Blogging Bayport Alameda

January 18, 2012

Lab luck

On Monday, KQED’s Quest did a brief profile on Lawrence Berkeley Lab’s search for a new campus (hat tip to Eve Pearlman at Alameda Patch for pointing this one out).  Worth the less than six minutes to listen to.

There is the acknowledgement that Lawrence Berkeley Lab’s second campus is a highly desirable prize for the cities vying for the privileged of hosting the second campus because of the big J word: jobs.   Of course there is also the acknowledgement that there is no perfect site, which is the reason why — some experts suggest — that it’s taking LBL so long to actually make a decision.  The report throws in a little about the rising sea level and storms potentially being a problem for all the sites because of the low elevation and proximity to the water.


September 28, 2011

No cost? No way!

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda Point, City Council, Development — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:03 am

Buried under the ARRA agenda for the October 5th meeting and — amazingly enough — has not been headline news yet is the news that the Department of Defense has agreed to a no-cost conveyance of Alameda Point to the City of Alameda.

Let me let that sink in a bit.

Remember, Alameda Point has previously come with a price tag of $108 million for the land.  Plus an additional $75K for housing units above the 1,800 unit cap.

Now, the cost is $0.  As long as the City stays below the housing cap.


September 23, 2011

A tale of two cities

A few miscellaneous things before the weekend, a preview of things to come though, there is a new staff report regarding newer terms for the Mif Albright land swap that was presented at the Golf Commission the other night.  But more on that on Monday.

A recent news article on the race for Lawrence Berkeley Lab’s concludes that Albany residents (Albanians? Albaniers?  Albanites?) are saying “pass” to LBNL moving into the Golden Gate Fields plot:

Albany residents packed Monday’s City Council meeting and told the council to drop any work on the proposed second campus for the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory at Golden Gate Fields.

Some of the residents have been against the proposed development from the beginning. Others originally expressed support for the concept. The main complaints have been the apparent failure of the proposal to conform to the Voices to Vision plan for the property, which required that 75 percent of any development be open space; lack of interaction with property owner The Stronach Group; and a timetable for decision-making that is too tight for the community to be able to give any meaningful input.


August 31, 2011

Survival of the unfittest

Filed under: Alameda, Business, Development — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:09 am

UPDATE BELOW, scroll down

So yesterday someone posted on my site a link to this address.  It is unclear if the person was truly tsk tsking the site or using it as a ruse to actually promote the site itself.   One commenter speculated that it is a SunCal job designed to “scare” Lawrence Berkeley Labs away from selected Alameda for its second site.   Another commenter revealed that the domain was registered via a proxy site which made identifying the owner a little more complicated.  And yet another commenter noticed that even though the email on the site read “” the hyperlink points to a


August 25, 2011

Lab partner

Now that all the community meetings have been completed for the wooing of Lawrence Berkeley Lab, I thought I would do a roundup of some of the accounts.   Of course there was Alameda’s, which happened first.   And while at first I thought that Alameda going first was a detriment to Alameda, reading some of the accounts of the other cities, it actually might have been a benefit.

Richmond, which has been widely agreed to be front runner in getting the second LBL campus, had an Alameda-esque positive rally to encourage LBL to select its city:

“Renaissance” was the watchword Thursday at a packed reception for the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

The city hosted a kind of pep rally ahead the meeting with local performers, free food and a greeting line of young “police explorers” in uniform.

Having the “police explorers” was a great calculated move since — say what you want about the particular site already carved out by LBL — Richmond in general has fought the reputation that there is a lot of crime in that town.  In 2010 it came in number 6 right behind Oakland in CQ Press’s City Crime Rankings.  Of course the caveat to those crime rankings, the FBI does warn against rankings like this.


July 15, 2011

Alameda really does love the Lab

Wednesday night’s Lawrence Berkeley National Lab meeting was pretty awesome.  I arrived at about 6:15 or so opting to eat at home first so I didn’t have to worry about being hungry during the event.  It was a good thing that I did because friends who had already made it to the event reported that most of the food already gone having been pounced on within the first 15 minutes or so.    It looked like the Scolari’s truck was still dishing out hushpuppies and corn, but the line was 30+ deep.

Suffice it to say, there was really good turnout.


July 13, 2011

Lab it up

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda Point, Business, Development — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:01 am

Given that the big Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory meeting is tonight, I thought I would talk about some of the questions that have come up around the project if Alameda is selected for LBNL’s second campus.

But, as a refresher, the meeting is tonight at the Auctions by the Bay Theater at Alameda Point, it starts at 6:00 with a BBQ on the big lawn and then a public meeting at 7:00 in the theater itself.  The organizers are asking people to wear green in support of the project, but I imagine that if you have outstanding questions about the project this is the perfect opportunity to get some clarity about what the City is offering.


July 6, 2011

Green with envy

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda Point, Business, City Council — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:13 am

While I was on vacation, the City launched its full campaign for wooing Lawrence Berkeley National Lab to Alameda.    Guest blogger, Vice Mayor Rob Bonta wrote a whole post on the benefits that LBNL will bring to Alameda.   But I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that before the City got it together to launch their efforts, Alamedans had already started to create social media to promote Alameda as the best place for LBNL to site their second campus.   Namely Richard Bangert who created the Bring Berkeley Lab 2 Alameda Point blog and Denise Shelton who has been cultivating the Alameda Loves the Lab Facebook page.

Last week there a bit of coverage in the local media about these efforts.  Namely CBS and Contra Costa Times, both focusing on Alameda’s and Richmond’s efforts  because those are the only two cities that are actually doing anything — campaign wise — around this issue.   Richmond is recycling the whole “I heart something” meme and is practically a retread of Denise Shelton’s citizen initiated campaign.    Alameda’s effort has the taglines “Let’s Put the Point to Work” and “First Choice, Second Campus”.   I personally love that one.


June 29, 2011

Kate Quick: Can’t Get No Satisfaction

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda Point, Guest blogging — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:00 am

Once in a great while, most people in Alameda come together in a collective notion that all is right with the world and we are going in the right direction. The application for consideration of Alameda Point for the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab appears to be one of the things we have been able to coalesce around.

But, more often than not, we group ourselves into factions: Is the City going down the tubes financially, or not? Is all development bad, or is some o.k.? Do we want to allow low or moderate income housing or should we always go for high end homes? Are big box stores good for our tax base or will they drive out our local merchants? Should we encourage use of public transit or are we so wedded to our cars such expenditures are wasteful? Does Measure A protect us from undesirables or is it preventing us from having flexibility in land use decisions?


June 13, 2011

A lawn sign without an election

Filed under: Alameda, Development — Tags: , — Lauren Do @ 6:00 am

There are a few notable agenda items on tonight’s Planning Board agenda.  But first things first: new Planning Board members.   So far, Mayor Marie Gilmore has had the opportunity to make three appointments to the Planning Board.   So there are three newish faces to the Board.   Most recently both Eric Ibsen and Patrick Lynch stepped off the Planning Board and have been replaced by David Burton and Mike Henneberry.  And Charles Patrick Wallis joined the Planning Board earlier this year, although he has since resigned from the Planning Board so there is now a new vacancy on the Planning Board.   So if you are interested, turn in your application now for consideration.

The first big thing is the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab update.   The big date supporters should remember is July 13.  That is the date the LBNL staff will be in town to see what Alameda has.  This is when City Staff would like members of the public that support the project to be out in full force.   Jennifer Ott mentioned that they will be working on different ways that people can get involved.  And of course, what Alameda campaign would be complete without the essential lawn sign?   That’s right, there will be lawn signs available!


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