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    SchoolCARE calls on residents to donate to Albany schools

    February 27th, 2009


    SchoolCARE, a non-profit organization in Albany, is calling on members of the community to participate in an action plan to deal with the imminent budget cut on local schools.  Below is an open letter from the organization:

    As our school district — along with the rest of the community and nation and beyond — feels the impact of the economic downturn and struggles to provide quality education with fewer state dollars, it is important that we as a community work TOGETHER and harness parent energy in the most productive way possible for the benefit of all. Read the rest of this entry »

    Parcel tax idea postponed

    February 26th, 2009

    The Albany schools superintendent and board decided to delay an attempt to put a parcel tax measure before Albany voters until at least November. They reasoned that a June ballot measure would be too rushed. However, by November, the district as well as voters will have a precise picture of what education programs are being lost to budget woes and what can be saved with new revenues.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    School district considers emergency parcel tax and delaying pool bond

    February 14th, 2009

    A new idea surfaced on how to save Albany schools from the severest cuts that would result after California slashes education spending: ask Albany voters for an emergency, short-term parcel tax.

    When parents and school board members met last week at budget forums to tackle the grim task of choosing what teaching positions and programs to cut, talk kept turning instead to how to raise revenues. The idea of a parcel tax came up in the form of a question scribbled on a piece of paper and slipped in front of Superintendent of Schools Marla Stephenson.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    The dragon, lions, and martial artists on Solano

    February 10th, 2009

    Albany had its own Chinese New Year parade and stage performance on Solano Avenue Saturday. Although it didn’t have splendid floats like the ones in San Francisco, local residents, including dozens of school children, put on a rich combination of Chinese arts and dances at the celebration. The gorgeous dragon that waved down Solano was hand-made by resident Zion Lee, out of recycled material.

    Click here to review some beautiful moments at Albany’s Lunar New Year Celebration a year ago.

    An opportunity for Albany teenagers to learn about police

    February 10th, 2009

    The Albany Police Department is offering a free program for local teenagers to experience police life and to gain first-hand knowledge of the justice system.

    The program, called Youth Academy, consists of several field trips to justice facilities as well as eight weekly meetings at the police department. A dozen Albany teenagers participated in the first session of the program and enjoyed it a lot. Click here to read an earlier story about their experience and here for the details on how to enroll in the upcoming session, which starts on Feb. 21st.

    Board votes to increase school time and improve after-school program

    February 6th, 2009

    The controversy around Albany’s staggered reading program was partly settled after a majority of members of the Board of Education voted for changing school schedule and providing better after-school services Tuesday.

    The board voted 3 to 2 to continue the staggered reading program, to further increase school time, and to promise families affordable after-school programs. Read the rest of this entry »

    Schools Superintendent describes budget choices

    February 5th, 2009

    Finding $2.2 million to cut from Albany Unified School District’s budget, which is almost all spent on personnel, might mean laying off 36 teachers, Superintendent Marla Stephenson said Monday.

    It might mean the end of small classes in first, second, third and ninth grades. It could mean the eliminating electives at the high school and middle school and shortening their school days to only six periods a day. It might mean laying off counselors, librarians, clerical staff, janitors and vice principals. It might mean music is sharply curtailed and performing arts eliminated. Or it could mean all of the above.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Albany remembers Fred Oyle, “the man of a million smiles”

    February 2nd, 2009

    Hundreds of people gathered in Albany Sunday to remember Fred Oyle, a well-loved member of the community who passed away recently from a sudden heart attack.

    50-year-old Oyle had lived on Key Route Boulevard with his family for more than a decade. He was a block captain, a popular house painter, and a devoted coach for the Albany Little League. Neighbors, friends and family members shared stories about Oyle’s cheerfulness and generosity at a packed hall at the Veteran’s Memorial Building. Read the rest of this entry »