Blogging Bayport Alameda

February 2, 2010

4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42

While tonight opponents to Measure B will be gleefully watching the results roll in while feasting on Smoking Loon wine and the Measure B pizza from  Croll’s.   The unappetizing description of said pizza reminded me once again why I have never visited  Croll’s a second time and prefer to drive all the way to Zachary’s on College to get a decent pie.   I’ll instead be watching the season premiere of Lost.

It’s not that I don’t care anymore, I’ve sort of burned out on this whole election thing.   I just want it to be over at this point.   I am hopeful at this point that Measure B will pass, but have resigned myself to the fact that it was probably doomed the moment that the election was set for February (low turnout = only voters with really strong opinions coming out to vote and people generally feel more passionate about being against something than for it).

Anyway, here is a really solid recommendation from a student of urban planning no less on why voting yes for Measure B is a good thing, excerpt:

Tuesday’s vote is one of the most pivotal moments in Alameda’s history.  A yes vote ensures a more sustainable and affordable Alameda and significant housing relief for the region, while a no vote preserves the status quo of an increasingly gentrified and congested island, a decaying and contaminated Naval base, and a more sprawling region.  I am sympathetic to those in favor of redevelopment but concerned over the complex developer agreement, but this is a case where Alameda voters need to realize that no perfect deal will ever exist, and this is still a solid plan will a committed developer that wants to get building.  Most importantly, the cost of doing nothing is not zero: a no vote means Alameda will miss out on a BRT system, a vastly improved ferry, new schools, tons of open space, $12 million in yearly tax revenue, and countless other benefits.  Please, Alameda, if you care about the sustainability and livability of your city and your region, vote yes on Measure B.

I could insert in here the typical platitudes about us all working together regardless of what the vote ends of being, but you know and I know that there is a certain segment of Alameda regardless of what was proposed at Alameda Point would say “no.”    And insist that this Island, their Island, is best left to the “true” Alamedans, those who know better than to try to bring change to the Island.

And if you haven’t watched the Alamedageddon preview yet, it’s really quite funny.   Or maybe I find it hilarious because I’m so over this whole Measure B thing.   I found the whole “Send in the City Attorneys” part vastly amusing.


  1. -Smoking Loon is undrinkable plonk

    -Gentrification is another word for progress.

    -Prediction 61-39, turnout 12,000

    Comment by David Hart — February 2, 2010 @ 6:37 am

  2. I am guessing you meant 39% Yes and 61% No based on prior posts. I have the over/under on turnout at 10,000, so you have the over.

    Comment by Mike McMahon — February 2, 2010 @ 7:16 am

  3. Yes, 61 against — what is your prediction?

    Comment by David Hart — February 2, 2010 @ 7:31 am

  4. “-Gentrification is another word for progress.” label me P.C., but that makes me cringe. At least you’re honest.

    Comment by M.I. — February 2, 2010 @ 7:57 am

  5. Good put-down Lauren! Anyone who “feasts” on “Smoking Loon” is definitely a loser. Even though they may have gotten more votes,…we can always hope burnt crow is the main course.

    Progress, in this city, is making sure the west end retards. Anyone notice the big shiny new theater’s ALAMEDA sign. The west end only lights up the ALAM at night. Light guy probably fell asleep.

    Comment by Jack Richard — February 2, 2010 @ 9:06 am

  6. @Jack Richard… the west end only lights up LAME at night.

    @David Hart… opposition is going to win this in a landslide, I predict at least 67 against.

    Comment by E — February 2, 2010 @ 9:35 am

  7. I will not be at Croll’s or watching Lost but I do believe I will open a bottle of 2005 Chateau Montelena !

    Comment by J.E.A. — February 2, 2010 @ 9:43 am

  8. #7 Wine from a great vineyard. They have a great history,beautiful buildings, and gardens up there.

    It’s a world away from Alameda, yet so close. Enjoy your evening.

    Comment by RM — February 2, 2010 @ 9:48 am

  9. @E … re: the lame reference, your point being?

    Comment by alameda — February 2, 2010 @ 11:10 am

  10. My prediction is yes by 8 votes. And the count will be finished by Thursday evening.

    Comment by Jack Richard — February 2, 2010 @ 12:09 pm

  11. From your fingers to the Alameda voters ears, Jack.

    Comment by Lauren Do — February 2, 2010 @ 12:11 pm

  12. Are you a betting man, JR?

    Comment by David Hart — February 2, 2010 @ 2:15 pm

  13. 12.
    Sure, I’ll bet my two buck chuck against your smoking loon that M.I. will never be gentrified.

    Comment by Jack Richard — February 2, 2010 @ 5:56 pm

  14. Sounds like a Trading Places remake.

    Comment by David Hart — February 2, 2010 @ 7:17 pm

  15. #10

    If it were that close, SunCal would not have pulled the plug on the campaign. It would be like punting when you are on the five yard line.

    Trying to judge the substance from the shadow isn’t easy, but my guess is that they must have been down at least 25 points in the polls in early January.

    My prediction is that B loses by at least 63-37, but it could be by as much as 72-28. I also predict that the political capital of anyone associated with AAPR falls by at least 50 percent.

    Comment by AlamedaNayTiff — February 2, 2010 @ 7:20 pm

  16. I voted yes, but they moved the polling place to an obscure location…what was that about…googled it but still obscure. I would be surprised if more than 3,000 vote.

    Comment by Joaquin — February 2, 2010 @ 7:24 pm

  17. looks like we were all way off… acvoters reports preliminary 8000 against, 1700 for (82-17)

    Comment by E — February 2, 2010 @ 8:09 pm

  18. 15– What is AAPR?

    Comment by Kevis Brownson — February 2, 2010 @ 9:38 pm

  19. #18

    SunCal’s advisory group.

    Comment by AlamedaNayTiff — February 2, 2010 @ 9:53 pm

  20. #13 if you had any takers on that bet, you’d win. I tried stalking you at Pelican last week, but must have been late. I have HAB this Thursday but be prepared.

    #14 D.H. I know “Trading Places”, but you will have to clarify that analogy over drinks. (maybe at Pelican with Jack! No first Thursdays.)

    #15- 72% -28% is pretty good. I said 60-40 maybe 10 0r 12 days ago but after Dave Hart’s 61-39% this a.m. I was tempted to make a dire prediction and wish I had. KTVU just reported 85-15%! An official landslide, against the INITIATIVE! Congratulations Party of NO!

    I am officially schizophrenic. I have opposed the initiative but I’m even more opposed to most people opposed to Measure B. Would that be 85% of the 85% opposed?!! Imust be part of some hyper minority so I had better put my house on the market. The one that is inflated in price because of Measure A, but is still only worth 75% of it’s value in 2006. Hey Dave Hart! You are totally right, gentrification does equal progress!

    For all the efforts of glossy big bucks on the side of evil corporate developer, the opposition has lowered the bar even more on facts.

    A resident traffic engineer says SunCal claims the $200 million cap on amenities covers space shuttle flights to the space station under Park and Rec. It must be true!

    SunCal must have spent infinite money on polls because I got two extended calls out of NYC in the last twelve weeks (yes that’s NYC not Mumbia.) Organized Labor helped kick SunCal’s ass for a mere $29K to SunCal’s kazillions. Boo-Yah for BIG Labor!

    Comment by M.I. — February 2, 2010 @ 11:10 pm

  21. Well, the votes are (mostly) in:

    Click to access summary_report.pdf

    Measure B – City of Alameda
    Completed Precincts: 27 of 27
    NO 11,947 84.93%
    YES 2,120 15.07%

    And Jack, I’d say a late surge with enough votes for your 8-vote win for B is rather unlikely.

    The real Alameda-geddon, though, will be if the nay-sayers to any significant redevelopment at AP win the day over the next few months.

    Not proceeding with a sustainable and extensive revitalization of AP will sink Alameda financially and in other ways, too. And the cost to Alameda will make the 2006-2009 real estate decline look like a long-lost paradise…

    Comment by Jon Spangler — February 3, 2010 @ 1:00 am

  22. alameda point… another 13 years to get everything started again!

    Comment by E — February 3, 2010 @ 2:14 am

  23. My development solution, and I’m quite serious now, is to convert a hanger or two to the hydroponic cultivation of medical marijuana. A growing facility only, not a dispensary. This would create dozens of jobs in security, horticulture, packaging, and management. Product could be transported off the island by boat. We wouldn’t have to worry about contaminated soil or gridlock and the tax revenues would be huge. It’s the future. Think about it.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — February 3, 2010 @ 6:40 am

  24. 20
    “SunCal must have spent infinite money on polls because I got two extended calls out of NYC…”

    When we were talking about density last week, someone called asking if I’d mind taking a survey. My normal instinct is to hang up with un-extreme prejudice but the voice that flowed into my ear was pure honeysuckle and cypress with spanish moss hanging down the limbs, southern (female btw), so I said okay.

    She proceeded to ask me if I had knowledge of the B Initiative, I said yes and I’ve already voted yes by absentee ballot. Next question, are you a Democrat, Republican or Independent? Answer, none of the above, I’m a Libertarian. Oh! There’s no space for a write in, she murmured. Just put me down as an Independent then, says I. Oops, the computer locked up. Can I give you a call back right away?, she whispered. Honey, you can call me back, front, sideways or upside down anytime you want, I urged.

    2.5 minutes later, phone rings and we’re below the mason dixon line again. Same thing, computer was stuck on Libertarian and wouldn’t let her change the entry so she thanked me and prepared to end the survey. But before she had a chance to hang up I mentioned that she must be from the extreme southern part of the city of Alameda with an accent like that. Yes, she said, the real Southern Texas part of Alameda.

    So, since this blog had just been considering we all move (along with the rest of the human population of this planet) to Texas I asked her, Did you know that the entire population of the world would fit into Texas in 1000 sq ft one-story houses?

    I’m not surprised, she said, but if they did, I’d move to Alaska!

    So Lauren, if you don’t go to Texas, Texas’ll come to you!

    Comment by Jack Richard — February 3, 2010 @ 9:12 am

  25. Lauren – There is great pizza on the island. I always enjoyed NY Pizza, wife and kids LOVE Bowzers Pizza. You should try supporting Alameda. Alameda is not a culinary vacuum, especially on the low to mid budget eateries.

    #23 Denise, Your idea is a little off the mark for Alameda. Part of the reality that must be understood is the Alameda is largely a traditional working class neighborhood. Developers need to understand that, AUSD must understand that with tax planning; and everyone who wants to reform the world of Alameda must also understand that.
    Sustainability is also much more than capital gain and greenbacks are not edible. While limited medical marijuana may be beneficial, imagine the concern if Alameda’s population is not slowly educated to what medical marijuana cultivation is / means to both cancer patients, users, and to city tax revenue. Better to start with ACTUAL sustainability hydroponics in those big useful buildings. Naturally locally grown food is extremely important and one of the great uses of the Point. Using another hanger for training youth to convert older, lightweight cars to electric would be another wonderfully sustainability related option.

    True long-term sustainability at sea level is a worldwide growing concern, and here at the Point is a nearly blank slate to experiment with real sustainably; not the “green washed” sustainability credits, but really how to build safe homes that are self sustaining. The obvious drawback is that Alameda is not ‘mainland’ sea level – Alameda is an island, and therefore because of traffic and other concerns, cannot be compared to most other sea level cities. Alameda Point can still be a learning / proving ground for a sustainable expansion of a community that is completely or nearly completely self sufficient, and helping the existing community toward greater self sufficiency and reduced carbon footprint. The Point is a great opportunity for Alameda and other coastal communities. It can be used to help us in the community while helping the improvement of understanding real sustainable growth.

    SunCal fell far short of such needed goals. While I credit SunCal for not simply going for a MA exemption without a plan as how such an exemption would be used, (which would fail as badly as MB was predicted to fail), SunCal and friends clearly far overreached, and clearly did not have a clue of how concerned our residents are about the community in which we live. Perhaps H.O.M.E.S. will reevaluate where they live, and where their ideas may hold some relevancy. Clearly not here.

    Comment by Dave K — February 3, 2010 @ 4:04 pm

  26. Are you a betting man, JR?

    Comment by David Hart — February 2, 2010 @ 2:15 pm

    Peyton over Payton by eight Points

    Comment by Jack Richard — February 5, 2010 @ 11:23 am

  27. 25

    Dave K,

    Since when is real transit-oriented development with mixed uses that encourage walking or bicycling to work not truly sustainable? Or building an energy-neutral development with energy-efficient buildings that can also provide its own green power? Did you even read the plan?

    Your criticisms of SunCal’s plan do not “wash” and apparently reflect a basic ignorance of both the Peter Calthorpe plan and its actual resource implications. Too bad that so many others had the same problem.

    Comment by Jon Spangler — February 5, 2010 @ 12:51 pm

  28. It’s not sustainable when it’s only achievable through massive subsidy and a disproportionate reliance on taxpayers in other areas to carry the load, that’s when.

    Comment by David Hart — February 5, 2010 @ 12:58 pm

  29. #27….Just wish Peter Calthorpe had remembered that Alameda is an Island ! Traffic is one of the many reasons people voted down the plan. Give me a bridge or a tunnel and then we can talk……

    Comment by J.E.A. — February 5, 2010 @ 1:57 pm

  30. Jon – Didn’t you read that joke they called the chapter on “Sustainability” of the Plan? The development didn’t reuse its own gray water it called for pumping gray water from Oakland to use. The plan called of orienting the homes in the wrong direction, neglecting the sue of both passive and active solar. The was so little about the plan that I thought Calthorpe could be proud of – If he reused the plans he made 30 years ago with the upgrades now possible with millivolt technology there was plenty of opportunity for a sustainable plan but what was put forward was not sustainable for Alameda. I wrote extensively on the fallacy of the plan’s sustainability in the past. Much faster for you to find it than for me to repeat it all.

    Comment by Dave K — February 5, 2010 @ 7:32 pm

  31. When they first got the contract, I heard their salesmanship about sustainability, and got very excited about the possibilities. Then I visited their Web site and saw that it is completely B.S. Massive golf courses in the desert? Huge man-made lakes in the desert? Not sustainable!!

    Comment by Kevis Brownson — February 6, 2010 @ 1:08 pm

  32. Sorry, the link to the lake above didn’t work — here it is again. They seem to have taken the references to Terra Lago in Indio off their “Communities” page, but it is still in some of their “News” items and on their “Living” page. The other link to the golf course is “Fairway Canyon” in Beaumont, California, also desert.

    Comment by Kevis Brownson — February 6, 2010 @ 1:25 pm

  33. Kevis, I was Indio and saw a sprinkler on a bank lawn broken and flooding the gutter. When I complained to a friend in LA on the phone about wasting our water he reminded me that the entire valley is fed by a fossil water aquifer which is replenished by snow melt from the surrounding mountains. I worked on a grape vineyard in Desert Center, east of Indio and indeed we pumped well water for irrigation.

    Comment by M.I. — February 6, 2010 @ 4:42 pm

  34. Yes, I spent the first 8 years of my life in Riverside, also well water. However, the Coachella and Riverside areas also are importing water from the Colorado River. With the growth of populations in Arizona and Mexico, continually increasing water use is not sustainable.

    Comment by Kevis Brownson — February 7, 2010 @ 12:43 am

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