Blogging Bayport Alameda

October 14, 2010

Jumping the Shark

Filed under: Alameda, Election — Tags: , — Lauren Do @ 6:12 am

An anonymous reader sent me one of the latest e-mail blasts from the Frank Matarrese for Mayor campaign and titled the email “Jumping the Shark” for those unfamiliar with what “Jumping the Shark” is in reference to, see this Wikipedia entry. After I read it, I couldn’t disagree with that characterization.

The thing is, Frank Matarrese very early on was running a really strong campaign.   If I’m not mistaken, he actually had Jeff Mitchell and Lorann Snow to thank for that.   A really strong social media presence, great messaging, great outreach, and a really early start,  he was the one that everyone would need to catch in terms of campaigning.   But then the message started changing from one of “Here’s what I can do for Alameda” to “SunCal is the boogyman, ooohhhoooohhh, and I’m the only one that can stop them!”

Here’s a snippet of the email blast:

I’m writing to ask for your help in fighting SunCal’s attempt to reverse the outcome of Measure B this election season.

As a longtime resident and two term councilmember, I can tell you that this campaign has been unlike any that Alameda has seen before. Outside interests are targeting me and my campaign in a blatant attempt to influence important decisions that will affect our city for many years to come.

Measure B was soundly defeated by Alameda residents. I was a strong opponent of Measure B. I signed the ballot rebuttal against the damaging measure and was a leader in the fight to defeat it and to keep SunCal out! I will continue to promote jobs and business at Alameda Point and will insist on local control in its redevelopment – keeping SunCal out!

I need your help to raise an additional $5000 to fight SunCal influence and to keep Alameda Point under our control. Your contribution, no matter how large or small, will help us get the word out at this critical point in the campaign.

The unwritten in this correspondence is that there are Mayoral candidates who wouldn’t fight to keep SunCal out, who would welcome SunCal with open arms.    But all the candidates have already said “no SunCal, no way” so it appears that Frank Matarrese thinks that it is in his best interest to keep the specter of SunCal — and that there might be candidates open to SunCal — in the public discourse.

Here’s what I think about the whole business of SunCal inserting itself into the election.   Given that SunCal has shown itself to be — where Alameda is concerned — fairly politically tone deaf.   I’m  sure that the stuff they have signed their name to, specifically the mailer and commercials against Ann Marie Gallant is just another way to lash out against AMG, and not, as the conspiracy theorists amongst us would have us all believe, that they are actually attempting to help any candidate or group of candidates.   If they were politically savvy, they would have just disappeared during the election given how even the mention of the word “SunCal” these days brings out a negative knee jerk reaction for most folks.

Although what they have done is separated the one-note candidates from the candidates actually running on an issue.   As mentioned before by Kate Quick somewhere in the comments section, all the candidates have said they wouldn’t be interested in bringing SunCal back, so for those candidates running on a “No SunCal, No Way” platform, what else is there in their bag of tricks to offer up to the citizens of Alameda?

The more that candidates like Frank Matarrese continue to hammer home the “no SunCal, no way” line, the more he distracts from the real issues that are important and then his campaign becomes no more positive than the one that he is begging for money to fight against.


  1. The whole conspiracy thing is besides the point. I don’t think that many people actually believe SunCal is having cozy little chats with the other candidates and making backroom deals. I spoke with an attorney (unconnected with the case) who said she believes SunCal is backing those it believes–either rightly or wrongly–will be more open to a deal down the road when the law suit threatens to cost the City beaucoup bucks. Those who keep stressing the “needless” expenditure of funds investigating the email confidentiality issue should keep this in mind. Perhaps it is the stand by some candidates that implies that money spent on wrangling in the courts should be scrupulously avoided is what makes SunCal so confident that the deal isn’t dead yet. At this point, no one who wants to get elected would even hint they might consider dealing with SunCal, and all would probably be loathe to do so at anytime. Be that as it may, something makes SunCal thinks enough of its chances to keep throwing money at this election. This is what has created the big question in voters minds. Revenge is not in the vocabulary of big business interests unless it results in big profits. SunCal would not do this just for spite. They actually believe there’s a monetary payoff for them in it. Make no mistake, they are experts at playing the game. Don’t underestimate them. Jumping the Shark? I don’t think so. Playing the right card at the right time more likely.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — October 14, 2010 @ 6:58 am

  2. Brilliant. If more of the analysis on this site were so astute, it would be a more valuable source of information. Too bad others don’t have the smarts AND the objectivity of Denise.

    Comment by Dennis Green — October 14, 2010 @ 7:04 am

  3. Aw shucks!

    Comment by Denise Shelton — October 14, 2010 @ 7:19 am

  4. people make a big deal about Frank’s town hall meetings. I give him credit for the work of holding them, but anybody who doesn’t see it as long term campaign strategy is naive. Frank has always been ambitious about being a political animal. Remember when he started to run for county supervisor, but found out the money wasn’t behind him? I think that is where the town hall strategy was hatched. He took the long view.

    As for Denise’s analysis, I can go along with it. Does that make my IQ 169 Dennis? The only difference in my take is that SunCal has made themselves permanently radioactive. As far as SunCal steering for elected people who were not rabidly opposed to them over B, I don’t know how that calculation would pay off. I cannot see a reopening of an new ENA as a settlement. As for the $117 million SunCal say we helped them squander…..hmmmmm? Anybody who doesn’t think we benefited greatly as a city and have a great advantage in foresight as a result of that $117 million is being disingenuous. In my mind, “good faith” becomes the issue in court. There’s plenty of bad faith to go around.

    Comment by M.I. — October 14, 2010 @ 8:03 am

  5. Reyla Graber, of “Protect the Point” fame is circulating the tape of lawyer Mr. C. excoriating Lena at City Council after the DA said her investigation was complete and found no violations of the Brown Act or impropriety, via e-mail. The information was passed to many via Walt and Judy Jacobs. Fortunately, one of the recipients sent it to me and I was able to both alert Lena and to give the list of folks to whom it was sent some context about that tape. This garbage has got to stop. If people believe in their candidates, they have to step up and say why and not just try to gain traction through mud slinging and slander. They should be held to account for their filthy campaigning.

    Comment by Kate Quick — October 14, 2010 @ 8:06 am

  6. “make no mistake they are experts at playing the game”. Then how do we explain thier miserable showing on measure B.

    Comment by John piziali — October 14, 2010 @ 8:12 am

  7. Good point, John. But even experts’ calculated risks don’t always pay off, and they may not this time either. Their risks are based on experience, however. You win some, you lose some. For some reason, they still think they can win, and they may yet no matter who is elected. My caution is not to assume it’s over with SunCal. As long as they have money to spend, Alameda will be dealing with them one way or the other. We can only hope their empire comes crashing down before they take us along with it. If you look at the overall health of their financial position, it’s not too much to hope for.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — October 14, 2010 @ 8:48 am

  8. 5. Am I understanding this correctly? Someone has a tape of a city council meeting and has sent it to some other people? Where exactly is the “garbage, “mud slinging”, “slander” and “filthy campaigning”, except in your head?

    Comment by jayare — October 14, 2010 @ 8:52 am

  9. #6 – here is my theory on this. Shortly after Suncal took on Alameda Point, the world as they knew it collapsed. They needed to get out and minimize their losses – everything they did from that point on -hiring obnoxious signature gatherers, putting together a ballot initiative designed to confuse, not actively campaigning, and then basically saying f**k you with their lawyer at a city council meeting were all designed to incite the city to do something that would enable Suncal to sue and recoup their investment plus a little bit.

    Now comes the latest blast of mud from Suncal. Look at who it is benefiting – Doug DeHaan, Jean Sweeney, and Bev Johnson – less than brilliant reactionists, who if re-elected would want to fight and drag out a law suit with Suncal, instead of quickly settling and moving on. Suncal would benefit from that move by continuing to tie up Alameda Point until the market improves, another developer steps up, and they get a better pay-off than they would now.

    So yes, they may look really stupid at face value, but they are experts at what they are doing.

    How’s that for a conspiracy theory?

    Comment by iloveaconspiracy — October 14, 2010 @ 9:07 am

  10. Mark, you have always had a higher I.Q. than mine, but my ass is smarter than yours!

    And the only reason SunCal lost Measure B, I’ve been told by the man himself, is because they failed to take the advice of their “Advisor,” Jon Spangler.

    But at one time, SunCal had so many people on their side, including many who post on this site, and all five city council members, the former City Manager, etc. They thought they could do no wrong. Big developers persist. That’s how they get big in the first place.

    Comment by Dennis Green — October 14, 2010 @ 9:11 am

  11. #8 The making and distribution of the statements on that tape are a calculated effort to show that the City is right and the DA was wrong in saying that there was no “there, there” in the allegations. It is being distributed with no context, no opportunity to show all sides of the issue, and a blatant disregard for the facts. The DA found that Lena did not violate the Brown Act and that the material claimed to be priveledged was not. Mr. C. was allowed to restate all the charges for the camera as if the DA had not weighed in. When he did that, Lena had no attorney present, so it was in the nature of a “public stoning”, “kangaroo court.” It was a set up to be used for the exact purpose it is being used for.

    Comment by Kate Quick — October 14, 2010 @ 9:30 am

  12. “A really strong social media presence, great messaging, great outreach” Thanks Lauren, what a great compliment! I was Frank’s communications manager early on, but left shortly after Mitchell did. I’m glad to know that my efforts were not left unnoticed.

    As far as SunCal is concerned, we have done our job as a community, it’s now in the hands of our legal system and we can only hope it ends well. Let’s move on.

    Our current focus as a community should be; what are our top priorities as a city, and which candidates are most qualified to address those concerns? Is it developing Alameda Point? Or the fact that if we don’t pass another parcel tax half our schools will close and our property values will plummet because we’ll all be living amongst abandoned buildings and insane traffic? Is it local jobs? Government transparency?

    Right now we have a choice as a community to either focus on something we no longer have control over, or focus on something we do have control over — electing a government that can facilitate positive change.

    I’ve been to the forums, listened to the speeches, read the papers and blogs, and I’ve even worked with some of the candidates, I know where they all stand and what they stand for. But the one comment I’ve heard from the candidates that really stuck with me was from Marie Gilmore, she said, “I play well with others”. I laughed with everybody else when I heard it, but then I realized that the reality is, it doesn’t matter what you believe in or how many great ideas you bring to the table — if you can’t build consensus, you really haven’t got much!

    So my vote is going to be with those that can build consensus, that I trust, and that are realistic. They’re not just telling me what I want to hear, or what everybody else is saying — they’re telling me what I need to hear, and what they’re going to do about it.

    Comment by Lorann Snow — October 14, 2010 @ 10:14 am

  13. Thanks for the info Lorann, I updated my post to reflect your contribution to Frank Matarrese’s campaign early on.

    Comment by Lauren Do — October 14, 2010 @ 10:34 am

  14. #6: John & Denise, SunCal has absolutely no clue about being politically effective in a civil manner, Saying SunCal is “tone deaf” is the most charitable way one can describe their behavior and their disastrous results here and in Albuquerque, etc.

    SunCal DOES have the legal expertise to potentially win a few points in court and/or pressure the City of Alameda into making an out-of-court settlement, which will be a nasty but final reminder of the city’s failure to negotiate in good faith as well as the City Council’s failure to lead.

    The Council, by not placing a density limits amendment on the ballot themselves. missed the opportunity to have a “clean:” and publicly vetted initiative on the ballot – one without the toxic elements that SunCal’s contained. This was perhaps the single biggest failure by any party to the ENA over its life.

    Comment by Jon Spangler — October 14, 2010 @ 11:56 am

  15. 12. There’s only one priority in this city that buries all others by comparison. One which you didn’t mention but one that we can have control over if any candidate has the political acumen and the guts to really deal with it. All the candidates voice the usual concern but leave nothing but the taste of deja vu in the mouth.

    Comment by Jack Richard — October 14, 2010 @ 12:13 pm

  16. 10:
    “And the only reason SunCal lost Measure B, I’ve been told by the man himself, is because they failed to take the advice of their “Advisor,” Jon Spangler.”

    Wrong again, Dennis. I never claimed that SunCal could have lived happily ever after with Alameda solely on the basis of following my advice (which was not always mine alone, BTW).

    SunCal had already committed several big mistakes -potentially fatal ones, IMHO – before they even constituted the Advisory Committee of over 12 members of the community that included me.

    I have only claimed that they *might* have salvaged their efforts and the ENA had they simply acknowledged what many people in Alameda were already saying about their proposed initiative by June 2009. But the Advisory Committee never had input into crafting the initiative or how the petitions were circulated and signatures gathered: we came into the picture after SunCal had pretty much fatally shot itself in the foot. as it were.

    When they submitted the signatures (despite my almost-lone voice in opposition from within) to place the flawed initiative on the ballot SunCal’s fate was pretty well sealed.

    Had Suncal started over form scratch with a simpler (less greedy) and non-threatening initiative they might have regained some credibility and won an extension of the ENA thereafter based on more good will. But they forged ahead and we have the ensuing mess to clean up.

    What really grieves me is that our own City Council’s failure to lead (by placing an amendment on the ballot to alter our density restrictions at AP only) was arguably the direct antecedent (cause) of SunCal’s
    subsequent and disastrous failures in the political arena, where they keep demonstrating their complete incompetence.

    Comment by Jon Spangler — October 14, 2010 @ 12:13 pm

  17. SunCal DOES have the legal expertise to potentially win a few points in court and/or pressure the City of Alameda into making an out-of-court settlement, which will be a nasty but final reminder of the city’s failure to negotiate in good faith as well as the City Council’s failure to lead.


    I disagree that the City did not negotiate in good faith. Remember many of the council members supported SunCal before they decided to try and ram a one sided development agreement down our throats through a ballot initiative.

    I think many leaders felt they could no longer trust SunCal.

    Also I’m a little disturbed by your comment. Please explain. It almost sounds like you’re rooting for SunCal to win in court in order to teach Alameda an expensive lesson. That would be like shooting ourselves in the foot. I’m sure thats not what you’re saying.

    Comment by Karen Bey — October 14, 2010 @ 1:30 pm

  18. Karen, I don’t think anyone is “rooting for SunCal”. It would be an expensive “root.” When the ICM declared them to be out of compliance before the end date of the ENA, that concerned me, not because I was rooting for them, but because I was worried that the City’s methodology might attract unnecessary risk. Lena sent me information that said the City Attorney and ICM had considered the risk and the City Attorney considered it to be “minimal.” Lawyers cost money. A lot of money. Also time for city staff to prepare the case, attend depositions, amass records, etc. Not a cheap proposition, and one, if it can be avoided, should be. The City is having significant financial problems, and money paid to lawyers does not put a cop on the beat or a firefighter in a truck or open library hours, or more recreational opportunities for our kids. It is a big waste. If the plan was to get rid of SunCal, we may have chosen a poor methodology to do it; one that insured maximum risk, rather than minimum risk. I wonder if we could have achieved the same goal using a less risky method. Win or lose, we are going to spend a bundle on this one. (I hope we prevail, but am concerned about some of the steps that were taken which might not be so defensible in court.)

    Comment by Kate Quick — October 14, 2010 @ 3:39 pm

  19. 15:

    Jack, what is that single priority “that buries all others by comparison”?

    Did you mean the unfunded pension obligations of $75 million?

    Our crisis of open government?

    The redevelopment of AP?

    Your post was unclear as to your meaning.

    Comment by Jon Spangler — October 14, 2010 @ 4:13 pm

  20. Re #18

    Wait just a second here. I want to be clear.

    You really just said, without provocation or enticement, that Lena sent you City emails, too, Kate? Why? Yet your mutual friend Nancy O’Malley “exonerated” Lena?

    Lovely. Really. Every day things become more and more clear around here.

    A “Quick” recap: SunCal, John White, Lauren Do, the Firefighters Union… and now the former head of the League of Women’s Voters. Who else is on Lena’s open email list?

    Comment by Adam Gillitt — October 14, 2010 @ 4:23 pm

  21. 17, 18:


    I am far from “rooting for” Suncal. I lost whatever shreds of support that remained (and there were not many, I assure you) when Jeff Mitchell showed me the anti-Gallant hit piece mailer last week.

    I am resigned to – but not at all in favor of – the *possibility* of a partial Suncal victory in its breach-of-contract suit against the City of Alameda, or an out-of-court settlement in Suncal’s favor. They do have good lawyers and deep pockets, and know legal battles better than political ones. Of course I am not pleased by this prospect: who in Alameda would be?

    I have previously outlined my own thoughts about why they might be entitled to win a court judgment against the City of Alameda, but the City Council’s failure to place a charter amendment is a major part of the city’s failure to be a full partner with Suncal.

    And the council’s abject fear of public reaction to such an amendment coming from the council was their major reason for paralysis (versus leadership).

    It was, I am afraid, a very costly failure to lead.

    Had the City Council placed a “clean” initiative on the ballot, that would have avoided most of the mistrust that began developing only *after* Suncal, being forced out into the cold, had to write an initiative on its own, without any experience or sensitivity for doing so.

    And we all have lived through the result of that debacle.

    Comment by Jon Spangler — October 14, 2010 @ 4:29 pm

  22. Kate,

    I think the City did a good job in presenting the case against SunCal and denying their ENA extension. I was pretty impressed with their presenation. The City even gave SunCal plenty of time to prepare a rebuttal, but their rebuttal arguments were weak.

    And I also believe that SunCal is sueing us not for revenge — but to retrieve some of the millions they invested in the project. As long as there is that much money left on the table, SunCal will use every trick in the book to get it back.

    The key here is to not “turn on each other and blame each other for SunCal’s failings”.

    Comment by Karen Bey — October 14, 2010 @ 4:44 pm

  23. Adam,

    Sharing the fact that the city is comfortable with it’s strategies and risk is not sharing privileged information. You seem to think that council people live in a bubble in which they can’t speak to anyone about issues in the city. Not everything that comes out of the City Attorney’s mouth is privileged, contrary to her own opinion.

    for one purportedly running on an open-government platform, you should do some research into the rules around public records and non-exempt communications, it would make you more credible as a candidate.

    But while you’re adding to your list, may you can answer why you and the ICM and the rest all forget to add David Howard to your list of “people who received information from Lena Tam” is it because it doesn’t fit your narrative?

    Comment by John Knox White — October 14, 2010 @ 4:54 pm

  24. Jon,

    I was happy to see you come out against that mailer and against SunCal last week — which is why I wanted clarification on your earlier post.

    Again, no matter how one feels about the ICM, now is the time to unite against SunCal and their ruthless tactics. To even suggest that SunCal has rights because the City made mistakes, gives the appearance that you support SunCal and their suit against the City.

    Comment by Karen Bey — October 14, 2010 @ 4:56 pm

  25. Dearest Adam. Yes, I talk to Lena; she is a good friend and has been for many years. Yes, we e-mail and she answers questions when she can just as she would for any constituent. I took her comment to be “not to worry about it.” and did not consider it anything “private”. I appreciate that Lena gets back to people who ask questions – sometimes with the answer, sometimes referring me to appropriate city staff, sometimes telling me she can’t answer the query. Wow, is that ever EVIL! I mean, this woman values dialogue with the community and transparency in government and how weird is THAT?
    Sometimes we share jokes or articles we have read that we know might be of interest to each other. I do that with many of my friends and I hope you do not see that as nefarious or strange. My husband and I enjoy many friendships in our community, many with people who do not share our political points of view. We communicate via telephone, at dinner parties, company over, etc.

    I have never met Nancy O’Malley, but freely admit I voted for her. Hard choice, since she ran unopposed.
    I don’t know why you are so angry.

    Comment by Kate Quick — October 14, 2010 @ 5:07 pm

  26. 19
    Notice what you put at the top of your list, Jon? Bingo. My comment was perfectly clear.

    Comment by Jack Richard — October 14, 2010 @ 5:31 pm

  27. Kate:

    I am not your dearest, nor do I wish to be. Your condescension along with your manipulations of local politics and politicians along with smug cheerleaders such as John White are abhorrent.

    Comment by Adam Gillitt — October 14, 2010 @ 5:56 pm

  28. Aidan Barry, working on AP for several years before SunCal arrived, told me that working with the City was as difficult as working with the Navy, and that he limited his projections to 1700 homes because that was the most he could build and still be compliant with Mwasure A/Density.

    His best legal advisors told him that Measure A could not be sups deed only for the Point, and hence City Council would never attempt such a suspension. And please remember, Aidan worked many years wirh Ron Cowan, going back to the voters instituting Measure A, and Aidan’s father before that with Utah Construction.

    When I saw Measure B, I knew the voters of Alameda would never suspend Measure A and leave themselves open to density all over the island, especially those of us with any sense of history. SunCal’s dumb maneuvers with the signatures, unfunded infrastructure, etc., just made the outcome more lopsided.

    So, Jon, in your capacity as a SunCal advisor, did you warn them about suspending Measure A? Asking the voters to do so? There was much discussion of that during their campaign.

    Comment by Dennis Green — October 14, 2010 @ 6:04 pm

  29. Adam the dearest was sarcastic, not condescending. As to manipulation, I think Action Alameda has the corner on that market for down and dirty politics. I just state my case. If you agree, o.k., if not, I completely agree that that is your choice and know it is your right. That is not the same as smear campaigns and telling lies. You are completely entitled to your opinion and I should be entitled to mine. Civily stated.

    Comment by Kate Quick — October 14, 2010 @ 6:57 pm

  30. re 29

    Then stop telling lies. Lena dispensed with ethics and so have you. Your choice is to reward and endorse the establishment and squelch those who look to expose your misdeeds.

    My choice is to illuminate the harm you and your cronies bring to Alameda.

    Comment by Adam Gillitt — October 14, 2010 @ 7:10 pm

  31. Kate and her cronies–I number myself among them bring meals to Midway Shelter, volunteer in classrooms and at the library, serve on boards of volunteer organizations We have worked for many years, long before Adam arrived here, in many capacities to make this a better place for all Alamedans. It is sad to see that we have degenerated into a mean spirited name calling community.

    Comment by Barbara Kahn — October 14, 2010 @ 8:12 pm

  32. Thanks, Barbara. I love my cronies; they all work hard every day by positive community service, to make Alameda a better place to live, work and play. And every one is a caring, loving, ethical person. Wish I were as smart as you. Cronies rock!

    Comment by Kate Quick — October 14, 2010 @ 8:23 pm

  33. The irony is how you crones don’t even understand Lauren’s title of this post and how it describes your present role in this community.

    Comment by Adam Gillitt — October 14, 2010 @ 8:32 pm

  34. Kate and Barbara, if you two don’t stop hasseling Adam he might just grab you by the wrist and start sceaming at you.

    Comment by John piziali — October 14, 2010 @ 8:58 pm

  35. More to the point of Lauren’s post, SunCal is trying to influence this election. Today, waiting in my campaign mailbox, was this check for $250:

    I will not be cashing it, I will be returning it to its source because of several reasons: they are located in Irvine, not Alameda; if you read their website at, it’s about 50 lbs. of BS in a 5 lb. bag, and most significantly, the first link I could find about them other than their own promotions was this:

    As I have said on numerous occasions: My candidacy is about serving the Citizens of Alameda and their interests first and foremost. Unlike other candidates, I will not entertain donations from outside concerns, whether they be developers, lawyers for developers, companies associated with developers, or friends of developers. I do not need a campaign war chest of $50K to prove my ethics or sincerity to the people.

    Comment by Adam Gillitt — October 14, 2010 @ 9:05 pm

  36. Thanks, John. I’ll have my spiked wrist bands on to puncture his fingers as he tries to mess with me. I am one dangerous old woman, donchaknow?

    Comment by Kate Quick — October 14, 2010 @ 9:07 pm

  37. I noticed that Adam conveniently hasn’t answered JKW’s question in #23. The man is increasingly acting weird (and weirder) … perhaps as realization dawns on him that he might just be consigned to the bottom of the vote tally.

    Comment by David N — October 14, 2010 @ 10:05 pm

  38. So now Kate is a dangerous Goth Punkette! But really…”Dirty Politics?” As if there’s any other kind…

    Kate may shave her head and sport spiked cuffs, but politicians pose as harmless people, even as they scheme ways to defeat their opponents. I find Adam quite refreshing.

    But none of the serious questions ever get addressed on this site by the Punkettes and usual suspects. Alternate plans for the Point? Non-starters unless they’re Measure A compliant. Even Tony and all the others envisioning some sort of West End Renaissance, just don’t get that. The rest of us will never risk a suspension of Measure A that almost certainly could not be restricted to the Point.

    Measure A is not some flexible little zoning ordinance that can be different from one neighborhood to another, but a city-wide density ordinance that prevents the sort of hideous, L.A.-style apartment buildings souring the landscape before it was adopted, or the forest of high-rise condos Ron Cowan planned on building in Harbor Bay.

    The people you call “Nimbys” have the vision to see what Alameda would be like without Measure A. And the candidates we call “The SunCal Slate” are not being attacked by “Alameda Point LLC.”

    Comment by Dennis Green — October 15, 2010 @ 3:20 am

  39. 38. whose a punk? you with yer black Darth Vader outfit, and death skull jewelry, not to mention your Johnny rotten attitude. You are also hopelessly clueless. Measure A can be altered just as it was created, but even without that you are ignoring the density bonus. We could alter A for the Point and fine the design or simply let the developer cram a density bonus driven design down our throats. Good morning!

    Comment by M.I. — October 15, 2010 @ 7:59 am

  40. 25
    Kate, since you revealed you are personally receiving email correspondence from a city government official, would you please, in the interest of “open government”, kindly post any and all said emails related to the position the official holds as an elected official of this city, so the rest of the citizens of this city can read them?

    Do you not think that if an elected or non-elected official of this city receives an email query from any citizen of this city which pertains to that official’s position with the city or any matter that concerns the city, that that city official has a responsibility to publish both the query and the response to all citizens of this city?

    Comment by Jack Richard — October 15, 2010 @ 8:50 am

  41. Dennis Green, the unstated support Measure A had from citizens who lived here during those times, was the inbred fear of Island citizens seeing their city turning into an extension of what was happening to Oakland at the time, i.e. white flight to the burbs. It wasn’t the apartment buildings replacing decrepit Victorians so much as who would be dwelling in them.

    Not sure that fear would hold under current situation. Many things have changed in this city since the 70’s. Under the right design, I think MA could be modified.

    Comment by Jack Richard — October 15, 2010 @ 9:11 am

  42. Jack, our e-mails have not been about anything substantive, and as she is a friend, are often sharing jokes, articles from newspapers and magazines, invitations and so on. I delete stuff, like notices of events after the date has passed, and don’t have anything to share at the moment. I rarely address Lena on the City web site formally, but we “chat” privately. I did ask her the question about the risk that I posted via her city e-mail and she did respond with the information that it was minimal.
    I also occasionally ask questions of, or give my opinion to, all the council and mayor via e-mail when an issue of interest arises. Sometimes I get feedback from them; sometimes not. Frank, Marie and Lena are the most frequent “getting back to you”. Nothing out of the ordinary; nothing secret or clandestine. Gosh, if every opinion of every citizen were posted on the City web-site it might become a little ponderous, don’t you think?
    Anyway, if you want to come over I will give you a cup of coffee and you can examine my computer any time. It bears no big secrets.

    Comment by Kate Quick — October 15, 2010 @ 9:39 am

  43. Jack. post 41. As someone living here for 67 years I would agree with you on your opinion of why measure A was passed. Also your last sentence, “under the right design, I think measure A could be modified.” We may not always agree on issues but I know that I can speak to you without having to shout. Have a good day.

    Comment by John piziali — October 15, 2010 @ 9:51 am


    Now connect that with #35.

    Comment by RM — October 15, 2010 @ 11:18 am

  45. Impressive! You can’t touch this:

    Comment by Carol — October 15, 2010 @ 11:27 am

  46. What a breath of fresh air! No slamming of his opponents; no scare tactics about the “SunCal Slate”, just his accomplishments and interests. This is a campaign ad I like! (I am still voting for Marie, but I honor Frank for doing a good, clean ad. thank you!)

    Comment by Kate Quick — October 15, 2010 @ 11:46 am

  47. Kate, I intended to get your opinion on my two questions. I was not advocating for you or any city official to reveal their private emails…or computer files.

    John, you’ve got twenty years on me…not age, just being a denizen of this remarkable island

    Seventies here were weird times. Don’t know if Green was here then, that’s why I was curious. I’m sure the factors he spoke of are valid reasons for MA but outside of city politics, at the street level, there was a whole lot of fear going on. MA was one manifestation of that fear. Hard to prove it but those who lived here at the time, outside of the ritzy areas, know what I mean.

    Comment by Jack Richard — October 15, 2010 @ 12:25 pm

  48. 45 Isn’t that tune copyrighted?

    Comment by Jack Richard — October 15, 2010 @ 12:28 pm

  49. God Bless Queen Kate! We mean it, Man…


    Comment by Dennis Green — October 15, 2010 @ 12:37 pm

  50. 24: Karen,

    Suncal has legal rights in court regardless of how the company has treated us or how we feel about it. I am simply for the proper and fair hearing and resolution in (a) court(s) of law of these kinds of disputes.

    My personal; feelings are irrelevant to the pursuit of justice through the courts.

    Suncal’s political activities are quite another matter.

    Comment by Jon Spangler — October 15, 2010 @ 1:09 pm

  51. 26, 19:

    Jack, until your reply in 26 I did not know what your meaning was: you *assumed* that we could either read your mind or could recall your previous post. (I cannot do the latter and always appreciate people who are straightforward and transparent in their meaning, which you usually are.)

    Comment by Jon Spangler — October 15, 2010 @ 1:13 pm

  52. 28, 38:

    Dennis, You got your facts wrong again.

    As flawed as Measure B was (and I knew it as well as anyone), it only proposed lifting Measure A’s density limitations at AP, not anywhere else on the island.

    As much as I am personally convinced that higher-density TOD zoning would improve both Park and Webster Streets, I still favor keeping Measure A outside of Alameda Point initially.

    If we are going to amend City Charter Sec. XXVI (that’s 26 for those of you who are rusty on your Roman numerals), lets maintain a comfort margin for the voters after such a long period without building much multifamily or multidensity housing on the main island of Alameda.

    Comment by Jon Spangler — October 15, 2010 @ 1:28 pm

  53. Post #47. Jack you should have seen our High school boundry lines back in the 60s. The Gold Coast down to Washington Park went to Alameda High. My good friend Nick Cabral went to Encinal High and he lived East of Grand, trouble was he lived on the North Side of town. I have lived outside of the “ritzy” areas all of these sixty seven years, and I do know what you mean.

    Comment by John piziali — October 15, 2010 @ 1:36 pm

  54. #53. Not to mention how the boundries were set for the Franklin and Lincoln Park Public/Private pools. My friend Ann Muir, who lived on Paru across from the Franklin Park pool said that kids from the south side of Central could swim there but not from the North side of Central. Gold coast only, thanks very much.

    Comment by Kate Quick — October 15, 2010 @ 3:04 pm

  55. 51.
    No Jon, I assumed everybody knows what the one issue in this city, in this state and in this country, that makes every other issue insignificant by comparison, is.

    You don’t agree?

    Comment by Jack Richard — October 15, 2010 @ 5:58 pm

  56. Kate, was that Ann Miller Muir, my mother was close to Congressman Goe. Miller who as I recall had a daugther. Alameda was a very wonderful place at that time if you were a child who did not understand how the world worked.

    Comment by John piziali — October 15, 2010 @ 6:04 pm

  57. #52 Am I reading this correctly “I still favor keeping Measure A outside of Alameda Point initially.” As in after we get rid of Measure A at the Point we will work on getting rid of it on the rest of the Island? Please tell me I am mistaken and that is not what you were saying.

    Comment by J.E.A. — October 15, 2010 @ 6:21 pm

  58. Yes, John P. Ann Miller Muir, who was my dear friend for some 30 years and died just a few years ago. I miss her a lot, particularly during campaign seasons. She was just about as smart as anyone I ever have known, had a great sense of humor and a biting wit. I loved her dad, George, too. He was our Congressman for almost 30 years before that young upstart, Pete Stark took him out. He had great stories about politics and about Alameda.

    Comment by Kate Quick — October 15, 2010 @ 10:44 pm

  59. Kate. From what I remember my mom telling me Congressman Miller and his wife Esther were some super good people, she really liked them and he was very good about advising my mom on things. I will talk to her on Sunday and get some more info. from out of the past. My Mom is 93 and still clicking.

    Comment by John piziali — October 16, 2010 @ 10:32 am

  60. 55: Jack, I won’t necessarily argue with your claim that the unfunded pension obligation is a huge problem. But I believe that the solution is relatively straightforward:

    1) negotiate new contracts with our employee unions and our non-classified managers, and

    2) Finance bonds to retire the obligation in a fiscally responsible manner.

    I would argue, however, that redeveloping AP is actually a more complicated and thorny issue, and therefore is more pressing/important, even if the financial impact might appear to be smaller. (And I believe that the impact of redeveloping AP will, in fact, be hugely significant to Alameda, one way or the other.)

    In the end, though, my beef with you was purely an editorial one. You yourself just said that you:

    “assumed everybody knows what the one issue in this city, in this state and in this country, that makes every other issue insignificant by comparison…”

    Assuming that one’s readers always agree with you or read your mind about which issue(s) are most important is a risky proposition. And it certainly violates the rule we always follow at Linda Hudson Writing:

    “Always make it easy on your readers.”

    (The corollary that applies to your original post is: Don’t make them work hard to figure out what you mean.)

    Comment by Jon Spangler — October 16, 2010 @ 5:12 pm

  61. 57:

    JEA, I personally believe that it would be fine to lift the density limits at Alameda Point as well as in the Park Street and Webster Street business districts now. But changing the charter that much all at once may give lots of people pause.

    That is why I am perfectly happy to see the density limits in the City Charter changed only at AP for now. Doing so would limit the density increases to an area with defined boundaries and few of the risks that some people – perhaps you are one of them – associate with raising the density limits on the rest of the main island.

    I am personally convinced that once we have demonstrated the success of a sustainable and transit-oriented development at AP it will be easier for Alameda’s residents and voters to see the advantages of TOD and sustainable multidensity redevelopment. When voters see how well it works at AP it will be easier for all of us to envision it working along Park or Webster Streets.

    In other words, I am fine with a gradual and limited approach to implementing higher density in Alameda
    so we can control our own destiny.

    Comment by Jon Spangler — October 16, 2010 @ 5:25 pm

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