Blogging Bayport Alameda

May 24, 2022

Un-credible

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:04 am

I dunno if you all caught this in the comments sections from yesterday but Joe Ernst of SRM Ernst posted this:

By the way these are super nice buildings if you’re not familiar with what’s going on at Alameda Point. It’s now Almanac Brewery and Kairos Power/Firebrand. This is the preservation award referenced in the comment. It would be nice if some of the public serving buildings got into the action of removing their fancy AAPS plaques as well because, as stated by Joe Ernst, if AAPS is going to allow itself to be weaponized by a small subset of its members then perhaps those plaques shouldn’t be given the prominence and reverence that the plaques once conveyed.

Here are some public buildings that should follow the lead of Joe Ernst:

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May 23, 2022

Yikes

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:33 am

More drama in the AAPS department. This is why I adore Andrew Thomas aka the best Planning Director in all of California even though sometimes he says “that’s a good question” to people on the dais when it is absolutely not a good question.

Remember how AAPS either did or did not allow Carmen Reid to use their name for her SHPO/SHRC nomination of McKay Avenue against the wishes of the actual property owners of the site? Well the status of this application makes a difference when it comes to Alameda Housing Element because, guess what, Alameda includes about 100 units from the Wellness Center project in its RHNA numbers. If AAPS wants to have its cake (opposing the Wellness Center) and eat it too (diverting as many units away from “historic” Alameda as possible) they have some explaining to do. And Andrew Thomas asked that question of Christopher Buckley whose name is absolutely synonymous with the letters AAPS round these parts.

This was the response from Christopher Buckley to Andrew Thomas:

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May 20, 2022

No on B: “f them kids”

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:00 am

I know I haven’t talked about the Measure B campaign (Vote yes!) but the twitter posts about the no on Measure B texts are absolutely hilarious:

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May 19, 2022

Make it make sense

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:09 am

On Tuesday night the City Council took up the issue of a Guaranteed Basic Income pilot in Alameda. Many cities have begun taking up these pilots to see if they can make a positive change in the lives of the most vulnerable families in their cities and, from what I’ve read, a lot of these programs have been transformative in the lives of the people who have been selected to participate. The idea of GBI came up as part of the police reform and racial equity discussions and it’s finally come to some fruition in the form of this pilot which is gratifying that the recommendations weren’t just shelved after everyone patted themselves on the back after going through the process.

Essentially these programs are direct payments and they are unconditional and distributed on a fairly regular basis. A few cities who have had GBI or Universal Basic Income (UBI) pilots are: City of Stockton, City and County of San Francisco, Santa Clara County, Marin County, City of Mountain View, City of South San Francisco, and City of Oakland. The agenda item has a link to research around GBI/UBI.

As you probably guessed the pilot was approved on a 3 – 2 vote with Tony Daysog and Trish Spencer voting against. It’s not 100% clear right now how much will be allocated to families and how many families will be covered by the program, that will come back as the details are finessed. The money, however, will be coming from American Rescue Plan Act dollars and keep this in mind when you watch the videos I’ve clipped of Trish Spencer attempting to justify why she’s voting against helping struggling Alamedans.

In fact, KTVU made an interesting conclusion about why both Tony Daysog and Trish Spencer voted against the pilot:

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May 18, 2022

Duped

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:08 am

Someone requested text messages between City Staff and others regarding the McKay nomination and, I suppose, they thought that it would reveal some real evil genius behind the scenes machinations that they could point to and say “aha! there are the villains.” But, instead we have a real interesting look into what representatives at AAPS was saying to the City as the McKay nomination was looming and the City was looking around going, “wtf is happening here?”

On Twitter I just posted the grey bubble from City Staff to the Mayor but someone’s sock puppet chimed in and said I had neglected to post the Mayor’s response which meant…something? I mean, the response really only left two really bad characterizations of AAPS at that point. Either (1) they were gullible dupes who allowed themselves to be used or (2) they’re deceptive liars. None of these options reflect well on AAPS:

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May 17, 2022

Spelling it out

Filed under: Alameda — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:07 am

It was late but it was worth it, the Housing Element has been updated to incorporate some of the comments that were collected during the 30 day comment period and it’s made the document a lot better.

If you see anything in underline text, that means it’s been added. A strikethrough means it has been removed. Here’s some great additions and deletions:

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May 16, 2022

Four votes needed, again

Filed under: Alameda — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:06 am

One of the lynchpins for Alameda meeting its RHNA numbers is Site A. But Site A needs amendments to update the existing agreements to accommodate more housing. And this requires four votes.

On the City Council’s agenda on Tuesday night is this next test for the City Council who claimed (yes even Tony Daysog and Trish Spencer) that they didn’t want to fight HCD on certifying the Housing Element but did want to, indeed, comply. Of course, Tony Daysog has shown himself to not necessarily putting his money where his mouth was and voted against the Tidelands Swap for the Encinal Terminals project which — had there not been four votes — would have funneled around 600 units back into Alameda’s RHNA pot to find more land for. If Site A doesn’t get four votes it will double that Encinal Terminals number to 1200 units to find elsewhere in Alameda. So, as you can imagine, this is kind of a big deal. Anyone who votes against this should be pressed on where they would like to allocate these 1200 units.

Even though the Alameda Architectural Preservation Society has yet to put out a comment letter about this pivotal project, in the past they have encouraged a huge increase in housing at Alameda Point and petitioning the Navy to lift the housing cap at Alameda Point. As an aside, I wonder if there’s something wonky going down internally at AAPS. Under the helm of Chris Buckley it always appeared that AAPS was on top of these issues particularly when it came down to sacrificing one part of Alameda to preserve a more important part of Alameda. There’s no current comment letter about this from AAPS which is odd and notable, but AAPS did manage to update their website to add their support letter for Carmen Reid/AAPS’s nomination to the Historic Resources Commission in light of recent PRA releases which report that AAPS reps were “duped” about the McKay nomination:

So maybe there’s some internal battle for control within AAPS, I dunno, but if there is I’m here for the drama around that.

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May 13, 2022

Do diligence?

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:03 am

The interesting thing about the staff report for the McKay nomination to the State Historic Resources Commission is that staff 100% attributed this application to the Alameda Architectural Preservation Society (AAPS)

Literally on the second page of the staff report, he writes “The property is nominated by a third party, the Alameda Architectural Preservation Society” even though all of the contact information: address, phone number, email address did not route to AAPS but rather Carmen Reid herself. The staff report does not reference Carmen Reid at all and only references AAPS as the applicant. SHPO/SHRC staff didn’t even bother to do a check of the AAPS website to see if the contact information matched but just took the application at its word that it was from the organization itself. As Doug Biggs commented the other day, he has forwarded a letter to SHPO/SHRC from the current president of AAPS which verifies that AAPS did not submit the McKay application even though the current board did vote to send a letter of support.

And, of course, the fact checking on the part of SHPO/SHRC wasn’t just deficient on checking to see if the AAPS information was correct, it also simply rubber stamped the claims made by Carmen Reid/AAPS about the specialness of the property and that it is the “only extant example of its type.” The type being Merchant Marine Training Centers during WWII which we now know is very incorrect.

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May 12, 2022

“Fine, let them sue us”

Filed under: Alameda — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:02 am

As we get closer to the date when the Housing Element draft will need to be submitted to the Housing and Community Development (HCD) Department and as rumors start grinding through the community about this or the other thing the bad information that gets passed around about what Alameda has to do or what it doesn’t have to do is reaching a fevered pitch. At the Planning Board meeting on Monday there was a clear lack of understanding about what this whole process is and is not. Add to that the absolute kookiness that lives in the comments on the City’s Facebook page and it’s super clear that a lot of people have a lot of bad information about this process but yet speak with the absolute certainty and confidence of someone who thinks they do know a lot about what the City should be doing in this Housing Element.

I went back and pulled video out from a February 2021 meeting about the Housing Element which featured someone from HCD. It’s really important to listen closely to what the HCD representative says because these are the folks who will be determining if Alameda Housing Element is compliant or not. Because at the last City Council meeting this is what Tony Daysog, one of our elected officials said about the process and about compliance:

I think we can meet our Housing Element HCD obligations working within Article 26 of our city charter. I think there’s a lot of other things that are of concern to me with what we’re talking about in the Housing Element but, to me, the most vital thing is is how we are undermining something that the voters of Alameda just recently reaffirmed and that is reaffirming Article 26 and the limitations that we have on density. We figured out how to work around those limitations you know I mean our side we didn’t we didn’t embrace those workarounds but if it was enough to to get us through the first housing element process several years ago I think it’s it’s good enough to get us through this one.

If the State of California, if the HCD wants to sue us on whatever grounds fine let them sue us.

But I’ll point out that it’s not just that the City exposes itself to liability from the State and/or HCD if the Housing Element is not certified. ANYONE can sue. And there are six cities in California that are already on the receiving end of a lawsuit from an organization associated with the California Association of Realtors because their Housing Elements are not certified:

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May 11, 2022

SHRC on AFFH: we do, but we don’t

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:01 am

When State Senators are sending you a letter saying “hold on a minute” that’s when you know something has gone horribly wrong. Yes, I’m talking about the Carmen Reid/AAPS nomination of the McKay site to the State Historic Resources Commission. AAPS will own this nomination until they take some steps to actively disavow their relationship to the nomination because they are still intertwined in the minds of SHPO/SHRC and everyone who has read the nomination.

As part of my PRA which someone, weirdly, put in a PRA to know who initiated the PRA I got a slew of letters. Seriously, if you see anything end in a jaunty “Thank you!” more likely than not, it’s me. One of the letters was from State Senator Nancy Skinner which I was waiting for because the Mayor referenced it at the last meeting giving credit to that letter getting the SHPO to pull the nomination at the last minute rather than her own. Personally I think the Mayor’s letter had a lot to do with the pulling of the nomination but it could have been both. Here’s the Senator Skinner letter which brings up the procedural issues that may have occurred in which two of the property owners: the GSA and EBRPD say they were not properly noticed by SHPO about the pending nomination.

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