Blogging Bayport Alameda

September 14, 2017

In like Flint

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:04 am

On Tuesday evening an alarming alert came through regarding the water quality at Alameda Point, cautioning residents to not use it at all for anything, even showering and washing hands.

From the City of Alameda:

Who is affected by this alert?
The water quality issues are isolated to Alameda Point due to the nature of the former Navy infrastructure. 268 residents and over 60 businesses are affected and each has been notified. This only affects areas west of Main Street. Any address other than those contained within Alameda Point are not affected by this advisory. Specifically, areas that are not affected include Coast Guard Housing, Bayport, Summer House Apartments, and Atlantic Apartments. The map below outlines the Alameda Point area in red:


What happened?
While field investigations are ongoing, it is likely that the source of the water quality issue is related to a cross-connection between a potable drinking water line and a non-potable irrigation line. Tests were taken at specific locations last night and we hope to have preliminary results of those tests by tomorrow morning. Additional testing is being done today that will confirm any initial results. The results of this additional testing may be available by the end of the week.

Additional information:
Please call our water alert hotline at (510) 747-7460.

Alameda Point residents and businesses:
While water quality is improving at Alameda Point, in an abundance of caution people should not drink the water, avoid bodily contact, and avoid allowing their pets to drink or bathe using water from the faucet.

Free bottled water is available for pick-up at the Alameda Point Collaborative, 677 W. Ranger Avenue, for affected residents and businesses.

This drinking water alert will not be lifted until the Regional Water Quality Control Board deems the water safe for drinking and bodily contact. If people have health concerns, they should talk to their doctor.

Here’s a KPIX report which points out that the water lines do not belong to EBMUD but are from the existing infrastructure leftover from the base use.

This is really quite a shameful incident for Alameda.  The optics of the water quality being affected for some of the most economically vulnerable Alameda residents should not be lost on anyone.  I’m sure that some of our nationally progressive community members who rung their hands over the Flint water issues are some of the very same people who publicly cheer each and every time a redevelopment plan out at Alameda Point gets stymied because of the economic difficulty of developing the former Naval base.  It doesn’t even connect that those that can least afford to live in an area where the sewage regularly backs up and the potable water is contaminated could really benefit from redevelopment of the aging and failing infrastructure since the City of Alameda simply does not have the funding to replace the infrastructure that these residents rely on.

Perhaps the residents out at Alameda Point simply aren’t as visible of a community for the City Council to actually care about.  They don’t fund campaigns.  They don’t hang out at Rockwall or come to City Council meetings to stroke the egos of City Council members.  But that doesn’t mean that they don’t need clean water.  Or working sewage systems.

I’d like to see a Council Referral with some priority to address the needs to this Alameda Point community who have waited patiently for decades for the City of Alameda to actually treat this neighborhood like all the other neighborhoods in Alameda: deserving of basic functioning.


  1. As a resident of Alameda Point for over 10 years, this isn’t surprising – the water service is consistently rust brown in the enterprise zone (not all residents live in APC or the old Housing area), and never to be consumed.

    What also will not be surprising will be the history of the connection to the “irrigation” sources; likely made many months ago, and this poor water condition has existed for a period of time.

    Comment by Bart — September 14, 2017 @ 6:59 am

  2. Number of straw men LD erects in order to further her own hate agenda:

    Alameda in general
    Non-economically vulnerable Alamedians
    Economically hand ringers suffering from Flintitis
    Alamedians who cheer when the poor get backhanded
    The rest of the world that doesn’t provide funding for LD’s dreams
    The blind city council
    Alameda Point residents who don’t fund elections
    Rockwall rats
    “They” who drink wine while stroking City Council’s members
    Strokers who don’t need clean water and sewage systems
    City Council members who don’t refer for those who wait patiently
    Alameda neighborhoods who function basically

    Comment by jack — September 14, 2017 @ 7:46 am

  3. Jim Flint hired Peter Russell.

    Comment by Gerard L. — September 14, 2017 @ 10:35 am

  4. Regarding development of affordable housing in Alameda, including at Alameda Point, research and planning for sea level rise is drawing closer to the conclusion that sea walls, which in the future are expected to protect communities from sea level rise for no more than a few decades, are an undesirable solution. Sea walls merely postpone the inevitable. Consequently, discussions are underway among planners about scaling back or prohibiting major developments in low lying areas, including the North Housing and the Northern Waterfront PDAs (Priority Development Areas) in Alameda. The Encinal Terminal commercial and housing project is located in the Northern Waterfront PDA.

    For policy reasons distinct from climate change, the Sierra Club’s San Francisco Bay Chapter adopted a position Monday night, Sept. 11, to oppose swapping about 5 acres of uplands in the State Tidelands Trust at Encinal Terminal for about 9 acres of private uplands and several acres of adjacent submerged land. Without the land swap, the project will not be able to proceed as planned, including the construction of several hundred units of rental housing, much of it affordable.

    It’s unlikely that the sea wall included in the design for the Encinal development will be needed until after 2100. Send me your opinions on how best to use several acres of concrete wharf, there. TLC (Tim Lewis Communities) proposed to house hundreds of people there for at least 80 years (2020 – 2100) without a seawall. Alternatively, the concrete could be removed and a natural marine community reestablished that would help buffer the rest of the Island from rising sea levels. Send your comments, and preference, if any, to He will pass on all constructive and non-profane comments received to Sierra Club leaders.

    Comment by 2wheelsmith — September 14, 2017 @ 12:48 pm

    • It seems to me that the SF Bay Sierra Club is promoting policies that encourage urban sprawl and long-distance commuting?

      Or am I missing something here? Some kind of Malthusian “no growth/negative growth” approach? Care to explain?

      Comment by brock — September 14, 2017 @ 3:01 pm

      • I’ll pass your request for an explanation of why the Sierra Club opposes the Tidelands Trust swap to the chair of the Club’s East Bay Public Lands Committee, Norman LaForce. Glad to pass on his e-mail to you if you send it to me.

        Although Norman lives in El Cerrito, he is familiar to many Alamedans as he played a major role in the successful campaign that added a small government parcel on McKay Avenue to the Robert W. Crown State Beach. Now, in opposition to Norman, I support construction of housing at Encinal Terminals and along the entire Northern Waterfront and in the North Housing Priority Development Area.

        The Sierra Club has tentatively placed discussion of the pros and cons of the Encinal Terminals development on the agenda for the September 25th meeting of the Sierra Club’s Northern Alameda County Group Conservation Committee, probably at the Club’s National HQ in Berkeley. All meetings of the Club’s conservation committees are open to the public. To get an answer to your question directly form the Club’s leadership, you could attend the meeting. If interested in attending the meeting, send me your e-mail at and I’ll add you my Lowlands Watch list. I expect the agenda for that meeting to come out as late as Sunday the 24th, the day before the meeting.

        The Club’s senior leadership is beginning to converge around a policy of restricting development on all low lying land around the Bay, including in areas already zoned for development, PDAs Priority Development Areas designated for priority development throughout the Bay Area, which include the Northern Waterfront and North Housing PDAs among many others.

        Comment by 2wheelsmith — September 14, 2017 @ 5:41 pm

    • It would be useful to clarify that denying the tidelands swap will not impact the building of housing, it will simply change the building configuration to one deemed less desirable from the city’s perspective.

      Comment by jkw — September 14, 2017 @ 5:13 pm

      • John, thank you for that important clarification, that the housing can still be constructed without the Tidelands swap. I agree with the City’s perspective that the resulting configuration will likely be less desirable.

        Comment by 2wheelsmith — September 14, 2017 @ 5:43 pm

    • With “housing advocates” like number 4 up above, who needs opponents?

      Comment by Lauren Do — September 14, 2017 @ 5:39 pm

      • With housing advocates like these it’s no wonder that it’s very nearly impossible for the state to build desperately needed housing. There is real suffering happening right now that needs to be addressed by families of all stripes who pay more than 30% of their incomes in rent due to low housing inventory and the time to start building is now. This is especially true because it’s going to take a long time to catch up from decades of under-building that was chosen to placate those with stable housing. There was a better way to handle this issue and it was working with people who are already interested in setting standards and plans to protect Alameda from climate change. Tying it to this development only serves to threaten it, which I think was the true intent of the OP.

        Comment by Angela — September 14, 2017 @ 6:06 pm

        • I agree with Angela that the State puts many unnecessary restrictions on building affordable housing – and it appears that some environmental leaders are pushing for climate change policies that will make it even more difficult to find locations to construct affordable housing in the Bay Area. Although I tried to refrain from offering my personal opinion on the Club’s position on the land swap for Encinal terminals to avoid biasing comments, i now offer my own opinion.

          Encinal Terminals is the most promising proposal I’ve seen in Alameda for compact development that provides many community benefits in addition to critically needed housing. With rental housing in a building approaching 10 stories in height, a marina, walking paths, transit passes ….. that is projected to remain safe from rising seas for 80 years, what more could a sustainable environmental activist ask for?

          Comment by 2wheelsmith — September 14, 2017 @ 7:59 pm

  5. It is very curious that Sierra Club suddenly woke up and decided to oppose the Encinal Terminals project. It stinks to high heaven and one wonders what kind of manipulation is occurring behind the scenes. I guess the Sierra Club no longer cares — if it ever did — about the housing crisis, gentrification and or really stopping climate change by helping folks get housing — affordable and market rate — near jobs and transportation. I guess the Sierra Club has some naive and dated view that the housing can just be built elsewhere, not in their back yards.

    Comment by Laura Thomas — September 14, 2017 @ 3:45 pm

    • As scientists have come to better understand sea level rise, the Sierra Club’s leadership has become increasingly focused on mitigating potential impacts. The Club is looking to begin today to mitigate impacts many decades, even centuries into the future. I maintain that if hundreds of people can occupy new housing at the Encinal Terminals site for 80 years before a seawall is needed, then the project should proceed. We can require bonding to tear down the structure or construct wetlands there when rising sea levels threaten the building after the year 2100.

      Comment by 2wheelsmith — September 14, 2017 @ 5:49 pm

  6. March 1999

    Practicing for the War on the Poor
    Urban Warriors Attack West End Again

    Alameda City Manager Jim Flint has likened his West End gentrification plan to a Tsunami which will dislocate blue collar workers and repeople the area with affluent professionals. Flint has invited the “gansta’s of capitalism” to the West End to prepare for the US Marine Corp’s future role in fighting domestic battles on behalf of the rich against the poor. On March 15, 6,000 marines will wash over a toxic waste site at the Alameda Point Naval Air Station in an urban warfare exercise. Military strategist believe this training is necessary to support unsustainable economic policies, such as those promoted locally by Flint.
    “The future urban center will contain a mixed population, ranging from the rich elite to the poor and disenfranchised,” writes Major General Scales in Armed Forces Journal. “Day-to-day existence for most of the urban poor will be balanced tenuously on the edge collapse. Moreover, the proximity of the disenfranchised to the ruling elite provides the spark for further unrest and sporadic violence.”

    Flint has no authority to approve a military training exercise on Alameda Point. In September 1997 in response to community outrage over a similar military training exercise conducted at Alameda Point by Special Forces from Fort Bragg, defense regulations were developed requiring the approval of the base reuse authority before any civilian or military training could be conducted at a closed base.

    In 1997, the City Manager’s office was briefed about the training exercise and approved it. In other words, the regulation was developed to ensure that the decision maker in future military training exercises was someone other than the City Manager of Alameda. The reuse authority for Alameda Point never agendized or voted to approve the Urban Warrior exercise. Such a vote would require compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act.

    What next Flint? Martial Law?

    Comment by Gerard L. — September 14, 2017 @ 10:54 pm

    • Thank you for bringing back a vivid memory I have of Jim Flint.

      I met with City Manager Jim Flint several times not long after I moved to Alameda. He was most animated and proud when he displayed a graph showing how average incomes in Alameda were increasing rapidly. I cringed silently in response. I knew that average incomes were going up in large part due to higher income new residents displacing long time residents, leaving some homeless. His policies that magnified the adverse impacts of the City charter’s ban on apartments and condos are one of many reasons I’ve dedicated much of my free time to promoting affordable housing. If I see him again, I would ask him if he is proud of today’s affordable housing and homeless crisis.

      Comment by 2wheelsmith — September 15, 2017 @ 7:57 am

  7. I’m pretty sure that Mr. Flint has gone to see his maker, but I can”t verify it at this moment.

    Comment by JohnP.trump is a racist — September 16, 2017 @ 3:07 pm

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