Blogging Bayport Alameda

November 20, 2014

What about your friends

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda Point, Business, City Council, Election — Lauren Do @ 6:00 am

All future developers in Alameda take note of the master class that Joe Ernst of SRM Development taught on Tuesday night of how to do development in Alameda.   An Alameda resident and spearheaded projects like Peets and VF Outdoors in Alameda he is the face of Alameda Point Partners and knew that this proposal would face opposition based on the Calls to Action from incoming City Council members and community groups.

He brought to the City Council meeting a wave of fresh new faces that long time City Council watchers probably have never seen before and, more that that, he brought local Alameda business people to come and ask the Council to support the project.  Both businesses that are currently at Alameda Point, businesses that have had to leave Alameda, and businesses that want to come in to Alameda and that was extremely compelling.

Such as the guy who works for Whole Foods sourcing and indicated that Joe Ernst had contacted him to work on “incubator” of sorts for food production at Alameda Point.  And the woman from JC Cellers who would be part of that food production incubator and had to move out of Alameda because of space issues.  The woman who currently is a tenant at Alameda Point doing something arty and was looking forward to the possibilities that the new development would bring.  Then there were all of the Alameda residents who have been asked to partner with Alameda Point Partners from construction companies and architecture firms, residents who have a stake in what goes in and on at Alameda Point.

Then there was Doug Biggs of APC who talked about how the APC pioneers have been waiting year after year and seeing very limited benefit from the revitalization that has swept other parts of Alameda.  And then the resident recruited to work at VF Outdoor four years ago now on the precipice of being unable to afford to live in Alameda despite the good salary she makes at VF Outdoor.  The taxi driver with four children, all struggling to live in Alameda in a one-bedroom apartment.

All of these made a powerful argument as to why the current Council should move forward and despite my belief that it would be easier to wait because of the crank factor, which was out, but not in full force on Tuesday night, and I ended up glad that the City Council voted, unanimously, to move forward with the ENA.  And, I have to say that after listening to to partners the Alameda Point Partners have pulled in has made me grow hopeful and, dare I say, excited about the project again given my reluctance to get excited about anything happening at Alameda Point right now given the lack of follow through.

The unanimous vote and the support from folks in the community who generally never venture out to these meetings throws a bit of wrench into the whole: people want to stop development mantra that Frank Matarrese and Trish Spencer supporters were attempting to frame that night.

A special shout out to Leland Traiman who, as others have pointed out, was spitting mad and thrusting fingers and screaming at the City Council and evoking Rob Bonta of all people.  After his self-righteous posturing, Marie Gilmore pointed out the failure in his logic — his logic was to tell all the other Council people to respect the will of Rob Bonta who said something at some candidate forum somewhere because either they had taken over Rob Bonta seat (Stewart Chen) or they “ran” with Rob Bonta (Lena Tam) — she mentioned that if his logic was to hold that Trish Spencer would have to respect what she, Marie Gilmore, wanted because Trish Spencer was taking over her seat.  Boom.

So his response was to scream out: “But he’s in the Assembly!” as though that makes a bit of difference and then Marie Gilmore said to him, “You’re finished.”  And he spat out, “And you’re finished too!”   Charming.  This is, of course, the same person who apparently sat with Trish Spencer at the Registrar of Voters office every day during the counting process.   Birds of a feather and other such sayings…


  1. I attended the meeting and I was happy to see a very civil discussion about development at Alameda Point. One woman I spoke with said she came believing it should be decided by the new council, but after hearing the both viewpoints, she changed her mind.

    It’s was nice to see the new faces come out to speak, and it was nice to see the council vote unanimously to move forward.

    Comment by Karen Bey — November 20, 2014 @ 6:37 am

  2. After Leland’s tirade came my personal hero of sensible civic engagement, Mr. Nick Cabral. Nick apologized for Leland’s bad behavior, thanked the outgoing Council members for their service to the community, and stated his position on the matter at hand. As a guy who lives in the real world and has personally helped many young men to take the right path in life and is much loved by many, his words have gravitas. Thank you, Nick for your service, your dignity of character and your willingness to stand up and participate in positive ways to help your community.

    Comment by Kate Quick — November 20, 2014 @ 7:12 am

  3. I nominate Leland Traiman for Most Unbalanced Nutcase Ever Award. First prize is a year’s supply of Thorazine. Who else should be on the ballot?

    Comment by Dr. Padded Cell — November 20, 2014 @ 7:51 am

  4. Kate – Nick Cabral is my hero too. He has a wonderful personal story and his contributions to civic matters are priceless. I also appreciated his apolology for Leland’s disrespect to our Mayor and council. So glad Nick Cabral is part of our community and most especially the West End!

    Comment by Karen Bey — November 20, 2014 @ 8:25 am

  5. Gilmore also has flawed logic…Too
    May I point out to her that…..
    She did not Support Spencer for her position.
    Bonta supported Chen and Tam.
    Would have been best for both of them to keep their mouths shut!

    Comment by tom — November 20, 2014 @ 8:26 am

  6. Lauren, your post is a perfect reflection of my experience watching the meeting. I had NO idea about all the Alameda connections this team has. Very different from SunCal.

    Kate, I gotta say that I cringe at folks who are as glad handy as Nick, but that is just style. On substance I find his claims about the west end neighbor’s he represents to seem like so much inflated hear say. On the other hand Laura Thomas’s quote of immigrant taxi driver “from my eyes to your hands” ( see tape for explanation) was compelling. I was really proud of citizen activism in Alameda in terms of the articulate and even statements from BOTH sides, Tremain being the exception. And what an exception. A gay activist who is an outright bully. Oh the irony!

    Comment by MI — November 20, 2014 @ 8:28 am

  7. post# 3, Leland Traiman was rude nasty and uncivil, unfortunately for Frank and Trish he was representing their point of view. That certainly didn’t help their cause. I’m not going to vote for anyone else to be named.

    Comment by John P. — November 20, 2014 @ 8:45 am

  8. Did they manage to muzzle the person who four years ago gave the infamous cartpetbaggers rant at the then new city council?

    Comment by BC — November 20, 2014 @ 8:54 am

  9. I’m glad the Council is moving forward with what appears to be a developer in touch with the community. What irks me is the continuing disinformation being spread here that Spencer and Mataresse want to “stop development.” Neither one has said anything of the kind. Both are in favor of development that is accomplished with an eye to its impact on traffic and the overall quality of life in Alameda. Is it at all constructive to continue to take pot shots at those who have been elected but who have yet to weigh in on the fine points? Haven’t we had enough of the us vs. them, here come the boogiemen mentality?

    Comment by Denise Shelton — November 20, 2014 @ 9:38 am

  10. During the meeting at least three people discussed the election results as a vote to essentially stop development referring to the 10K votes for Trish Spencer and the 11K votes for Frank Matarrese as though it was some sort of mandate. Which, it should be pointed out, that Marie Gilmore also received 10K votes as well. No one is putting words into the mouths of the Trish Spencer and Frank Matarrese supporters, this is what is being presented. An example, see Trish Spencer supporter who was the second to the last public speaker.

    Comment by Lauren Do — November 20, 2014 @ 9:56 am

  11. I realized that this post fails pretty hard without video!

    Comment by Lauren Do — November 20, 2014 @ 9:57 am

  12. 9. I don’t think Spencer has any real clue about the impacts of having waited to approve this ENA, her comments were totally about asking current council to “let go” because it’s supposedly just the right thing to do. You know, “hey guys, it’s my turn.” I will argue that the practical reality would be to throw a big old wrench into the gears. No, the infrastructure may not collapse this week or next but there was a letter from one of the interim tenants who has drooped a million in improvements who was saying shit or get off the pot people because sooner or later we have to protect our investments and that may mean bailing on the Point. Their credo may not be “Stop Development”, but the practical impact of Spencer style dithering is to slowly suffocate whatever topic by running in tiny circles bibbling about how an i needs to be dotted or a t crossed. No ability to maintain a focus on an end game, even the agenda of her own supporters.

    Content aside, purely in terms of style and comportment, Trish’s statement did not bode well for her gaveling a meeting. People who may hate Marie are lying if they won’t admit she “generally” chairs meetings with a good amount of style, grace and good amount of focus, even if she fails to maintain at times and rolls an eye once in a while at the likes of a Tremain.

    Comment by MI — November 20, 2014 @ 10:01 am

  13. 10K votes, 40K registered voters. not a mandate

    Comment by MI — November 20, 2014 @ 10:03 am

  14. He has a point , to a certain extend
    Too bad he choose to express it so badly!

    Comment by Joel Rambaud — November 20, 2014 @ 10:30 am

  15. Denise, if you watched the meeting it was clearly stated by a financial expert, and others that without housing there is no money to do the infrastructure. Therefore no business will stay in a crumbling area like the point , also you cannot attract new business at the point without new infrastructure. Frank and Trish are against housing on the base and they have stated that, there were requests for proposal sent out to developers to do just jobs on the point and none of them were interested because of the infrastructure problem we have out there. At this point in the process the city certainly dose not have the funds to do the infrastructure if I understand this correctly no housing means no development.

    We need people living on the point to make it a part of our community ((housing). It would also mean that the developer would put in the infrastructure. I’m not taking pot shots at this point, I’m going to have to hear what Frank has to say about how he can get the point developed without housing.

    Comment by John P. — November 20, 2014 @ 10:34 am

  16. I hope Gilmore doesn’t play poker…because she’s got an obvious “tell”. She has always deliberately mispronounced the names of people she doesn’t like!

    Marie Gilmore brought the tirade on herself. She mispronounced Leland’s name, as “Leland Tremain” loudly three times before he came to the podium. That would provoke anyone. It’s not like he has never spoken at council before. She knows better.

    She mispronounced “Matar-AH-sseeee”, like she always does. It sounded like she even called Trish “Marilyn Spencer”, when she first called on her to speak.

    But Gilmore managed to correctly pronounce “deBardeleben”. Fancy that. DeBardeleben looks a lot more difficult to pronounce correctly than Traiman.

    And Nick Cabral mad a total ASS of himself at that meeting. Piziali is wrong: Nick Cabral christened himself “Mayor of the West End”, and unless he has moved lately, HE DOESN”T EVEN LIVE THERE!!! I wish he would stop pretending to be something he is not. Anyone who lives East of Eighth Street does not live in the West End.

    He says he lives across the street from the Del Monte. How is the Del Monte building in the West End?

    Stop claiming we should “leave your West End alone”, Nick. I am sick & tired of this fiction, which Marie Gilmore only perpetrated by making him “Mayor of the West End” in the parade. There are many old-timers, navy folk, still living in Alameda who have forgotten more about the West End than Nick Cabral ever knew.

    John Piziali has a better claim on the title “Mayor of the West End” than Nick Cabral. Nick Cabral lives in Central Alameda, just like I do.

    Comment by vigi — November 20, 2014 @ 10:46 am

  17. Based on a conversation I heard this week, many of the friends of the new Mayor and Frank want no development at the point. They were advocating just parks and playing fields, the use of which would be limited to Alamedans. Since Trish Spencer was closely allied with the people who are for park preservation and expansion, they feel that she will be eager to stop all development and give the base over to “open space”. They were saying that this will require no infrastructure so the cost of replacement of infrastructure was a bogus argument. They did not mention what will happen to the current business leasing there who are experiencing failing infrastructure so I am unsure if they want them to stay or go away.

    I am concerned that some may believe that parks and open space will require no investment or maintenance costs whatsoever. No lights; no trails; no access roads or parking lots; no water or toilets or plantings or noxious weed abatement and no backstops or field improvements or policing or recreational supervision. I have no idea how they will reconcile the vision of beautiful, usable, safe parks and no investment, but I would like to hear how in practical terms this could happen.

    As a community, we should have this discussion as part of the stop development or slow it to a crawl change in direction. I am not advocating for either side, but for a full airing of the reality of both sides.

    Comment by Kate Quick — November 20, 2014 @ 11:00 am

  18. The problem is that Spencer was soooo unclear about what she’d actually do about development that she’s got the crazies thinking she’s on her side, whether she actually is or not. Frank is a lot smarter than she, and will be better able to distance himself from loons like Leland and some of the ACT. If Spencer so much as makes a not completely hostile comment about development, the wild squawking will start.

    Comment by BC — November 20, 2014 @ 11:01 am

  19. Vigi, I had to giggle at your comment. Mayor Gilmore pronounced Tremain as I have heard it for years so many of us have it wrong. Having been involved with the City and the Mayor she is acquainted with the me and the pronunciation of DeBardeleben, As you can imagine, many are not and I’ve heard it pronounced every which way imaginable.My maiden name is McKereghan, so mispronunciation is something I’ve dealt with my whole life. At no time have I or would I ever consider this a reason of provocation that would send me into a tirade, nor do I think most with difficult names would.

    What is a bit more concerning, is Mr. Tremain is someone who the Mayor-Elect (which, I agree, when stated by Gilmore did sound a bit like Marilyn). has been associated with politically for sometime.The behavior he displayed on Tuesday evening has been seen before. I wonder, is this what we have to look forward to for the next four years?

    Finally, if there was an ASS, as you so delicately put it, in the room Tuesday evening, it was not Mr. Cabral.

    Comment by Anne DeBardeleben — November 20, 2014 @ 11:39 am

  20. It will be interesting to see what happens in six months. The development agreement will need 4 votes, so I guess Mattarese will be the key to moving forward anytime soon.

    Comment by BMac — November 20, 2014 @ 11:44 am

  21. Do? agreements need four votes?

    Comment by let's see — November 20, 2014 @ 12:29 pm

  22. Post #16, vigi, you are acting more like a 13 year old every day, As for Nick, he has been my very close friend for over 55 years, and I will call him the Mayor of the West End. As for me, I’m just Mr. Snarky on Lauren Do’s blog.

    Comment by John P. — November 20, 2014 @ 12:29 pm

  23. Anything dealing with the transfer of land from the City to a private entity will require four votes of the City Council.

    Comment by Lauren Do — November 20, 2014 @ 12:37 pm

  24. Lauren is correct. It takes three votes to talk about the matter, to take interim steps, like repairs or improvements pending transfer, but when it comes to actual transfer of the property it will take four votes. That is why some of the speakers on Tuesday night clearly stated that it was useless to begin a process with three votes when, in the end when it came to actually doing the transfer, there are not four votes to do it, so don’t even start. They are clearly referring to the new Mayor and Frank as the new council people as the two who will never vote for this development. At least, that is what I heard many of the opposition saying.

    Comment by Kate Quick — November 20, 2014 @ 1:14 pm

  25. How about a 500 year transferable lease of the land? Mostly kidding.

    Comment by BMac — November 20, 2014 @ 2:54 pm

  26. Sorry Vigi but Mr Cabral is the Mayor of the West end because if all the work he has done with the Encinal High, Boys club youth as well as just being a positive presence in the West end. Are you the Queen of Grand street? Also I always chuckle when your last name is mispronounced because that skit in the Mel Brooks classic young Frankenstein comes to mind when he is introduced as Frankenstine and he responds with “it is Frankensteen to you.”

    Comment by alan P — November 20, 2014 @ 4:01 pm

  27. Just watched the video. Nasty little elf, just in time for Christmas! I didn’t know who it was at the time but I’ve seen him angrily pushing his shopping cart around Safeway. He makes a memorable impression.

    Comment by BC — November 20, 2014 @ 5:07 pm

  28. There is an East End and West End. Nobody really speaks about a Central Alameda. If you live between 9th and Willow, you don’t have to claim either, but you can claim if you want, with Grand as the divider. It is so ordered.

    Comment by BMac — November 20, 2014 @ 10:06 pm

  29. my wife’s smart phone has GPS which labeled a photo of our house Bronze Coast. who programed that? I’d heard the term recently, but living at Oak at the lagoon I didn’t know we lived there.

    Comment by MI — November 21, 2014 @ 7:26 am

  30. If you live in the middle of town, you live in “The Heart of Alameda”, hows that.

    Comment by John P. — November 21, 2014 @ 7:54 am

  31. Actually, #26, he pronounces it “Fronkenstëen”

    Comment by Linda on Otis St. — November 21, 2014 @ 8:10 pm

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