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On Point: Bullet points

Submitted by on 1, October 30, 2009 – 5:50 amOne Comment
Photo by Charles Howell

Photo by Charles Howell

Lots of little bits of developments on the Point this week. Let’s get started, eh?

VA transfer: I promised a few weeks ago that I’d track down that Environmental Summary Document for the 549-acre chunk of the Point the Department of Veterans Affairs wants for outpatient clinics and an above-ground cemetery, and finally, I’m delivering. (Or I should say, the kind David Darrow, a project manager for the Navy, got it to me almost as soon as I got around to asking.)

The document basically lays out all the existing contamination issues for the parcel, which includes the base’s former airfield and landfill. (More could be found as the Navy continues to investigate conditions on the property.) And it lays out some pretty heavy restrictions on development.

One of the more interesting pieces of the package, though, could be a letter from the Environmental Protection Agency’s local office that says officials there are concerned the VA – which could get the property before cleanup is complete – doesn’t have the resources, technical expertise or funding to complete the cleanup the site needs, and that it won’t be able to properly manage the wetlands and the least tern population that was originally in line to get the site.

“It is the EPA’s view that the Navy remains as responsible under (federal Superfund rules) regardless of the language in the proposed Memorandum of Understanding between the Navy and the VA,” EPA project manager Xuan-Mai Tran wrote.

More to come, I’m sure.

Oak Knoll + press release = controversy: If you’re reading this site really, really closely (and God love ya if you are), you may have seen some comments questioning my decision to post SunCal’s press release that said they’d gotten a Santa Ana bankruptcy court judge to okay the release of $500,000 to start cleaning up the mess they left at Oak Knoll. Some commenters claimed that they had checked it out and this was not the case. Utterly embarrassed that I had not checked out the release, I picked up the phone and started writing e-mails.

A spokesperson for SunCal wrote back to let me know that the Hon. Erithe A. Smith had verbally given her okay to release the funds, and a court clerk in her chambers said it’s up to the party that requested the order – in this case, SunCal – to write it up for the judge to sign (and court staff to post on the federal courts’ website).

I asked SunCal’s rep if this had been done, and he responded with an e-mail saying SunCal had started work at Oak Knoll. I e-mailed Don Mitchell, the head of a nearby homeowners association that filed its own claim to get the mess cleaned up, to see if the work was being done.

“Security has been at the site for the psat day or two. We’ll see if the rest comes through,” Mitchell said.

Trick or treat: It’s Halloween this weekend, and one local resident is taking the opportunity to let folks know just how scary he thinks SunCal’s Alameda Point ballot measure is.

Local activist and blogger David Howard is planning to be at the Webster Street Farmers Market at noon on Saturday to hand out treats. He’s got bags of custom-made M&M’s bearing the names of SunCal’s bankrupt California developments. He’ll also hand out “trick bags” that have I think a tissue or something in them to reflect SunCal’s empty promises (apologies, I haven’t opened mine yet).

While you’re there, check out the scrumptious seasonal fruit, irresistible pastries from La Farine and the fresh-cut (total bargain) flowers.

And last but not least: One more group has come out against SunCal’s ballot initiative: The Alameda Architectural Preservation Society. From the press release:

“The Alameda Architectural Preservation Society’s Board of Directors firmly opposes the Revitalization Initiative. SunCal Companies Revitalization Initiative presents inherent uncertainties and inconsistencies that have not been addressed either publicly or through outreach conducted by the AAPS,” said Nancy Hird, President of the AAPS Board of Directors. “It’s very important for Alameda citizens to know that this Revitalization Initiative threatens significant Alameda historic resources with unnecessary destruction and alteration of facilities and homes at Alameda Point.”

One Comment »

  • David Howard says:

    Note that it was a couple of weeks between SunCal announcing the money for Oak Knoll, in early Oct, and that Mitchell told me that security arrived only Oct 28th or so.

    And there's still nothing on the bankruptcy court docket to show evidence that the money is coming from the trustee – actually a lot of paper flying back between the lawyers.

    I wonder if SunCal, embarrassed, finally found some of their own money – after leaving Oak Knoll in Oct, 2008, after ignoring the order to abate issued June 12, 2009, and after the negative publicity about Oak Knoll – to put some kind of security out there, instead of waiting for the Trustee to release funds.

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