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    City of Albany plans to inspect Talbot house

    March 27th, 2008

    By Linda (Linjun) Fan  

    The City of Albany plans to inspect a dilapidated house on Talbot Avenue next Wednesday after receiving various complaints from residents in the neighborhood.

    City staff have sent a letter to the property owners of the house located at 1075 Talbot Avenue recently, requesting consent to enter the house for inspection.  They are also preparing to get a court warrant for the entry if the owners refuse it.

    It’s said in the letter that the house has been vacant for a number of years, and is in a “severely deteriorated state” with boarded-up windows and broken glass. Read the rest of this entry »


    Sorg pleads not guilty on charges of sexual assault

    March 25th, 2008

    By Linda (Linjun) Fan

    Kay Sorg, a veteran teacher of Albany Middle School charged with sexual assault on a former student, pleaded not guilty in court last week.

    The plea was postponed for nearly a year because Sorg’s defense attorney had been challenging the sufficiency of prosecutors’ complaint on the case.

    The court accepted the complaint last Thursday after prosecutors added more allegations into it, according to Greg Dolge, Deputy District Attorney of Alameda County. Read the rest of this entry »


    Video: Homeless person plants trees at Albany Bulb

    March 25th, 2008

    By Linda (Linjun) Fan

    Michael Welch, a homeless person living at the Albany Bulb, joined a group of young people planting trees at the former landfill recently. They hauled compost, dug holes with shovels, and planted a dozen fruit trees at various spots of the Bulb. Welch planted a fig tree near his camp, which was the first tree he had ever planted in his life. Watch the video below for more of the story. Read the rest of this entry »


    Lottery will be drawn to assign Albany’s Community Garden Saturday

    March 25th, 2008

    A lottery will be drawn at 12:00 pm., Saturday to assign a dozen plots of Ocean View Community Garden to members of the community. Lottery tickets will be distributed at 11:00 am at the garden (900 Buchanan Street, behind the Tennis Courts and Teen Center) .  All Albany residents are invited to attend the event. Read the rest of this entry »


    City of Albany looks for volunteers to serve on IPM committee

    March 25th, 2008

    The City of Albany is looking for several members from the community to serve on an oversight committee for its Integrated Pesticide Management Program. Click here to read more about the program, and contact Community Services Director Penelope Leach (510-559-7227, pleach@albanyca.org) if you have any questions.


    City Council majority pushes forward direct election of mayor

    March 20th, 2008

    By Linda (Linjun) Fan

    Albany voters may be asked whether they want to directly elect the city’s mayor in November with City Council’s latest decision to push the issue forward Monday.

    Mayor of Albany is traditionally elected among the five City Councilmembers by the Council, and serves a one-year term, ever since the city adopted its Charter in 1927.  However, current Mayor Robert Lieber and other members of the community believe that it’s time to change the Charter and have voters to elect mayor directly.

    “I think it’s important that people have the right to elect a mayor, ” Lieber said. Read the rest of this entry »


    City of Albany moves to deal with nuisance property

    March 19th, 2008

    By Linda (Linjun) Fan

    The City of Albany took the first step to address neighbors’ complaints over a dilapidated house, as the City Council voted unanimously to appoint a hearing board to deal with nuisance properties Monday.

    Nearly a hundred neighbors urged the city to act on a deteriorating house at 1075 Talbot Avenue, which they called ” a garbage dump and a crash pad for vagrants “ in a petition letter recently.

    Albany adopted its Nuisance Abatement Ordinance in 2003. However, it has never evoked the code to deal with problem properties in the city. Read the rest of this entry »


    Special education teacher secures job with parents’ support

    March 13th, 2008

    By Linda (Linjun) Fan

    A special education teacher of Albany High School will be given a permanent job instead of a layoff letter, after a number of parents and members of community stood out to support her.

    The Board of Education of Albany decided to keep hiring Elizabeth Enchelmayer, a probationary teacher of the Special Education Department of the high school, at a meeting Tuesday. Read the rest of this entry »


    Marla Stephenson chosen as Albany’s new superintendent

    March 12th, 2008

    Marla Stephenson

    Marla Stephenson was chosen as the new Superintendent of the Albany Unified School District. She will replace retiring William Wong in the upcoming academic year. Photo by Linda (Linjun) Fan.

    Marla Stephenson, currently serving as Assistant Superintendent of the school district, was selected among 31 applicants by the Board of Education Saturday. The Board announced the decision at its meeting Tuesday.

    “We are looking forward to a very smooth transition. We think that there is some chance that Ms. Stephenson will understand the workings of the district fairly well, ” said Board President Charles Blanchard, arousing a hearty laugh and loud applause in the audience. Read the rest of this entry »


    Tree removal at the Gill Tract completed

    March 11th, 2008

    green spray 2

    A green layer of spray covers the land where 184 Monterey pines grew at the Gill Tract of Albany. Wildflowers and grass are expected to grow out of the mixture of seeds and mulch. The controversial tree-removal, started in late January, has been completed by workers contracted by the University of California. Read the rest of this entry »


    Neighbors urge city to act on “haunted house”

    March 8th, 2008

    house 1

    Garbage covers the backyard of a vacant house at Talbot Avenue, Albany. Photo by Linda (Linjun) Fan.  

    Nearly 100 Albany residents signed a petition letter recently to urge city administrators to take action on a decaying house in their neighborhood .

    The house, located at 1075 Talbot Avenue, has been left vacant by its owner for more than two decades. Besides deteriorating windows and walls, neighbors say that it is now frequented by rats and homeless people.

    “The property has become a garbage dump, a crash pad for vagrants, a haven for illegal activities and a dangerous enticement to curious children, ” said the petition letter, which has been signed by 94 residents in the neighborhood. Read the rest of this entry »


    Commentary: Special Education Program shouldn’t be cut back

    March 4th, 2008

    Albany resident Sabine Geiger, mother of a special education child,  has recently written a letter to Principal Ted Barone of Albany High School on the teacher layoff incident.  She sent the letter to Albany Today for circulation among members of the community.  

    Dear Mr. Barone,

    I was shocked when I heard a few days ago that you decided to release the three teachers in the resource department.  I also heard that your reason was that the way the resource department had been structured up to now, does not fit your vision of Albany High School.  It is very sad for me as the parent of a resource student to hear this… Read the rest of this entry »


    Albany completes its first community garden

    March 4th, 2008

    garden

    A Community Garden has been completed at Ocean View Park of Albany recently. All Albany residents can now apply for a plot to garden there. Photo by Linda (Linjun) Fan.

    If you are Albany resident that likes gardening, you may consider applying for a plot to grow your favorite plants in Ocean View Community Garden.

    The newly-completed garden, located west of Ocean View Elementary, is the first community garden constructed in Albany in recent years. Read the rest of this entry »