Blogging Bayport Alameda

About

To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; credible we must be truthful.

– Edward R. Murrow

…I learned how incredibly frustrating it is to watch someone talk smack about you and not be able to respond.

This kind of anger, I suspect, is the main thing Ms. Palin and I have in common.  When someone says something bad about us, we want to respond.

However, I , as an experienced member of the East Coast Media Elite, know that you can’t even try.   You can rage to your spouse all you want, but the moment you post Internet comments under an assumed name, or call in spontaneously to a radio show to assert that you are not “a butterface,” or write that letter to Lisa de Moraes of the Washington Post instructing her to “go suck a bag of dicks” you have crossed the border into Crazytown, never to return.

– Tina Fey, Bossypants

30 Comments »

  1. Seems most all of what you are supposedly “blogging” is pro-development. Why don’t you look for a job at Catellus? They’re hiring. They just hired the previous Alameda Redevelopment Manager.

    Unsigned
    (Anonymous like you)

    Comment by Someone passing by — July 31, 2006 @ 5:43 pm

  2. Funny…but my blog is hardly anonymous. If you notice the posts are by laurendo, which is my name: Lauren Do.

    Are you going to sign your name now?

    One can be pro-development without needing to work for a developer.

    Comment by laurendo — July 31, 2006 @ 8:04 pm

  3. Development is good, I’m in favor of development. But I don’t want to see Alameda Point become some sort of over-crowded high-density nightmare that stacks bay-view condo on top of bay-view condo and cuts off access to the Bay for the rest of us.

    Comment by David Howard — July 31, 2006 @ 9:44 pm

  4. Hi Lauren, blogging is not for me. While trying to compose response to your comments on Tony I sent a couple versions prematurely. You could take them down. The version intended for posting was credited to “Harold”. I’ll stick to reading, but I do like your sensabilities. -Ciao

    Comment by Mark — August 17, 2006 @ 4:00 pm

  5. There seem to be some accidentally repeated comments on the “Alameda Traffic Safety Toolbox” thread. If you get a chance to clean those up by removing the duplicates, it would be easier to read. Thanks!

    Comment by Michael Krueger — August 28, 2006 @ 10:35 am

  6. Lauren,

    Please contact me about your unauthorized re-production of my original work from my blog on this page:

    http://laurendo.wordpress.com/2006/08/29/spin-your-statistics/

    Thanks,

    David Howard
    afamm@sbcglobal.net

    Comment by keepmeasurea — August 29, 2006 @ 1:28 pm

  7. Lauren,

    I’ve contacted WordPress administrators. Your reproduction of a screen shot of my blog goes beyond “fair use” – this is not a “short quotation” but a complete reproduction in its entirety.

    Please remove this and stop infringing on my copyright.

    Comment by keepmeasurea — August 29, 2006 @ 2:21 pm

  8. Whoo!

    Thanks for adding the “recent comments” section on the side — it makes it a LOT easier to track the more recent comments throughout the site! :)

    Dave

    Comment by Dave S. — August 29, 2006 @ 5:17 pm

  9. Wanted to recommend addding:

    http://www.bikealameda.org
    http://www.alameda-transit.org

    to your local links list.

    JKW

    Comment by John Knox White — September 8, 2006 @ 9:21 pm

  10. Good for you! The inner East Bay needs more welcoming voices.

    Comment by OaklandNative — September 23, 2006 @ 12:01 am

  11. Lauren— I meant to ask before but I just didn’t get around to it: What exactly do you mean when you say Alameda (outside of Bayport) is caught in a time warp? I’m just gonna make a wild guess, and do correct me if I’m wrong—but I think you mean backwards? But what exactly is backward? Please be as specific as possible—is it the way people talk, the clothes they wear, the cars they drive, the thoughts they think, what? Also, where did you live before you came to Alameda, and why did you choose Alameda exactly?

    I also have a suggestion: Maybe you can use your answer to start a “lifestyle” section, which will allow us to better understand what it is we look for when we choose a place to live, and what does it mean to improve or progress.

    Comment by NIMBY — September 27, 2006 @ 4:06 pm

  12. NIMBY, I know you were addressing Lauren, but your comment above — dripping as it is with sarcasm — really touches a nerve with me, so I’m going to respond as well.

    I grew up in a small town in South Dakota (Vermillion, population 9,964), and a lot of things about Alameda remind me of home: historic homes on tree-lined streets, “Mom and Pop” businesses, streets safe for walking and biking, friendly (for the most part) neighbors, even greasy-spoon (and I mean that lovingly) eating establishments complete with bovine-themed décor, vinyl stools at the counter, and breakfast served all day.

    Unlike my home town, though, Alameda also has things like racial, ethnic, cultural, and religious diversity, fine restaurants, public transportation, and business districts that are being revitalized instead of slowing dying. It also has high-tech employers like Wind River, which happens to be what brought me here in the first place.

    Unfortunately, Alameda also seems prone to some of the small-minded thinking and anti-outsider sentiment more commonly found in a too-small prairie town. As a relative newcomer (eight years and counting) to this city, I have received the lecture many times: “Who do you think you are to try to change things in Alameda? If you don’t like it, then why did you come here in the first place? If things are so bad, why don’t you just leave?”

    I live and work in this town. I pay taxes. I walk on the sidewalks and I ride my bike, take the bus, and drive my car on the streets and roads. I do a lot of shopping at local businesses and eat a lot of meals at local restaurants. I donate my time and money to non-profit community groups. I attend and speak at public meetings, read the local papers, and occasionally write letters to the editor. I serve on a City commission. I vote in every election.

    What right does anyone — either another newcomer or someone whose parents’ parents were born here — have to suggest that I keep my mouth shut or move out of town?

    Just because I chose to live in Alameda, does that mean I signed a contract in blood to accept it exactly as it was the day I moved in, and to swear never to try to change anything about it?

    Is it not possible to love one’s town, one’s state, and one’s country, and still be an advocate for change, even if some of one’s fellow citizens do not agree about exactly what constitutes improvement or progress?

    Comment by Michael Krueger — September 27, 2006 @ 6:18 pm

  13. Michael, you put a whole lot of words in my mouth I never would say. Also, my question and suggestion were completely (maybe uncharacteristically) void of sarcasm this time.

    Which just makes me suspect that you might be assuming all kinds of things about other people who might have tried to explain to you what it is about Alameda that is special to them, and why they don’t want these things “fixed.” Other than that, I’ll wait for Lauren to take the challenge and I’ll submit my views in the appropriate section.

    Comment by NIMBY — September 27, 2006 @ 8:25 pm

  14. Ok, let me explain some more: My questions to Lauren are perfectly sincere. I see how she would refrain from answering them though—who would admit to judging people by their clothes, even though we all do? I, for example, don’t immediately relate to people who look and talk a certain way. Stereotypes? For sure. But who doesn’t have them? So I make an effort to overcome my stereotypes, by trying to understand how those other people think. Sometimes I don’t like the way they think, but at least I then know what it is I don’t like. And I thought maybe there is something about Alameda (or parts of) and the way people are that made Lauren form a prejudgement and want to change things right away and bring them up-to-date, or more accurately, up-to-something she can relate to more easily. I thought it would be beneficial to try and dispell the stereotypes we all have, such as “old-guard”, “east-ender” “gold coast” “nimby” etc., so we can start dealing with the real differences. In other words, if there is a culture split lets find out what exactly it is, because it clearly isn’t republican-democratic.

    Comment by NIMBY — September 27, 2006 @ 11:45 pm

  15. Michael – of course you can try to change it. Many of us just don’t like some of your ideas about what you want to change.

    But Lauren seems to have taken an attitude she has to deride and change all of the people in Alameda, not just make a constructive contribution to change.

    Comment by keepmeasurea — September 28, 2006 @ 2:30 pm

  16. NIMBY, I hope you will accept my apology for misinterpreting your comment. I am sorry for reading your questions as sarcasm. Unfortunately, that’s one of the difficulties of electronic discourse.

    I suppose the hostility I have encountered has made me more prone to jump to conclusions myself, but that doesn’t make it right. Though I may not always succeed, I do try to understand where people are coming from, even when I disagree with them.

    For example, although I am not a homeowner, I believe I can understand the concern that homeowners have over their property values. They have invested a great deal of time, money, and emotional energy in their homes, and they naturally want to preserve and protect that investment. This feeling of investment has many positive consequences, for it makes people realize they have a stake in the community and drives them to become more involved in local decision-making processes.

    Having said that, though, I have also sat through enough City Council, Planning Board, and Transportation Commission meetings to realize that there is almost always at least one homeowner who objects to each and every project that is ever proposed, ranging from things as small as a hot tub or a bus stop to things as big as a new Target store or the redevelopment of Alameda Point. There does not seem to be anything beneficial or popular enough to overcome all homeowner opposition — no matter what it is, someone thinks it will reduce property values somehow.

    As usual in the real world, there is no easy answer here. The interests of some homeowners need to be balanced against the interests of the rest of the community. Neither side is automatically right or automatically wrong. What I resent is being told that we can’t have a discussion about where that balancing point should be, or that my voice doesn’t really count in the discussion because I don’t have “the Background,” as Mr. Roberts and his buddies like to put it.

    Anyway, thank you for reminding me not to rush to judgement, and thank you for contributing to a rational discussion of these emotionally charged issues.

    Comment by Michael Krueger — September 28, 2006 @ 2:33 pm

  17. Hi, I just want a place to fly my radio controlled model airplanes. I am the vice-president of a club that will not get it’s lease renewed because alledgedly the Navy is going to start dredging and placing the toxic waste on the taxiway we fly from next to the seaplane lagoon. Does this make sense? Dig up toxic waste and put it on a taxiway?

    http://www.alamedahornetsquadron.com/

    -Dan

    Comment by Dan — May 1, 2007 @ 1:09 pm

  18. Hi Lauren, I’m a wordpress blogger from the west end, too. I like your site. The question of whether to build more homes or not seems to me to beg the question of access. Already the Tube gets backed up quickly and often. It’s easy to see how one accident can become a major headache for thousands.

    Do you have any position on whether we need to address the issue of access to the west end of the island (bridge, tunnel, expanded mass transit) as we address the issue of more houses? And especially before we grant a developer the rights to build more homes without addressing the infrastructure issue of access?

    Thanks again for an interesting site!

    Comment by OmbudsBen — September 13, 2007 @ 4:13 pm

  19. Well I see this attitude as typical for yuppies who move here from somewhere else: They are attracted to the low crime, good schools, etc. Then they immediately decide it should be changed! Don’t they get it? The good schools, low crime,etc. ARE the result of “how things are.” Maybe if we don’t have the Big Box attractions, we won’t have traffic gridlock; maybe if we don’t open a dozen yuppie chain stores (a la park street) we won’t have road rage by people in volvos and prius'(prii?) trying to get that latte.

    It sound like your disatisfaction is with the west end. Maybe you should have done your homework before you bought. Did you know that most section 8 housing is right near you? That will determine much of economic demographic of your neighborhood. This part of town has always been the non-‘chic-chic” part of town BECAUSE IT’S MORE AFFORDABLE. The people who can afford to live in the west end don’t need and can’t afford the crappy yuppie merchants you crave. You want a Rockridge experience at a west end price. You should save your pennies and move there, not try to force people to change their ways to please you.

    I’ve seen this same mentality ruin places like point richmond, too. It’s very egocentric to demand that every new locale you move into chanGe to meet YOUR desires. For every person like you who wants to rip Alameda apart, there are a dozen who move here BECAUSE THEY LIKE IT THE WAY IT IS.

    Comment by Countess Alameda — December 23, 2007 @ 9:35 am

  20. Oh! My, my, I’m liking your sentiments, Countess. You get the drivers seat as we bulldoze the Point along with the Least birds, ugly buildings, developer’s wallets and absinthe back into the Bay from where it came and rightly deserves to return

    Comment by Jack Richard — December 23, 2007 @ 9:49 am

  21. http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/203

    Comment by Mark I — January 10, 2008 @ 4:41 pm

  22. I am not sure where I stand, Lauren. I was interested in Bayport when I was renting here, and now, after I see it, I am glad I did not buy there. Its too sterile. All the houses look the same. The yards are tiny. It doesn’t look inviting to me at all. I drive through almost every day and never see anyone outside. Its like something out of a Post-Nuclear bomb movie. Don’t get me wrong here, I think Alameda needs to move forward, but not in the direction that Bayport did.

    Comment by robert — February 16, 2008 @ 4:58 pm

  23. *Mondo Metaphor by Mark*

    As the recent substantive thread on “Opt In, Opt Out” proves, what lareundo.com can be and often is “about”, is meaningful and constructive dialogue.

    The self serving purpose of this post is to apologize to Lauren for detracting from that higher function by engaging in dog fights using unnecessary personal attacks.

    It’s said that a wise person should not burn bridges unless they have first learned to part the waters, and at the moment the water feels up to my neck. With time it may hopefully recede. A relative handful of folks post here, but over time one suspects many silent flies have collected on the walls of laurendo.com. who may fly great distances.

    Ultimately I have taken the lower road than David Kirwin when it comes to the base and vulgar, but I would point out one small detail. Over almost two years of reading a huge volume of posts by DK, people have periodically been compelled to post taunts questioning whether he has “gone of his medication again”. Calling somebody a poop-head comes too easily to me, but for what it’s worth taunts like that meds quip are forms of personal attack which are not so tempting.

    On a good day I might have good naturedly ignored DK’s taunt about my being delusional from a decades old period of drug abuse, but on a bad day that is so close to home as to invoke a violent reaction. But I take ultimate responsibility for turning up the oven full blast and blowing myself right out of the kitchen.

    I also take to heart, Robert’s admonishment to “anachrofella” to “grow up”, because the stakes, both personal and political are too high.

    Thanks to Lauren for continuing to lay it all on the line on a daily basis with this forum.

    Mark I.

    Comment by Mark I — March 3, 2008 @ 4:55 pm

  24. Mark – I’m not sure that I understand everything you wrote in the above post, but I can say I agree with at least some of it. It is always easier to slip down the slope to “nasty mode” when blogging then would happen face to face. Some of the barbs – both cast and received by me would be equivalent in a face to face discussion to using a sharpened stick to “help” the other hear the point being made. Don’t take it personally (I don’t) – it’s likely to continue as it seems to be a ‘norm’ of blog behavior. Perhaps it is a juvenile blog behavior that will be outgrown?

    As far as my thoughts of you as a person, I have to say I respect your community involvement; you have been involved for many years -longer than this blog, longer than the 11 years I have lived in Alameda. I enjoyed the conversation we had on Oak St a few months ago. Although I was an hour late getting home, it was worth the conversation. Thanks.

    I do value this blog despite the blatant personal attacks and rabid 1-sidedness promoting accelerated development in Alameda, and the attacks on the slow-growth candidates during the last CC elections. Many believe this was the purpose for which the blog was created. In the absence of a more neutral Alameda blog, (I have been meaning to check out the AJ’s new blog) this site sometimes feels like it is worth the effort of expressing my thoughts about what is happening in, or to, our community. Perhaps the perceived value is imaginary – a simple catharsis of offering to an illuminated screen.

    On one last note – just remember I never ‘partied’ with you, I’ve no idea if you really drank too much of Kesey’s Kool-Aid in the 60’s & 70’s, nor should it matter. I probably used such a ‘barb’ to point out what I thought of whatever you had said, on what ever the topic was, and I hope there is no lasting offense. In fact I most often admire those with an open mind and expanded horizons. One of my favorite living people to admire is my father-in-law Bob, who has contributed so much to Davis where he has taught for over 40 years. His prior position was at a Saskatchewan Hospital where he was working with Humphrey Osmond and Duncan Blewett and other ‘pioneers’ in the late 50’s and early 60’s. But Dr. Robert Sommer is known for so much more. I know I digress, but it easier than thinking about the school tax.

    Comment by David Kirwin — March 4, 2008 @ 12:14 am

  25. The clock is running and Alameda is broke. Principle of $38.9 million and interest of $6.1 million on AP&T’s Certicates of Participation (essentially, bonds)for the telecom fiasco come due on June 1, 2009, as does the city’s loan of $2.2 million to the telecom operation. We have less than a year to resolve this problem. Why do we not hear anything about this impending debacle? Does City Hall plan to wait until the last minute, and then propose yet another parcel tax to “save our community-controlled electric utility”? Community control got us into this mess in the first place. Len Grzanka

    Comment by Len Grzanka — June 12, 2008 @ 3:35 pm

  26. Lauren,
    Thanks for adding PlayBall! – Alameda’s Sandlot Blog to your Blogroll.
    Kin

    Comment by playball94501 — June 10, 2009 @ 10:14 am

  27. Anybody know why there was a helicopter hovering overhead for nearly an hour or so this AM (6-7)? It was quite loud and woke us up for sure.

    Comment by David N — October 5, 2010 @ 3:37 pm

  28. Tube coming in to Alameda was closed until after 7 I think due to a bad wrong way accident. Helicopter was likely monitoring the traffic situation.

    Comment by Kate Quick — October 5, 2010 @ 3:50 pm

  29. Looks like there were two helicopters (N90CL and SKY9).

    Use the replay option starting at 6am and set speed to 10x.

    http://oak.webtrak-lochard.com/template/index.html

    Comment by alameda — October 5, 2010 @ 4:00 pm


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