“This is your community, and we want to hear your comments!” a Department of Veterans Affairs representative told the audience at the recent public meeting about the VA’s clinic and columbarium project aboard the USS Hornet. “We will be your neighbor, and we care about what you say.”
Uh? For a few years now, our city leaders have been telling us we don’t have any say about what happens on the federal land at Alameda Point. Recently, they ironically repeated this mantra while approving the VA’s “term sheet” and changing the city’s boundaries to accommodate the VA.
Come on. Either we have a say, or we don’t. Continue reading
Promising news! Amidst the flurry of environmental review activity focused on developing Alameda Point, there’s a renewed effort for conserving wildlife habitat there.
Councilmembers Stewart Chen and Tony Daysog have co-sponsored a resolution affirming the City of Alameda’s support for the creation of a Nature Reserve at the Point.
The resolution highlights the history of plans for a wildlife refuge and calls for a conservation zoning designation on the 511-acre federal runway area adjacent to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) future outpatient clinic and columbarium. Continue reading
The clock is ticking. March 1 is the deadline for the public to identify the environmental questions that should be answered and the alternatives that should be analyzed in the environmental impact report for Alameda Point. I have a question.
The environmental review process for Alameda Point has begun. Attached to the city’s notice of preparation, the proposed zoning map shows a couple of disturbing changes. The city has redrawn boundaries and changed a land-use designation.
Is it just my circle of acquaintances or is it getting worse everywhere? All this talk about the distressed unemployed middle class has me looking around. It seems that more people, even highly educated ones, have figured out ways to live off the public dole rather than work. They, like all who demean the value of work, do a disservice to us all.
The truly needy—those unable to work—often go underserved and underrepresented while the self-proclaimed entitled, but capable, class exploit government programs, capturing money for doing nothing. Continue reading
The legal dispute between the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) and the City of Alameda continues over a parcel of land adjacent to Crab Cove Visitors Center at Crown Memorial State Beach. EBRPD claims the city failed to prepare an adequate environmental impact report, and violated its charter and general plan by adopting, without a vote of the people, both a housing element and municipal code amendments that conflict with the general plan and the city charter. The city hotly denies the allegations. Many in the community wonder how we got here. Below is a timeline based on publicly available documents. Continue reading
After attending the Economic Development Commission meeting at city hall on October 18, I came away dismayed by the commission’s lackluster interest in planning the reuse of Alameda Point.
The occasion marked the first of three public presentations on the latest economic development strategy for Alameda Point. Noting that the city faces tough competition due to a glut of commercial space from Berkeley to Fremont, the city’s consultant—Keyser Marston Associates, Inc.—offered several suggestions. As the lone public speaker, I added another. The commission offered none. Continue reading
It’s the same ol’ backward story I hear over and over again about ranked-choice voting being complicated. Wrong. It’s as simple as one, two, three.
The conversation I have with people goes something like this: “Ranked-choice voting is hard for voters (but not me) to understand—to wrap their head around.” I respond by saying, “There’s nothing hard about ranking your first choice, your second choice, and your third choice. The computer does the rest.” Next comes, “Yeah, I know. But then you get something like what happened in Oakland where Don Perata didn’t win because most of the voters there chose him as their third or later choice.” To which I say, “Then democracy won because the result reflected the will of the majority.” Dead silence. Continue reading
Our local elected officials and leaders have told us negotiations are “delicate,” that we should wait patiently on the sidelines to see the plans for the runway area at Alameda Point. But with 770 acres of contiguous open-space, including wetlands, wildlife habitat, shoreline, and public access hanging in the balance, waiting around doesn’t look promising.
The City has already jeopardized plans for a new 147-acre regional park by demanding money from the East Bay Regional Park District for city-run sports fields. And now we hear that the Veterans Administration (VA) no longer plans to support a wildlife refuge at Alameda Point. Continue reading
I don’t get it. We’re supposed to cheer when housing prices rise. Politicians and pundits look to rebounding housing prices as the gauge for a recovering economy. I don’t think so. A sustainable, stable housing market is what we should strive for, not one in which fewer and fewer people can afford a home. Continue reading