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UPDATED On Point: Unsigned

Submitted by on 1, September 10, 2009 – 6:00 am43 Comments

Updated 12:38 p.m. Thursday, September 10

A local group that opposes developer SunCal’s redevelopment plan for Alameda Point has convinced more than 500 people to take their names off ballot initiative petitions the developer circulated this past spring.

The folks from Protect the Point, which opposes the plan, say they have gotten 520 people to take their names off the petitions for a proposed ballot initiative that lays out SunCal’s development plan. Deputy City Clerk Lana Stoker said her office had received 522 removal requests.

“With the City Manager saying that the city has not been able to negotiate in its best interests, and because of the overly aggressive nature of the SunCal signature drive, people are grateful for the opportunity to remove their names from the initiative. Many residents feel like they have been misled,” Reyla Graber, who has actively been working to get people to take their names off the petition, was quoted as saying in a press release.

“We don’t necessarily think we can stop the initiative from moving forward, but we want to give residents an opportunity to remove their names from this risky and costly proposal,” Graber wrote.

SunCal’s reps have said they collected 8,083 signatures for their ballot initiative; they need 6,600 valid signatures to move forward. And a SunCal rep says the company plans to submit their signatures by their end-of-September deadline.

“We plan to submit the signatures by the deadline to forward our initiative to the ballot sometime in early 2010. This submission will ensure that all Alamedans have their chance to vote on the future of Alameda Point,” SunCal spokesman Joe Aguirre said. “We are confident that we have more than enough verified and valid signatures to qualify for the ballot.”

The proposed initiative spells out SunCal’s plan for the former naval air station, which includes more than 4,500 homes, a sports complex, 145 acres of parks and a wealth of retail and commercial space.

But opponents have charged that the measure, if passed, could limit the city’s ability to negotiate a good development deal for the Point and that it could cost the city millions it doesn’t have. And they fear the development could lead to traffic problems and trouble with neighboring communities (Oakland) who have opposed the city’s development plans in the past.

43 Comments »

  • Scott says:

    Aren't the folks from Protect the Point the ones who have rasied negative amount of dollars for their cause. Please stop reporting their issues because no one cares. The Point is getting redeveloped. it has been 12 years since the Navy has left. The time is now. Please no more stories from the 5 folks with protect the point.

  • Jayne Smythe says:

    Thanks for reporting this. Obviously 520 or 522 people in this town care about the development topic, or they wouldn't be taking their names off the SunCal list. It isn't "them" and "their" issues, it is "all of us Alamedans." I have been seeing great information on this blog about all of this and I am grateful for your reporting, Michele!

  • Art A says:

    Scott,

    If you think the point is getting developed now, you must not have acquainted yourself with SunCal's 25 years to take further action and/or it's draconian charter ammendment. The devil is in the details, Scott.

    Unless of course you just don't care. Also, who cares if Protect The Point doesn't have SunCal's level of money. I think of that as kind of a refreshing sign of possible integrity. Unless of course you've confined yourself to only believing in ideas that have huge corporate funding.

  • David Howard says:

    I think it's a mis-characterization to write that Protect the Point has "convinced" or "gotten" people to take their name off the petition – people feel duped, and are asking, of their own accord, how to do it. Many people did not know that it was even possible to retract one's signature. For example, this Alameda voter who wrote this on the Action Alameda Facebook Fan Page:

    "I was taken in by the SunCal petitions too, but didn't feel right about it, came home, researched it, went back to the petition lady and made her cross off my name on the petition. They are very shady people, seriously acting as though they are the other side of the game, in order to get people who don't want big development to actually sign FOR big development."

  • RM says:

    Also–on 9/4, there was a post about SunCal and their financier/partner/hedge fund D.E.Shaw.

    Jon Spangler commented that D.E. Shaw had been "fully vetted by the City of Alameda"

    I responded, asking if this "vetting" was done by elected city officials, which ones?

    If this "vetting" was done by city staff employees, which ones?

    and finally, with whom did they deal with at D.E.Shaw.

    There are so many questions surrounding this 283+page initiative, but these three questions are facts, and easy to answer.

    Thank you.

  • Barbara Thomas says:

    The current scorecard is SUNCAL – 1, VOTERS in ALAMEDA – 5. And compared to your other very good articles Michelle, this one is getting the comments. Keep up the good work. We want to know. Add my vote and make it VOTERS-6 to SUNCAL – 1

  • Dave T. says:

    I bet you could go back 12 years and see the same arguments as to why we shouldn't move forward with development at the point. Like the Bladium guy said in the paper, why is it that Stapleton, with a similar situation, can already have something that all can enjoy and we're still debating?

    The fact is, 8,000 people have said yes, we want to vote on this. Who cares about 520?

    What Howard is really saying is that the people are too stupid to decide for themselves. If that isn't shady, I don't know what is.

  • Scott says:

    The reason no one supports Protect the Point is that they offer no solutions only reasons why Suncal should not develop. it is fine to have the opionion that Suncal is too costly and will not do a good job, but offer up some alternative solutions that people can rally behind. protect the point just wants the point to waste away for another 100 years. Try coming up with some of your own solutions protect the point and you might e able to raise some money and get support. No solutions no support

  • AD says:

    If this was a case before a judge, where a corporation deceived its 8,000 shareholders by lying about its stock, and 520 distinct individuals came forward one after another to testify how they were personally deceived by the CEO, that would be a pretty compelling statement, don't you think, Scott/Dave T?

    Name one other initiative where people have come by the hundreds to withdraw their signatures because they were lied to. Given enough time, I think SunCal can easily lose the number they need to qualify.

  • D Kirwin says:

    Scott – you clearly have not been listening to people at all – You seem to only listen to Corporate propaganda.

    Land Trusts are a great way to initiate intentional communities that build to suit people and not corporate profit

    Look at all the good Northern Ca Land Trust has done for so many new home owners in CA.

    There are many many kinds of land trusts. Some can help the city hold on to profits while benefiting the community.

    SunCal's plan sucks for our city and our community as a whole.

    SunCal wants us to think there plan is the only option which is total BS.

    Why has the city not been doing research on better options.

  • Hey folks (and certain folks in particular): I know it's become unfashionable to be civil. But I've never really been one to follow the crowd. So let's try to make our point without resorting to personal attacks, m'kay?

    The person who does the best job may win a prize! (And the folks who don't seem able to follow the rules will earn a one-way ticket to Trollville, aka my spam bin.)

  • Art A says:

    Why can't it be a park? Why does it need to be paved and built out at all? With a park you have no resident lawsuits over partially mitigated toxic waste, no huge debt, no traffic jams and something nice for current Alameda residents.

  • Barbara Thomas says:

    I have suggested several times that the City of Alameda should go forward and develop some of the most obvious aspects of the Point – starting with the marina. This can go forward while we decide what to do with the remainder. Building the 600 or so berths, renting/leasing them out at $7 per foot per month, with simple docks will yield decades of pure profit. In the millions of dollars. City staff can engineer this, staff can build it, or contract out. I think the boaters won't give a hoot what the ingress/egress roads look like. Its simply the best harbor, nearest to deep water left undeveloped. Why give SUNCAL this plump prize? And let them skim the cream off the top? Even with global warming, these docks will be rentable. And the use is entirely consistent with recreation and Alameda's water based theme whatever is ultimately completed at the Point.

  • Jack Kirby says:

    My vote is for a community of assisted living facilities. Alameda Point could be another Rossmoor. Think about it. A whole bunch of people who don't drive or use schools.

  • David Howard says:

    I don’t think there’s anybody opposed to SunCal’s plan that doesn’t want Alameda Point redeveloped in some form another. Sorry, but the “anti-development” card doesn’t play…

    As for alternates, there are two alternate proposals:

    1) The 2006 PDC plan for Alameda Point, with no more than 2000 homes, and adaptive re-use of the buildings on the base, which had genuine, broad community support (unlike SunCal’s manufactured “support”) and was developed over time, not cooked-up by SunCal in a contrived fashion.

    2) The proposal for a focus on jobs and sustainable energy research, whether it be in a Land Trust form or not. Thomas Freidman, the author of “Hot Flat and Crowded” – where the planet ends up given climate change – says we need thousands of engineers and thousands of companies working on thousands of problems and one or two will be the Google of solving Climate change. The federal government is handing out money left and right to electric car companies (e.g. Tesla), sustainable energy research, etc. etc. Makiah Power is already out at Alameda Point. Why not have some of that federal money create jobs in Alameda, so fewer people have to go through the tubes?

    http://www.actionalameda.org/soca/SOCA-Alternate-Development-Plan.pdf

    As for myself saying that people are too stupid to vote… I’ve never said that. In fact, I’ve talked to a lot of people who said they signed SunCal’s petition for the sake of being able to vote against it, and make a point. I’ll repeat it – people are ASKING how to take their names off the petition, because they were lied to. Nobody is talking them into it, only responding to a need.

    I don’t think anyone opposes a vote on the issue – but many people oppose an UNFAIR vote, and may people oppose a vote on such a huge, complicated measure – 300 pages of initiative documents, and multiple questions in the issue. The League of Women Voters has a policy of pushing for single-issue votes – this is not a single-issue vote.

    Even the anti-Measure A people were duped by SunCal, who they thought was their White Knight. They wanted an up or down vote on Measure A. But guess what? SunCal screwed them over too. SunCal has no respect for local-yokel planning staff – Pat Keliher intimated that to me in one of the few early meetings we had with him.

  • David Howard says:

    To Barbara's point – Look at the city council packet for September 15th, specifically, the economic development commission report, and the comments from attendees to the business forums held:

    "The City is ignoring a dynamic marine business in Alameda."

    Too much focus on "turf" (building houses at Alameda Point) and not enuff focus on "surf."

  • Dave T. says:

    I'm having a problem understand the logic of some on this board.

    If there are people that signed the petition in order to get the initiative on the ballot in order to vote against it, why would people want to take their names *off* the petition?

    Wouldn't those opposing the Sun cal plan *encourage* people to sign the petition so they could defeat it in an election????

    Please don't flame me, I'm just asking a question.

  • AD says:

    Dave T., it is very simple—people are withdrawing their signatures in protest, because they were DECEIVED into giving them. In other words, Suncal LIED to get them to sign. More than one person said to me personally they thought the initiative was a grassroots citizens effort to clean up the point. This was DELIBERATE MISREPRESENTATION on behalf of SunCal, through false statements ("sign here to clean up the Point"), "homemade" signs, etc.

    Detailer, appreciate all the detail.

  • Detailer says:

    I find SunCal’s holding back the already signed initiative petitions very suspicious. That is not the normal way petitions with original signatures are handled. Usually an initiative proponent is so thrilled, when they reach their target number, they rush the petitions into the City Clerk, so the signature validation process can begin.

    These petitions, when they finally reach the City Clerk, will be stale to the tune of many months. How many people will have moved invalidating their address and thereby their voter registration? How many will have died?

    The foregoing questions mean, to me, that somebody on the anti-initiative side should bring a writ of mandate to compel the City Clerk to validate the initiative petitions, or invalidate them, by checking every signature (when normally only a representative sample are verified) and by checking that each signator still lives at that address and their voter registration is thereby still valid (necessitated by SunCal’s unprecedented step of holding back the signed petitions).

    And I might also ask what SunCal has been doing with the petitions since they were signed? Most City Clerks tell initiative proponents that it is illegal to photocopy them for later use in sending out campaign literature urging people to remember to vote for the measure. The whole “chain of custody issue” is of great concern to me, for at least one reason: an initiative petition signature is invalid if it is not set up exactly as shown on the voter registration rolls. Thus if you were registered to vote as Elizabeth J. Smith, and you signed the petition as Elizabeth Smith, the signature would be invalid on the petition. Has SunCal been checking each signature and where possible doctoring it up to match the voter registration rolls?

    I repeat people. Writ of mandate to keep the measure off the ballot because of the suspicious delay in handing in the original signatures.

    And by the way, there is a long history, in Southern California, of City Councils voting to keep initiative measures off the ballot when the City Attorney advises them that there are technical deficiencies in the content of the initiative petition which make it violate fundamental California law…like the basic principle that an initiative can only make decisions which are legislative in nature and that the initiative cannot infringe on decisions by a City Council which are administrative in nature. There are many reported appellate cases on that issue. Does the City Attorney have the balls to go through the initiative, find the infringement on the City Council’s administrative powers, and advise the City Council to vote to refuse to put the initiative on the ballot?

    Has any member of the voting public had their attorney make the same legislative/administrative law analysis of the initiative’s content? It seems to me that an Alameda voter could bring a writ of mandate, write now, identifying where the initiative strays into infringing on present AND FUTURE city councils’ administrative decision making powers and asking for a writ of mandate commanding the City Clerk to keep it off the ballot.

    There’s an old legal principle dating back to the 1970’s which said that a city council could not “contract away the police power” or “bind future city councils”. The statute creating development agreements tries to get around that problem by describing what must be in a development agreement. However the development agreement contained in this initiative goes way beyond what is expressly provided for in the development agreement statute, straying very far into the city’s and city council’s administrative decision making powers on public health, safety, welfare and general “police powers” issues, and thereby contracting away the police power and purporting to bind future city councils on administrative rather than legislative issues.

    As a result, the best thing to do, in terms of opposition to the initiative, is for the voters and taxpayers to file a writ of mandate lawsuit now, to attack it on all of the grounds described above. Turn around is fair play. If corrupt, pro-developer City Councils can keep defective initiatives sponsored by “slow growthers and environmentalists” off the ballot, so too should the slow growthers and environmentalists be able to raise the same arguments commonly used against their initiatives and blow the developer’s and corrupt city council members initiative off the ballot.

  • Scott says:

    "Why has the city not been doing research on better options." That is the only statement that i agree with on this post. I don't care if suncal redelvelops the point or some other just as long as some sort of project gets started. it has been 12 years since the Navy has left. More than enough time for research nad what works best. Suncal has a plan no one else does Suncal wins it's as simple as that. If someone else would like to develop the point present yourself within the nxt couple of months. The point is going to be redeveloped, the sooner the better. Now lead, follow, or get out of the way.

  • AD says:

    Scott—the city has an exclusive negotiation agreement with SunCal that expires in June of 2010. SunCal plans to have their initiative on the ballot BEFORE that. Therefore, even if the city has woken up (and perhaps read the executive summary prepared for them that raises a host of concerns about the initiative) and if they would like to put forward a different plan, they can't realistically do anything intill the ENA is up. SunCal knows that.

    What the city SHOULD DO is publicly and loudly denounce the bad deal sealed in the initiative so that voters who've bought the "this or nothing" argument not vote for it, precluding all else from happening.

    I'm still waiting for a city leader to wake up.

  • Scott says:

    12 years is long enough to get the plan and process right. Suncals plan is the only one on the table 12 years later. other companies and groups had 9 years to come up with other options before Suncal was even a thought. The people that did step up failed. So now Suncal takes over and the the redevelopment will finally begin. This project should have been started 10 years ago if you ask me. That fact that it has taken this long is beyond upsetting.

  • You know, one thing that I should add is that over the course of this time, the city did examine some of the other possibilities that have been talked about in this most recent round over the Point. For example, I believe (and folks, please feel free to correct me on the fine points) they talked about putting a university extension of some sort out there but that didn't pan out.

  • DL Morrison says:

    Everytime I read the "something, anything" argument, my mind starts cycling thru the possibilities: A nuclear power plant? A cement factory? A detention center? How about a casino?? I bet that brings in the tax dollars.

    I know, let's sell it off to a giant hedge fund — then we can watch the wheels of high finance in motion and maybe find out what they actually plan to do with this land, which I know I'm pretty curious about. Don't hedge funds want a quick turnaround…? Why would DE Shaw hold this land for 10 or 20 years, I wonder, waiting for a payoff?

    Something tells me they wouldn't, and that's the drawback w/ SunCal's plan — we don't know what we're getting, so the whole "something is better than nothing" argument pretty much falls thru, since even with the plan there's a good chance that we're getting nothing. Before we sign onto any plan of this magnitude with so many long-term consequences, at the very least, we need to know in detail what we're getting into, and we need some opportunity for negotiation and public review. This plan is the municipal equivalent of jumping off a cliff.

    (And as for the comment about seeing the same arguments 12 years ago: Alameda was an island then and it's an island now — that's a fundamental constraint that's not going away, however tiresome it may be.)

  • DL Morrison says:

    And a ps: I agree w/ Jack above, an assisted living facility or senior citizen community could make sense in that setting, as it would provide needed housing plus have less of an impact on the rest of the city. I think it's in keeping w/ smart growth planning also, in particular with the assumption that older people will be more likely to give up single family homes in favor of multi-family housing in a more urban setting. As Lauren Do reported on Blogging Bayport today, the density bonus allows multi-unit housing to be built without requiring an exemption from Measure A.

  • RM says:

    If we go back to Sept. 10 when I wrote referring to the Sept. 4 post by Jon Spangler about Sun Cal and D.E. Shaw being "fully vetted by the City of Alameda," I asked for further information from Mr. Spangler.

    Haven't seen a response yet, so I'm still interested in knowing who in the "city of Alameda fully vetted" them. Which elected officials? Which city staff employees? Who did they deal with at DE Shaw?

    Questions, questions that need answers.

  • Gail says:

    Please let Scott know that developement of any kind cannot happen until the

    Navy finishes cleaning the point up. The toxic cleanup is still in the works.

    The Navy will only release the point when the cleanup is complete. The Navy's cleanup is according to previous plans.

    Scott, do you want to build over 5,000 homes on land that will make people sick? Evidently you don't comute through the tube either. We're looking at the possiblity of 5,000 to 10,000 additional cars a day going through the tube.

    I agree something needs to be done, but in all probably nothing will get done. Look at SunCal's record. They come in and destroy and then leave. Take a look on their website..it's total destruction. Why don't they help the towns and the people they left after declaring bankruptcy 30 times instead of starting a new project?

  • DL Morrison says:

    I asked a question about Cardinal Point on Blogging Bayport, how it got built under Measure A, and got this response, which I think is relevant here.

    Here's a link to this post as well.
    http://laurendo.wordpress.com/2009/09/14/bonus-ti

    5. Cardinal Point, as I understand it met Measure A, as the units do not have full kitchens, and therefore are not considered “dwelling units” under the City of Alameda definition of same. At the time the facility was built there were those who were opposed to it as being in violation of Measure A, but when the City’s definition of “dwelling unit” was publicized, the opposition seemed to go quiet.

    I have been in some of the units and on a tour of the whole facility, and it is true that they have no ovens – just cooktops and microwaves.

    Personally, I suspect that since it was a senior facility and fairly up-scale, and there was nothing torn down that it replaced in the way of historic buildings, it did not merit law-suits by those who often oppose such things.

    It is lovely, and an addition to our community – seems to meet a real need for housing that is accessible and reasonably sized for people who want to “step down” and stay in Alameda. The folks who run it are very community oriented – they have asked the LWV to do candidate’s nights and pros and cons meetings there, and allowed the whole of Alameda to attend. All our meetings there have been well attended!

    Comment by Kate Quick — September 14, 2009 @ 2:34 pm

  • Miriam says:

    Scott,

    Just because I don't want to marry you doesn't mean that I don't want to get married. Just because I'm in my thirties doesn't mean that I should marry some jerk just to get hitched. If a guy who wants to date me is an irresponsible loser who will just suck my bank account dry, I'm going to turn him down.

    Peace,

    Miriam

  • Gail says:

    Just another thought, take a moment and read the letter from

    Donald J. Mitchell, President of the Sequoyah Hills/Oak Knoll Neighborhood

    Association. There is a link to his letter on Action Alameda. Is this the

    kind of company you think Alameda should deal with? Again, why don't they take their money and help the people in this neighborhood instead of starting another mess in a new location. They have left neighborhoods all over the state that have been destroyed. Sun Cal should be ashamed of themselves.

  • William Smith says:

    Gail,

    In support of the Point I made in a previous comment that the Regulatory bodies and the Navy are not satisfactorily protecting the environment at Alameda Point I refer you to a Sept. 12th letter signed by nearly every member of the RAB to the Navy's Mr. George Brooks. The Audobon Society and the Sierra Club also signed onto the letter.

    The following excerpt from the letter summarizes the problem. "With the support of the Sierra Club and Audubon Society, we wish to state that the proposed plan for Site 2 does not meet the needs of the Wildlife Refuge or protection of wildlife and the Bay." Site 2 is the future site for the Wildlife Refuge at Alameda Point.

    Related to this letter, at or near this site the RAB discovered at the last meeting that the Navy's monitoring of a contaminant plume has been inadequate (only a single well) with the result that the location and size of an underground plume of chlorinated hydrocarbons has not been characterized for 11 years.

    The RAB members disagree with the contention of at least one regulator that this plume could only have gotten smaller over the years. The plume is likely caused by a concentrated mass of nearly pure contaminant. The surface area of the original mass, say a sphere, can increase as the sphere breaks up with time or earthquakes, and result in an increase in the total amount of mass that dissolves into groundwater passing through the plume. The Navy, its consulatants, and the Regulatory bodies have proven reluctant to address this plausible concern.

    For a copy of the letter, contact either the RAB community co-chair Dale Smith (dale2smith@yahoo.com)or William Smith (smithwja@gmail.com) – no familial relation by the way!

  • William Smith says:

    Gail,

    Short correction to my earlier post on Alameda Point. Site 2 mostly lies immediately the north of the future Alameda National Wildlife Refuge. A golf course and hotel were previously planned for this Site 2. My regrets for any confusion my error in stating that Site 2 is the site for the future Wildlife Refuge.

    Bill Smith

  • Scott says:

    http://www.libertynationalgc.com/ Please check out this golf course that was built on a toxic dump in New Jersey and now is a beautiful golf course. Could be exactly what the point needs along with all the other development. The city of alameda will never waste the best views of San Francisco and the Bay area on a retirement community. Please stop posting those request. I have still not heard of another solution other than Suncals. It amuses me that people think Suncal will not take it account the increase in traffic, and will provide no solution to it.

    • Hey Scott,

      I actually talked with city staff about this a while back when folks began expressing concerns about the apparent disappearance of a planned park off the development map. And they said the idea of a golf course had been studied and that they had determined it was not financially feasible to build one at the Point.

  • AD says:

    Scott:

    I'm sorry but I simply will not be pressured by a developer's "now or never" crescendo.

    as elaborated above, the Navy, not SunCal, has been doing all the cleanup at the Point and will continue to do so until the land is accepted and transfered (hopefully with a high criteria). Also, during that time you speak of, the community came up with a PDC, or at least a number of homes we can live with (considering our traffic constraints)—a number SunCal threw out the window with no regard. Finally, the Point is producing $12 million in lease revenue a year as we speak. This revenue will be lost to redevelopment payments as soon as SunCal gets the land, and they may just sit on it forever anyway. Please read about the latest SunCal-made disaster, Oak Knoll, at www. alamedapointinfo.com

    To sum up, I see no rush to go ahead and vote it all away to SunCal. There's plenty of work to be completed before before anyone gets anything going at the Point, other than what's there now. When Anyone does, I'd like that entity to have a proven responsibility record.

  • Jayne Smythe says:

    You know, SunCal could have offered a plan that was Measure A compliant, alongside the one that is up for us all to maybe-at-some-future-time vote on, but not November, apparently.

    The plan they put up seems to be the "go for broke" plan. Well, they are already broke. Aren't they? And why is it that they want total control, without the city's by your leave?

    Seems to me we have to really heed the tangled mess that SunCal is in everywhere and say this isn't a company to be doing business with, particularly since our local economy is fragile right now. The new yogurt shops won't be the big sales tax bonanza this town needs to keep its head above water. This is just simple common sense.

  • William Smith says:

    Gail,

    Your point that the Navy will release property at the Point only after the toxic cleanup is complete is not quite correct. If the new owner, in this case potentially the City of Alameda before it transfers ownership to SunCal, agrees to accept liability for the KNOWN environmental problems, the Navy will transfer the land.

    This transfer before total cleanup, or early transfer, is what the City currently has in mind for Alameda Point. The Navy legal document that allows this early transfer to happen is called a “Finding of Suitablity for Early Transfer (FOSET).”

    The RAB (Restoration Advisory Board) has been monitoring land where FOSETs have been proposed carefully. The FOSET is intended to speed cleanup and reuse of property under the assumption that the new owner will be motivated to clean the property before the Navy could get around to it.

    For instance, the Navy plans to grant the City’s request to transfer old buildings with lead and asbestos problems under a FOSET. The City and then SunCal would responsible for remediating lead paint and asbestos not only in the building, but also in the surrounding soil.

    We have a good RAB at Alameda with well qualified technical people, that is monitoring the Navy closely. Unfortunately the Navy, and the regulatory agencies, including the US EPA, CA DTSC, and the State Water Quality Control Board often choose to ignore RAB input.

    The difference of opinion between the RAB and regulatory bodies is especially pronounced for groundwater contaminated with chlorinated hydrocarbons which the Navy and the regulatory agencies seem content to allow to migrate underground into the Bay. The RAB has recommended numerous times that the Navy at least monitor how much is getting into the Bay to no avail.

    Monitoring of the plumes is important for early transfer, as some contaminants are predicted to migrate underneath future housing sites shown in the SunCal plan. Yet those sites are clean today, and thus could possibly be transferred under a “Findng of Suitability for Transfer” with no restrictions on use.

    The RAB, co-chaired by Dale Smith, has been particularly frustrated with the regulatory agencies related to their policies that allow these contaminants to continue to spread. You can contact Dale to offer her support at dale2smith@yahoo.com. George Humphreys and other RAB members with decades of environmental experience are very concerned about the monitoring and cleanup standards the Regulatory agencies are requiring of the Navy.

  • ct says:

    The citizens of Alameda should be allowed to decide on this issue, so the initiative should be on the ballot next year. We'd have the time between now and then to research SunCal's plans for development as well as any other options on the table for Alameda Point and vote either for or against it.

  • AD says:

    The citizens of Alameda have so far been snowed with misinformation from SunCal. The citizens also typically don't read 300 pages of legalese even if they have all the time in the world. This initiative is highly unusual in that it does not cover a single simply stated issue but a complex contract agreement which you cannot reasonably expect an average voter to tease apart. The League of Women Voters and the city attorney should be screaming "foul" if they were for real.

    The citizens are better off if this initiative does not make it on the ballot at all. There is always the chance of something absurd like this actually passing.

  • Barbara Thomas says:

    Detailer:

    Don't think a writ will be ripe until and if the Registrar certifies the SUNCAL initiative for the ballot. Then wait for the flurry of legal actions including the City of Oakland for breach of the settlement agreement. Question then is how will our City Council time the placement of the initiative on the ballot. We saw what they did with the Firefighters' initiative.

    The purpose of SUNCAL's telephone survey after the second literature drop is to see how much of a shift in voter's preferences they bought with however much they spent. That way they can gage how much they have to spend to win, if they can. And in what precincts they have to spend the money. Much more likely to be able to persuade voters at Harbor Bay Isle and east enders than west enders.

  • Miriam says:

    East Enders are going to be as buried in traffic as those farther west. Read the recently released report on the increased traffic SunCal will bring to everyone on the island.

    "These results imply that traffic to and from the project are using all the studied Estuary crossings to leave/return to the project site. When congestion occurs at the Posey/Webster Tubes, project-related traffic is diverting to the other estuary crossings. It is noted that this analysis did not include potential traffic increases associated with the project on the City of Oakland facilities"
    http://www.ci.alameda.ca.us/news/pdf/09_09_Phase2

    When traffic backs up, motorists will be seeking any street that leads them off the island.

  • ct says:

    AD,

    “300 pages of legalese” does sound daunting. I just flipped through the initiative, and with a number of pages consisting of crossed out text, diagrams and maps, tables, and title/section pages, the actual number of pages to be read is closer to 160 (132 if you don’t include the genuinely legalistic development agreement).

    I suppose 132 pages is still a lot to ask a voter to read, but all I’m saying is *all* the citizens of a community have a right to decide on this issue, not just the more vocal, more activist individuals.

  • RM says:

    When reading the 283+ pages involved in this initiative written by SunCal and DE Shaw, it is important to read what has been struck through!

    Why are they striking out so much of our current rules and regulations???

    What they are deleting is as important as what they are adding and what they are changing. A responsible voter will read the whole deal carefully before voting.

    If this makes the ballot, it’ll be condensed to fewer than one page, and that’s the extent of what what voters will read. A “yes” vote will mean everything in the 283+ pages will then be in effect. And changeable only be another election.

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