January 26, 2013

San Leandro Hires Deborah Acosta as Chief Innovation Officer

Deborah Acosta
Deborah Acosta
The City of San Leandro has hired Deborah Acosta as its Chief Innovation Officer position. Final interviews were held in December 2012 and Acosta will start in February 2013. San Leandro City Manager Chris Zapata would not confirm hiring Acosta, but did state that the City would issue a press release in the upcoming week.

As reported previously, the CIO position is funded jointly by OSIsoft (75% or $139,650) and the City of San Leandro (25% or $46,500). Acosta will report directly to City Manager Chris Zapata and will be “responsible for developing and pursuing new revenue-generating business relationships with targeted firms, identifying and securing additional business opportunities among existing clients, and fostering relationships with both.”

Acosta currently co-chairs TwoPointOakland (2.Oak), which started as Innovate Oakland, a technology collaborative. She was previously an Economic Development Strategist for the City of Oakland and has also worked for World Savings & Loan, Crocker National Bank and Wells Fargo Bank.

In December 2010, Acosta prepared an Executive Summary of the Oakland Fiber Optic Network. According to a slide deck that Acosta developed for the City of Oakland's OaklandWEB Internal Team KickOff dated May 11, 2011, the goals of OaklandWEB included expansion of Oakland's fiber optic network and using it to attract and expand business, which perfectly aligns with Lit San Leandro's goals. In November 2011, Acosta wrote a piece for Oakland Local which noted that most local businesses were part of the 99%. On November 18, 2012, Acosta wrote about Lit San Leandro as an example of innovation and disruption, stating “If Oakland leadership fails to let go of its internal resistance to change, cities like Emeryville and San Leandro will continue to provide the leadership — and jobs...”

Acosta interviewed in October 2011 about Innovate Oakland

According to her bio, she lives in Oakland with her Life Partner Gary Branchaud and she has two grown children. She helped lead the push in Oakland to establish Community Policing and served on the Community Policing Advisory Board. She runs the consulting firm IDOTconnect and tweets as @deborahacosta1.

Two finalists for the position were reported in November 2012, but the position was re-listed later that month. Flyers for the position were posted in October 2012 and November 2012.

Posted by mike at 12:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 1, 2013

Contamination Cleanup Slated for San Leandro's Sandpiper Townhomes Complex

Singer-Friden site location map

Elevated levels of toxic volatile organic chemicals were recently detected at the Sandpiper Townhomes complex, which was built on the former Singer Friden factory site. Although the California Department of Toxic Substances Control “certified the completion of the hazardous substances cleanup” at the site in 2003, trichloroethylene (TCE), perchloroethylene (PCE), and vinyl chloride were detected in the soil at concentrations exceeding residential screening levels while TCE and PCE were detected at elevated concentrations in indoor air samples.

URS Corporation plans to install two 18-feet deep soil vapor extraction wells and three soil vapor monitoring wells to collect soil vapor samples to determine the requirements for using soil vapor extraction to clean up the site. Soil samples will also be collected from the wells and analyzed for chlorinated volatile organic compounds. The wells will be installed in Cornwall Way between Blackpool Lane and Claridge Place.

Trichloroethylene and perchloroethylene, also known as tetrachloroethylene, were likely used to degrease metal parts as part of the manufacturing process and for plating. Vinyl chloride was used in aerosol spray propellants until 1974.


Friden Calculators on Washington Avenue in San Leandro
Photo of Friden Calculators from San Leandro Library Collection

In 1936, Friden Calculating Machine built a factory on Washington Avenue in San Leandro. The facility manufactured adding machines, calculators (including the first all-transistor electronic calculator, the Friden 130, in 1963) and other mechanical and electrical devices until it closed in 1976. A year later, Citation Home Builders built 190 townhomes in a gated community known as Sandpiper. In 1987, the Hudson Lumber Company sued Sandpiper because the Hudson property had been contaminated by chemicals from the Sandpiper site. In 1995, an investigation confirmed contamination of the Sandpiper site and since the homes were built on the contaminated soil, the contamination was treated in place using groundwater extraction.

Reports on the contamination investigations and monitoring at the Singer Friden/Sandpiper Townhomes site can be found at http://www.envirostor.dtsc.ca.gov/public/profile_report.asp?global_id=01360094 The new monitoring and extraction wells are scheduled to be installed sometime in 2013.

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