simon looked into his neighbor’s found car while a towing truck driver and his father Arthur Simon checked the condition of the vehicle. Photo by Linjun Fan.

    Neighbors helped to take a stolen car back home to Dartmouth Street in Albany with a tow truck Wednesday, six days after it disappeared.

    The car, which belongs to Albany resident Michael Roberts, was stolen in front of his house last Thursday night, and was found abandoned on a Richmond street by police Tuesday.

    Arthur Simon, who lives across the street of Roberts’ house, went to a Richmond towing yard to get the car back Wednesday because its owner Roberts had to go on a trip to Japan in the morning.

    “I am happy that it’s over, ” said Simon after he took pictures of his neighbor’s recovered car. “I will write Michael an email with the pictures telling him his car is home now. ”

    Read the rest of this entry »


    Albany school board considers fingerprinting volunteers

    October 11th, 2007

    Albany school board is considering fingerprinting school volunteers in the wake of two incidents in which long-time volunteers were dismissed for inappropriate and even criminal behavior.

    “I know that even one brief encounter with an ‘inappropriate’ adult can change the course of a child’s life forever,” said Board Member Jamie Calloway. “We can pay lip service to protecting our students, or we can put ourselves on the line and really do it. “

    Calloway believes that the district should fingerprint volunteers to make sure they have no history of doing harm to kids.

    Currently school volunteers in Albany are neither asked to be registered, nor to go through a criminal background check. Only paid employees are required to be fingerprinted for such a check.

    Read the rest of this entry »