Letters to the Editor

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Editor:
Thank you for publishing Jamestown developer’s Plan for South Shore with the overhead maps (“South Shore Plans Have Barely Begun,” Aug. 22). The “before-and-after” photos tell quite a story. 

I have to wonder if anyone from Jamestown has ever shopped at South Shore? The “sea of parking” that they say encapsulates the mall is parked solid on weekends and holidays! And the small bit of parking they are proposing to leave is parked to capacity even on weekdays to accommodate Safeway, Trader Joes and Walgreens shoppers. Do they not realize that shopping centers are meant-to-be surrounded by a sea of parking?

And it appears from the plans that they are eliminating Kohls, Ross, Sushi House, Big Five and more. Can this be true? For those of us who enjoy on-Island shopping, this would be a great loss. Who in our city government thinks this is a good idea?

The new housing is nice…but inevitably residential parking will spill over into the minimal parking for shoppers. People who live in the new housing can walk to shop, but where will the rest of us park? 

If allowed to proceed as planned Jamestown will take a lovely, functional hometown shopping center with a good variety of retail stores, restaurants and services and encapsulate it with high-rise housing. I see this project as a huge win for Jamestown and a huge loss for Alameda shoppers.

 

Kate McAnaney

Editor’s note: None of the business mentioned will be “eliminated” by Jamestown. They may be moved or reconfigured as the center redevelops. What seems more likely to eliminate retail stores is their customers increasingly turning to online shopping. 

 

Editor:
Our own intelligence agencies tell us that Russia, China and North Korea have already gained access to our non-secure voting machines. We must protect our vote in order to save democracy. We cannot allow our elections to be hacked. 

The House passed $600 million for election security. It’s time for the Senate to do the same. Wake up, Mitch! Our Senators must fight to allocate $600 million to secure our elections.

 

Carol Fairweather

Editor:
The proposal to build housing at South Shore seems very logical: A declining shopping center spread out in a haphazard fashion, near the beach and public transportation could very nicely be converted to the housing that is so drastically needed in the Bay Area (“South Shore Plans Have Barely Begun,” Aug. 22). 

After all, the housing is addressing a region shortfall; those who need it are already here fighting for what’s available, pushing out current residents, forcing up rents and causing tent encampments. 

Arguing against such a project based on extra traffic ignores the reality that the traffic isn’t created by housing construction. It is created by job growth in the technology sector. The traffic results from lack of housing near jobs and lack of public transportation alternatives. These factors must be addressed by creating housing throughout the Bay Area and Alameda must be willing to do its part.  

The Jamestown proposal, which will include at least 15 percent affordable housing, will take years to develop and, along the way, many design, transportation and climate sustainability factors can be addressed. 

The younger generation in Alameda, which is largely ignored in all debates around what constitutes a habitable environment in this town, will applaud our efforts to retool the South Shore Center for the future. They do not live in the past like the rest of us. 

 

Laura Thomas

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