The chant coming from City Hall is a familiar one: "What do we want? Another consultant! When do we want it? Now!"

Hiring consultants help at times, but when an issue has been studied to death, it’s make-believe to think that anything is being accomplished.

Following the lead of Councilman Tony Daysog, the City Council recently voted 4-1 to spend up to $400,000 to hire a consultant to draft a city-wide transportation plan on how to reduce single occupancy vehicle trips. Mayor Trish Spencer voted no.

Having spent much of the previous year trying to coach teens in a private baseball program in Alameda, I witnessed some disturbing to downright shocking treatment of children that I’m compelled to share with the community.

Built more than 50 years ago, the lagoons that stretch from Court Street to Westline Drive have evoked mystic phrases like, "Venice of California." They border some of Alameda’s nicest homes. On Google Maps, the lagoons look like a thin blue cutworm crawling across the city of Alameda. But beauty and cache come at a price. Some see the lagoons as an attractive nuisance. Recently a man was seen dumping a tub of soiled cat litter over the railing of his second floor balcony.

I love bike lanes. When I ride my bike, I want to be safe, and separated from cars and pedestrians.

Not that long ago, a bike lane was a bike lane: a designated place where people could ride their bikes and not get hit by cars. Bike lanes have become the first line of offense in the war against drivers and cars. Bike lanes aren’t for bikers, they are against cars.

The Alameda Education Association (AEA), the union that represents the teachers in the Alameda Unified School District (AUSD), sent the following comments for publication. AEA President Audrey Hyman made these comments at the March 24 AUSD board meeting. She was addressing the current state of contract negotiations between the union and the school district.

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