Blogging Bayport Alameda

March 5, 2015

Dysfunction junction, how do you function?

Filed under: Alameda, City Council — Lauren Do @ 6:05 am

I don’t even know where to begin, so I’m going to start with:

OMG, that City Council meeting was probably the best City Council meeting I have ever watched.

From a pure entertainment and content perspective it delivered.  And it delivered big time.  I can’t even express to you how much awesome was contained in this, five, six hour meeting.  I haven’t even made it all the way through and it has become my all time favorite tv show episode ever.  And I just watched the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills where Lisa Rinna just broke a glass after Kim Richards vaguely threatened to spill some secret about Lisa Rinna’s family.  Yeah, the City Council meeting was better than that.

I’m just going to take one moment at a time, because each moment deserves its own special place in the spotlight.

Because narrative cannot alone show you how great it was.  Video.  Annotated and I boosted the audio in one section for you.  You’re welcome.

Let me set up the scene for you.  This is the agenda item about the WETA maintenance facility that is planned for Alameda.  Just so we’re clear apparently here is the hierarchy of importance in Alameda:

Jobs trump homes, but wildlife trumps jobs.  Just in case you were wondering.  Alameda loves business and jobs, but not when the business and/or jobs may interfere with wildlife.  Alameda: Open for Business, unless you are going to potentially displace wildlife and then, we’re closed.

Anyway, staff came back up to the podium to answer additional questioned posed by the City Council.   Evidently one of Trish Spencer biggest supporters — who has literally been to every single meeting since she has been seated and spoken on every single agenda item — had a problem with staff answering questions and wanted to be able to rebut his statements like it’s court or something.   So what he does is he crosses the bottom of the screen and approaches the City Clerk.  I’m assuming the conversation is going something like

“You need to reopen public comment”

“No, public comment is over, we can’t reopen it”

“But that guy is speaking again”

“He’s a staff person, only the Mayor can reopen public comment”

“I want to pass a note to the Mayor”


“Can I have some paper so you can pass a note to the Mayor?”

“I guess…”

Then you see (and hear) the City Clerk rip a piece of paper from her pad and hand it over.

After than you can see the Assistant City Manager glance over at the City Clerk with questions in her eyes.  To which the City Clerk jerks a thumb in the general direction of the Trish Spencer supporter, in the universal sign of “That dude…”

He then dispenses with the note writing and just starts talking (I annotated when he started talking) and Trish Spencer immediately leaps up and starts heading over in his direction to…I’m not sure what she was going to do.

You can hear Councilmember Marilyn Ezzy-Ashcraft say, “Hello?” the polite person’s way of saying “What the fuck?”

And then, City Manager John Russo steps in.  Which this tweet referenced so perfectly:

After all of this, thankfully Marilyn Ezzy-Ashcraft recommends taking a five minute time out, I mean, break.

So that is the set up of what you are going to be watching.  And, the video:



  1. Tuesday’s City Council meeting was really hard for me to watch. While our Mayor is busy voting no on the new WETA ferry maintenance facility, an economic development project that will jump start waterfront development at Alameda Point, an investment of over $45M, and a project that will create 100+ jobs – the Oakland Mayor is promoting her city, attracting millions of economic development dollars to her city’s downtown and waterfront, and working aggressively to address the city’s transportation issues. Here’s the Oakland Mayor doing awesome work in the short time she has been elected. She’s not missing a beat:

    Here’s more on Jack London’s new Water Street Market:

    “We are entering Oakland and Jack London Square at a good time. The groundwork has certainly been laid with many successful innovative businesses in the area and more residential planned,” Carlin said.

    “Oxbow Market is modeled on San Francisco’s Ferry Building Marketplace being built by one of that project’s developers.”After the Ferry Building was finished, I thought the same model could be opened in various cities,” said Oxbow Market CEO and St. Helena resident Steve Carlin, who had worked on the Ferry Building as a project manager. “When I saw downtown Napa starting its transformation, I found the ideal property in the middle of it.” He estimates the market could draw as many as a million visitors annually.”

    Our Mayor has very little – – to no experience in this arena. I’m concerned that her lack of ability to see the “larger picture” as it relates to economic development and job creation for our city is very limited – which comes at a great price to our community.

    The Oakland Mayor is taking a page right out of Alameda’s book – doing exactly what John Russo has done / is doing for Alameda, and we’re letting him get away!

    This is really hard to watch!

    Comment by Karen Bey — March 5, 2015 @ 6:42 am

  2. So true Karen. This ferry facility has been propose for years now…where has she been? Oakland is hot right now…Alameda seems to be going backwards.

    Comment by Jake. — March 5, 2015 @ 6:59 am

  3. cheer up folks, we only have four more years of this crazy stuff.

    Comment by John P. — March 5, 2015 @ 7:36 am

  4. Realizing that the housing crisis and the transportation issues are a regional problem — not just an Oakland problem, she reaches out to partner with the SF Mayor to help solve the problem. Here’s what she did:

    The Oakland Mayor and the San Francisco Mayor joined together in a sold out Oakland’s Mayor Economic Forecast event held on Thursday, Feb. 19 at the Oakland Convention Center.

    San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Mayor Libby Schaaf revealed their visions for tackling affordable housing, transit challenges and spurring development at the San Francisco Business Times’ sold-out Mayors’ Economic Forecast.

    Being able to work together with regional leaders during this time is very important — and I’m not feeling comfortable that our Mayor is up to the task. Folks we can’t solve these problems alone!

    Comment by Karen Bey — March 5, 2015 @ 7:53 am

  5. Wow. Crazy really is Spencer’s base and so she can’t afford to aliente the insane. Is it likely this will go the full four years?

    Comment by BC — March 5, 2015 @ 8:37 am

  6. So for anyone who follows what has been going on in Alameda aside from this Blog the issue with WETA and the seals has been going on for a long time. Of course now with the approval it is coming to a head and it just happens to be during Trish Spencer time as Mayor but had it come earlier the same people would be lining up on the two sides of the issue. However it is convenient at least here to place the blame on Ms. Spencer.

    We are VERY Fortunate to live in a country where wildlife tops jobs. The argument against this has been going on since Rachael Carson. Without the three women in Berkeley we wouldn’t even have a Bay today. With any construction on the Bay there are different agencies that protect different interest. This goes beyond the scope of the City of Alameda and these agencies will fight it out and eventually there will be some resolution.

    Comment by frank m — March 5, 2015 @ 8:50 am

  7. post #6, Ms. Spencer is the Mayor right now, so she gets either the blame or the credit for what goes on in this city day to day for the next four years. She just voted against the WETA project, and she voted against the fire house replacement.

    Comment by John P. — March 5, 2015 @ 9:02 am

  8. I plan on writing about this in more detail (hopefully) but WETA produced a certified negative declaration for the project which addressed most of the issues that came up in the public comment: noise, truck traffic, etc. Which should have been required reading for members of the Council as opposed to members of the Council opining on the need for these issues to be addressed.

    Comment by Lauren Do — March 5, 2015 @ 9:08 am

  9. John, that’s how I see it too. Mayor Gilmore was blamed for everything from the drowning at Crown Beach to the fires at Alameda Landing.

    Trish Spencer’s “No Votes” send an alarming message to the business community that “Alameda is not open for business”. This message could not only impede our efforts to bring jobs to Alameda, but we could lose some of the gains we’ve made.

    Comment by Karen Bey — March 5, 2015 @ 9:52 am

  10. The City Manager work for Riverside then so long you quit , leave Alameda ? Good bye !

    Comment by spring cleaning — March 5, 2015 @ 10:10 am

  11. Predictably, this blog chooses to focus on Trish and Kurt Peterson. But what you cannot see in this clip-and you wouldn’t know unless you were there-is the growing gaggle of staff around Mr. Russo talking and arguing about how to address concerns raised in the meeting about the WETA project. 5 or 6 people [Ott, Mocanu, the WETA rep, et al] simply crowded around the other end of the dais as Russo motioned them up to his chair, effectively interrupting the meeting without Mr. Russo calling for a break first. I thought that was out of order and totally disruptive, but what do I know? I just know once Mr. Russo started having his impromptu sidebar, everyone at the dais and in the gallery was totally distracted. And it started before Kurt approached the clerk.
    Watch the Right hand side of the screen to see what I am talking about.

    Comment by vigi — March 5, 2015 @ 10:14 am

  12. Because staff was attempting to figure out how to incorporate what the City Council has asked for, getting a commitment regarding the haul out from WETA memorialized with some sort of actionable condition. They were not, as Kurt Peterson was trying to do, disrupt the proceedings by asking that the public comment be reopened or that he have an ability to rebut statements.

    Comment by Lauren Do — March 5, 2015 @ 10:24 am

  13. I hear whispered “re-call” for benefit of the City? See what happens when the City sleeps..

    Comment by Gabrielle Dolphin — March 5, 2015 @ 10:29 am

  14. I say we draft Governor Brown to take a retirement job here in Alameda.

    Comment by anonymoustroll — March 5, 2015 @ 11:23 am

  15. @12: You weren’t there. When a group of staff as large as half or more of the people sitting at the dais appears, I guarantee you it disrupts the meeting. Russo or the City Attorney should have called for a time-out instead of just motioning to so many people in the audience. Kurt wasn’t trying to disrupt the proceedings, he was trying to raise a point of order, albeit awkwardly.

    Comment by vigi — March 5, 2015 @ 12:28 pm

  16. It’s not his job to raise a point of order, it’s not a free for all, it’s a City Council meeting. It’s also not the City Manager or the City Attorney’s job to call for a recess. That responsibility lies in the hands of the person running the meeting: the Mayor.

    Comment by Lauren Do — March 5, 2015 @ 12:39 pm

  17. Is this a case of “knowing the teacher isn’t in control of the classroom” or “my candidate owes me?” I suspect the former more than the latter.

    Comment by Alison — March 5, 2015 @ 12:43 pm

  18. Not sure about the dysfunction, but it smells like democracy…

    I am very familiar with that area. EBMUD built the trail, and it is full of wild life, including seals, terns, mudhens, Canadian geese, pelicans, egrets and more. Kayakers use the beach by the Encinal boat ramp to launch every weekend, and then row out onto San Leandro Bay right past the proposed facility. . Fishermen use both the breakwater and the shore to catch halibut. There is a beautiful view of the peninsula as well as SF. Planned development consistent with the entire community’s goals is fine with me, but putting a four story repair facility big enough to hold four ferries at a time, coming and going, would certainly put an end to that area as a sea life habitat and negatively impact recreational use also. Surely most of you can see that. This cannot be the best place for a development of this type.

    Comment by rachel carson — March 5, 2015 @ 1:17 pm

  19. Well given that four out of the five City Council people voted to move forward with the WETA lease (second reading at the next City Council meeting) sounds like they believed it was the best place for a development of that type.

    Comment by Lauren Do — March 5, 2015 @ 2:04 pm

  20. Best sign in Alameda:

    Comment by Gerard L. — March 5, 2015 @ 2:07 pm

  21. on another note .. heads up to the Alameda Sun article re: traffic flow.

    Comment by Gabrielle Dolphin — March 5, 2015 @ 2:33 pm

  22. From the video clip, does it look like Petersen is drunk? Can he be arrested for speaking while drunk at the meeting?

    Comment by Alan — March 5, 2015 @ 3:28 pm

  23. #7 When did Spencer vote against the replacement Firehouse? Did she also vote against the new EOC on Grand Street?

    Comment by Jospeh — March 5, 2015 @ 4:12 pm

  24. post #18, the area that you speak of, I have been walking for the last 15 years. It happens to be an area where very large ships have been docked since the 1940’s, and sea planes have landed and taxied into these waters over the years. This project will sit right next to the existing ships, seven in storage and the U.S.S. Hornet. It is a working waterfront with cars, trucks, and many people there day and night. The Harbor seals don’t seem to mind it as much as you do. I walk past them just about seven days a week. Bye the way I have also seen them haul out on the docks that are used for the Artemis racing team, again they seem to be able to deal with us humans getting in their way. I would disagree with your assertion that this facility would put an end to recreational use and fishing use. Wild life has been doing quite well living along side the Naval air station for over 60 years now. If I thought that we were going to do anything to harm what is existing there now I would be on your side.

    Comment by John P. — March 5, 2015 @ 4:13 pm

  25. Mayor Spencer: I think you meant well when you voted against the new fire station and EOC several nights ago on the grounds of looking out for Alameda’s fiscal health ( ) . Whatever you do, just make sure to work with your staff in City Hall not just on this issue but on all things for now on, ok? Don’t just shoot from the hip — do your research. If you did, city staff would have told you there is no other way to fund that new station because the voters basically said the only way to fund the station is through your already tight budget. Russo tried to build the station in ways that wouldnt affect your budget, but the Alameda voters themselves voted against new taxes he proposed several years ago. Do you remember Measure C? Here: So, please, I know you’re well meaning but make sure to do your home work.

    Comment by constituent — March 5, 2015 @ 5:37 pm

  26. John, you’re talking to a zombie. Rachel’s been dead for over fifty years. Died of DDT poisoning during a silent spring sitting on the dock of the bay.

    Comment by jack — March 5, 2015 @ 6:50 pm

  27. #18 ” Kayakers use the beach by the Encinal boat ramp to launch every weekend and then row out onto San Leandro Bay right past the proposed facility.” I’m not a sailor, but I think the 5-6 miles between SLB and Encinal launch would preclude a “launch and row out onto” scenerio. Bellina Bay is nearby, but doesn’t the ramp drop int SF Bay proper? I don’t have a good map handy, does anybody know if that area on the base side of Bellina has a name?

    Comment by Li_ — March 5, 2015 @ 8:34 pm

  28. @25 Thank you. Glad to see the new Firehouse and EOC are moving forward. Spencer has no concern for public safety. Wake me up in 2019 when this rookie is gone.

    Comment by Joseph — March 5, 2015 @ 8:48 pm

  29. 327, Li, good point I didn’t catch that. San Leandro Bay is on the other side of the Bay Farm Island Bridge. The area between Bellina Bay and the base is Rocky Beach, that’s where we used to swim when we were just little people. Jack, I think your right.

    Comment by John P. — March 5, 2015 @ 8:53 pm

  30. Joseph don’t worry you will get another new truck to go shopping for breakfast , don’t forget Alan . or some video might make it to the local TV.

    Lauren since you are so much into developing the toxic waste of the base why don’t you try on a week day at 4 pm to go from the freeway to the shopping center in Bay Farm , because it is exactly what Webster Webster will look like when they are done ,{it was like that when the base was active} please watch your rear view mirror , might want to try Fruitvale or High Street , then , portray an accident in the tube Good luck getting to work in time even in bicycle , because 90% 0f the job created are not for local , then come back and talk about it , not the Beverly Hills Broad , the reality .

    As far as Oakland not hard to do something positive as our Governor “then Oakland Mayor” with our one way ticket to southern California City Manager have done their best to destroy it . {it will be a cultural shock for Him no bicycle there}
    Oakland is a shadow of what it used to be 30 years ago.
    No more manufacturing of any kind ….
    Same for Alameda ,I wonder when they will kick bay ship out ….. Result no more reliable tax base.

    Comment by arnold — March 5, 2015 @ 9:49 pm

  31. #18, 27 & 29 – I think that there is confusion about the Grand St. public boat launch (located a couple of blocks from Encinal Terminal) and the NAS site. Encinal Terminal & Grand St. ramp are on the estuary & are part of the northern waterfront project area. Grand St. is indeed a popular & accessible spot for all kinds of boats, kayaks, boards, etc.

    Comment by Alison — March 5, 2015 @ 10:27 pm

  32. “Wild life has been doing quite well living along side the Naval air station for over 60 years now.”

    Just don’t eat the wild life and just realize you can’t fix stupid.

    Comment by Gerard L. — March 6, 2015 @ 12:17 am

  33. 21, 30: Eugenie Thompson’s one-sided tirade against current city traffic planning practices (Alameda SUN, March 5) belonged on the opinion page: she did not present many facts to buttress her tending-to-the-conspiratorial opinions, so “reader beware”–it is NOT a “news” story.

    Anyone who thinks that Alameda has anything approaching a *real* traffic problem is nuts, IMHO: it may take all of an extra 3-5 minutes to traverse the Posey or the Webster Tube at rush hour, or take 10 minutes to get from the main island to Bay Farm in the morning when everyone is *driving* their kids to school instead of walking or bicycling with them.

    Compare these relatively minor interruptions to spending 2-3 hours on 880 between Alameda and DaSan Jose, or being in stop-and-go traffic foe 30 minutes *just to get onto the eastbound Bay Bridge* from San Francisco–plus another 30-45 minutes to cross the bridge itself.

    There is no real *traffic problem* in Alameda, folks–not compares to the real world.

    Comment by Jon Spangler — March 6, 2015 @ 9:20 am

  34. Jon: The Alameda Sun article was complete with facts showing before and after traffic volumes as opposed to your IMHO.

    There is a monthly event in the West End my family commonly refers to as Stupid Sunday. The Posey Tube spends much of the day at capacity.

    You might want to adjust your chin strap and seat tube get a better perspective.

    Comment by Gerard L. — March 6, 2015 @ 10:28 am

  35. Apologies to the folks that read this on Facebook:

    The traffic study says a lot more than 1 car over the bridge/tubes. Ms. Thompson is well known as someone who presents her opinions, is shown to be wrong, and doesn’t allows facts to get in the way of a good story.

    The short of it is this: If only the housing was built, there would be a lot of new trips through the tubes/bridges at peak hour. However, the “plan” for Alameda Point is for more than just housing, it also includes 3,000,000 square feet of commercial accounting for 9,000 jobs. A portion of these jobs (lets say 25%, which is similar to number of people who live and work in Alameda I believe) will be people who live in Alameda (or move to Alameda). Therefore the increase in traffic created by 1200 new homes is offset by the trips currently going through the tubes that start to go to the base.

    The EIR is very clear that Alameda Point will generate traffic, Ms. Thompson looks at a specific location, ignores what has been explained over and over again to her, and claims that her initial belief (traffic armageddon) is correct, it’s just not in the EIR because everyone who disagrees with her is stupid or lying.

    She did the same thing with the Alameda Theater (didn’t come to fruition). With South Shore expansion (didn’t come to fruition), etc. She was the gun for hire fighting The West Oakland Berkeley Bowl (similar tactic, similar result). She’s not a credible source on this topic, history has already shown that.

    Comment by jkw — March 6, 2015 @ 12:45 pm

  36. John Knox White:

    You are obviously in a pissing contest with Ms. Thompson over who is the traffic expert in Alameda.

    The idea that 25% of Target employees, or 25% of employees at all Alameda Landing Businesses, can afford to live in Alameda is patently absurd.

    Are you still living with your parents?

    Comment by Gerard L. — March 6, 2015 @ 9:00 pm

  37. Terns natural habitat ha been destroyed but they chose to nest on a jet runway because their priority was flat open space without rapture habitat. Sea lions are not endangered and their current haul out is not their “natural” habitat. They are opportunistic and have popped up on docks all over the bay region on heavily used piers. If WETA can essentially relocate them in a similar accommodation and wild life experts approve then BFD on sea lions. This stage of WETA process is occurring during reign of Spencer but I hardly think she is some sort of scape goat or victim. What she is being blamed for here is being unable to run a meeting which is what I said was probably the case back during the election. She and her minions don’t want any new infrastructure that actually alleviates the traffic situation or in any way facilitates or justifies increases in ingress or egress. The wild life thing is just blowing smoke. People ridicule school taxes being “for the children”. So in a similar sarcastic vein “It,s all about the wild life” right? It’s not even what people lined up on THAT side want. It’s how incredibly ham fisted and lame they are.

    Comment by MI — March 8, 2015 @ 3:06 am

  38. #21 “… Sea lions are not endangered and their current haul out is not their “natural” habitat.”

    The mammals we are making decisions about are Harbor Seals, not Sea Lions. Should you have an interest, here is an article about Seals & Sea Lions:

    Although not endangered, per the Marine Mammal Center, “The world wide harbor seal population is estimated to be 500,000 individuals. The portion of that number estimated to live in California was about 34,000 in 2009. They are usually found in small groups, but sometimes occur in numbers of up to 500. ”

    …and re: habitat disturbance, according to the San Francisco Bay Area National Parks site, “…their abundance and distribution can be affected by disease, changes in food supply, disturbance to haul-out sites by commercial and recreational use, and environmental changes such as rising sea levels.”

    Comment by Deborah S. Carroll — March 8, 2015 @ 9:25 am

  39. 36: Gerard L, I have seen the West End traffic on the first Sundays and the Bay Farm bridge tie-ups on weekday mornings. As bad as it may seem, none of it compares to the relatively much-worse rush-hour or game-day traffic congestion in downtown San Francisco, much less to LA’s 101 and 405 freeways on most days.

    If you *want* to avoid or reduce traffic congestion in Alameda, leave your car parked at home and take transit, walk, or bicycle to your destination(s), *no matter what your position is* on building more housing or more commercial developments in Alameda. (We take transit, walk, and bike on a regular basis and drive when we *must*–not at all the same thing as driving everywhere, which most Americans still do without thinking.)

    JKW’s response to your post is quite clear: providing lots of rental housing, which is Alameda Point Partners’ goal, will make it possible for workers in the growing Alameda businesses to live close to where they work, or to live at AP and commute to jobs on Bay Farm or the main island instead of clogging up the tubes and bridges commuting to work off-island. This is called ‘”smart growth” because it is a more intelligent way to use land and resources than we have been for many decades.

    What alternatives to APP’s plans and to “smart growth” would you suggest?

    Comment by Jon Spangler — March 8, 2015 @ 6:07 pm

  40. Mr. Spangler, I’m a West End resident and commute through the tube daily to Oakland via the bus- my family owns only one car, my kids walk to school and I have to differ with you on West End traffic. Most days cars extend far beyond Atlantic going into the tube and it takes up to 10 minutes to get to 7th St. I was one of the founding members of Renewed HOPE whose members fought to keep East Housing so we could have workforce housing for teachers, firefighters and others who work in Alameda. What we got instead, with the help of folks like Tony Daysog, is the Bayport McMansions whose residents largely don’t work in Alameda. Nor have they revitalized Webster St as predicted by Mr.Daysog. So, please excuse me if I don’t buy the line that the Point will have the housing and jobs that will allow folks to live and work in Alameda.

    Comment by jnader — March 9, 2015 @ 6:24 am

  41. the Bayport McMansions whose residents largely don’t work in Alameda.

    According to the Census the percentage of the City of Alameda residents that works in Alameda is 26.5%

    The Census tract that Bayport is located is — which includes Alameda Point and Coast Guard housing — the percentage is 33.1%

    Now people can make assumptions that those numbers are for the residents outside of Bayport, just like I could say that I know of a lot of people who work in Alameda that live in Bayport but that would simply be our anecdotal stories. I will say, much like other neighborhoods in Alameda, Bayport residents have similar mix of residents who work in the City of Alameda or elsewhere.

    Comment by Lauren Do — March 9, 2015 @ 6:51 am

  42. Whether 26% or 33%, jnader’s point stands: the words were “largely do not work in Alameda”

    Comment by dave — March 9, 2015 @ 7:09 am

    • There is virtually no difference between everyone else in Alameda and Bayport residents. Bayport was not sold to the community as the residents specifically tied to working in Alameda.

      Comment by Lauren Do — March 9, 2015 @ 7:23 am

  43. Here’s something I recently discovered and found interesting:

    Based on AC Transit’s actual running times, tracked by GPS, at 6:00 am, a time with little to no traffic congestion, the travel time through the tubes from Atlantic/Webster to 14th/Broadway in Downtown Oakland is 9 minutes 15 seconds. At 8:00 am, that number rises to almost 12 minutes. This includes significant increases in boardings/alightings, as well as increased congestion from 7th to 14th. It may feel like congestion has made the travel time through the tubes a major problem because of the occasional stop and go that occurs, but typically, congestion is adding less than three minutes (and likely less than two) to the trip from Atlantic to 7th.

    Comment by jkw — March 9, 2015 @ 7:49 am

  44. 43

    Nobody claims that. Jnader’s point is that we cannot expect a large portion of new residents to work in town, not that Bayport is any different from the rest of 94501/2. Therefore additional development will mean additional congestion. No need for pedantry.

    Comment by dave — March 9, 2015 @ 8:21 am

  45. I don’t know the percentage, but a number of the Bayporters work in the city and take the ferry.

    Comment by Karen Bey — March 9, 2015 @ 9:57 am

  46. Based on my experience in holding a number of office hours at the Farmers’ Market, I’ve come regularly across a number of Bayport residents at the Farmers’ Market. With the success of Wes Cafe (defined as expanding from its initial place of business to a place with a large footprint) and the success of Starbucks (defined as expanding from its initial size to its new size), as well as relatively new establishments like Cafe Jolie (which, itself, is considering expanding even more) and (cross-our-fingers) Peet’s Coffee, I suspect residents from Bayport are doing their share to improve Webster Street. So, no, I’ve got to respectfully disagree with the observation Ms. Nader, whom, I might add, I respect for her frequent shopping at the Farmers’ Market and for her years of work in support of Renewed Hope. The affect of Bayport on Webster Street in particular is favorable.

    But let’s not forget this about Bayport: the most significant economic contribution on the part of residents there has been that we would not have the d’town movie theater were it not for Bayport: the redevelopment area for Park Street did not have the bonding capacity to pay for the movie theater\parking garage project, so, to give it life, we in 2003 (on an eyes wide open basis) combined the redevelopment area serving Bayport with Park Street’s, thus allowing tax increment from the former to help service bonds issued for the latter. So, let it be clearly known: the West End of town is paying for the movie theater\parking garage project on the East End of town, for the betterment of **all** of Alameda of course.

    While I don’t want to understate the positive economic contributions Bayport, I also urge caution in possibly overstating working-in-Alameda effects. While 33.1% of persons 16-and-over who are employed and live in Census Tract 4287 work in Alameda, for the Bayport portion of 4287, the work-in-Alameda ratio is roughly 25%, based on data at what’s called the “block group” level (ie geographic unit below census tract). Census Tract 4287 contains within it two block groups (BG 4287001 [Bayport area and North Housing] and BG 4287002 [Alameda Point west of Main Street]). Of the 1,154 persons who are 16-and-over, employed and live in BG 4287001, 287 work in Alameda (ie 25%) and 867 work off island. Of the 867 who work off island, anywhere between an estimated 132 (15%, i.e. 132/867) and 176 (20%, i.e. 176/867) take public transit. For BG 4287002, of the 735 persons 16-and-over who are employed, 338 work in Alameda (ie 46%) and 397 work off island.

    – Tony

    Data sources: Means of Transportation to Work: US Census ACS 5-Year Sample 2009-2013, Table B08301 (see Census Tract 4287 Block Group 1 and Block Group 2); and, Sex of Workers By Place of Work: US Census ACS 5-Year Sample 2009-2013, Table B08008 (see Census Tract 4287 Block Group 1 and Block Group 2).

    Comment by tony daysog — March 9, 2015 @ 12:19 pm

  47. It would be nice to get a Trader Joes somewhere on the Webster Street…….

    Comment by Karen Bey — March 9, 2015 @ 1:04 pm

  48. 38. Thanks for the links. Seems that sea lion and harbor seals are in similar situations with population rebounds in last couple decades though young sea lions are having a serious die off this year,larger than last and they seem to be starving. I think we can all agree that the ecology of the planet is in a bind, pretty messed up and the oceans are essentially dieting really. The die offs can be linked to ocean warming. Sea lions have Lao Ben very controversial controversial because of their impacts son salmon which ar e also in decline. I’m not sure about harbor seals but my point is that the current haul out is not “natural” habitat for either of them and if they can be accommodated then the ferry really takes priority even though it won’t solve climate change in and of itself. Also Spencer will grasp at any straw to try to prop up her extremely simplistic plan for dumb growth…I.e. Do nothing ever anywhere.

    Comment by MI — March 9, 2015 @ 5:36 pm

  49. Council member Daysog:

    If I read your post correctly, you justified demolishing 590 tax-payer built apartments (East Housing) in Alameda, many of them 4 bedroom apartments, to renovate a privately-owned theater and using eminent domain to build a parking garage. Cars are so more important than people,

    My understanding of math is that the Bayport Development, despite the free land, left the City of Alameda 25 to 35 million dollars in debt, with Cattelus’s guaranteed profit equal to the city’s debt.

    My understanding is that Alameda Landing businesses will produce 5 jobs that have salaries that can afford to rent in Alameda – the Store Managers and the Pharmacists. Everyone else is living with their parents, co-habitating or not living in Alameda. This property through federal regulations was supposed to replace the 2,000 living-wage union jobs lost at NAS. I remember a congressman named Ron Dellums.

    With the anchor Target setting a new low in compensation, you have to ask: How many Naval Air Station employees earned less than $9/hr 20 years ago?

    The only bright spot since base closure on Webster Street is the Al Jazeera Market .


    39: Jon: I live in Alameda, why do you assume I own a car. I live in Alameda because I don’t.

    Comment by Gerard L. — March 9, 2015 @ 11:54 pm

  50. 50. I disagree about Webster. We moved here in 1991 and Park street was pretty dismal. Ollie’s, Pauline’s, Courtyard Cafe, a Funky toy shop where Blue Danube is before Toy Safari opened, the bars and Starland was old Silver Building . Webster was worse but it is all relative. Wescafe has best latte on the island. Thin Man has been there forever. We lost Alameda Art Glass where I took a stained glass class but gained Pinball Museum, Al Jazeera and others. Webster is turning a corner and is probably better than Park in 1991. Regardless of what is said the Landing will probably have little effect on Webster either to steal away business or bring shoppers. The Landing is its own destination for people seeking Target experience.

    Comment by MI — March 10, 2015 @ 1:31 am

  51. “…supposed to replace the 2,000 living-wage union jobs lost at NAS.”

    Small point of clarification on #50 comment. While the jobs may have been “union” jobs, they were also government civil service jobs. Under government regulations the “unions” back then could not negotiate wages. Wages were set by prevailing area rates for similar trades for ‘wage grade’ employees and set by Federal law for Professional (ie white collar) jobs.

    Your point is correct that overall the base employees back then were paid far higher wages then Target employees are paid now. However, the Base jobs (primarily NADEP) for the most part required much higher skill sets and were paid accordingly.

    Comment by jack — March 10, 2015 @ 10:17 am

  52. #49 “…but my point is that the current haul out is not “natural” habitat for either of them and if they can be accommodated then the ferry really takes priority …”

    Many species now have to think outside the box because their original/preferred habitat spaces are declining. For example, the monarch butterfly, whose numbers have declined by more than 80% in California since 1997, routinely use non-native Eucalyptus groves as over-wintering sites. Monterey pine, Monterey cypress and redwoods are “natural” habitat for them, but habitat destruction has led them to make other choices. My point is, that the harbor seals are making do with what’s available, and disturbing their haul out may effect their numbers, whether the habitat is “natural” or not.

    Comment by Deborah S. Carroll — March 10, 2015 @ 11:22 am

  53. This might be a helpful summary of the Bayport residential agreement between City of Alameda\Community Improvement Commission and Catellus:

    Comment by tony daysog — March 10, 2015 @ 12:02 pm

  54. 53. Right, like terns choosing an active runway. I guess I,ve got points and the first would be that we humans should really make it a priority not to disturb the real natural habitat. Once it’s been disrupted I suppose one could argue we should tread even lighter but my larger point is about making due in crisis mode. We are in an ecological crisis and it is a balancing act. Who knows, a proliferation of ferries may make noise which travels underwater and makes seals and other animals crazy. No free lunch. But ferries are part of a solution, not like four more lanes of freeway. Has there been any study as to how and why these animals pop up where they do.

    Comment by MI — March 10, 2015 @ 6:14 pm

  55. In Australia they legislated carbon tax and just when it had been in place long enough that it could begin to be implemented with some efficacy, Tony Abbot gets elected and his government guts the legislation which costs the economy even more. Inefficient dicking around. Our local situation has some parallels. Gillmore / Russo presided at a time when some long negotiated projects finally broke ground. Most folks who are horrified didn’t get off their duffs during the process and now many claim it was clandestine or something. WETA is happening when the public has been mobilized by the election and new progress on development at the Point or this terminal would also probably. meet less scrutiny. My knowledge is not deep or wide ranged enough to be able to make well qualified judgements but I care and try to follow as much as I can. I think Spencer should be so honest about her inabilities to stay ahead of the curve or even learn basic rules of order for running a meeting. Isn’t that the least we should expect? I think her legacy could be to derail a lot of things in which the public has invested a lot of time and money. She may succeed in thwarting development but only in a ham fisted way which will stunt progress rather than prune it.

    Comment by MI — March 10, 2015 @ 8:40 pm

  56. #55 “Has there been any study as to how and why these animals pop up where they do.”

    A study was conducted in 2012 ‘Foraging distribution of Pacific harbor seals (Phoca vitulina richardii) in a highly impacted estuary’ -Journal of Mammalogy

    Comment by Deborah S. Carroll — March 11, 2015 @ 7:56 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: