Blogging Bayport Alameda

March 29, 2019

500 acres v. 6 acres

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:09 am

This was a great piece in the Alameda Magazine about Measure A and B.  It was one of the earliest pieces on the subject courtesy of Steven Tavares.  It’s one of the pieces that has been largely ignored by Measure B proponents because it comes off as too reasonable.


The McKay Avenue property was previously a site operated by the General Services Administration for the federal government, with a portion of the property once serving as barracks for the U.S. Navy. That building is slated to become a 90-unit facility for homeless seniors. Rehabilitation of the building will include remodeling the small rooms to include a bathroom and small kitchenette, Biggs said.

“This will allow seniors to live and die in dignity after living on the streets,” he said.

Living on the streets can take an especially heavy toll on homeless seniors. A 55-year-old homeless person typically has medical problems similar to a housed person who is 20 years older, Biggs said. In addition, many seniors become homeless after turning 50, often after a sudden and serious financial setback, such as a major illness.

Biggs, who also lives in the area, said he’s been more than willing to listen to neighbors’ concerns about the project. “I have no desire to create an unsafe situation,” he said.

Representatives of the Alameda Point Collaborative and Friends of Crab Cove met with a facilitator, but not before the neighborhood group ended the talks when the ballot measure had garnered enough signatures to trigger an election.

Biggs believes fears about hordes of homeless people rushing to the area is irrational. Similar concerns were raised two decades ago and proven to be without merit when the Alameda Point Collaborative was founded at Alameda Point, he said. ‘“Open space’ sells in Alameda even though there’s 500 acres of open space and 6 acres for serving the homeless,” said Biggs, referring to the neighborhood group’s call to have the McKay property be “open space.”

Yeah, for those that don’t remember a former City Council candidate once called folks that were moving into Alameda Point at the Alameda Point Collaborative the “dregs of society” and warned that people would need to put up barbed wire.   You could literally just cut and paste what was said in that video clip more than 12 years ago and it would sound the same as what some people are saying today about the Wellness Center.


As late as 2017, Building 1 was used as a testing lab for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which tested contaminated meats and dangerous pathogens. A walk through the building conjures the imagery of a horror movie set in a macabre mental health institution. Some lab doors are ominously labelled for testing of E.coli and botulism. “They’re worried about the dangers of homeless coming here,” Biggs said of Friends of Crab Cove, “but I’ve never heard anybody complain about all the things that were coming through this lab.”


  1. No worries-we’ll still have E. coli and botulism from the new occupants! Plus an added bonus of Hepatitus A and typhus similar to the current outbreaks in homeless communities in LA and San Diego. They even have “trench fever” among the homeless in Seattle. Did we forgot the rampant mental illness and drug addiction? I’m sure AC Transit will be employing extra cleaning crews for the homeless overflow each day, and the hundreds of schoolchildren who walk right by there every day will never have contact with discarded needles, or infected outpatients, so Alameda residents will be protected. Everything is fine here-move along.

    Comment by Notworriedatall — March 29, 2019 @ 6:59 am

    • Who writes trash like this before 7 in the morning?

      Comment by alamedabee — March 29, 2019 @ 7:47 am

    • are you a doctor or something?

      Comment by MP — March 29, 2019 @ 8:25 am

    • What about crack and AIDS? You forgot crack and AIDS! Do you even fearmonger, bro?

      Comment by Rod — March 29, 2019 @ 11:12 am

  2. Never shocked to see a pseudonym underneath the kind of assertions I see in the first comment. It’s almost as though the writer knows what they’re saying is deplorable.

    Comment by Gaylon — March 29, 2019 @ 7:09 am

  3. The latest reports on sources of campaign funding for both Measures A and B are available on the League of Women Voters of Alameda’s website at

    Comment by Allan Mann — March 29, 2019 @ 8:48 am

  4. Most of the risks attributed specifically to homeless persons that were listed by “Notworriedatall” are probably available everywhere in Alameda right now–and from many people other than folks who are homeless. There are drug addicts and people who suffer mental illness in every neighborhood of our fair city who just happen to have permanent shelter. (Some may be posting under pseudonymns on forums like this one.)

    (We also have people all around us who are rich, poor, African American, Filipino, male, female, Republicans, Democrats, Independents,
    socialists, bicyclists, pedestrians, drivers, liberals, and Libertarians. Is “Notworriedatall” concerned about kids being “infected” with socialism or bicycling on their walk to school?)

    Too bad that “Notworriedatall” misses the boat entirely that the Wellness Center will provide professional care and security at the Wellness Center to protect the community — and to protect its clients from trolls who lack the courage to use their own names in print.

    Comment by Jon Spangler — March 29, 2019 @ 9:32 am

  5. Notworriedatall is right on the money. These homeless magnets don’t belong in Alameda. Take a walk along downtown Oakland streets and around the San Francisco Civic Center to watch the sick, drug addicted flotsam and the diseases, filth and boxes of dirty needles they bring everywhere they are welcomed, but not enrolled in strict programs, such as Rhode Island’s aggressive program to treat the drug addicts and homeless, which are 100% synonomous (mental illness, drug addicted homeless). Watch the documentary produced by the news station in Seattle, titled “Seattle is Dying”, to see what supporters of a homeless center are encouraging. The do-gooders screw it up every single time, and then leave us to clean up the mess. Skip to the end of the “Seattle is Dying” documentary to see what actually works in Rhode Island, and I can assure you having seen the needles, trash and crime at the Alameda Collective, that is not what Alameda is offering. The homeless community is overwhelmingly huge in the Bay area, and they are uniformly mentally ill, they are serious drug addicts and criminals and everyone supporting this measure needs to take the ferry to Market Street and see what we will reap, if you turn the abandoned Federal Property into a Homeless Center. Petty theft and break-ins will rise astronomically in the West End. Call it what it is, a Homeless Center for drug addicts and the mentally ill. Not a Welness Center, and not a Unicorn nursery. Watch it and weep.

    Comment by Seattle is Dying — March 30, 2019 @ 3:19 pm

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