Blogging Bayport Alameda

February 15, 2019

Best and highest use

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:05 am

There is a fantastic op-ed in the Alameda Journal from a local Alameda firefighter on the Wellness Center and why it will be a benefit to Alameda.

This goes right to the heart of why this Wellness Center is so important in light of some of the comments phrased in the form of a question that has been popping up on sites like Next Door.   There has been a lot of questions about how the area will support emergency vehicles when the people living and residing at the Wellness Center will need to go to the hospital.

What is clear from the op-ed is that the City of Alameda is already serving folks who would be ideal for placement at the Wellness Center because they’re already here and they have needs that must be met, regardless of their housing status.

From an Alameda firefighter/paramedic:

I’ve picked up discharge medications for a senior woman living in her car. I’ve managed to secure temporary shelter (outside of Alameda, of course) for an elderly man who was recovering on the streets after being treated for pneumonia. I’ve scheduled follow-up appointments for a homeless senior who was newly diagnosed with Stage 3 melanoma during a hospital admission.

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February 14, 2019

West Midway mania

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

All right I know it’s a week after the meeting was held but better late than never.   At last week’s City Council meeting there was the West Midway dog and pony show.  All of the developers managed to convince a few people to come out and speak on their behalf which was nice, but just managed to pull out that agenda item longer.

It was clear that some of the Council members came into that meeting knowing that they would need to land on some sort of a resolution, others had no idea what to do with all the information presented that night.

Some of the presentations were better than others, one developer’s representatives mispronounced RESHAP throughout the presentation.  Another developer decided to use up at least three of the 15 precious minutes allotted to each developer to show a video.

There was a definite sense of tension between liking teams that had deep experience at Alameda Point (Catellus and Alameda Point Partners) and those that had Alameda ties but would provide diversification of the developers at Alameda Point (Brookfield and Jamestown/Cypress Equities).

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February 13, 2019

Levitt to town

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

And…we have a new City Manager.

Yesterday afternoon this press release went out from the City of Alameda:

“The Alameda City Council and I are delighted to announce that we have unanimously selected Eric J. Levitt as our new City Manager, effective April 12, 2019. With 18 years of City Management experience, we are confident Mr. Levitt will be an effective leader to our very talented group of department heads and City staff,” stated Alameda Mayor Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft.

Mr. Levitt has over 25 years of experience working in local government and over 18 years of experience as a City Manager. Mr. Levitt is relocating to Alameda from Simi Valley, California, where he has served as City Manager since 2013. Mr. Levitt was also City Manager for Janesville, Wisconsin from 2008-2013 and Sedona, Arizona from 2001 to 2008.

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February 12, 2019

Money moves

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

I think it’s important to point out that not only does FOCC not really have a good plan for the McKay Avenue site — according to former Mayor Trish Spencer they want it to be parking or a bus turnaround — they also have no idea how to pay for parcel.

But that’s not surprising given Trish Spencer’s penchant to vote no first and then let others clean up the mess.  What was really surprising though as part of that Alameda County Democratic Club forum was that the Friends of Crab Cove members either don’t understand how campaign funding works or they were being deliberately coy when there was a direct question posed as the top three funders of both campaigns.

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February 11, 2019

A place to heal

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

Gah, I keep getting distracted by other topics and have yet to write up thought about the West Midway project.  It’s a though when you think things are going to slow down it just gets busier.  West Midway for some other time, it can wait.

Anyway, over the weekend, I had the opportunity — along with a bunch of other supporters of the Wellness Center project on McKay Avenue — to tour the site.  As you all could probably guess, without seeing the site and only hearing about what was slated to go in I was already a supporter of the project.  What I left with that morning was absolute certainty that this was the right project for that location.

What I didn’t know was that this circled building was built as housing:

Screen Shot 2019-02-10 at 2.32.57 PM

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February 8, 2019

Turn around bus parking

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

I was going to write about the West Midway decision for today but it’s been a week and I’m tired.

So instead, I leave you with former Mayor Trish Spencer and one of the main FOCCers (Friends of Crab Cove) telling the Alameda County Democratic Club what the FOCC would prefer to see go into the vacated Federal facility in lieu of a Wellness and Respite Center to serve, truly, the most vulnerable members of the community.

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February 7, 2019

Show your work

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

I’m not sure which part of Tuesday night’s City Council meeting I should write about.  There were two major issues the first was the West Midway project and the second is the appeal of the Marriott project on Harbor Bay.

Because the Marriott project will be under review by BCDC today it makes sense to review what happened on that issue first.  Even if you knew nothing you could probably guess the vote outcome.  If you said 4 – 1, you’d be right.  Tony Daysog has apparently taken it on himself not to be concerned about exposing the City government and therefore, taxpaying citizens, your dollars to legal liability rather it appears that he has decided that he is going to do whatever he can to appeal to whoever he thinks are his supporters aka people who voted for him.  In case you missed it, Bay Farm itself was Tony Daysog territory, one of the few areas where he came out as the top vote getter whereas Vice Mayor John Knox White was the number one vote getter for the majority of the main island.   So the fact that Tony Daysog was bending over backward, to the point of setting the City up for potential legal liability, for Bay Farm was really no surprise.

So what happened last night is fairly predictable from the standpoint of some people speaking for the project and some being against the project, a few highlights from the night included:

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February 6, 2019

Waterfront fight

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

I’m not quite sure what the BCDC commissioners are playing at but it appears that they might be setting up the agency for a legal challenge and really for nothing.  Apparently enough angry Bay Farmers have convinced someone at BCDC to attempt to tank this project via this route.  But in case you thought that an entity that has already spent a ton of money getting the project to this state was just going to go quietly, you’d be wrong.  In the packet of public comment letters, there was this:

ccn

For a full take down from the project applicants attorneys, see this document: Letter Re 2900 Harbor Bay Parkway

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February 5, 2019

A 2 story assisted living center in the hand…

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:05 am

You know what I really don’t like?  I really hate when groups use CEQA as a cudgel because they are unable to get what they really want at the bargaining table.  This is not the first time that we’ve seen a union go after a hotel project because the hotel project would not agree to whatever sort of agreement that is being sought.  We’ve seen the hospitality workers union use CEQA and BCDC against a few projects in Alameda, but for this particular project near the Harbor Bay Ferry it’s the construction workers instead.

As an aside, the hospitality workers union just showed up against the Holiday Inn Express on Park Street to oppose the project because of “parking.”

And this, people, is why CEQA has such a bad rap.  It’s almost never used for what it was intended which is to identity and mitigate (if possible) against significant environmental impacts and almost always used to derail a project because someone with time and money doesn’t like a project.

Tonight, the City Council will be hearing two appeals of the already approved Marriott next to the ferry building.

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February 4, 2019

Hello neighbor

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

This is the next bit of Alameda Point slated for development:

Screen Shot 2019-02-04 at 5.16.03 AM

West Midway which will cozy right up next to the Reshap: the consolidated APC, Building Futures, and formerly homeless veterans project.   The City Council last year released an RFP for developers for the site, according to the staff report, the City received lots of interest but consolidated it down to four development teams.   On Tuesday night there will be a sort of dog and pony show at the City Council meeting (starting at 5:00 PM) but it doesn’t look like there will be any pretty renderings or anything like that.  Maybe vision boards or something.

And, of course, other than Reshap, this West Midway site will be the closest project site to my actual home, which I can spot on the map rigggghhhhtt there.

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