In a flurry of blather and short-sightedness, the Alameda City Council voted last night to curtail ferry service between Alameda and San Francisco.  While the City owns the boats, a private company operates those boats under contract to the City.  This contract was signed after negotiation between the City of Alameda and the operator, Blue and Gold Fleet, and after a bidding process by several companies for the contract.  The contract was written such that Blue and Gold shared both the risks and the rewards of running the ferry service.  Now, because of the downturn, Blue and Gold is seeing losses and wants to cancel ferry runs and also a handout from the City.  Basically, Blue and Gold wanted protection from the very risks that they had signed on to face as the flip side of possible rewards.  The Alameda City Council, based on recommendations from staff members of the Alameda City government, voted to cancel several morning runs, cut back on staffing on the boats, and give the ferry service some money.  So, we’re giving the ferry operator more money to run fewer boats with fewer deckhands simply because they didn’t feel like losing money this year.  That’s cute.