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    House on Buchanan caught on fire

    June 30th, 2009

    A house on 907 Buchanan Street in Albany caught on fire at around 6 pm Monday. The fire lasted for several hours before firefighters put it out. The house was severely burned but no person was injured.

    Bienvenido Galas, a tenant who lives there, said he was sleeping in his room when he sensed something went wrong.

    “Suddenly everything was hot, ” he said. Read the rest of this entry »

    You can make Albany Today alive

    June 22nd, 2009

    Linjun and Barbara

    Linjun Fan and Barbara Grady on a biking trip recently. Barbara will continue working on Albany Today after Linjun returns to China.

    Dear Readers,

    I’ve finished my studies at the Graduate School of Journalism at UC-Berkeley last month, and am about to go back to my home country China. I am very glad that I’ve served you well with meaningful news stories about the community in the past two years, and thankful for your trust and support of Albany Today.

    At the City Council meeting last week, Mayor Marge Atkinson presented me an award, each members of the Council said words of appreciation to my work, and the audience applauded heartily. I was deeply honored and touched. Two years ago when I first arrived at the town from the other side of the globe, I knew not a single person in town. Now I feel I’ve built such great bonds with so many of you here that it’s hard to say goodbye. Read the rest of this entry »

    City Council honors reporter for developing community news website

    June 19th, 2009

    Council Honoring
    Albany Mayor Marge Atkinson awarded an Appreciation of Work to Linjun Fan for her work of developing Albany Today Monday. The news website is “an invaluable asset to our community”, said the City Council in the document. Photo by Allen Cain. Click here to watch the video recording of the meeting online.

    Albany police seek information from public in investigating man’s death

    June 18th, 2009

    Albany Police are investigating the death of a man whose body was found on the Albany Hill two months ago.

    The man was identified as Alfredo Vega Gamboa, an auto mechanic who lived in Richmond. 33-year-old Gamboa was found dead in the woods on the west side of the hill on the morning of Saturday, April 18th. Read the rest of this entry »

    AUSD Superintendent outlines plan

    June 11th, 2009

    By Barbara Grady-Ayer

    After describing grim financial news she received from state education leaders, Albany Unified School District Superintendent Marla Stephenson on Monday laid out the plan for how Albany schools will function next year with a drastically reduced budget.

    Stephenson said the district will be receiving $1,100 less per student from the state in the new academic year than it did for the year just ending. That is almost a 20 percent loss, she said.

    To view a video of her talk, please click here

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Councilmember starts Car-free Challenge for Albany

    June 10th, 2009

    Bikers are ubiquitous in the town of Albany, which prides itself on being one of the “greenest” cities in California. “Being Green” is in fashion. Albany Councilmember Farid Javandel has signed up for a Car-Free Challenge recently, and resolved to drive no more than 30 miles for the month of June. Can he really achieve that goal? Is it possible for the whole town to follow suit? Here is what Javandel says about  his car-free endeavors: Read the rest of this entry »

    Albany residents petition City to act on nuisance houses

    June 8th, 2009

    Albany resident Mindi Ritzman and Jennifer Dyment wrote the letter below to urge city officials to solve the problems with two dilapidated houses on their block:

    “We live on the 900 block of Jackson Street, which contains two abandoned houses – 947 and 953 Jackson Street. Over the years individuals in our neighborhood have asked the city – Community Development Director, Building Manager, City Attorney, Council Members, and other city staff – for help in correcting these problems. Unfortunately, all of our individual requests have been disregarded. So we created a petition to ask, as a large group of residents affected daily by these properties, that our elected officials on the City Council simply do what is outlined in Chapters 12 & 18 of the Municipal Code. Read the rest of this entry »

    Senior Albany City Staff passed away

    June 8th, 2009

     Barry Whittaker

    Barry Whittaker, an employee of the City of Albany who oversaw major public construction projects, passed away from a car accident recently.

    69-year-old Whittaker was riding his bike at a street crossing in Hercules City when he hit into a car on a recent Monday, according to Ann Chaney, Director of Community Development Department of Albany. Read the rest of this entry »

    Albany High School students traveled to Mali to help build school

    June 7th, 2009


    Kayla Nachtsheim, a sophomore at Albany High School, traveled to a village in Mali, West Africa to help build a school for local children recently. She will give a presentation on her work there on June 24th, Wednesday, 6:15 pm, at the Albany Community Center, Edith Stone Room, together with Jeff Cooper, an AHS junior who also joined the work organized by buildOn.

    Albany Police Department holds Neighborhood Watch meetings

    June 5th, 2009

     Neighborhood watch meeting

    69-year-old Albany resident Judy Tanaka signed her name at a Neighborhood Watch meeting at the Albany Senior Center recently.  The Albany Police Department is holding a series of meetings for each neighborhood in the city to help residents stay alert on crimes.  Contact Karina Tindol, the department’s newly-hired Community Engagement Specialist at 510- 812- 6240 for more information about how you can benefit from the program.  Photo by Linjun Fan.

    Mountain biking at AHS? Origins of a winning team

    June 4th, 2009

    Article and photos by Michael Mejia,  Coach for the Mountain Bike Team at Albany High School.

    Newspapers lowered at the barber shop the other day when Jerry paused during my crew-cut and asked about the Mountain Bike Team. The customers, many old Cougars themselves, understand football and wrestling – but racing mountain bikes as a high school sport? You’re kidding, right? Read the rest of this entry »

    What Governor’s action, May 19 vote mean to Albany

    June 2nd, 2009

    By Barbara Grady-Ayer

    Albany schools are likely to take some very serious hits in September now that California voters defeated the May 19 budget initiatives and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has responded by putting forth another round of harsh cuts.

    Gov. Schwarzenegger in recent days outlined a draconian budget plan that includes taking another $5 billion away from education. Combined with February’s cuts to education, that would mean a loss of at least $1,000 per student by next September.

    Albany Board of Education members say that size cut will all but eliminate the chances of preserving the school programs that it voted in February to put on provisional list for cutting in a worse case scenario.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    School Superintendent introduces latest budget situation

    June 1st, 2009

    Superintendent Marla Stephenson of the Albany Unified School District will give a report to the community on the 2009-10 budget on Monday, June 8th, 6 pm – 7 pm at the Albany Community Center. It’s a good opportunity to find out how the latest state budget cut would impact Albany schools.