Blogging Bayport Alameda

September 11, 2008

City Council Candidate Profile, part 1 of 4: Doug deHaan

Filed under: Alameda, City Council, Election — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 7:00 am

Updated 9/24/08

Doug De Haan is running for City Council, here is some information that I have compiled about him from various internet searches to help you in making your decision. 

This blog’s previous profile on Doug deHaan compiled when he ran against Beverly Johnson for Mayor and lost.   I am trying to stay away from adjectives to describe by how much he lost by, let’s just say, “a lot.”

Here was what Doug deHaan filed with the League of Women Voters when he ran for Mayor in 2006.  Here were his answers to Alamedans for Climate Protection from the 2006 race.

In 2004 here is what Alameda Journal Times Star had to say in their endorsement of Doug deHaan:

…Even though deHaan has never been elected to public office, he has worked for years to move Alameda from a military-based economy to a more diversified retail center, while preserving the Island’s uniqueness. He chaired the Economic Development Commission, the Base Retention Committee and the Base Reuse Advisory Committee. As a senior executive at Alameda Naval Air Station before it closed in 1997, he worked to help the 5,500 civilian workers there make the transition to other jobs.

He has served faithfully on numerous Alameda boards and commissions related to retail district revitalization and Alameda Point redevelopment. He urges smart growth. An Encinal High School graduate, deHaan has degrees from Laney College and the University of San Francisco…

I’m really curious about Doug deHaan urging “smart growth,” makes me wonder what “smart growth” means to Doug deHaan other than the buzzword “growth that fits” that he was using during the last election with the Slate.

A few posts I have written discussing Doug deHaan:

And finally, here are the answers submitted by Doug deHaan to candidate questionnaire, includes a brief biography as well.

Updated 9/24/08

Doug deHaan now has a profile up at SmartVoter and a website (although as of today nothing is up).

If anyone has more information about Doug deHaan, please feel free to add it to the comments section.  BUT…if you do post something, please make sure to cite your reference and add a link so that others can reference it.


  1. At the Suncal/ARRA meeting last night, Doug DeHaan was asking some really good questions and showing real good knowledge about the base. He knows the history of the place, the infrastructure that’s there now; he questioned what happens with the bus jump-queue lane advantage advantage once the bus enters the tube when it’s filled to capacity and also on the other, Oakland side; he mentioned a legislative bill that might reduce the navy’s price for the land, potentially improving Suncal’s bottom line and number of units they want; he is just on top of the Point issues, and it shows. He is definitely needed on the council to complete, or at least get this process going.

    In other news, Suncal stated pretty clearly last night that if Measure A does not get amended for their plan, they’ll be outta here. Good to know, so we can all play straight.

    Comment by AD — September 11, 2008 @ 9:13 am

  2. I think a lot of good questions were raised last night by all our council members. AD is correct that Doug has always kept the Point as a focus, I think because of his long experience at the NAS. Councilmember Tam also was spot on. Really I think all council members appeared to have real authentic concerns. Our mayor seemed less prepared to comment on the ideas Sun Cal presented…

    When considering the agenda item that followed Sun Cal’s discussion I can see that the effects of the base’s contamination on future residents at the Point is another huge concern. I was not as surprised by the Navy’s unwillingness to tell us what and where and how much radioactive and toxic waste they dumped as some others. I give mayor Johnson points for realizing that Alameda’s consultant may not be working in our best interest if he is willing to go with the Navy’s plan to move the toxic and radioactive crap from one area of the base to another and throw 4 ft of dirt on it and call it clean.

    And FIANALLY someone said a golf course is not economically feasible for the point, and should be removed from the plan. (Thanks Mayor) This is serious because a golf course would require less toxic clean-up than a lot of other uses. And the Navy would not clean up at all if they could spread 4 ft of dirt on it and call it a golf course.

    In reality I don’t think the base can ever be made “clean”. I think the suggestions by most council members to re-use more of the existing buildings at the base, (thanks for the common sense you all expressed) and we all have to realize that because of the environmental conditions, the base should largely remain “green industrial”.

    I wonder if some Alameda residents could research and suggest some other ideas, such as “green-power” generation. We as a city could always sell and use more power, and wind, solar, tidal energy may not be as cheap as coal fueled electricity generation, but likely could get a lot of grant support, and such industry would not interfere much with other uses (except birds trying to mate with windmill blades).

    There are a lot of worthwhile things to experience at the base, but I know I would not want (especially my kids) to play, and frolic their lives away in that soil and water and whatever off gasses that get trapped and released. (The spontaneous fires that were occurring at Shoreline Amphitheatre were bad enough, and that was only methane.) Which fruit and veggies would be safe to eat? Short term periods at the Point may be okay, but I won’t live to see a natural ‘clean green’ at the base. Others obviously disagree, and for them the risks of cancer are balanced by medical advances, fearlessness, or ignorant bliss, or the chance to make a buck on the risk of someone else’s health… I hope that our city officials and staff are not among the ladder group.

    Any way you look at it last nights ARRA discussions on the Point’s real pollution was a real eye opener for those of us with little idea of how bad it could really be, according to the people most informed.

    Comment by David Kirwin — September 11, 2008 @ 4:59 pm

  3. The Journal didn’t endorse Doug DeHaan in 2004. The Journal’s endorsements were Marie Gilmore and Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft. (Source Alameda Journal Oct. 29, 2004, page A14). You attributed the Tribune’s endorsement to the Journal; they weren’t the same company until last year.

    Comment by iwasthere — September 11, 2008 @ 7:42 pm

  4. #2 You’re right, DK, I thought that Absinthe being concocted at St George Spirits had a heck of a kick to it, must be the location of the spirit tank.

    No doubt the thousands and thousands of humans who resided, worked, traveled through and some who still live work and play in that toxic dump can’t wait until the one person can point to the base as the cause for some exotic illness so the tort lawyers can start litigating for their pot of gold. The only long term reasonable thing to do with the Point is break it off from the shaft.

    Comment by Jack Richard — September 12, 2008 @ 9:00 am

  5. With all the news about Lehman Brothers, I wonder what the impact will be on SunCal. I’ve read here that the city turned to SunCal because it can’t afford to prepare Alameda Point for development, but it’s no longer clear whether SunCal can afford it either. I’ve also read that without SunCal we will have an unpredictable process; here again, I think the process has already become unpredictable. It’s like the city is laboring along, earnestly trying to reach an agreement with SunCal, when in fact that entity no longer exists, at least not in any fully viable form. It strikes me that SunCal keeps pursuing its own best interests at all costs, and for some reason, the community keeps giving this some credence, as if we had an obligation to keep them happy. Why? Maybe dealing w/ them is no longer in OUR interests. I understand that this creates great uncertainty — that the Port of Oakland could come in for example. As a practical matter, tho, does anyone imagine that container trucks will be going back and forth thru the tubes and Chinatown? And thank goodness for Chinatown, they seem better at sticking up for themselves than Alameda does.

    Comment by DL Morrison — September 12, 2008 @ 1:37 pm

  6. #5.— that the Port of Oakland could come in for example. As a practical matter, tho, does anyone imagine that container trucks will be going back and forth thru the tubes and Chinatown?

    Perhaps not through the tubes and Chinatown but as a practical matter how about barging containers across the estuary? Seems like a natural fit for semi-useless land and containers waiting for whatever. Eyesore maybe but who’s looking.

    Comment by Jack Richard — September 12, 2008 @ 4:32 pm

  7. DL,

    I have heard Pat Bail make suggestions of port uses at the Point, but have not heard about the Port of Oakland having interest in accessing the property. Can you be more specific what you have heard and from what source?

    Comment by Mark Irons — September 12, 2008 @ 6:07 pm

  8. #7: Yes, I should have mentioned earlier, it was Richard Bangert on Stop, Drop & Roll. He said that the Port of Oakland might be interested in the property, nothing specific.

    #6: You could be right, so long as they would stick w/ the barges, assuming that ports actually do this sort of thing.

    Comment by DL Morrison — September 12, 2008 @ 6:52 pm

  9. I heard the thought was tall “container cranes” cabling the containers across the estuary right onto trucks or rail cars or ‘stacks’. Barges would be double handling, a waste of time, resources, and dock space; and the tube doesn’t make sense either, the ships don’t divide their loads by rail or road loads, and Alameda can no longer offer both means of transport, can we? I’m not sure what the USCG or maritime law would say about hoisting tonnage over an active shipping and leisure craft channel, but I don’t think this idea will fly in the real world, but it could make for nice tonnage fees for the city in our dream world.

    Comment by Dave Kirwin — September 12, 2008 @ 11:40 pm

  10. The Port of Oakland is facing a $60M+ budget deficit and had to institute layoffs. There has been a decline in revenue and the import/export market has not been favorable because of the declining value of the dollar. The Port has no expansion plans at this time. Their long-term masterplan included dredging the Oakland Estuary to accommodate container vessels that other California ports can process. See

    Comment by S M — September 13, 2008 @ 8:19 am

  11. Okay, no Port, that’s good. I vote for the windfarm, that’s one form of reuse that makes sense.

    Comment by DL Morrison — September 13, 2008 @ 9:58 am

  12. DL- My concern was that we not speculate about the Port of Oakland operating over here based on some citizen thinking in their own mind that “Gee, the Port of Oakland might be interested”, if in fact there was no substance to that.

    The Oakland Port’s operational status aside, I thought it had been pretty well established that a port usage at Alameda Point is pretty impractical. West Oakland has issues with pollution from Port trucking and zip lining containers across the estuary is also plenty problematic, not to mention that any ships docked on our side of the estuary would actually be directly in the shipping channel.

    I believe Doug deHaan was still on the APAC ( Alameda Point something Committee, formerly BRAG- Base Reuse Advisory Group) when I arranged to have “green uses” put on their agenda. Richard Bangert and I were active in the Green Party then and he spoke about a solar farm. I also invited Mary Sutter who was on the RAB and active in Sierra Club to speak.

    This was probably around 1998? Mary basically spoke to the LEED concept and about conservation in new construction. Richard spoke around the idea of a solar farm and other alternative energy uses.

    In recent years AP&T has had a couple gatherings to discuss new power generating, remember gases from superheated (not incinerated) garbage? In terms of solar and wind farms AP&T maintains that the Point is not an ideal environment for either. Unless quarantined for toxicity, the sq. foot value of the Point is too high to pave it with solar cells.

    At the APC meeting, I spoke last and not at length, but my shtick was that all new development should not only be held to high LEED type standards, but ALL commercial roof area like at Towne Centre and the Point should be covered with solar. The roof areas could have lease agreements with AP&T. I felt we got a friendly pat on the head, but it was not as if APAC had any real clout or that any member was so enthused by our comments that they went running to Council to lobby for them.

    Ten years later the carbon foot print concept is gaining acceptance as relevant and on Wednesday Sept. 17 we have the first meeting of CASA (Community Action for a Sustainable Alameda).

    Cynics can now sneer and bemuse themselves with snarky remarks about “feel good” politics and climate change being a hoax and preoccupation of the hopelessly naive.

    Comment by Mark Irons — September 13, 2008 @ 12:19 pm

  13. #12 Third to last paragraph APC should read APAC. Also Mary was not a Green Party member.

    Comment by Mark Irons — September 13, 2008 @ 12:23 pm

  14. Thanks – Richard Bangert seems pretty knowledgeable overall, and certainly more credible than Peter Calthorpe and his pods. Anyway, I checked the AP&T site re wind turbine generators:

    Is there Potential for Wind as a Future Power Supply in Alameda?
    Typically class 4+ to 5 winds (17 to 27 mph) are required for a site to be considered for WTG. Although there are some WTG that are being developed for lower wind speeds, such as class 3 (14 to 16 mph), Alameda is a class 1 (0-12 mph) site.

    So, no wind, no solar.

    If it need be said, I think climate change is very real. But if the seas are rising and housing is no longer practical then what else is there?

    Comment by DL Morrison — September 13, 2008 @ 1:44 pm

  15. #14 DLM

    Here are comments from draft of September 13 as promised earlier today:

    Your suggestion about Calthorpe’s credibility compared to Richard Bangert is laughable to me. I give Richard plenty of credit for creative thinking and I’m not inclined to always defer to academics either, but Calthorpe has a deep background here and not as a huckster for university projects as implied by Dave “I’m not paranoid, people are out to get me” Kirwin.

    The PRT discussion at Stop, Drop and Roll a while back (“Plan B from Outer Space” August 7) which Lauren redirected us to recently (“Partial Disclosure” September 3) was very rational and credible. The exchange where a PRT developer Nathen Koren answers skepticism by Michael Krueger and “dave” was the definitive discussion of PRT on the blogs to date (in my humble opinion). Even if PRT is not something which can be well integrated into the landscape of Alameda, people should read this exchange before they are excessive with their snarky Jetson references (Jeff Smith’s recent Sun column touting of Cybertran while scoffing at PRT with a Jetson’s reference was laughable, but I digress as Lauren says).

    Calthorpe’s entire proposal may seem too futuristic, and there may be sound reasons to reject it based on problems with toxics, unstable landfill, insufficient transportation mitigations, rising tide(?), but I think his presentation addresses some hard realities of the future in a gutsy way. SunCal and Calthorpe are infinitely more credible than APCP was with their same old single family home plan and their work is at least as credible as the observations of you or I or Richard Bangert.

    6000 units is mind boggling to me and not something I have even come to grips with yet, but I appreciate it when somebody takes a given set of principles and applies them consistently to a given outcome, which in this case is the tipping point where PRT would be the most viable and become economically possible.

    I am willing to consider the possibility that a development of 6000 units with PRT could actually function in the way they project that it would. I am not as skeptical about that as I am dubious how the rest of Alameda could adjust to having such a development grafted directly too it like a futuristic Siamese Twin.

    As a region, I don’t think we can bare the brunt of further sprawl development in the outlying areas and to stop it we must create higher densities in the urban core. I think to build 6000 unit density completely transcends the basic Measure A debate at warp speed and bumps the entire density debate well beyond the small town ambiance debate we’ve been having, to infinity and beyond.

    I’ll wait for Heathrow before weighing in on PRT and I would like to see some detailed studies of the effect of BRT on individual blocks of the Telegraph route.

    Bill McKibben is one of our foremost environmental thinkers and has written a number of great books. “HOPE, Human and Wild” has some great examples of innovation like rapid transit buses in Curitiba Brazil which I think is one of the places this concept has been applied with success. People can enumerate all the ways that Curitiba and Oakland are not alike but just as important is to look at what worked there and why.

    We need answers which no doubt will not look like your father’s Oldsmobile.

    Comment by Mark Irons — September 20, 2008 @ 5:33 pm

  16. Mark – explain this comment of yours;
    Calthorpe has a deep background here and not as a huckster for university projects as implied by Dave “I’m not paranoid, people are out to get me” Kirwin.

    Explain how long Calthorpe has been here. And he works for SunCal – not a university! None of your comment makes ANY sense!

    Also -On your opinion of sprawl – “As a region, I don’t think we can bare the brunt of further sprawl development in the outlying areas.”

    Please answer the following questions;

    a.) Why aren’t you suggesting that more employers move to the regions of sprawl to cut transportation miles required? New communities in ‘sprawl zone’ can be better planed with the needs and knowledge of today rather than being saddled with the infrastructure of 50 or 100 years ago. Those should be ‘better communities’.

    b.) If traveling in “0” carbon fueled cars, what is wrong with ‘sprawl’?

    c.) If people are willing to travel so far to have the single family home they want to raise a family in, what good will it do to offer more units of the type of housing they don’t want, in an over-urbanized area they have rejected as ‘livable’ for their lifestyle or desire?

    d.) If our region is having serious infrastructure problems, like transportation limits, water shortages, sanitary sewer overloads, increasing crime, urban government’s inability to fund services for growing populations, etc – How will adding to the problems of over population result in an improvement?

    e.) Is it better to expect a ‘magic wizard’ to show up and fix our problems in the future, that we will learn something we don’t now know, or is it better to look at all we know including the limits and plan with actual reality instead of dreams?

    Okay so we all know the answer to ‘E”, but if you don’t answer the other questions, I have wonder how you can continue to act like a proponent of an Alameda population explosion.

    Comment by David Kirwin — September 20, 2008 @ 7:45 pm

  17. DL – I don’t understand this from your previous post – could you explain or link to more info?

    “Is there Potential for Wind as a Future Power Supply in Alameda?
    Typically class 4+ to 5 winds (17 to 27 mph) are required for a site to be considered for WTG. Although there are some WTG that are being developed for lower wind speeds, such as class 3 (14 to 16 mph), Alameda is a class 1 (0-12 mph) site. So, no wind, no solar.”

    Why do you think solar doesn’t work in Alameda? What size WGT’ need such constant high wind velocity?
    Where did you get info on what Alameda winds are like?

    Do you know, did I forget to mention we have a company already at the point working on improved harnessing of natural energy? See

    Comment by David Kirwin — September 20, 2008 @ 8:05 pm

  18. DK – here’s the link from AP&T re utility-scale wind power — a good summary. Also see the link to “” w/ a map of windspeeds around the bay and offshore. While it seems quite windy on the bay, apparently it’s not enough for large-scale wind turbines. As for the solar: per Mark, AP&T says solar energy at Alameda Point is not cost-effective if a higher use for the land is possible. However, if it isn’t, then maybe solar would make sense. Maybe that’s the highest and best use after all.

    Comment by DL Morrison — September 21, 2008 @ 4:13 pm

  19. Mark: As DK says, how do we address the legitimate concerns about greater density here and in the East Bay generally? There’s a sense that pro-density people are either unwilling or unable to look at local conditions and constraints.

    I read the posts re PRT on Stop, Drop & Roll, and noted initially Michael Krueger’s reference to having an “agenda”. Here’s one form that takes — anyone who disagrees with the smart growth agenda is taken to task for failing to care about the environment, plan for the future, whatever. In reality, I could agree that PRT might make sense in some locations, but not RIGHT HERE, and in all fairness, here is not the same as everywhere. Why do smart growth proponents so often have this black and white thinking?

    As for Nathan Koren: He works for the company that’s building the PRT system at Heathrow, so I guess he has an agenda too — and that’s his job after all.

    As for Peter Calthorpe: He founded the “New Urbanism” movement, which is the impetus behind the whole smart growth philosophy, so there’s yet another agenda.

    As for PRT: Until we have a model that’s been built in similar conditions, we can’t depend on a system like this. A decision has to be made soon on the SunCal’s plans, and frankly, I don’t think they know how to solve the traffic problems — not surprisingly, because it’s a severe constraint that very difficult to solve. So they’ve decided to punt — to say in effect, some day we’ll have this high-tech solution, just believe!!. When I was kid, we were supposed to have rocket cars by now, and shiny space suits, so no, I don’t believe in PRT, I need to see it.

    The final irony in all this: I really don’t have an agenda, I just want plans that makes sense, and a fair discussion.

    Comment by DL Morrison — September 21, 2008 @ 4:59 pm

  20. AP&T link:

    Comment by DL Morrison — September 21, 2008 @ 5:00 pm

  21. Dl – Can you explain this comment?

    “As for the solar: per Mark, AP&T says solar energy at Alameda Point is not cost-effective if a higher use for the land is possible”

    Seems to me solar is either cost effective or not, regardless of options. If cited comment is from Mark I, it is most likely a baseless statement of opinion, with no connection to facts.

    There is also the “green concept” of ‘distributed power generation’. This philosophy is far removed from fossil fuel fired electrical energy generation. Every home, every structure, can become an electrical energy source, not just a consumer. And solar is not the only source. If you contact me thru Lauren, I’ll e-mail you some pictures of a small wind generator that has been supplying electricity to a home in a Berkeley neighborhood for decades. That is the kind every roof could have as a ‘solar companion’.

    Thanks for the APT link, but house hold use requires small units, wich require less wind. If you have ever been around one of those big megawatt generators you would know they are not compatable with neighborhoods. See also high altitude wind generators

    IMO To say the Bay Area has insufficient winds for power generation is like saying Oakland international is insufficient for landing jets because the runway is too short for 747’s .

    Comment by David kirwin — September 21, 2008 @ 10:17 pm

  22. DK,

    Your implication that my post is likely a “baseless statement of opinion” is precious considering that your posts are a regular riot of wild accusations and misstatements like smearing board members for allegedly violating the Brown Act and that the drafting of Measure H was a Gold Coast conspiracy primarily aimed at keeping Franklin school open.

    The quote above doesn’t exactly reflect what I said about solar at the Point, which was my opinion that the cost of the land puts the economics of a solar farm in doubt. But you of course know better and will know prove that beyond a shadow of a doubt, right?

    Since you are Mr. Fact Check, why not call Meredith Owen yourself and find out why AP&T isn’t chomping at the bit to lease the runway from Fish and Wildlife to pave it with solar cells.

    It’s sunnier here in Alameda than places like Berkeley so for residential application it’s a little better for solar here. AP&T has cells on their office roof and an experimental project on a school here, but they still aren’t talking about wide commercial application to back fill their loss of generating capacity.

    In terms of buildings and most of the street grid in Alameda, the best exposure for PV is directly south and we are oriented 45 degrees off that. I do not know how that effects efficiency of the panels.

    Relevant to today’s post, I am an acquaintance to the EBX editor because I helped a friend bang some nails at his house, and he knows I live here. He referred the woman writing the solar article to me as a contractor who might know a thing or two and guess what? I didn’t offer one baseless opinion, but I did immediately refer her to Alliance which is a home town solar business I learned of through Pat Colburn’s environmental speaker series at the library. I’m glad Lauren thought well of that article and look forward to reading it and learning some facts.

    Comment by Mark Irons — September 22, 2008 @ 8:29 am

  23. Fascinating discussion. This is related to Doug DeHaan’s ability or inability to lead, how?

    Comment by notadave — September 22, 2008 @ 8:39 am

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