It makes me wonder


Before casting your votes in the upcoming election, I encourage all my friends and neighbors to take some time out of your busy lives and take a good long look at the Island we live on. I took a long drive last week and I returned home with serious concerns about the development that is taking place. "Quality of life" is a phrase thrown around freely in campaign literature and yet as I looked at the all the projects either proposed or underway I am unable to see how the quality of life I currently enjoy will be enhanced by any of the projects.

The new shopping center behind College of Alameda sickens me. The entire development, stores, gas stations and houses look like Anytown, USA. Quality of life? I’m doubtful. The Veterans Administration development on Alameda Point promises to be much more massive than most of us realize bringing with it an unknown component that I find unsettling. Seaplane Lagoon is beautiful but again, who will benefit from the proposed development? Is development of this magnitude wise?

The Del Monte warehouse and Chipman projects on Buena Vista Avenue promise to provide housing and shopping opportunities but will they increase our quality of life? When you add the proposed housing to the Oak Street and Clement Avenue area, the new Walgreens and other retail stores and the proposed development on Tilden Way near the Fruitvale Bridge, it makes me wonder if anyone charged with making decisions has actually looked at the Island as a whole.

It seems as though our planners and city leaders have just rubber stamped each project, one by one.

I am not naive enough to advocate no growth nor to think that this election will solve the mess our elected officials will inherit. I do think that residents need to pay attention and vote. If 80 percent of the eligible citizens vote to keep things as they are, I will shut up and rethink where I want to spend my declining years.

If you believe that Alameda is a very special community and should not be turned into the same boring towns you see across the entire nation, I encourage you to vote, speak up and change the future of the Island. Your quality of life is at stake.

Mike Cooper