Blogging Bayport Alameda

July 15, 2011

Alameda really does love the Lab

Wednesday night’s Lawrence Berkeley National Lab meeting was pretty awesome.  I arrived at about 6:15 or so opting to eat at home first so I didn’t have to worry about being hungry during the event.  It was a good thing that I did because friends who had already made it to the event reported that most of the food already gone having been pounced on within the first 15 minutes or so.    It looked like the Scolari’s truck was still dishing out hushpuppies and corn, but the line was 30+ deep.

Suffice it to say, there was really good turnout.

The Auctions by the Bay Theater was packed, we walked in with plenty of time to spare and ended up in the waaayyyy front where apparently no one likes to sit unless totally desperate for a seat, but a lot of people were standing in the back and on the sides of the theater.   One of my companions was stuck outside and texted to say that the entrance to the theater was packed and he was stuck outside.   I’ve heard estimates around 500 people.

The presentation by the LBNL folks was very interesting, essentially they went through the sort of work that they do, pointed out where their satellite offices currently are and spoke to why they wanted to consolidate all these satellite offices.

As I mentioned in an earlier comment, when Mayor Marie Gilmore spoke she gave shouts out to both Denise Shelton and Richard Bangert for their early social media work to build support in Alameda for LBNL.   And City Manager John Russo set the tone for the evening by summing up two major points that seemed to be hit on throughout the night for other public speakers.

  1. LBNL may be tolerated in other communities, but in Alameda they will be loved
  2. Alamedans don’t agree on a lot of things, but the overall consensus is that Alamedans love LBNL and want the second campus in Alameda.

Then the City made its presentation.  I have some photos of some of the slides, nothing fancy, but will give those that weren’t able to attend a bit of an idea of what was presented.

Yesterday, John Russo and Marie Gilmore took to Twitter to both tweet about Wednesday’s event:

While Alameda is the first stop on the LBNL roadshow, there are still steps that people can take to show their support.   You can still “like” both the Official and Unofficial Facebook pages.  And letters, I’m sure they wouldn’t mind letters of support.   You can also fill out a postcard of support at City Hall and I’m sure that the Main and Branch libraries have a stack there for you to grab to show your support.


  1. I’m not trying to be snarky, but had to comment because I’ve seen the fire marshal make over flow crowds at city Hall vacate. I guess nobody want to spoil this party.

    Comment by M.I. — July 15, 2011 @ 6:57 am

  2. Alameda Patch noted that the marshal did the same on Wednesday night too. I didn’t hear about it since I was already seated and in the way front. By the time I left the crowd had thinned out considerably.

    Comment by Lauren Do — July 15, 2011 @ 7:06 am

  3. That, “Second Campus Sites Under Evaluation” map is a killer.

    Comment by Jack Richard — July 15, 2011 @ 8:57 am

  4. So, if LBL decides to come to Alameda, anyone know who’s going to pay for the infrastructure: sewers, electrical, telephone, cable, internet, not to mention fire & police services?

    Comment by Richard Hausman — July 15, 2011 @ 10:55 am

  5. Richard, I think that is the elephant in the room. I didn’t attend the presentation, but I haven’t really seen any serious discussion on the very questions you bring up.Yes, the area that has been chosen for the Labs, but how do you connect the wet and dry utilities? You can’t just carve out a corner and say, let’s do this part first.

    I would love to see more details about the cost of bringing the LBNL to Alameda, including how the City plans to give the land away for “free.”

    Comment by Dave L. — July 15, 2011 @ 11:29 am

  6. 3

    I just learned the NEW Definition of “Community”

    Equals all people with their hand in the City Cookie Jar recieving funds via the City.

    Consultants and their Employees and Families and City employees and those with special sweetheart Leases and Tax Exemptions.

    Comment by John — July 15, 2011 @ 11:54 am

  7. 1,2: The fire marshall DID keep lots of latecomers (dozens) from entering the Auctions by the Bay Theater after it had filled to capacity: many people, including myself, were turned away and directed to Room 201 at City Hall West where the city had set up a live video feed. Apparently, the sound did not work well at the remote site: I heard several people mention the lack of audible audio to the fire marshall as their reason for returning to try and attend the live event in the theater. He may have relented a bit after that, but most folks who had been turned away had already gone home by then.

    I was able to wrangle my way in after verifying that Linda had saved me a seat – also down in front – and promising the fire marshall to exit if the seat was gone by the time I got there. (Luckily it was still available.)

    Comment by Jon Spangler — July 15, 2011 @ 12:13 pm

  8. Well, um, the 500 or so people that showed up may love the lab, but there are some of us that stayed away simply because we don’t have enough information yet to make an informed decision if it will in fact be beneficial to alameda. I didn’t want my presence to be construed by anyone as being in support of the lab. So, you didn’t mention the Q and A. How did that go? Were there a lot of good hard questions like Mr. Hausman (#4) raised, and were the answers from the Lab and our City Fathers (and Mothers) informative, factual, believable? What kind of questions were asked? Odd, that the few reports I’ve heard about the event don’t mention the Q and A, which I was told would ‘of course’ be a part of the event.

    #1- Mark, I have also been in Council Chambers when the Fire Marshall has been very strict about the number of bodies in the room, blocking the aisles, etc. These occasions i have observed, of course, have been when there are people protesting something our City Fathers (and Mothers) are trying to do. NOT when there is major support for something they want to do. Snarky? Curious?

    Comment by Al Wright — July 15, 2011 @ 12:33 pm

  9. Lauren, did U fill out a “postcard”? You’re supposed to fill 1 out & return it to City Hall, even if U don’t have time to write a letter. Abt 1000 were tacked up on the wall in the theater lobby. Al, if you had gone, you could have picked up a wealth of info about what the lab is doing from the handouts in the lobby! Unless you’re a conspiracy theorist who thinks all National labs (including Brookhaven, Argonne) lie to the public about what they do, all your concerns have been addresses in spades in City & LBNL documents. Why don’t U read them???,

    Comment by Alameda vigilante — July 15, 2011 @ 12:47 pm

  10. Alameda Vigilante: Thanks for reminding me about the postcards, I added it to the post.

    Comment by Lauren Do — July 15, 2011 @ 12:52 pm

  11. This whole Lab business makes me think it’s a repeat of a bad marriage.

    DOD chose little Alameda in a forced marriage quite awhile ago. Lasted fairly well but eventually old DOD got restless and lit out leaving the little damsel in distress with nothing but empty closets and sweet promises.

    Damsel struggled along as best she could. Even found a few shack-up partners to help defray expenses. A few partners even propose marriage but, at the last minute, the Damsel decided she could do better and always backed out.

    Then, out of the blue, a smart, suave new guy who seemed loaded with money and who just happened to be DOD’s younger brother DOE showed up spreading the word that he was seeking a mistress. But, he said he would only choose one if she had the same high qualities as his wife back home. Well, all the neighborhood cutesy damsels including Alameda set about trying to outdo one another in hopes of being chosen as the new guy’s mistress.

    What the young maidens didn’t know was that both DOD and DOE live off their father’s earnings and that the father is bankrupt.

    Comment by Jack Richard — July 15, 2011 @ 1:21 pm

  12. 4 & 5

    Those are good questions. My guess is that Mission Bay, who were the master developers at SF, wants to use this opportunity to be the new Alameda Point master developer and start with something that the community wants like LBNL. If Alameda gets chosen by LBNL, Mission Bay will want an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement with the city to develop the remaining acreage. That seems to be the staff’s objective.

    Lil Arnerich said that Alameda went from 100,000 to 70,000 people after the Navy left, and that we will have no trouble returning to pre-Navy population levels. We will still be able to get across town in 15 minutes. It sounds like we will have no traffic problems with redevelopment of Alameda Point.

    Comment by Dennis V. — July 15, 2011 @ 1:21 pm

  13. There was really no Q and A and it’s too bad those with reservations or specific questions were not there to voice them. Here’s what I’ve learned in living here over 25 years: If you don’t make yourself heard, you probably won’t be. Don’t know if Jack was there, for instance, but since he seems to be perhaps the only consistent voice of dissent, if he and others like him don’t get more visible, no one will hear what they have to contribute to the discussion. Online participation is not enough.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — July 15, 2011 @ 1:44 pm

  14. 13

    “If you don’t make yourself heard, you probably won’t be. Don’t know if Jack was there, for instance, but since he seems to be perhaps the only consistent voice of dissent, if he and others like him don’t get more visible, no one will hear what they have to contribute to the discussion. Online participation is not enough.”

    You can See How well this has all worked out for The City Treasure and Auditor and all the concerned citizens regarding our Financial Condition and Budget and the New Fire Fighters Contract.

    Comment by John — July 15, 2011 @ 2:46 pm

  15. 13. I couldn’t get in and Linda wasn’t saving a seat for me. After reading the accounts of what transpired (here) it sounds like there was nothing new, just the same old ‘look how great we/you are’ from the slebs ( Celebrity is no longer quite a four-syllable word: the kreck pronunciation now is sleb).

    Comment by Jack Richard — July 15, 2011 @ 2:49 pm

  16. 12.
    Let’s see, 100,000 minus 70,000 = 30,000. That’s BS. True number is somewhere around half that and that would include a couple carriers in-port and…most sailors didn’t drive.

    Not saying there’d be traffic problems with 30K workers worth of cars but I’d hate to be exiting the Island at closing time.

    Comment by Jack Richard — July 15, 2011 @ 3:08 pm

  17. “…if he and others like him don’t get more visible, no one will hear what they have to contribute to the discussion.”

    There we are, see us? We’ll stop it! We will be heard!

    Comment by Jack Richard — July 15, 2011 @ 3:17 pm

  18. #13- “If you don’t make yourself heard, you probably won’t be. Don’t know if Jack was there, for instance, but since he seems to be perhaps the only consistent voice of dissent, if he and others like him don’t get more visible, no one will hear what they have to contribute to the discussion.”

    Denise, don’t give me that bs about showing up and speaking your piece. were you at or did you listen to/watch the special City Council meeting this past Tuesday? How many citizens stood up at the podium and said ‘this is a great deal for Alameda, better grab it right now! We are behind you 100%’? How many citizens stood up to express dismay, caution, concern, outrage? When the vote was taken, who did the City Council (our City Fathers and Mothers) listen to? I also have a problem with the short notice of that meeting, but that’s a topic for another day. What about the vote to approve the firefighter’s contract? I believe the largest number of speakers at the City Council meeting that night expressed concern, dismay, reservations. When the vote was taken, did our City Fathers (and Mothers) take take their concerns to heart? Puhleeze!

    #9- Mr. Vigilante, I am not a conspiracy theorist, although there has been plenty of fodder in Alameda (Our Fair City) in the past two years or so to fatten that golden calf. I have read LBL’s material, and it speaks to all the good things they have done, what wonderful new toys they have given to us, but there is no info about who’s gonna pay. And remember, our C. F.’s (a. M’s) want to give them the land for free (or maybe for a small donation to help pay off campaign debts-who knows?). Conspiracy? Do you not see a small inkling of collusion or conspiracy in our C. F.’s (a. M’s) collectively accepting $28,500 from the firefighter’s union in between election cycles and then getting their contract approved so handily? What is that old saying around the ole firehouse? “Where there’s smoke, there’s probably fire”? Sheesh.

    Comment by Al Wright — July 15, 2011 @ 3:43 pm

  19. It doesn’t sound like a good investment on the part of the firefighters, if they contributed to the mayor and the council members who (1) gave them NO raises for the 6th year in a row; (2) made the firefighters pay more into their pensions to reduce the City’s contribution; (3) eliminated lifetime retiree health benefits for spouses; and (4) reduce their current health care benefits. Sheesh. If I were the firefighters, I would ask for my money back.

    Comment by Dan — July 15, 2011 @ 3:52 pm

  20. I was very impressed with all the presentations and the speakers that expressed their support for LBL. It was
    nice to see so much community support and to watch Lil Arnerich roll out the red carpet for LBL – I couldn’t
    stop laughing.

    Staff did a great job putting this together!

    Comment by Karen Bey — July 15, 2011 @ 4:13 pm

  21. Lab is great job source for Alamedans

    U.S. Department of Energy
    Office of Inspector General
    Office of Audits and Inspections
    Inspection Report

    DOE/IG-0850 April 2011

    The objective of this inspection was to determine if contractors,
    including subcontractors, at the Lawrence Berkeley National
    Laboratory (Berkeley) site verified the employment eligibility of
    their employees in accordance with Federal requirements prior to
    those employees accessing the site.

    Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) where one
    of the primary purposes of the Recovery Act was to stimulate the
    economy and provide employment for citizens and other eligible
    workers. Further, of the $29 million in Recovery Act funds, $2.7
    million was received by subcontractors included in our review.
    Based on our detailed review of 236 Form I-9s collected from 19
    subcontractors who were involved in infrastructure upgrades at
    Berkeley, we discovered that:
    • Fourteen were dated on or after our request for information
    and sixteen were missing or could not be produced;
    • Twenty-seven had supporting documents that were expired;
    that is, documents that had not been updated and re-verified
    as required to ensure continued employment eligibility;
    • Thirty-two were missing required key employment
    eligibility elements, such as expiration dates for documents
    that establish identity and/or employment authorization, or
    required documentation such as a Social Security card,
    driver’s license or permanent resident card.

    Click to access IG-0850.pdf

    Comment by Jack Richard — July 15, 2011 @ 5:47 pm

  22. Friday, July 15, 2011
    “Many scientists … are becoming demoralized by the funding situation and its prognosis for the future,” he said. “Under these circumstances, there is good reason to be concerned about the future of science in America.”

    “Researchers and politicians fear that the consequences of cuts similar to HR 1 could extend beyond cancelled projects and laid-off scientists.”

    Comment by Jack Richard — July 15, 2011 @ 6:00 pm

  23. I’m with Dan (19) on his view, (though I would also have liked to see fire fighters give a bit more, like 12% instead of 11% and kicking spouses off retiree health care for current employees who have not retired yet, etc. but this is a digression). I think the fire fighters surveyed the political landscape and put their money on those that were most apt to give them a better deal in any event. To me it’s not like Marie Gilmore was offering to give them a great deal IF they greases the campaign skids. It’s more like she was firmly saying she was not happy about the idea of changing existing contracts when it comes to long term commitments like benefits, versus new hires. The problem is that changes for new hires will take years to have any real impact. Look at it as FD giving money to those who are not the people who are against them, as opposed to buying favors.

    Al, I wasn’t able to attend or I would have, though I would not have been that into it, nor would I have wanted to be counted as for or against, because I’m simply too muddled to take a position. I don’t think it matters if you effect votes, it is still the right thing to show up and be heard.

    BTW, because I’ve been an acquaintance of Al Wright for a number of years through civic activism I am happy to respectfully disagree with him about stuff. For example, his position of the school parcel tax was disappointing, but I was pleased he explicitly supported getting the state funding as opposed to just being against more taxes because they suck.

    comment 6. by contrast is just more cynical BS which puffs up the troll making the comment, but doesn’t really contribute to the community in any significant way, either by adding substance to the dialogue or by establishing comments as credible by taking responsibility for them as a real person.

    “John”, I’ve set up up again so you can now tee off on me with more sophomoric, abusive retorts. Have fun.

    Comment by M.I. — July 15, 2011 @ 6:35 pm

  24. You considering a political career later on, Mark?

    Comment by Jack Richard — July 15, 2011 @ 7:23 pm

  25. It was a great and positive event for Alameda for once. I didn’t stay for the comment section because the food was gone by the time I got there and I was starving. So much support, so much positive energy and the funny thing about it I would guess over half the crowd to be over Jack’s age. People showed out in force…the standing notation and people holding up signs, clapping, yelling shocked me as so unsual for Alameda.

    And as far as the free land principal and the concepts you missed alot by not being there, as they explained it. And as far as the infrastructure and the private/public concept, you missed it. And as far as bringing high paying well educated jobs to Alameda, you missed it. And as far as bring support jobs to Alameda, you missed it. And as far as what LBL’s intentions are and what they do and the thousands and thousands of spin off jobs which are not only in the Bay Area but across the world, you missed it. And how they support they provide to local colleges and schools (high schools) by internships and going in and teaching, you missed it. It wasn’t a sell job, but they have a proven track record. This that why is why hundreds neighbors showed up which was more then they planned showed up and I went a home hungry.

    Make it to the next meeting, show your support or ask questions. There will always be a Dave Howard, but there won’t always opportunity unless you are willing to look for it. And to end it I can’t believe J.Lo and Marc Anthony are spliting up and I sat here to write this rather then go watch E Entertainment in the other room…not that I actually really care.

    Comment by Joe — July 15, 2011 @ 8:02 pm

  26. 24

    RLOL. Wouldn’t that be special………Brown 25 for Mayor and Fulltime Fertilizer Spreader….. It kinda has a ring to it

    Jack You need to

    ” Look at it as FD giving money to those who are not the people who are against them, as opposed to buying favors.”

    Bribery, a form of corruption, is an act implying money or gift given that alters the behavior of the recipient. Bribery constitutes a crime and is defined by Black’s Law Dictionary as the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of any item of value to influence the actions of an official or other person in charge of a public or legal duty.

    The bribe is the gift bestowed to influence the recipient’s conduct. It may be any money, good, right in action, property, preferment, privilege, emolument, object of value, advantage, or merely a promise or undertaking to induce or influence the action, vote, or influence of a person in an official or public capacity.[1]

    Comment by John — July 16, 2011 @ 8:52 am

  27. In my remarks at the meeting, I did try to inject a dose of realism into the community rally by raising potential barriers to siting LBNL’s campus here. I then committed to work with LBNL to address those barriers.

    Management of traffic through Oakland’s Chinatown is one such barrier I mentioned. Another barrier is the pressure that thousands of new jobs would put on our limited housing stock. A few years ago hundreds of low income residents were expelled overnight from Harbor Isle and our Alameda Community. Adding hundreds of well paying jobs without accompanying housing would, eventually, evict even more low income residents than the renovation of Harbor Isle apartments did. These residents support our merchants, other businesses and mass transit and bring cultural diversity and other benefits to our community.

    Such a large number of well paying jobs would also increase the pressure on our existing supply of housing accessible to our middle class citizens of modest means, such as teachers and many entrepreneurial shop owners, potentially making Alameda too expensive for them to live here as well. I also noted that to get the fine restaurants and other services requested by LBNL at the site, larger numbers of nearby residential units would provide traffic for the businesses in the evening and on weekends.

    One major step to addressing all of those problems is to build hundreds of condos, apartments and townhomes, in addition to hundreds of single family homes, near LBNL’s 2nd campus. At the meeting, I publicly stated my committment to working with affordable housing groups, like Renewed Hope, and environmental groups, like the Sierra Club, to facilitate such steps to support LBNL’s efforts to build their second campus at Alameda Point.

    Both Renewed Hope and the Sierra Club are discussing actions that would make it easier for LBNL to site its 2nd campus at Alameda Point. Your input into that discussion, either on this blog or through other forums, is welcomed.

    Bill Smith

    Comment by William Smith — July 16, 2011 @ 10:32 am

  28. 25
    Joe, ever think about finding more about a proposal than what the salesmen tell you?

    Comment by Jack Richard — July 16, 2011 @ 11:15 am

  29. This doesn’t even include all the Homes in Alameda more than 3 months behind in Payments

    Alameda, CA foreclosures Saved Searches Save this Search 1-10 of 248 Alameda foreclosures

    Alameda, CA foreclosures within 15 milesSaved Searches Save this Search 1-10 of 11742 Alameda foreclosures

    Alameda, CA foreclosures within 10 milesSaved Searches Save this Search 1-10 of 5782 Alameda foreclosures

    Alameda, CA foreclosures within 5 miles Saved Searches Save this Search 1-10 of 3087 Alameda foreclosures

    Comment by John — July 16, 2011 @ 11:19 am

  30. 27

    There are 721 Bank owned Properties in Alameda.

    Maybe we do need more affordable housing for those that walked on their properties and bank took over.

    Comment by John — July 16, 2011 @ 11:33 am

  31. Bill,
    In the beginning there are only 800 employees….Alameda Landing is building 330 more houses. But I am sure as the base gets built out there would be more housing stock. Most Teachers alreally can’t afford to live in Alameda, unless they have had their place for a long time. The tunnel is reverse commute.

    As for shop owners most have gone out of business after a short time on the West End…except liquor stores. Webster Street is slowly becoming more and more hair salions. In the last few years, Tillies is gone, New Zenlander is gone, Everett Jones is gone, Accoutetta is gone (could never say it and can’t spell it), the sewing place is gone, car place is gone (both of them), a chineez place I tried one and went to go back to is gone, the Market at the center of Webster and Central is gone, Blockbusters is gone, Ben’s Barbaque is gone, Art gallery gone, Little Candy gone, Round Table gone (replaced by Straw Hat, which I like better), computer place next to it gone, Angeles moved to the other side of town, Chevy’s gone, Pillow Park on Park downsized or gone…pot store move in on Webster somewhere (I don’t know if it is still here), New places this year that I know of the formers: New Zealaner, Tillies, Accoutetta, Ben’s Barbaque…but for how long?

    The new Target will clog the tunnels and hurt business on the West End much more than LBL.

    The Navy had much more of an impact then LBL, who seem to be environmentally friendly and consciences. Something will happen at the base someday “where you like it or not” (Gavin Newsome quote), so it is time to reconize this may be the best choice. I am not saying don’t ask questions, but be open as you seem to be.

    As I see it the base is virtually, literally falling apart. I notice another burnt out building when walking to the meeting the other day.

    Comment by Joe — July 16, 2011 @ 12:04 pm

  32. #30. .Please go back and check that link. Most of those properties are outside of the city of Alameda.

    Comment by RM — July 16, 2011 @ 3:06 pm

  33. 31
    OK, Joe,
    First) If both the base and Webster St. are falling apart why would the Lab want to move here. Please don’t confuse the Department of Energy with the Department of Housing and Human Development. It’s not their mission to rebuild west Alameda.

    Second) If Alameda is the ideal place for the Lab, that means they should plan to stick around for a long time. Accordingly, let’s make the land free to the Lab contingent on them signing a fifty-year lease stating that if they leave for any reason during the lifetime of the lease they must reimburse the City for all expenses incurred by the City spent on the Lab and all expenses incurred for lost revenue until the free land is sold.

    Comment by Jack Richard — July 16, 2011 @ 4:10 pm

  34. I believe Lil Arnerich was talking about WWII population, not the population when the Navy was last here in the late ’80’s, early ’90’s. There were many houses that became flats or multiple units because of the housing pressure during the war, when thousands came here to work in the shipyards. Believe Imelda Merlin’s book would have the details. It would be even more true then, that most households had either 1 or 0 cars, not 2 or 3 normal today. All the same, we live in an urban environment and concern about traffic seems overblown.

    Comment by Kevis Brownson — July 16, 2011 @ 4:44 pm

  35. The bottom line on the choosing of which of the short list sites will host the Lab is both out of Alameda’s or anybody else’s hands, including the Lab’s. The site will be chosen through algorithmic methods. The algorithm they use will take all the known data about each site and produce the best fit for the Lab without humans knowing why. No one at DOE will make the decision.

    Just like netflix recommends which DVD is best for you (and is right 60% of the time utilizing comparatively obsolete algorithm software), just like movies are now made based on algorithms determining which will make money (and which ones were good) DOE will choose the Lab site based on sophisticated algorithms…and they will be right. And nobody can refute it or will understand it.

    This isn’t black magic, it’s the natural progression of software.

    Such is decision making in the 21st cent.

    Comment by Jack Richard — July 16, 2011 @ 5:14 pm

  36. Jack,
    There is no arguing with you because you have one opinion and I another. The base is literally falling apart, just open your eyes. Most except the main streets are in disrepair, all the building need painting and new roofs, the asbestos water pipes leak like a sieve, buildings which contain lead paint, Parks long forgotten, siding on the gym blown off, black mold or mildew on the old whites, shuttered buildings have most of the unboarded windows broken.

    I was in the Air Force and the bases were immaculate, my brother was in the navy at that time at Alameda it was immaculate. 20 year or more with minimum maintenance doesn’t work. One of my favorite houses if I won the lottery is 1617 Central…I would buy it and restore it (which would cost more than to rebuild it), since there hasn’t been no maintenance for so long, it will be more and likely be torn down in a few years. Don’t tell me the base is not falling apart, because I just have to open my eyes to see it.

    The part of the base that LBL would be in would take the least amount of work, that is way they put them in that part of the base…the phasing of infrastructure would be minimal.

    No more discussion Jack unless I happen to meet you once again at Pasta Pelican, you won’t change my mind and I won’t change yours. You are entitled to your opinion.

    Comment by Joe — July 16, 2011 @ 5:32 pm

  37. 36 Joe

    Didn’t know we had met at the PP, never met anybody there who wasn’t agreeable…though, not always with me. Plus, I think you misunderstood what I wrote about the base condition. I agree with you. It was falling apart when I was first stationed there (with all due respect to your brother) in the sixties and never got better.

    I also spent a lot of time on Air Force bases…Naha, Kadena, Misawa, Andersen, Hickam, Robins, Ramstein, Hahn, Spangdalhem, Bentwaters, Mildenhall, Aviano, Incirlik, Torrejon and without exception they were all immaculate compared to Navy Bases.

    We have the same opinion, Joe.

    Comment by Jack Richard — July 16, 2011 @ 6:16 pm

  38. Just completed a document with 2000 and 2010 census numbers. There is some historical numbers back to the 1970s.

    Comment by Mike McMahon — July 16, 2011 @ 9:24 pm

  39. John,

    In the 20 plus year time frame of the development of LBNL’s second campus, our current housing correction is merely a blip in a long term trend that is driving businesses out of our State. The State’s high housing prices are a major reason why many businesses are leaving California. California’s current low bond ratings (worst of the 50 states) attest to the consequences of business unfriendly policies like those that restrict the marketplace from fulfilling the need for environmentally more sustainable multi-family residential development.


    Yes, the last few years have been hard on businesses on the West End – and everywhere else in Alameda for that matter. More jobs and residents in stable households on the West End would improve the business climate there. While strictly more jobs would provide a limited boost to businesses, it would be disastorous to the stability of many families that currently rent unsubsidized housing. These families provide important services to all of us. Some of these services are non-glamorous, like janitorial, food and transportation, and some more glamorous, like teaching our children, Do we really want to unnecessarily increase the need to subsidize housing for those who provide these vital services by restrictive regulations on the housing market?

    We can insure that siting LBNL’s second campus in Alameda will benefit more of us if we also free the market to supply a greater range of housing types close to the new campus where the jobs will be. To do otherwise, would detract from the legitimacy of the environmental theme LBNL envisions for their second campus.


    Comment by William Smith — July 17, 2011 @ 6:48 am

  40. Bill,

    If you keep adding more supply of housing in Alameda that will help drive housintg prices down in Alameda there will be Tidal Wave of Foreclosures. You don’t flood marketplace with more housing when supply is at these levels.

    Companies Leaving California in Record Numbers

    California currently ranks #49 among U.S. states for “business tax climate” (Tax Foundation) and #48 for for “economic freedom” (Mercatus). It shouldn’t be any surprise then that companies are leaving the “Golden State” in record numbers this year (see chart above) for “golder pastures” and more business-friendly climates in other states.

    “Today, California is experiencing the fastest rate of disinvestment events based on public domain information, closure notices to the state, and information from affected employees in the three years since a specialized tracking system was put into place. Out-of-state economic development officials are traveling through the state to alert frustrated business owners and corporate executives to their friendlier business climate versus California’s hostility toward commercial enterprises.

    Our losses are occurring at an accelerated rate. Also, no one knows the real level of activity because smaller companies are not required to file layoff notices with the state. A conservative estimate is that only 1 out of 5 company departures becomes public knowledge, which means California may suffer more than 1,000 disinvestment events this year.

    Based on the legislature’s recent rejection of business-friendly legislation and Sacramento’s implementation of additional regulations, signs are that California’s hostility towards business will only worsen. California is such fertile ground that representatives for economic development agencies are visiting companies to dissect our high taxes, extreme regulatory environment and other expenses to show annual savings of between 20 and 40 percent after an out-of-state move.”

    Comment by John — July 17, 2011 @ 7:37 am

  41. ‘The Top Ten Reasons Why California Companies Are Calling the Moving Companies’

    The #10 Reason Companies Leave California – Unfair Taxes: The Tax Foundation in their newest report lists California at No. 48 for tax fairness. CFO Magazine, which surveys corporate tax executives. ranked California the worst state in how it treats its taxpayers. That view is echoed by the Council on State Taxation finding that California is the worst state for tax laws – the only state to receive a D- grade. As the American Legislative Exchange Council pointed out: “Despite the dubious distinction of having both the highest statewide personal income tax and the highest state sales tax in the nation, California still finds itself with far and away the largest budget deficit of any state.” In March, the National Conference of State Legislatures reported that California is still the number one state in raising taxes – raising them higher than the other 24 states that increased taxes in 2009.

    #9 – Most Expensive Business Locations: The Rose Institute of State and Local Government in Claremont reported in its latest survey that California cities continue to be some of the most expensive locations to do business in the United States. That was confirmed by the Milken Institute, which found that California businesses are paying 23% more than the national average just to operate here.

    #8 – Worst Performing Labor: The Pacific Research Institute last August found that California’s labor performance in a recent five-year period, at a ranking of 48, makes it among the worst performing in the nation.

    #7 — Dreadful Legal Treatment: The Civil Justice Association of California said the state ranks 44th in legal fairness to business. Los Angeles was again named the least fair and reasonable litigation environment in the entire country.

    #6 – Worst Regulatory Burden: The consulting firm Bain & Co. constructed a “regulatory hassle index” that found “California is far worse than any other state by a very significant margin.” This finding was echoes by Development Counselors International that found that 72 percent of surveyed corporate executives listed California as having the “worst business climate” in the entire United States.

    #5 — Harsh Treatment Motivates Exists: Again Bain & Co. found that more than half of California business leaders – an astonishing 60 percent – said they have policies in place to restrict job growth in the state or move jobs to other U.S. locations. Some companies are quite open about this, like Intel, which has said it will never build another plant in California, and McAfee in March admitted it intentionally avoids hiring in California, has transferred entire departments elsewhere, and saves about 30 to 40% every time it hires outside of the state.

    #4 – Downright Unfriendly: The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council in Virginia found that California ranked 49th overall in terms of business friendliness. That was echoed in February when The Mercatus Center at George Mason University ranked California 48th in economic, regulatory and personal freedoms in the 50 states.

    #3 – Uncontrollable Spending: Extravagant spending causes California to now have the lowest credit rating of any state. A recent poll shows that 83% of this year’s likely voters believe the state’s budget situation is a big problem. A Stanford University professor interpreting the polls concluded that people are much angrier about California government – more than they’ve ever been in recorded polling history.

    #2 – Excessively Adversarial: For two years in a row Chief Executive magazine found California to be the worst state in the nation in which to do business. Said one CEO, “California is terrible. Even when we’ve paid their high taxes in full, they still treat every conversation as adversarial. It’s the most difficult state in the nation.” The magazine calls California the “Venezuela of North America.”

    And the #1 Reason – Unhappiness: The nine reasons above have a cumulative impact that results in unhappiness. This year reported that California ranks 46th on a national “Happiness” list and our political culture and policies cause problems for those who attempt to attract and retain businesses.

    If anyone thinks only the Tea Party people are upset with the way California government is run, note that I just cited 17 sources and not one owes its existence to being an anti-tax organization.

    The 17 sources referenced are, in order mentioned, the Tax Foundation, CFO Magazine, Council on State Taxation, American Legislative Exchange Council, National Conference of State Legislatures, Rose Institute of State and Local Government, Milken Institute, Pacific Research Institute, Civil Justice Association of California, Bain & Co., Development Counselors International, Intel, McAfee, Inc., Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, Mercatus Center at George Mason University, Chief Executive magazine and

    Comment by John — July 17, 2011 @ 7:39 am

  42. Are Calif. businesses closing or leaving?

    More than one in five (21%) of California small-business owners do not expect to be in business in California in three years, according to a recent survey by Small Business California, an advocacy group in San Francisco.

    It’s a number Small Business California President Scott Hague calls “scary.”

    Comment by John — July 17, 2011 @ 7:50 am

  43. John,

    Thank you for providing informative background for my observation that California’s business climate is not very competitive. Note that both sources you cited listed California regulations as a significant problem.

    Your first source ranked California #48 for “economic freedom” (Mercatus) and the second noted that the 6th most significant contributor to California’s poor business climate is “Worst Regulatory Burden.” Government restrictions on housing and promotion of jobs that lead to unbalanced growth are excellent examples of the harm that limiting economic freedom by restrictive regulation does to our economy.

    Regarding your comments that implied government should restrict condos, apartments and townhomes until the foreclosure crisis clears, my reply is that if there is no market for condos, apartments and townhomes, developers won’t build them. If condos, apartments and townhomes get built when foreclosed single family homes are available at deeply depressed houses – that would be a powerful message about the relative demand for the two types of housing.

    Let the market decide how many condos, apartments and townhomes are built and when, and let governments provide the minimal oversight necessary to insure that their construction enhances the quality of life for the majority of citizens. Government policies that protect the interests of single family homeowners at the expense of those who want to live in condos, apartments and townhomes harm us all economically.

    While restrictive regulation is not the only contributor to California’s less competitive business climate, it is a significant restriction and one that we in Alameda are in position to help address – and need to address to improve our own competitive position for LBNL’s second campus.


    Comment by William Smith — July 17, 2011 @ 8:06 am

  44. John’s #41, I was interested in the factoid that California ranked 46th on a list of the happiest states, since that was apparently the number 1 reason given as to why California companies are supposedly leaving California. So I went to the website notated in your comment and the most recent ranking by happiness I could find on was this one from early this year with the 2010 rankings. California is not ranked 46th, it’s ranked 18th.

    Also you declaration that your cited sources are not “anti-tax,” I think is incorrect, it would be more correct to point out that many of the organizations are business funded advocacy groups or think tanks. Simple Google searches of the Tax Foundation, Council on State Taxation, American Legislative Exchange Council, Pacific Research Institute, Civil Justice Association of California, and Mercatus Center at George Mason University reveal this bias.

    Comment by Lauren Do — July 17, 2011 @ 9:01 am

  45. 44.
    So what? Walk around Webster St. and randomly ask people you find whether they are are pro-tax or anti-tax. Then publish the results here.

    Comment by Jack Richard — July 17, 2011 @ 10:01 am

  46. 18. Hi, Al! I no longer have cable TV so I did not watch the meeting and did not go because I had nothing to say on the subject. I’m pleased that some concessions were made. It’s a start. I should also point out that, as I have said in the past regarding the theater (which I was in favor of BTW) that if the Council has already made up its mind on something, forget it. They will listen politely and do what they want to do. That said, if it’s an issue that has not already been around the block a dozen times, you do have a chance to impact the vote.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — July 17, 2011 @ 12:37 pm

  47. Lauren

    Here are the 50 U.S. states (and the District of Columbia) in order of their well-being:

    1. Louisiana
    2. Hawaii
    3. Florida
    4. Tennessee
    5. Arizona
    6. Mississippi
    7. Montana
    8. South Carolina
    9. Alabama
    10. Maine
    11. Alaska
    12. North Carolina
    13. Wyoming
    14. Idaho
    15. South Dakota
    16. Texas
    17. Arkansas
    18. Vermont
    19. Georgia
    20. Oklahoma
    21. Colorado
    22. Delaware
    23. Utah
    24. New Mexico
    25. North Dakota
    26. Minnesota
    27. New Hampshire
    28. Virginia
    29. Wisconsin
    30. Oregon
    31. Iowa
    32. Kansas
    33. Nebraska
    34. West Virginia
    35. Kentucky
    36. Washington
    37. District of Columbia
    38. Missouri
    39. Nevada
    40. Maryland
    41. Pennsylvania
    42. Rhode Island
    43. Massachusetts
    44. Ohio
    45. Illinois
    46. California
    47. Indiana
    48. Michigan
    49. New Jersey
    50. Connecticut
    51. New York

    Comment by John — July 17, 2011 @ 2:27 pm

  48. Lauren should we pay attention to CEO Magazine and what CEO’s are saying or are they just fringe group that really has no impact on communities.

    CEO Magazine

    Best/Worst States for Business
    May 3 2011 by J P Donlon

    RANK STATE 2010
    1 Texas 1 0
    2 North Carolina 2 0
    3 Florida 6 3
    4 Tennessee 3 -1
    5 Georgia 7 2

    6 Indiana 16 10
    7 Virginia 4 -3
    8 South Carolina 10 2
    9 Utah 9 0
    10 Nevada 5 -5

    11 Oklahoma 19 8
    12 Colorado 8 -4
    13 Arizona 11 -2
    14 Wyoming 15 1
    15 South Dakota 14 -1

    16 Delaware 12 -4
    17 Kentucky 23 6
    18 New Hampshire 18 0
    19 Idaho 13 -6
    20 Nebraska 22 2

    21 North Dakota 24 3
    22 Iowa 17 -5
    23 Missouri 26 3
    24 Wisconsin 41 17
    25 Kansas 25 0

    26 Alabama 20 -6
    27 Louisiana 40 13
    28 Montana 28 0
    29 Minnesota 31 2
    30 Arkansas 27 -3

    31 Alaska 21 -10
    32 New Mexico 29 -3
    33 Oregon 38 5
    34 Washington 30 -4
    35 Rhode Island 39 4

    36 Maine 37 1
    37 Maryland 33 -4
    38 Mississippi 35 -3
    39 Pennsylvania 32 -7
    40 Vermont 36 -4

    41 Ohio 43 2
    42 West Virginia 34 -8
    43 Hawaii 42 -1
    44 Connecticut 44 0
    45 Massachusetts 46 1

    46 Michigan 48 2
    47 New Jersey 47 0
    48 Illinois 45 -3
    49 New York 49 0
    50 California 50 0

    More than 500 CEOs considered a wide range of criteria, from taxation and regulation to workforce quality and living environment, in our annual ranking of the best states for business. The charts and articles in this special report show how each state fares on the factors most essential for a business-friendly environment—as well as what states are doing to attract and retain companies in the increasingly competitive battle to win site selection

    Comment by John — July 17, 2011 @ 2:41 pm

  49. Lauren we need to have taxes but let’s not fool ourselves and deny Reality and the Perception of California.

    Start saying someone is Anti Tax Blah Blah Blah as we will need speed bumps to keep companies from leaving.

    California’s State and Local Tax Burden Above National Average
    California’s 2009 state and local tax burden of 11.8% of income is above the national average of 9.8%. California’s tax burden has decreased overall from 11.8% (5th nationally) in 1977 to 10.6% (6th nationally) in 2009. Californians pay $4,910 per capita in state and local taxes.
    California’s State and Local Tax Burden, 1977-present
    Other States’ State/Local Tax Burdens
    Map of U.S. Showing all State’s Burdens and Ranks
    Historical Chart Comparing All States’ State/Local Tax Burdens from 1977 to 2009

    California’s 2011 Business Tax Climate Ranks 49th
    California ranks 49th in the Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index. The Index compares the states in five areas of taxation that impact business: corporate taxes; individual income taxes; sales taxes; unemployment insurance taxes; and taxes on property, including residential and commercial property. The ranks of neighboring states are as follows: Washington (11th), Oregon (14th), Arizona (34th), Nevada (4th) and Hawaii (22nd).
    50-State Comparison of Business Tax Climates (data only)
    2011 State Business Tax Climate Index, Eighth Edition (full study)

    California’s Top Individual Income Tax Rate Is Third-Highest in the Nation

    Comment by John — July 17, 2011 @ 3:03 pm

  50. Lauren in all the points you picked out how come you skip probably one that rings most true.

    #2 – Excessively Adversarial: For two years in a row Chief Executive magazine found California to be the worst state in the nation in which to do business. Said one CEO, “California is terrible. Even when we’ve paid their high taxes in full, they still treat every conversation as adversarial. It’s the most difficult state in the nation.” The magazine calls California the “Venezuela of North America.”

    Comment by John — July 17, 2011 @ 3:19 pm

  51. When you’re a Progressive your taxes are never too high and there’s nothing Government can’t do. You’re talking to blocked ears here, John.

    Comment by Jack Richard — July 17, 2011 @ 5:11 pm

  52. Taxes sure were a great idea when they paid Jack’s salary all those years. They’re still a great idea when his welfare check comes each month and when he sees his doctor on taxpayers’ dime(s).

    Taxes that pay Jack are necessary & proper. But Jack paying taxes? Tyranny!

    Comment by dave — July 17, 2011 @ 7:47 pm

  53. John, your link is older than mine from LiveScience. Your link is a 2009 ranking, my link is a 2010 ranking. Which just shows how unreliable rankings are.

    Comment by Lauren Do — July 17, 2011 @ 7:50 pm

  54. dave, I took the preamble to the constitution seriously and so did the people I served with. Draft doggers and slackers shouldn’t speak of Tyranny!

    Comment by Jack Richard — July 17, 2011 @ 8:18 pm

  55. I see your point Lauren. I’m sure these will change dramatically . What do CEO’s know and they have No input on where to grow their business and where they will relocate to.

    California’s 2011 Business Tax Climate Ranks 49th
    California ranks 49th in the Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index. The Index compares the states in five areas of taxation that impact business: corporate taxes; individual income taxes; sales taxes; unemployment insurance taxes; and taxes on property, including residential and commercial property.

    Best/Worst States for Business By CEO’s
    May 3 2011 by J P Donlon

    50 California 50 0

    California was 50 in 2010 and Now 50 in 2011

    More than 500 CEOs considered a wide range of criteria, from taxation and regulation to workforce quality and living environment, in our annual ranking of the best states for business. The charts and articles in this special report show how each state fares on the factors most essential for a business-friendly environment—as well as what states are doing to attract and retain companies in the increasingly competitive battle to win site selection

    Comment by John — July 17, 2011 @ 9:23 pm

  56. Jack you are so out of touch taking the preamble to the constitution seriously . Dave and Lauren probably have same Ear Doctor regarding your 51.

    Comment by John — July 17, 2011 @ 9:39 pm

  57. 54

    My copy of the Constituton doesn’t promote hypocrisy WRT taxpayer dollars.

    In fact it espouses no hypocrisy of any stripe. Apparently yours does.

    Comment by dave — July 17, 2011 @ 9:52 pm

  58. post 55. best and worst states for business by CEO’s, California #50.

    best state to live in for millions of workers California #1 it works for me and I guess Jack liked it too.

    Comment by John P. — July 18, 2011 @ 8:06 am

  59. 58. Not ‘liked’ it, JP, ‘like’ it. It works for me too. Prop 13 and senior tax breaks, what’s not to like?

    WRT 57/52 and hypocrisy. The message in these two posts is that anyone who served his country and received pay for it automatically forfeits their first amendment rights.

    Reminds me of when my wife took care of her sister’s dog off and on in the late sixties early seventies. Dog was a mixed toy poodle with lots of problems, walked with a limp, had a bald spot on its hindquarters and hated me.

    I worked swing shift back then so I could go to school during the daytime (on the GI bill…which wasn’t enough to pay book fees, but I had earned it so I used it). Usually got home from work around 1 AM or so. Dog would race out from behind the couch (where he slept) and start barking and snapping at my ankles. He was quick and times I caught him with a kick were few and far between. His nips didn’t hurt but they were annoying.

    Never did believe in reincarnation…

    Comment by Jack Richard — July 18, 2011 @ 8:58 am

  60. Your right to speak hypocritically has never been questioned. Your forthrightness has.

    Comment by dave — July 18, 2011 @ 9:08 am

  61. “In fact it [dave’s constitution] espouses no hypocrisy of any stripe”

    “Your right to speak hypocritically has never been questioned.Your forthrightness has.”

    So now you deny your first constitution’s “hypocrisy” clause and replace it with one that requires “forthrightness”?

    Comment by Jack Richard — July 18, 2011 @ 10:13 am

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