Emeryville Newswire: April 1-14, 2024

4 mins read

Our Emeryville newswire is a roundup of local news stories and high-performing social media posts relevant to Emeryville residents.

In this post covering the first half of April, we share stories including:

  • The Ghost Ship Memorial experienced a setback in the effort to redeploy it in the Emeryville Marina
  • A Social Media “Dust up” between Council Rivals
  • The MTC is touting “The West Oakland Link” to connect Mandela Pkwy to the Bay Bridge path
  • EDAC/City Launch of the “Emeryville Commerce Connection”
  • Lyft and the MTC recently deployed their latest generation e-bikes in Emeryville & Oakland
  • A driver was shot along the Ashby I-80 on-ramp last Saturday, April 5
  • Applications are open for down-payment assistance through a new County homebuyer program

We’ll also remind readers that the Emeryville Five Guys is finally slated to open on Monday, April 15 and the Emeryville Chevys will pour their final margaritas on Tuesday, *April 22* (originally reported as 4/16).


Photo: Brian Schrier

Ghost Ship Memorial Pulled from Marina for Repairs

The redeployment of the Emeryville Marina Ghost Ship Memorial experienced a setback last month. The ship was pulled from the water last year and a GoFundMe was established to pay for repairs.

The installation’s caretaker Brian Schrier redeployed the vessel on March 21 but upgrades did not withstand the elements of the Marina and the vessel unfortunately capsized.

Schrier is now looking for a new home for the vessel where more substantial repairs can be properly administered.

The original artist of the ship, Chris Edwards, passed suddenly back in 2019.


“West Oakland Link” hoping to connect Mandela Parkway to Bay Bridge Path

The MTC is asking for the public’s input on a proposed infrastructure plan that could better connect Mandela Parkway to the Bay Bridge path.


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The West Oakland Link of the Bay Skyway project is a proposed 1.1-mile-long elevated pedestrian and bicycle pathway. The project will also connect directly with the West Grant Avenue’s bicycle corridor to the east, which leads directly into downtown Oakland.

The Link is one component of several that the agency hopes will one day connect the East Bay all the way to San Francisco for pedestrians and cyclists.

Construction could begin as early at 2025


Mayor Welch puts CM Priforce on Blast in Latest Viral Tweet

Some online barbs were traded last weekend between 2024 Emeryville Mayor Courtney Welch and councilmember Kalimah Priforce. The dust up occurred when Welch, known for her bombastic online persona, retweeted Priforce posing with SF politicos Aaron Peskin and Dean Preston at Peskin’s SF Mayoral Campaign kickoff. Welch blasted Priforce for supporting “the most anti-housing electeds.”

Preston and Peskin have been the frequent targets of YIMBY activists who accuse them of repeatedly blocking housing efforts. YIMBYs assert that the attitudes of Peskin and Preston on building housing have been complicit in the region’s housing crisis.

Welch & Priforce are both Black elected officials that are part of the city’s BMR (Below Market Rate) renter program but that’s about where their similarities end. Priforce has frequently aligned himself with the “Bernie Sanders” left wing of the Democratic party while Welch has leaned into YIMBYism that draws from more Libertarian beliefs on housing affordability.

Welch was previously accused by a local blogger of skirting the BMR requirements by not reporting any income of her parents who live with her. Welch addressed this accusation in a long twitter thread.

Welch, completing the 4-year term vacated by former Councilmember Christian Patz, is up for reelection this year. Priforce’s 4-year term ends in 2026.


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Close Welch Ally John Bauters is finishing off his second and likely final term on Council as he pursues the County Supervisor role. The two ambitious politicians are likely actively scouting for a replacement candidate that shares their views so they can maintain their grip on political power in the city.

The city has attempted to quash these beefs and encourage civility between councilmembers by adopting a recent “code of ethics.”

Local Journalist Steven Tavares amplified this beef by reporting on it in his April 11 East Bay Insiders Newsletter.


EDAC member Mary Lou Theircof addresses a room full of and business stakeholders and city staff at the Bay Street Emeryville Flora Restaurant.

Local Businesses hoping to network, regain influence in the city with “Emeryville Commerce Connection”

Local business owners and stakeholders are again attempting to organize to help advocate on their behalf.

With help from the city and the Emeryville EDAC (Economic Development Advisory Committee), a group officially launched the “Emeryville Commerce Connection” at Flores at Bay Street on Wednesday, March 27.

The once influential Emeryville Chamber of Commerce and the Emeryville Industries Association before them helped maintain a “business friendly” climate in the city for decades. When the Chamber was abruptly dissolved in 2015, it created a power vacuum within the city that was filed by labor activist groups including RULE, EBASE and ACCE. Emeryville electeds over the past decade have willfully gone along with whatever initiatives these organizations have pushed in front of them and businesses have struggled to have a collective voice in the city.

“We established the ECC to connect the business community by providing networking events and will provide a 24/7 communication platform where members share news, issues – like crime and safety issues and more,” they note on their website.

In attendance for the launch were several city employees and elected officials, representatives of CenterCal Properties (owners of Bay Street), Paxio Fiber and several other Bay Street tenants.


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LYFT Deploys Latest Generation of E-Bikes to Emeryville Docks

Bike Share in the East Bay has caught up to their SF counterparts with the recent deployment of the latest generation of e-bikes.

MTC & Lyft announced the addition 565 of these e-bikes and 24 new docking stations at a West Oakland Press Conference.

New e-bikes also are scheduled for arrival in Berkeley in the coming weeks, pending final local approvals.


Freeway shooting in Berkeley, patient taken to Highland

Photo: Berkeley Scanner

By Emilie Raguso

A person was taken to the hospital after a freeway shooting in Berkeley on Friday afternoon, according to preliminary reports.

The shooting happened near Ashby Avenue and Interstate 80 just before 4:50 p.m.


Applications are open for Alameda County homebuyer assistance

Photo: Amir Aziz

By Natalie Orenstein

Alameda County’s down-payment assistance program for new homebuyers is accepting applications for the final time.


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AC Boost offers loans of up to $210,000 to people who live or work in the county, or who were displaced from their homes here. To be eligible, nobody in the household can have owned a house in the last three years. Applicants must make less than 120% of the area median income, which is $124,250 for an individual or $177,500 for a family of four.

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Rob Arias

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who lived in Emeryville from 2003 to 2021. Rob founded The E'ville Eye in 2011 after being robbed at gunpoint and lamenting the lack of local news coverage. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.

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