Blogging Bayport Alameda

June 29, 2011

Kate Quick: Can’t Get No Satisfaction

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda Point, Guest blogging — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:00 am

Once in a great while, most people in Alameda come together in a collective notion that all is right with the world and we are going in the right direction. The application for consideration of Alameda Point for the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab appears to be one of the things we have been able to coalesce around.

But, more often than not, we group ourselves into factions: Is the City going down the tubes financially, or not? Is all development bad, or is some o.k.? Do we want to allow low or moderate income housing or should we always go for high end homes? Are big box stores good for our tax base or will they drive out our local merchants? Should we encourage use of public transit or are we so wedded to our cars such expenditures are wasteful? Does Measure A protect us from undesirables or is it preventing us from having flexibility in land use decisions?

Public debate on these questions is both useful and necessary. Unfortunately, it is often contentious and filled with rancor, half-truths, untruths, and even slander. Our decision to characterize folks on the opposite side of the issues from us as “bad people” distracts from a fair exposition of factual information on which we should be making decisions. It is not always easy to come to consensus on contentious issues, but we need to exercise much more personal discipline to stick to the facts, avoid hyperbole and slander, and allow for the “other voices” to be heard.

I once read an interesting article about “fighting fair” – it had to do with married couples, but the principles can easily be applied to civic engagement. Stick to the facts and to the point was the main advice. Don’t dredge up old hurts; they add nothing to the resolution of the conflict. Don’t throw in personal insults about character, traits or behaviors that have nothing to do with the issue at hand. Those tactics are easy, and often get the opponent to throw in the towel, but they never lead to a mutually satisfactory result and peace.

As a community, I believe we can do better. I believe we can get farther with disciplining ourselves to be more honest, straightforward and transparent in making our case when we differ. When I say “we” I mean “me”, as well as others. I wish there were some way to get all those who are currently participating in civic engagement to take a pledge to try to do better – fight fairer – be more considerate.

We have a lot of hard issues to resolve – some of them critical to the well-being of our City for many years to come. Can we take the pledge to work together better for the good of our community and maybe “Get Some Satisfaction”?

Kate Quick is a fixture in the League of Women Voters both locally and statewide. Her enthusiasm for local service has kept her busy and her energy for tackling new projects in unparalleled.

Otis Redding > Rolling Stones


  1. Kate nice piece. I believe transparency and honesty is the issue. I only asked for one thing and was grilled drilled and BBQed and that led to huge hostilty on both ends. trying to get good information to make a responsible decision. It’s been four months and they still dodge hide evade from giving that information. The Problem is Never the Problem as Tom Peters addresses.

    This is all that I asked for. Simple report that is at their finger tips. I don’t want it in a pie chart with a bow on it or how they want to present it in bar graphs just simple numbers and up to date from 2010.

    Do you have a total breakdown of all AUSD Employees Salary and Total Compensation like the one done on the City of Alameda Employees 2008 Compensation spreadsheet ?

    Comment by John — June 29, 2011 @ 7:50 am

  2. “Unfortunately, it is often contentious and filled with rancor, half-truths, untruths, and even slander. ”

    Nice talk Kate. Could you ever walk it?

    Comment by Adam Gillitt — June 29, 2011 @ 8:06 am

  3. I do try, but sometimes I miss the mark. I think the message is for us all to keep trying to fight fair; keep to the issue, and not lose our tempers and bring in a lot of stuff that is just hurtful, not helpful. This is not a plea for us to all “make nice”. It is a call to exercise more intellectual rigor and continue our community dialogue on a higher, more respectful plane.

    Comment by Kate Quick — June 29, 2011 @ 8:54 am

  4. Without Truth Honesty and Transarency and how can we bring this to a more respectful plane. It’s all about Perception. By not coming Clean and addressing it immediately and try and push aside the perception is that we are being decieved if not worse. I can list many instances in last 4 months where this is the case with our City.

    Comment by John — June 29, 2011 @ 9:14 am

  5. I like Kate’s use of the phrase “personal discipline” in this blog post, because I do think it takes discipline — and practice — to not respond in kind to personal attacks.

    Seems like it’s often more constructive to go back to the real issue at hand, respond just to the factual errors, or ignore the attack entirely.

    Comment by Susan Davis — June 29, 2011 @ 9:15 am

  6. 2: Adam,

    From what you have commented I think you either did not get the point of what Kate wrote or you are deliberately ignoring the principles that she and others have been espousing for a much longer time than you have been active (or visible) in Alameda politics.

    Do you agree with the values she has elucidated this morning? If you do, what can you do to “walk the talk” yourself? We all can do better at getting along in a more civil manner, and it starts with being the change we want to see.

    Comment by Jon Spangler — June 29, 2011 @ 9:18 am

  7. Jon just last week you were still blaming Kapler and AMG for everything. At the same time on a different thread chastizing those who were ‘finger pointing’.

    Does it ever even occur to you just how much finger pointing and bullying YOU do?

    The same with you Kate. You always champion ‘civil discourse’ but NEVER miss an opportunity to point a finger at the other side. Go back and read your Posts.

    I hate bullying no matter who does it. It amazes me that WE fought to have this included in our schools and these blogs are just ‘bully pulpits’ for frustrated adults.

    For months this blog has picked on people. Jeez one even picked on Jane Sweeney a person who actually has accomplished something for this town.

    Now your ‘Golden Tro’ is on the ropes and collectively you are all calling on others to put their gloves on.

    Before doing that I suggest you all go back and read some on the things you have Posted over the last year. Of course for Jon that would take two years to complete.

    Comment by frank — June 29, 2011 @ 9:49 am

  8. Comment by frank — June 29, 2011 @ 10:14 am

  9. Seems like the children all seem to be doing fine, it’s the adults/parents that need the “anti-bully” lessons, maybe…………???

    Comment by Anthony Bologna Jr. — June 29, 2011 @ 10:42 am

  10. For what it’s worth, I think we should be careful of how we use the term “bullying” in context to political dialogue and critique. Using “bullying” to describe a recounting of Jean Sweeney’s actions post election with regard to a fairly old project does not rise to the level of “bullying” and cheapens the term when appropriately applied to situations when people are mocked or derided for simply being who they are. The same applies to both David Kapler and Ann Marie Gallant. They aren’t criticized for who they are or what they look like but rather what they have done that affects the City government. Using the term “bullying” simply serves to shut down valid critiques. As uncomfortable as some of the rhetoric surrounding the Memorial Day drowning (as detailed by Susan Davis’s excellent In Alameda posts) got, I wouldn’t describe that as “bullying” but it’s more accurate to describe calling people “cowards” as “bullying” then to describe a report on AMG’s contracting habits as “bullying”.

    Comment by Lauren Do — June 29, 2011 @ 10:45 am

  11. Anthony you are right. The kids know when they are being decieved , evaded and getting lied to and you truly get Honest Answers from them. They also know how to deal with Bully’s.

    Comment by John — June 29, 2011 @ 10:53 am

  12. # Well that is the obvious answer. You folks don’t realize you are bullies.

    It is sorta like all the ‘cool bloggers’ in town deciding that someone is ‘uncool’ and ganging up on them. Not just an isolated time but week after week and month after month.

    Sound famiiar?

    Comment by frank — June 29, 2011 @ 11:00 am

    • Using your definition of “bullying” I hope you will be contacting Mark Morford, Matt Taibbi, and the staff of Mother Jones for their relentless “bullying” of Michele Bachmann.

      Comment by Lauren Do — June 29, 2011 @ 11:07 am

  13. “Can we take the pledge to work together better for the good of our community and maybe “Get Some Satisfaction”?”

    In reading over the responses so far, Kate, I guess the answer is “no.” Nice thought, though. This sort of debate just attracts too many people for whom the rancor is part of the fun. As to striving for transparency, it’s a waste of time. There’s nothing wrong with the ideal of transparency in government but it will never happen because it’s not practical. Already you hear the word uttered as if there are degrees of transparency. There are not. There are degrees of translucency, but transparency is absolute. New buzz word: Translucency: “allowing light to pass through, but only diffusely, so that objects on the other side cannot be clearly distinguished.” Everybody has an agenda. Even if the agenda is neither immoral or illegal, revealing every aspect of it to everyone may insure that the agenda is never realized. That’s why they have closed council sessions. Politicians are poker players, always have been, always will be, and the good ones never let you know what they’re really thinking. It’s not bad, wrong, or evil, it’s just they way it is.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — June 29, 2011 @ 11:03 am

  14. Laureen would you call the Fire Department Brave or Courageous for their Memorial Day Actions after Swearing to their Oath as a Fireman and having probably at least 40-50 years combined Water and rescue training between those that watched.

    a coward (noun): opposite = a brave person
    cowardice (noun): opposite = bravery
    cowardly (adjective): opposite = courageous

    “My duty is to protect those that I serve from whatever danger they may face; whether it be fire, demon, or angel; no matter the danger, I will protect the people to the best of my ability. I am but a servitor of the people; my duty is to those who I serve, and to no one else. I serve The People, without fear, without remorse, without fail. My Duty is to The People. By my Fireman’s Oath, I am bound to protect those who are in danger, those in times of need, those who I would serve.”

    Comment by John — June 29, 2011 @ 11:07 am

  15. I’ve never even heard of those people. Don’t know if I have even seen a copy of MJ. I’m not a fan of Michele Bachman or Sarah Palin for that matter.

    Like I said I don’t like bullying coming from either side. I consider myself a Liberal but I dislike elitist nasty Liberals. Everyone has to be so nasty these days.

    Comment by frank — June 29, 2011 @ 11:20 am

  16. You say nasty like it’s a bad thing.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — June 29, 2011 @ 11:25 am

  17. 17


    Comment by John — June 29, 2011 @ 11:29 am

  18. Hey Lauren, get out of here! You’re supposed to be on vacation!

    #17 – yes, nasty is a bad thing if what we’re supposed to be doing is having a conversation/debate that lets the community come to a consensus and move forward on the issues that confront us.

    It is possible to be loud and passionate about your opinion on an issue, or your disagreement with another’s viewpoint, without resorting to insulting the person’s looks, character, or intelligence. Why is that so much to ask?

    Comment by david burton — June 29, 2011 @ 11:34 am

  19. 10.: Lauren, you are way too young to define the term bullying, especially to the age range of your audience. In the broadest sense, it refers to an unpopular minority being overpowered by a domineering force that can’t be reasoned with,regardless of merit. “Kicking sand in the face of the 90-lb weakling’ as they used to say. What is unseemly is the way the LGBT community has hijacked the term to apply to only them.

    Comment by not mayberry — June 29, 2011 @ 11:36 am

  20. 19. Joke, Dave. Nasty, like “doing the nasty”, get it? Oh, never mind.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — June 29, 2011 @ 11:41 am

  21. Frank don’t ever enter this Jungle without a Fullbody Bullet Proof Condom. Just when you think its safe to enter the booby traps and hangrenades start flying. The quick sand is pretty tricky also.

    Comment by John — June 29, 2011 @ 11:44 am

  22. Denise, I guess at 47 I’m too old to get the jokes. Not watching TV or listening to “popular” music doesn’t help, I guess. Maybe that’s why the lady at the checkout counter in Twain Harte gave me the senior discount last week…..

    Comment by david burton — June 29, 2011 @ 11:59 am

  23. David I would only start worring if they gave you a senior discount at the “Ranch”

    Comment by John — June 29, 2011 @ 12:07 pm

  24. 20. Just because LGBT uses the term does not in any way justify the accusation they think it only applies to them. Your claim that they do so is pretty typical of a hyperbolic strain of conservative whining about being victimized by liberals. Those “nasty” LGBT people aren’t just gaining some clout, now they are using it to pick on us regular people, supposedly by hijacking a word. Wow, that’s really nefarious. Frank’s claim that Jon Spangler has bullied people falls in the same catagory. Even the accusations at Gallant etc. which Jon has leveled simply don’t rise to bullying. Even if your world is that of a kindergarten playground and you are sensitive about being called a dooh-dooh head, Spangler is innocent. I can deal with snarky comments about the Greek economy, but taunting people about whether they’ve taken their meds, or calling them toilet bowl lickers somehow crosses what is a pretty clear line. But maybe it’s my warped perception of the world, and I’m the hyper-sensitive one. As thin skinned as I may be personally, I don’t think that changes those lines and I think it’s pretty clear which people want to cross those lines with impunity but still get to point fingers at everybody else.

    Sorry if I seem a bit obsessive about anonymity and maybe I am, but it’s because I believe ill-motivated people use it to unfair advantage, and many times the same people in the same breath cry and scream they are forced to take refuge behind anonymity because of the big bad bullies who post as themselves. More than a little hypocritical.. I understand it allows some folks who would not participate to feel safe enough to share their views and many anonymous posts make valuable points, but when people hide behind anonymity to be mean that is chicken shit and when the use it to allude being held to any meaningful standard for veracity of their statements, that makes them devious and there claims meaningless.

    Comment by M.I. — June 29, 2011 @ 12:24 pm

  25. Pleasing your enemies does not turn them into friends.


    Comment by Jack Richard — June 29, 2011 @ 12:27 pm

  26. B 25 is here. Let me put on my Snorkel.

    Comment by John — June 29, 2011 @ 12:43 pm

  27. 23. Sorry, Junior. I’ll be 53 next week and I cancellled my cable two years ago. You’re going to have to come up with some better excuses!

    Comment by Denise Shelton — June 29, 2011 @ 1:44 pm

  28. #12 I could not agree more. A group of us openly opposed Susan and John on their In Alameda anti-property tax payer campaign last year and they investigated my identity. Talk about misuse of their possition as bloggers. John said publicly that I am “notoriously” (or was it “infamously”?) known at City Hall. A few months later, I had business with City Hall that resulted in an arbitrary adverse action on my property. I am known on Santa Clara because instead of waiting years for a reply to my questions regarding corruption in the City, I took my concerns to higher oversight state agencies and will continue to do so until these matters are resolved.

    Comment by Alamatters — June 29, 2011 @ 2:03 pm

  29. Alamatters, I have no idea what you’re talking about. When did we “investigate your identity?” And what did we find?

    I’ve never outed anyone — or their sock puppets — on In Alameda, so I’m truly baffled as to what you’re talking about.

    Comment by Susan Davis — June 29, 2011 @ 2:21 pm

  30. #30 Whatever you say..

    Comment by Alamatters — June 29, 2011 @ 2:57 pm

  31. 29

    I think you are referring to Jon Spangler. I believe he has another sockpuppet for SF Gate Blog. GoldCoastJon or whoever he wants to be that day. Man of many hats. Whoever is paying that day.

    Comment by John — June 29, 2011 @ 6:30 pm

  32. How difficult is it to get the names right when they use their actual names? Come on? It’s LAUREN not LAUREEN, JON not JOHN (although there are lots of Johns to choose from), and Denise L. and Denise Shelton are two different people. I encourage people to use their own first and last names. I’ve been doing it for years and so far no one has firebombed my house, poisoned my dog, or hit on my husband–as far as I know 😉 It also gets you a little respect from the other posters. There are a couple of people here with whom I almost never agree, but the fact that they have the courage to use their own names stands them in good stead with me. I will at least read what they say instead of skipping the posts.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — June 29, 2011 @ 6:48 pm

  33. I think Kate you are correct eveyone would like to see LBL come here. This message was forwarded to everyone at Bayport…along with a flyer which I don’t know how to paste in here…so if you really want to see something positive happed here…please come.

    Please take just a moment to read below and consider bringing your family to this FREE Community BBQ at 6p.m. on July 13th. Lawrence Berkeley Lab has selected the City of Alameda as a finalist for their second campus, and if our city is selected, this will bring over 800 employees to a 2nd campus to be located at Alameda Point.

    For additional information and the summary of benefits to Alameda please refer to the link below. It is not difficult to come to the conclusion that this will likely benefit Alameda businesses, bring additional tax revenues to the city and drive up demand for rentals and homes in Alameda. Bayport Community Relations Team has endorsed this project as the most significant positive step in the foreseeable future for Alameda Point.

    P.S. Lawrence Berkeley Lab has stated that one of the main determinants for their final selection is the community excitement about the project. For that reason, it is very important that we have great turnout on July 13th! Please consider forwarding the e-mail below to other Alameda residents and business owners. If you are also willing to put up a “Let’s Put the Point to Work” yard sign during the month of July, let me know and I can coordinate that.

    Comment by Joe — June 29, 2011 @ 6:48 pm

  34. 33 …little respect from other bloggers…
    You bet, damned little.

    Comment by Jack Richard — June 29, 2011 @ 7:01 pm

  35. 34 How is giving away free prime real estate and getting nothing in return except the promise of huge potential increases in the rest of Alameda’s electrical rates (once the Lab sucks up 50% of our power) putting the Point to work?

    Comment by Jack Richard — June 29, 2011 @ 7:12 pm

  36. 33

    “whats in a name”

    Comment by John — June 29, 2011 @ 7:20 pm

  37. And besides Joe, you get little respect because, as ahem…Denise Shelton say’s, you didn’t use your real name.

    Comment by Jack Richard — June 29, 2011 @ 7:23 pm

  38. It’s fascinating how people in this city leap to give away the farm to a non-tax paying enterprise that tacks ‘energy’ onto themselves to mask the real mission of the enterprise…that being perfecting nuclear weapons (which I fully support, but not in our back yard).

    Comment by Jack Richard — June 29, 2011 @ 7:45 pm

  39. Jack I would love to see the military come back to Alameda. At onetime didn’t we have about 25K working there at height of Viet Nam War?

    Comment by John — June 29, 2011 @ 8:07 pm

  40. Glad to hear from you again, Jack. Now shut up. (said with love and respect of course.)

    Comment by Denise Shelton — June 29, 2011 @ 8:19 pm

  41. 40.
    Politics made the navy leave and politics will keep them away. Biggest employer at the base back then, by far was the aviation repair facility (O&R then NARF then NADEP) which had at it’s max (as I recall) about 10-12K during those times. Dwindled to around 4K before it closed. By and large the workforce was blue collar and reflected the ethnic menagerie of the bay area.

    41. You’ll change your tune when you get older and more mature, Denise Shelton, 53’s just a kid.

    Comment by Jack Richard — June 30, 2011 @ 8:37 am

  42. Jack, I think you got the two entities mixed up; the lab coming here has no nuclear weapon work. None. Nada. Ninguna. There are two labs.

    Comment by Kate Quick — June 30, 2011 @ 3:04 pm

  43. I know that’s what they claim, but DOE’s mission is nuke weapons perfection. When the ‘feel good’ stuff is no longer funded the appendix lab’s mission will change back to the core or be removed.

    Comment by Jack Richard — June 30, 2011 @ 3:40 pm

  44. Thanks Jack….There were alot of great guys from the base I use to play golf with and lived in town…. Unfortuntely you are probably right about the politics making them leave,… pretty sad state of affairs when we push our largest Employers out of California….They just beat the rush…

    Comment by John — June 30, 2011 @ 3:43 pm

  45. 43/45 Anytime you plan the future for this fair city, please take into account the whims of the political class.

    U.S. Science Budget
    House Cuts to DOE National Labs Would Also Hamstring Industry
    A spending bill passed by the House of Representatives last week would bring the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) entire science program to a screeching halt and wreak havoc on research funded by other agencies and by private industry (see p. 993). The so-called continuing resolution, which provides funding for the federal government for the rest of the 2011 fiscal year, would cut DOE’s Office of Science by 18%. The $4.9 billion agency supports 10 national laboratories as well as research at hundreds of universities. Republican opposition to the Obama Administration’s plans to beef up clean energy research may be the driving force behind the deep cuts, but if they are enacted—the bill now goes to the Senate, which takes issue with many provisions—the impact would extend far beyond research geared toward developing green energy technology.

    Comment by Jack Richard — June 30, 2011 @ 5:37 pm

  46. LBNL

    Paul Gilna, who directs one of three 5-year, $25-million-a-year bioenergy research centers that BER launched in 2007, doesn’t mince words when asked what would happen if the House bill were enacted. “For all intents and purposes, H.R. 1 closes down BER,” he says. …

    As its name implies, BER has a twin focus on biological and environmental/climate science, and its budget is divided almost equally between the two. Both components make competitive awards to individual investigators. In addition, the biology program supports three bioenergy research centers—Gilna leads one based at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, and the others are at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) in California and the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Each has partnered with dozens of research teams around the country to develop new biofuels that would lessen the country’s dependence on foreign oil. BER also funds the Joint Genome Institute, a national user facility at LBNL for sequencing and understanding the functions of environmental and energy-related microbes and plants.

    Comment by Jack Richard — June 30, 2011 @ 5:49 pm

  47. yes, let’s bring back the Vietnam War ! Three isn’t enough.

    Comment by M.I. — June 30, 2011 @ 6:14 pm

  48. 49 is response to 40 and 45

    Comment by M.I. — June 30, 2011 @ 6:15 pm

  49. I actually got Lena’s cell phone # one day to call her about an EBMUD question, but even though I have private email for most of council I also sent an email via city hall address to mayor, Lena and Rob Bonta, to state displeasure with fire fighters contract, because I think the ratification went down very rapidly. I’ve been busy and had wasn’t prepared. I also think that by comparison to San Jose and SFFD where there were some serious concessions, our contract didn’t make significant impact on our budget problem. On the other hand, San Jose has a huge deficit of $102 million and besides fire contract they laid off 70 police, while our gap at this point is $7.4 million if memory serves me.

    My point is that I am not some knee jerk and my communications of matters like these are not private, though they easily could be. It would still take a lot to get me to cast a vote for some other the other candidates who ran ,because if I was disappointed on this one, those other people would have been an even bigger let down in the long run. The drowning was an abomination but so was the exploitation of the situation by people who disingenuously invoked the plight poor Mr. Zack as if they cared, when they were actually gloating at the negative P.R. opportunity.

    There are a core of people opposed to Lena, Rob and Marie who will take up any and run with it if they can bash these people. An awfully lot like republicans who are satisfied that Obama has been driven right of center, but they won’t be satisfied until Medicare and social security has been abolished, and are even willing to use debt ceiling to bully everybody. Even conservative former Senator Allen Simpson was quoted yesterday making strong condemnation of Grover Norquist as a fool.

    Comment by M.I. — June 30, 2011 @ 6:30 pm

  50. NAS Alameda supported more than the Vietnam War, Mark. It played a substantial role in winning the cold war…not to mention all the in-between skirmishes.

    Course that doesn’t register as a plus to a peacenik.

    Comment by Jack Richard — June 30, 2011 @ 6:34 pm

  51. Jack, I don’t know you, but change is good….we are not all your age but what I do know is things never stay the same. LBNL does no nukes…and Alameda is not giving the “land” away free…they are getting something in return, Jobs, Sales Taxes, other Business, Infrastructure and opportunity.

    Denise, didn’t say anything about my name…my real name is Joseph. I sometime go by Joel because that is what I use at work since there is another Joe who sits next to me at work. I quit using Joel on here when someone with different opinions started using that name a while back. I don’t have a problem if people use different names it seem Denise does. I worked at a ski resort one year in college and my boss kept calling me John. I finally just let her as I knew she met me. At the end of the year she realized she had been calling me the wrong name and apologize. It didn’t bother me. A trainer at the gym I use to go to use to call me Jake because he saw me in my Jake brand underwear and introduce me to other using that name. Who really cares? Communication is communication and if you understand what someone is communicating you are okay. If people want to stay anonymous I do not have a problem with that.

    Comment by Joe — June 30, 2011 @ 6:38 pm

  52. Uh, Joe/John/Joel…really, that’s way more info than even (I believe) Denise Shelton requires.

    And, yes, the Lab will get the land free (though I doubt they’d care).

    Comment by Jack Richard — June 30, 2011 @ 6:56 pm

  53. Jack at your age don’t you realize nothing is free…you pay for it one way or another. They had free Cookware giveaways at Luckys last winter….but you had to spend like $2,000 to get the pan you wanted…sure it was free? Why do prositutes hang around…there is a demand…nothing is free? Think about your relationships, you may have given love freely, but you gave up something and maybe it was worth it or maybe it wasn’t but it wasn’t free. It may be all good or bad…but nothing is free.

    Comment by Joe — June 30, 2011 @ 7:38 pm

  54. Tell me Joe, just what is the quid pro quo in the Lab case. What does the DOE give to Alameda in return for the prime real estate property. You say dreams, I say nightmares.

    Comment by Jack Richard — June 30, 2011 @ 8:34 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: