Blogging Bayport Alameda

May 24, 2016

Jenny, I’ve got your number

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:28 am

Not content to sit on the sidelines, it appears that the Alameda Citizens Task Force (ACT) has anointed its candidate of choice, someone that is arms length away enough from it to make it seem like a “fresh” and “new” candidate, but close enough to the organization that it will have a solid voice on the City Council if this person is elected.

The candidate?  One Jennifer Roloff who might be familiar to the Franklin Elementary community.

The ACT tie?  Gretchen Lipow’s daughter.  The goal, I’m assuming, is to provide a contrast to Marilyn Ezzy-Ashcraft since I’m sure that they’re fairly pleased with Tony Daysog as a Councilperson.

Her tagline, get this: is “Progress and Preservation” which really just means preservation because “progress” always ends up getting caveated to death so that there isn’t any real progress made.

Anyway, her website is a bit light some issues right now like rent control and traffic have huge…………gaps…….

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I’m sure the part about “allowing this ordinance to get some traction” being “prudent” may not sit well with the Renters Coalition.  And technically what the City has is not rent control, it’s rent stabilization, so the word selection is interesting and a bit uninformed.

But Preservation and Development are much more fleshed out but fairly typical for people who claim that they aren’t anti-development but then go on to list reasons as to why development can’t happen.

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Essentially what this candidate sounds like is a one-issue candidate simply designed to be against development projects.

Also telling was the only other “news item” a link to the Alameda Merry-Go-Round.

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  1. This election will have two basic voting blocs:

    The first is people who like Alameda, who live here because of what our town is and who want to keep the positive attributes such as light traffic and a low key pace of life. These people generally appreciate and value our unique position of having a small town feel so near a major city and want to preserve that.

    The other is people who don’t particularly care for Alameda, who want to turn it into Emeryville, and perhaps should have simply moved there or some other anonymous strip mall “community” instead of Alameda. These people generally do not value or appreciate our unique position and could easily live anyplace that had their favorite chain stores nearby.

    Comment by dave — May 24, 2016 @ 7:00 am

    • you are right dave. I hate Alameda and wish it were more like Emeryville. That’s why I moved here.

      Comment by MI — May 24, 2016 @ 8:19 am

    • Wow, could you express your opinion in any more supercilious a manner?

      Comment by BC — May 24, 2016 @ 9:06 am

    • dave must be the bloc head of the first bloc.

      Comment by notadave — May 24, 2016 @ 9:27 am

    • Dave. The Alameda of which you speak is long gone. Traffic is well past managing and controlling for example. The development and larger stores are needed to pay the City bills. With the incredible post-employment packages we offer Police, Fire and City employees, we must generate revenue that is well beyond what smaller retailers can generate. As we move toward the 85,000 to 90,000 population mark, we are bound to feel the past slipping further and further away from us who have lived here for many years. It’s unfortunate, but unavoidable.

      Comment by Bill2 — May 24, 2016 @ 11:40 am

  2. Do her competitors take a different stance on rent stabilization, if that is the correct term?

    Comment by MP — May 24, 2016 @ 7:19 am

    • I believe Malia Vella has and we do know Tony Daysog’s opinion on it.

      Comment by Lauren Do — May 24, 2016 @ 8:19 am

      • I took a look at Malia Vella’s website, but don’t see mention of rent stabilization. She has a list of endorsements, but none seem to be specific to rent stabilization. On that count, Ms. Roloff gets credit for articulating a position. Tony Daysog voted for the City rent stabilization ordinance that is in effect now. He floated a ballot measure to modify the relocation payment element of it for small property owners, but that type of fine tuning is not likely to raise an army of signature gatherers. I assume Marilyn Ezzy-Ashcraft is more or less in the same place.

        Comment by MP — May 24, 2016 @ 8:44 am

        • Malia Vella has spoken publicly at City Council meetings about her support.

          Comment by Lauren Do — May 24, 2016 @ 8:49 am

        • I know she has spoken at Council meetings, but the question raised by your post’s quotation of Ms. Roloff’s website is a little more specific: does Ms. Vella support the Council’s ordinance or more the stricter ARC ballot measure?

          Comment by MP — May 24, 2016 @ 8:58 am

        • that didn’t come out right. I meant: I know she has spoken at Council meetings, but the question raised by your post’s quotation of Ms. Roloff’s website is a little more specific: does Ms. Vella support the Council’s ordinance or the stricter ARC ballot measure?

          Comment by MP — May 24, 2016 @ 8:59 am

        • I don’t think Malia Vella has any positions and issues on her website yet, I imagine those should get fleshed out when candidates have to start submitting those essays for endorsements by various groups.

          Comment by Lauren Do — May 24, 2016 @ 10:11 am

        • Fair enough. So, for now, couldn’t we also say about Malia Vella’s website “..huge…….gaps…………” ?

          Comment by MP — May 24, 2016 @ 11:14 am

        • Sure, but Malia Vella didn’t attempt to have completely under-informed placeholders before having a public consumption ready issue page.

          Comment by Lauren Do — May 24, 2016 @ 11:18 am

        • Malia announced as a candidate months ago and, as reported here, was considering a run at City Council a good while before that. And she has had a wonderful, very professional website with nice photos on it out there for a while too. You would think the ideas part would also ready public consumption by now.

          Comment by MP — May 24, 2016 @ 11:37 am

        • Indeed, but this post is about Jennifer Roloff not about the lack of issue statements on Malia Vella’s website. I’m not 100% convinced that the rationale of “well at least she tried and the other candidates have nothing” is terribly convincing that Jennifer Roloff actually understands the major issues in the city with any kind of depth.

          Comment by Lauren Do — May 24, 2016 @ 11:57 am

        • Good point. I’ll reserve further comment until we have a post about the lack of issue statements on Malia Vella’s website.

          Comment by MP — May 24, 2016 @ 12:12 pm

        • I want to support Malia Vella, but she seems to tight lipped about her positions, or at the very least issues that she’s interested in pursuing.

          Comment by Angela — May 24, 2016 @ 5:13 pm

        • Her twitter feed is loudly in favor of rent control and unions.

          Comment by dave — May 24, 2016 @ 6:33 pm

  3. Trying to decode of you are for or against the Shoreline Drive changes on your live website. Nice.

    This person clearly has “feelings” about the issues facing Alameda, but seems a long way away from any mastery of the details around those issues. Sounds like someone else who made it onto the Council recently.

    Comment by BMac — May 24, 2016 @ 7:49 am

  4. so if you don’t agree with Dave you should leave town. I don’t agree with Dave and I think people that believe we can live a small town mid west life here in the middle of a great urban area should maybe move to that small mid western town. Actually I think there is room for all of us here.

    Comment by John P. — May 24, 2016 @ 8:10 am

    • Merely suggesting that those who wish for wholesale change to an established community might be happier living in a place that already is/has what they want.

      Serious question: why would one move to a place that so dissatisfies them?

      I spent a ton of (mostly borrowed) money top live here BECAUSE I like it here. I do not understand the rationale behind moving to a place one dislikes and spending years pulling out one’s hair trying to remake it, when moving initially to a place one likes would have been far simpler.

      Comment by dave — May 24, 2016 @ 8:31 am

      • Simply because someone wants to see a city evolve and change to address the needs of the population doesn’t mean that they are dissatisfied but rather that they are recognizing that a community will always need to do a certain amount of evolving as a population grows, grows up, ages, gets younger, becomes more diverse, etc and so forth.

        Comment by Lauren Do — May 24, 2016 @ 8:38 am

      • It’s not binary. Alameda is neither utopia nor hell.

        Comment by BC — May 24, 2016 @ 9:08 am

      • I moved to Alameda in the 80’s love it for the small community feel, great schools, wonderful parks. In the time since then, my life and my kids life has gotten better by expanded shopping choices and convenience at Alameda Landing, a revitalized Webster Street, a beautiful downtown cinema and restaurant district, redeveloped southshore shopping center, and new parks at Bayport that are close enough to where we live to visit. I didn’t hate Alameda when I first came here, and I love it even more now. The only “wholesale” change folks are people like dave who want to literally stop time, and stop the natural evolution of a community that has gone on for more than a century.

        Comment by notadave — May 24, 2016 @ 9:31 am

        • “Natural evolution” is of course natural and to be expected. It’s typically incremental and generally not rapid.

          By “wholesale change” I mean major, rapid changes to significant portions of the city. Such moves are extremely risky and can bring many unintended and unhappy consequences. Exhibit A: Southshore.

          We have already executed a major development in Alameda Landing and have significant developments in the pipeline for the Northern Waterfront. Let’s give them time to work (or not) and learn from them. Let’s see if the traffic sitch turns out as peachy as some say. Take things slowly and thoughtfully and incrementally. It’s very difficult and takes a long time to build a nice town. Conversely a place can be very quickly and easily impaired by blind fealty to a supposed ideal and a rush to get it done.

          But I actually care about my community & its long term prospects. Others might think differently.

          Comment by dave — May 24, 2016 @ 9:45 am

        • notadave, I moved here directly from the hospital in 1943, still in the same house, and I agree with everything you just said.

          Comment by John P. — May 24, 2016 @ 12:53 pm

      • So you got yours and now screw everyone else? I am not trying to be mean but seriously, if we don’t add some smartly planned housing things are only going to get even crazier with prices. You can’t stop housing prices and rent from going sky high if we don’t add to the offerings. Does the traffic make me crazy yes but the bay area is about as good as it gets when it comes to weather, culture, things to do, generally great pockets of schools etc. so you gotta pay the piper. (I didn’t add the positive attribute of crazy political views, so feel free to disagree with me)

        Comment by Barbara M — May 24, 2016 @ 10:18 am

        • Is excessive development that degrades quality of life “smartly planned?”

          Comment by dave — May 24, 2016 @ 11:09 am

    • Gosh, John P. you sound more like me this AM. At least Jennifer Roloff didn’t change her first name from Mary to Malia to sound more like one of Obama’s daughters. (Yeah I know about the Hawaiian translation BS…don’t bother to reply)

      Comment by vigi — May 24, 2016 @ 9:10 am

      • Ms. Roloff appears to be the Youth Vanguard of the Alameda Citizens Teaparty. She widens the demographic along at least one dimension, perhaps two, from angry, white and old.

        Comment by BC — May 24, 2016 @ 9:18 am

      • Translated: I just want to find something random to pick on and so even though I logically understand that “Malia” means “Mary” in Hawaiian and Malia Vella identifies as Hawaiian, I’m just going to be mock outraged about something completely unrelated to draw some random comparison that literally has nothing to do about anything.

        Comment by Lauren Do — May 24, 2016 @ 9:18 am

        • if she so strongly identifies with the name Malia, why doesn’t she put it on her State Bar website page?

          Comment by vigi — May 24, 2016 @ 9:55 am

        • I don’t know. It’s not really my business. I’m spending time trying to figure out her positions on issues.

          Comment by MP — May 24, 2016 @ 9:59 am

        • Translation: What is in Mary Vella’s past that Malia Vella is hiding?

          Comment by vigi — May 24, 2016 @ 10:06 am

        • Get help, vigi

          Comment by dave — May 24, 2016 @ 10:16 am

        • No, actually I’m not suggesting that she is hiding anything. I am curious as to what she is planning

          Comment by MP — May 24, 2016 @ 10:16 am

      • vigi, no one sounds like you.

        Comment by John P. — May 24, 2016 @ 12:51 pm

  5. No, actually I’m not suggesting that she is hiding anything. I am curious as to what she is planning

    Comment by MP — May 24, 2016 @ 10:16 am

  6. There is a great saying in Spanish: “Dime con quien andas y te digo quien eres.” Loosely translated, “Tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who are.” The Daves of this community often know with great certainty what they are against, but seldom are in the vanguard of proffering new or innovative solutions to community issues. “Stop it!” has been a fairly common response, accompanied by a lot of apocalyptic dialogue (do we all remember the outcry about the new theater complex – the traffic gridlock, crime sprees, and introduction of “those people from Oakland”?) Unlike Dave, I believe that there are many who assess the community as a wonderful place to live but in need of more housing opportunities, more good jobs, more money for its fine schools, etc. It is no Shangri-La or Nirvana; just a lovely place that evolves and takes on its issues. Those from differing points of view may be very fine and Alameda-loyal folk; they just disagree on approaches and solutions. There is no need to demonize or marginalize the “other side.”

    And please Jennifer, the word unique stands alone; it never takes a modifier such as “incredibly” or “truly.” it’s like being pregnant – either you is or you ain’t. I apologize for being pedantic about that but it is one of my pet peeves, English jerk that I am.

    Comment by Kate Quick — May 24, 2016 @ 12:30 pm

    • Pls re-read this post, Ms. Quick, in which I simply advocate for gradual incremental change rather than a rapid paving over driven by ideology.

      I hope that taking the long view based on a love of the community is enough to put me in your good graces and allow me to be one of your The Elect, who simply has a “differing point of view” and could be allowed to join your cadre of “very fine and Alameda-loyal folk.”

      Comment by dave — May 24, 2016 @ 12:50 pm

      • The terrible awful bankrupting $30 million theater and garage bond aside, when we moved here in 1991 Park Street was hanging by a thread and after the base closed, and even before, Webster was like some rust belt downtown. It remained that way for almost ten years. Thankfully, the Tramel Crow heart and lung transplant for Park Street was thwarted for the more organic evolution which has taken place. The Monkey Bars situation seems nefarious, but aside from that businesses which are well targeted and smartly run seem to stick while there is less and less turnover. (Ole’s is like some Twilight Zone museum piece where I don’t eat any more, but I hope it stays forever, just so new folks have something to remind them what this town was really about before all this new fangled gourmet stuff arrived.) IMHO, the new Wallgreen’s on Park is completely unnecessary, but at least the architecture is well integrated and executed and nothing like Emeryville.

        And how is Southshore an example of “bad”? You’d prefer the previous run down mall from the 1950s? I count stopping Target at Southshore as a well placed line in the sand, ‘er landfill, but after the renovations some corporation paid a ton for the refaced mall which seems to be hanging in there and slowly signing new tenants. When I saw the Texas BBQ place next to Trader Joe’s I winced, but in less than a year it is gone for new Korean place which looks great. ( almost stopped for take out but the menu seemed to warrant a sit down to get oriented to the complex selection of condiments).

        Traffic is “worse”, but how much worse? Considering all the changes, many of which are improvements like decent restaurants ( of which there were almost none in 1991) the traffic degradation doesn’t seem that awful. Maybe I’m just the proverbial frog in the pot of water which is slowly rising in temperature, who can’t tell I’m being boiled, but at least I don’t have to eat frozen hash browns while I wait to expire.

        As for bike track at Shoreline, there are apparent libertarians who consider themselves cycling advocates who can’t agree that it is an improvement. In fact some of them claim the recent fatality was caused by the track, even though the site where it occurred has great lines of sight with no street parking and the cross walk was maintained. It seems some people just won’t be satisfied unless EVERYTHING reflects their exact personal preferences.

        Since ACT is all about maintaining the community, what civic enterprises does Roloff’s resume include ?

        Comment by MI — May 24, 2016 @ 2:06 pm

        • Mark:

          Somewhat in order,

          What is the Monkey Bars situation? It was mentioned here as losing its lease, but I’ve heard nothing else about it.

          I once asked one of the pharmacists at SS Walgreens why the other store was being built so nearby. He plainly said it was to put the CVS out of business. Whether that was stated corporate policy or his imagination wasn’t clear.

          When I cite Southshore, I mean the entire area, not just the mall. Architecturally and aesthetically it is quite unappealing, no disrespect to its residents intended. It is the 60’s version of Alameda Landing and is the sort of thing I worry we’ll end up with at the base as a result of undue haste. Slower, more organic development will be far better in the long run than a large, quick swoop driven by ideology instead of long run utility, much as you mention for Park St.

          The bike track is somewhat of an improvement and I occasionally use it, but it was very badly executed. It really should have been on the beach rather than on the road. Two or three yards of fake beach would have been no loss and would have made the entire project better, both for cyclist safety and for saving parking spaces.

          Comment by dave — May 24, 2016 @ 2:54 pm

  7. Wow, rarely do I so heartily agree with dave around these parts, but, vigi, get help.

    Last I checked, things like state bar websites require you use the name on your birth certificate. Wouldn’t be the first time in history that someone given the name of an elder family member is called by a variant/nickname.

    Actually, maybe you are onto something, vigi. What is Edmund G. Brown Jr. hiding? Maybe you can get your next president, Donald J. Trump to investigate his birth certificate and figure out what “Jerry” is hiding.

    As for taking positions, perhaps people should reach out to her directly and ask her what she stands for. Better yet, attend things like the well publicized “open to all” kickoff she had two days ago and ask her.

    I remember her speaking out for City Council to take strong measures to protect renters when Council was crafting its ordinance. She has also spoken in favor of the Central Ave complete streets plan, as well as recently in favor of the burgeoning pedestrian awareness/safety campaign, to name a few.

    Comment by BMac — May 24, 2016 @ 2:15 pm

  8. I hereby reach out to Malia Vella directly and indirectly. Yea or nay on “it would be prudent to allow this ordinance [the Council-passed ordinance] to get some traction…”

    Comment by MP — May 24, 2016 @ 2:55 pm

  9. A very small percentage of all this new housing is affordable housing. It’s largely market rate housing that is highly profitable for developers.

    I often think of 1980’s “trickle down economics” theory when I hear rapid-development advocates claim that building hundreds/thousands more million dollar residences will help with the housing affordability crisis.

    Comment by Voodoo — May 24, 2016 @ 7:48 pm

  10. 8-6-7-5-3-0-9

    Comment by BMac — May 25, 2016 @ 12:17 am

  11. I just hope she fixes the spelling and grammatical errors on her site. :/

    Comment by gaylon — May 25, 2016 @ 4:46 am

  12. dave, I don’t know the owner of Monkey Bars and our kids are grown so I’ve never set foot in the place, but her video about the circumstances of her lease termination seem similar to Crowell’s Pizza. A popular family run business which is arbitrarily given the boot. Her personal story seems pretty daunting ( single mom etc.), but all in all she seems like the quintessential mom and pop business who had built a following through hard work and then got kicked in the teeth when another tenant came along who made a deal with the property owner to take over the Flavor’s of India space and break through the wall to expand into Monkey Bars. Without regard to the food, it is easy to understand that both spaces are very narrow and don’t lend themselves well to a restaurant, but Burma Supers Star is a terrible space but they popularity makes it work. The circumstances leave me disinclined to eat at whatever this new restaurant is going to be.

    As for Southshore, the entire land fill was a horrendous debacle, but you know the one about making lemonade right? I completely disagree about the bike track. The traffic calming effect is real and welcome despite all the apocalyptic predictions. It has been stated here many, many times that the study for the beach alternative indicated it was cost prohibitive, wouldn’t have created the traffic calming, and would have required sacrificing the dune which to me is an aesthetic amenity.

    Comment by MI — May 25, 2016 @ 12:08 pm

  13. dave, I walked the beach yesterday and studied the track and the dune and it is overwhelmingly obvious that the track is right where it belongs as part of the roadway, regardless of cost. If anything the current foot path could have been made into the bike path and a new foot path created on the dune but having the bike path where it is not only saves the cost of paving a new path it makes for seamless integration of bikes in and out of the track at each of those big green swaths. Bikes are vehicles after all.

    Comment by MI — May 26, 2016 @ 6:45 pm

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