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    Commentary: What Albany needs, a second visioning process!

    October 30th, 2008

    Albany resident Mac McCurdy commented on the city’s budget transparency and financial viability in the article below:

    Those who follow Albany issues are well aware of the $600,000 waterfront “visioning” exercise which is currently underway. But there is another visioning process that is far more critical to the future of Albany.  Take a little quiz:

    What does the city currently spend in a year to “run” Albany? Where does our money come from? How is this money spent? Read the rest of this entry »

    Albany pumpkin vendor encounters sharp sales downfall

    October 28th, 2008

    Few customers showed up at Ray’s Pumpkin Patch on Solano Avenue Tuesday, whose business is suffering a sharp decline. Photo by Linda (Linjun) Fan.

    You might have noticed that not as many pumpkins are smiling at porches in Albany right now, although the Halloween is only three days away. At least several hundred Albany families have cut back on buying pumpkins this year, in the gloom and uncertainty of economic recession. Read the rest of this entry »

    Albany High School students vote overwhelmingly for Obama in mock election

    October 27th, 2008

    Students of Albany High School filled out their ballots at a mock presidential election Wednesday. Photo by Micah Yee. Article by Linda (Linjun) Fan.

    If students of Albany High School had the say in the upcoming presidential election, Barack Obama would win by a 80 per cent margin over John McCain.

    572 students at the high school participated in a mock election organized by the school and the League of Women Voters Wednesday. 86 per cent of them voted for Obama and less than 5 per cent voted for McCain. Read the rest of this entry »

    Slideshow: Albany Pumpkin Festival

    October 26th, 2008

    About two dozen Albany parents and children carved pumpkins at the Albany Pumpkin Festival on Solano Avenue Saturday. Councilmember Jewel Okawachi and Marge Atkinson, City Administrator Beth Pollard served as judges of the pumpkin-carving contest. Photos by Linda (Linjun) Fan.

    Discussion: should the accuser’s name be published?

    October 22nd, 2008

    Dear Readers,

    You might know that I have been following Ms. Kay Sorg’s case and written about it for about a year now. I disclosed some new information in the most recent story Hearing of Sorg’s sexual offense case centers on letters, including the names of two witnesses, who used to be students at Albany schools.

    But I didn’t include the name of the accuser and the first name of her father. The attorneys of the case concealed the names in their court papers. However, I’ve got them through research of public records. Read the rest of this entry »

    Hearing of Sorg’s sexual offense case centers on letters

    October 22nd, 2008

    By Linda (Linjun) Fan

    A preliminary hearing of Kay Sorg‘s case, which had originally been scheduled for last week, was postponed to Nov. 20.

    The upcoming hearing will center on several letters Sorg wrote to the accuser, who was a former student in her science class at Albany Middle School, in the early 1990s.

    Three people have said they had seen the letters in interview with Albany Police. Two are the accuser’s friends back in school years. The other is her father, Mr. Doe. Read the rest of this entry »

    Meet Election Candidates: Farid Javandel for Albany City Council

    October 20th, 2008

    Farid Javandel wore a letterman jacket which records his glorious achievements at Albany High School at Solano stroll last month. Javandel is seeking reelection to the Albany City Council. Photo by Linda (Linjun) Fan.  Below is his campaign statement:

    “I was raised in Albany and now I am raising my children here. Albany’s excellent schools, responsive police and emergency services, parks and recreational opportunities, and dedicated citizens serving and improving the City make it a wonderful community for families in the midst of a major metropolitan area. We must achieve both economic and environmental sustainability to retain this quality of life. Read the rest of this entry »

    Pumpkin carving and pumpkin pie baking festival

    October 20th, 2008

    A pumpkin-carving festival will be held on 1216 Solano Avenue 2 pm, Saturday, Oct. 25. Participants will have a chance to carve their own pumpkin and join in a Pumpkin Carving Contest, sponsored by the Albany Chamber of Commerce.

    There will also be a pumpkin-pie baking contest on the same day, for those who’d like to flaunt their pie-making skills. The winner will receive a $100 award. Click here for more information on the events. Photo: Two carved pumpkins in front of a house in Albany, by Linda (Linjun) Fan.

    Slideshow: Albany kids on bikes

    October 19th, 2008

    The pictures were taken at a bike event at Albany Saturday, by Linda (Linjun) Fan, and Peggy McQuaid of Albany Police Activity League.

    Biking gains popularity among Albany kids

    October 19th, 2008

    Three-year-old Zoe Zellentin rides her bike to preschool every weekday. She attended Albany’s bike rodeo Saturday, testing out her biking skills along a zig-zag path at the playground of Cornell Elementary. Photo by Linda (Linjun) Fan.

    Several dozen kids in Albany put on their helmets and rode their bike to attend the bike event Saturday. Each of them went through a training session biking along a meandering path painted at the playground of Cornell. Read the rest of this entry »

    Commentary: The Sierra Club as a Political Organization

    October 17th, 2008

    Albany resident Karen McKeown wrote the article below criticizing Sierra Club’s political role in local elections, in response to the Commentary: Here’s why I plan to vote for Lieber, Panian and Toomey.

     “How self-serving of Ms. Wishner to publicize her support of Sierra Club candidates for Albany City Council without disclosing that she was a member of the Sierra Club committee that interviewed Council candidates for inclusion on its slate. Read the rest of this entry »

    Commentary: Here’s why I plan to vote for Lieber, Panian and Toomey

    October 16th, 2008

    Albany resident Nan Wishner wrote an opinion article on the current City Council election: 

    “Here’s why I plan to vote for Robert Lieber, Leo Panian, and Ellen Toomey for Albany City Council:

    Robert Lieber has a solid list of environmental and progressive accomplishments from his four-year term, including leading both the Albany City Council and the mayors of Alameda County to take a strong stand opposing aerial pesticide spraying of the Bay Area for the light brown apple moth (LBAM). If not for Lieber’s courage and vocal leadership on this issue, we would already have been enduring airplanes spraying pesticides over our homes for as long as eight months. As Chair of the City’s Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Task Force, I worked closely with Lieber on this issue and saw firsthand his ability to speak out effectively, persuade those who disagreed, communicate to the media the urgency of the threat, and get results. Read the rest of this entry »

    Commentary: A City Council of One

    October 16th, 2008

    Albany resident Mac McCurdy wrote an opinion article on the City Council leadership and the election:

    “Let’s start with a look back at the last election:

    In 2006 the Atkinson/Wile team received 6538 votes while O’keefe and Papalia received 4774. That’s roughly a 58% to 42% split and represented a clear rejection of the Caruso development proposal by the majority of Albany voters. But it also showed that a substantial minority of voters had an interest in seeing a development plan make it as far as a measure C vote, where all the voters in Albany could express their sentiments on a complete and detailed proposal. Caruso’s last proposal did include 17 acres of park along the waterfront (roughly 17 football fields in size). Read the rest of this entry »

    City Council and School Board candidates debate Tuesday

    October 13th, 2008

    Candidates for Albany City Council and School Board will debate on various public issues Tuesday evening, Oct. 14, 7 pm – 9 pm at Northbrae Community Church, 941 Alameda, Berkeley. Read the rest of this entry »

    Albany Superintendent hosts community forum

    October 13th, 2008

    Superintendent Marla Stephenson of Albany Unified School District will host a community forum Friday, Oct. 17, 11:00A.M. – Noon, at Solano Grill, 1133 Solano Avenue. All parents and members of the community are welcome to attend the event.

    Missing: Council candidate Peggy Thomsen’s campaign signs

    October 13th, 2008

    A yard sign of  City Council candidate Peggy Thomsen on Jackson Street, Albany. Photo by Linda (Linjun) Fan.

    Unlike the previous two elections during which lawsuits were filed, no disputes have popped up into the current City Council race in Albany — except for eight yard signs of candidate Peggy Thomsen that went missing recently. Read the rest of this entry »

    A biking event in town for Albany youths

    October 11th, 2008


    A trick rider from 2Hip jumped over an Albany Police car at a bike rodeo last year. Photo by Peggy McQuaid, a member of the Albany Police Activities League. The league and the Albany Police Department will host another bike event Saturday, Oct. 18, 10 am- 2 pm at Cornell Elementary, to teach Albany youths biking skills and give them road safety information. Trick riders will perform at the event and 200 free helmets will be given out to participants.

    Quarrel on Albany’s waterfront subsides

    October 10th, 2008

    The Albany Waterfront is a paradise for off-leash dogs, but not for as many kids and families. The land’s future is being shaped, as Albany conducts a $600,000 project to abridge disagreements and develop a common vision for it. Photo by Linda (Linjun) Fan.

    Residents would often divide into two sides and fiercely attack each other when the waterfront planning issue was brought up on public meetings in Albany. But recently the quarrels seem to be subsiding, as a city-hired consultant began to engage residents to build consensus on the most controversial issue in town. Read the rest of this entry »

    Meet Election Candidate: Leo Panian for Albany City Council

    October 8th, 2008

    Leo Panian, chair of Albany’s Planning and Zoning Commission, is running for the City Council for the first time. Panian says the purpose of his campaign to “place sustainability at the heart of city politics and decision making”. Read the rest of this entry »

    After years of neglect, Talbot house eventually gets sold

    October 7th, 2008

    The house located at 1075 Talbot Avenue of Albany, which had been vacant and dilapidated for years, was eventually sold last week. The new owner has painted the house’s exterior wall.

    “All the neighbors are really thrilled. The house will be used by people, instead of rotting away like it was, ” said Gale Williams, a resident in the neighborhood. Read the rest of this entry »