Pictures Top to bottom: Empty Alameda bus and bus driver, empty streets by Jackson Quinn; empty shelves in bread aisle at Nob Hill Foods by Eric J. Kos; Alameda spirit by Gabrielle “Gaby” Dolphin
Island City takes action against pandemic sweeping nation, world
The impact of social distancing and actions to prepare for potential quarantines or lockdowns over the outbreak of coronavirus led to some unusual behavior around Alameda and the nation last week. Panic buying led to overconsumption at grocery stores on the Island resulting in unusally long lines and empty shelves. Paper and cleaning products, dry goods, frozen and dairy items were among those in high demand.
Sun staff had front-row seats to what could be considered a bellwether of panic buying, Encinal Market, a smaller market unrelated to any other store, saw attention it hadn’t received in in its decades-long history. Word was people couldn’t even access the parking lot to Bay Farm Island’s grocery store at Harbor Bay Landing and hence, overflow shoppers came to the East End market. Even corner convenience stores placed limits on the number of items one consumer could buy at any given time.
With Alameda County under a shelter-in-place order as of St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, streets, buses and many otherwise festive venues were empty. The Alameda Sun published last week contained some conflicting information because information changed so quickly during its publication. In fact, by the time of its publishing, all city facilities and libraries had been closed and associated programs canceled.
The ripple effects are still being processed. Please watch this space for how people in the Island City are coping and how you can help.
Meals on Wheels Needs Immediate Help
Alameda Meals on Wheels released the following statement last week.
“The Governor has ordered Alameda County to shelter in place. Alameda Meals on Wheels is an essential service that is committed to providing meals to their most vulnerable neighbors. Due to this Shelter in Place, the need for support has increased. We are reaching out to our local community for financial support.”
Meals on Wheels is asking for donations now to help them support Alameda neighbors in need. Make a secure online payment now via PayPal at www.alamedamealsonwheels.org or mail a check payable to: Alameda Meals on Wheels, P.O. Box 2534, Alameda, CA 94501.
Any questions, call 865-6131 or email email@example.com.
The city of Alameda’s Public Utilities Board meeting scheduled for March 16 at City Hall was canceled due to concerns about COVID-19. Agenda items from the meeting have been moved to the next regularly scheduled Board meeting on Monday, April 27, at 7 p.m. at the AMP Service Center, 2000 Grand St. For more information, see www.alamedamp.com.
The City of Alameda and Bike Walk Alameda had planned a new pop-up bicycle fair in the City Hall parking lot for last Saturday, but it was not held.
All activities at Mastick Senior Center are canceled. Until further notice, the center will only be providing its noon meal to those that have preregistered. The meals are to be picked up and enjoyed at home. This might change into a delivery service at some point.
- Alameda La Leche League Meetings, which help new mothers adjust to breast feeding, are canceled until further notice. Telephone help is still available from Virginia Thompson, La Leche leader, at 521-4867.
- Harry Greer of Alameda Funeral & Cremation Services wants the community to know that while his office is currently closed to personal visits he is available by both phone at 522-6020 and email at harry.greer@ alamedafunerals.org.
- All East Bay Regional Parks District (EBPRD) visitor centers and rental facilities were closed and programs canceled on March 17. Out of an abundance of caution in continued response to the COVID-19 virus planning, EBPRD implemented facility closures to protect the public and its employees to reduce the potential for exposure to the disease.
This includes Alameda’s Cove Visitor Center and all facilities, campgrounds and swim centers around the East Bay. All programs have been canceled, paid or free, including school, recreational and naturalist-directed
- The Alameda Sun has discontinued free door-to-door delivery during this period of social distancing. To continue to receive a printed newspaper, please send a check for $25 to Alameda Sun Subscriptions, 3215J Encinal Ave., Alameda CA 94501, or see www.alamedasun.com/subscribe.
Some State Tax Relief
State Controller Betty T. Yee reminds California taxpayers:
- Individual taxpayers will have until Monday, June 15, to file their returns and pay any taxes owed.
- Partner-ships and LLCs also have until June 15 to file returns and pay any taxes owed.
- Those who have quarterly estimated payments due on Wednesday, April 15, will now have until June 15 to make those payments.
- Any taxpayer filing under this special deadline relief should note the name of the state emergency (e.g., “COVID-19” or “Coronavirus”) in black ink on the top of the tax return to inform Franchise Tax Board (FTB) that you are filing under the special extension period. The FTB will also waive interest and any late filing or late payment penalties that otherwise would apply.
For assistance, visit the FTB’s website at www.ftb.ca.gov.