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    Let the games begin!

    March 30th, 2009

    Youth soccer games could be seen on just about every open field in the region Saturday as the Alameda-Contra Costa Youth Soccer League launched its spring season.  Above, the Albany Berkeley Soccer Club’s Bubbles team (in yellow and blue) faces off against the El Cerrito Mersey Club’s Hotshots (in red).  Below, Albany-Berkeley’s United team (in blue) takes on Richmond’s Manchesters (in red).  Photos by Barbara Grady. Read the rest of this entry »

    School Board President Jamie Calloway says goodbye to Albany

    March 12th, 2009

    Jamie Calloway says goodbye

    Jamie Calloway, President of the Albany school board, says goodbye to the community as she moves out of town and resigns from the board this week.  Photo and article by Linjun Fan.

    Jamie Calloway seldom expressed her feelings at board meetings in the past two years. But she was getting emotional when she made an announcement last Tuesday. She said she was going to get married and move out of Albany with her new family, thus she could not continue her service on the board.

    “It brings me a lot of sadness to say that, ” she said. Read the rest of this entry »

    Golden Gate Fields owner files Chapter 11, plans sale

    March 7th, 2009

    Golden Gate Fields 090308

    Golden Gate Fields race track, one of the biggest businesses in Albany,  is facing an uncertain future as its owner filed bankruptcy papers last week. Photo by Linjun Fan. Article by Barbara Grady.

    The owner of the Golden Gate Fields race track filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection on Thursday and indicated in its court document that it hopes to sell the Albany race track. Read the rest of this entry »

    Albany school district lays off several dozen teachers

    March 4th, 2009

     Dozens of teachers and staff of the Albany Unified School District will receive pink slips in the following week, another reminder of the toll the nation’s financial crisis is taking.

    Struggling to stave off the impact of the recession and California’s budget crisis, the Board of Education approved the layoffs Tuesday night.  Thirty-four teaching positions will be cut, effective with the new school year in September. Among them are six positions at the elementary schools, nine at the middle school, and 19 at the high school.

    This is on top of the 34 temporary teaching positions and three staff positions they agreed to cut last week. And more non-teaching staff positions are expected to be trimmed in the weeks ahead. 

    Amid all of the talk across the nation of stimulus money lifting communities out of recession and into recovery, small towns like Albany are grappling daily with the continuing effects of the U.S. economic downturn and California’s financial troubles. While Albany has high hopes that it will get a share of the stimulus money, in the short term the city and its residents are feeling more pinch and pain.

    “We worked very hard not to get here, ” said Superintendent Marla Stephenson at the Tuesday board meeting. But “due to unforseen dire economic circumstances”, the district had to lay off teachers right now. Read the rest of this entry »