Birds, Measles, and Twists in the Arson Case

News of Interest to Alamedans

Bird Crisis

An unknown goo coated hundreds of birds along the Alameda and East Bay shoreline, prompting bird rescuers to step in and clean the birds of the strange substance so they wouldn’t die of exposure. No word on the origin of the mystery substance.

High Rent

According to Census data compiled by Councilman Tony Daysog, the number of renter households in Alameda rose from 14,726 to 15,894 between 2005-07 and 2011-13. Yet these households’ median annual income declined by nearly $8,000 during that same period. Thus, the percentage of renters paying more than 30 percent of their incomes toward rent rose from 39 percent to 46 percent.

Twisted Tale

The Alameda arson tale gets even weirder: Musician Stephen Petersen has been charged with possessing child pornography on his computer, a felony. He was arrested as a suspect in the string of arsons, but charges were dropped, and Andrew Gutierrez was accused of setting the blazes. Prosecutors also recently added charges of rape and burglary against Gutierrez.

New Brew

Alameda Island Brewing Company has begun brewing beer on Park Street. Co-owner/head brewer is Matthew Fox, who wants to “make great beer in a great town.” Wife Jennifer projected a soft opening for the end of February.

Ed Adds

The newest member of Alameda’s Board of Education is Philip Hu, assistant general manager for Public Employees Union Local 1. Meanwhile, Sean McPhetridge was unanimously named school district superintendent.

Spiffy Span

The Bay Farm Island Bridge is getting a $3.4 million sprucing up, mainly with pressure washing and repainting, though the revamp also includes servicing the hydraulic system. Work starts in October, mostly at nights.

Moving On

Pagano’s Hardware is moving to the former Webster Street home of Blockbuster Video, after lease negotiations faltered. Its South Shore Center outlet remains.

New Meters

Alameda Municipal Power has installed digital meters at the Island’s 300 biggest businesses and is adding them to 135 homes. Full customer conversion is about two years out.

Nixle Notice

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