Blogging Bayport Alameda

August 31, 2006

Wikipedia…the new political playground

Filed under: Alameda, Business, Development, Measure A — Lauren Do @ 4:32 pm


Finally, Wikipedia has a decent page about Measure A.  Because as you all might remember, it was being used shamelessly to advocate for only one side of the issue, even though the point of Wikipedia is to be a sort of encyclopedia and not an opinion article.  So after much…editing…we have an okay representation of the issues around Measure A.

Of course, if I were doing the editing, I would have removed the word “disgusted” from this section, only because it a little strongly skewed to one side:

Many Alamedans were disgusted by the destruction of the city’s historic buildings, the construction of large apartment blocks, and the massive bay-fill project which created the lagoon and the new South Shore area, which resulted in a significant increase in population and traffic congestion. Citizen activist groups like Alamedans for a Better Community (ABC) and Alamedans for Today and Tomorrow (ATT) sought ways to control the city’s rapid growth.

By the way…what ever happened to those groups…I guess they just disbanded after Measure A was passed.  That sort of thing always peeved me off a little — the fact that groups that advocate for things like a “Better Community” and are for “Today and Tomorrow” are pretty much finished with striving for a “better community” for “today and tomorrow” once their pet cause is over and done with.   That would be akin to suffragists getting up and shrugging their shoulders as soon as the 19th amendment was passed and saying, “our work is done here Ladies.”

And by the way…those names are a real flashback.  Whenever I read the name I think of Tomorrowland in Disneyland, the name just evokes this sort of old time feel that is trying too hard to sound furturistic.  Anyway..I digress.

I’m not sure why this factoid was left in under the heading “crime”:

Compared to San Francisco and Oakland, Alameda has relatively low crime, according to FBI statistics collected from the municipalities. The city of Livermore, California, is another San Francisco suburb of comparable size that may also be a reference point for Alameda crime statistics.

Someone tell me why we’re comparing our crime stats with Oakland (pop. 398,844) and San Francisco (pop. 751,682) and Livermore, which is more than 30 miles away from the nearest metropolitian city (that’s if you consider San Jose a major metropolitian city) and more than 40 miles away from San Francisco for which it is deemed a “suburb.”

And poor H e l e n  S a u s e, who was so villified in the old entry now has this said about her:

HOMES is led by H e l e n  S a u s e, who was the project manager of the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency’s Yerba Buena Gardens project for seventeen years, and who is credited for getting the project completed.

But our friend Mowster couldn’t leave well enough alone regarding Helen S. and decided to start his own wikipedia entry about her. (but conveniently forgot to link it to the Measure A article…)


Which has such statements as:

The SFRA fought the TOOR lawsuit for four years. The Yerba Buena Gardens project that H e l e n  S a u s e managed drove low-income people out of their homes and provided for the elderly and poor only after a protracted lawsuit. The Yerba Buena Gardens web site gives credit to H e l e n  S a u s e for getting the project done. H e l e n  S a u s e is a well-connected, well-tenured, big-money property developer. H e l e n  S a u s e and HOMES want to transform Alameda Point into some version of downtown San Francisco.

So it’s ironic that this entry pins on Helen S. the title of “well-connected, well-tenured, big-money property developer” since the authority used to publicly chastise her is TODCO whose donors include such fine organizations as:

Additionally, this view on the Yerba Buena Space is much different then the one the Wikipedia article would have you believe.  Which says about Helen S.:

A cooperative atmosphere is a key to success. This tone was set by H e l e n  S a u s e, the project’s director for 18 years. She was called the “Princess of Process” since she was extremely concerned with gaining a consensus from all the stakeholders.

And the SF Board of Supervisors had this commendation to give her upon retirement.

The author of the Wikipedia text is concerned that the:

The Yerba Buena Gardens project that H e l e n  S a u s e managed drove low-income people out of their homes and provided for the elderly and poor only after a protracted lawsuit.

But the area prior to the redevelopment was extremely depressed and blighted.  Should the elderly, poor, and people of color only live in areas that are blighted?  Should they only be able to live in an area where the buildings are run-down and classified as “skid row”? Although it is shameful that the Redevelopment Agency fought providing affordable housing, it was created and the residents have a safer and beautiful mixed-use environment to live in. 

It looks like Wikipedia is fast becoming the place to spin the facts about Alameda politics.  Watch out Bill Smith, you might be next on the hit list.


  1. Entertaining to read these old posts now. Where are those groups, you say? Since my grandparents opposed the South Shore fill [which dispossessed them by Eminent Domain] & my parents opposed the Harbor bay Isle fill, I’d say they’re still here in spirit. Only the names have been changed….

    Comment by vigi — June 12, 2012 @ 6:38 pm

  2. Seems like yesterday..

    Comment by Jack Richard — June 12, 2012 @ 6:56 pm

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