Letters to the Editor

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We are writing on behalf of more than 140 Alameda businesspeople who have signed the petition: “Support Plans for Site A at Alameda Point” on Change.org We represent some of the larger employers currently operating in Alameda. One of the many attributes that attracted us to locate on the island is the promise of desirable housing and recreation for our employees — an attractive environment for jobs. We call upon Alameda’s Mayor and City Council to fulfill this promise.

Collectively, we employ thousands of people, many of whom commute on and off the island each day. Our employees work hard and play hard and prefer to rent or own in Alameda. However, the persistent housing shortage, lack of mid-size apartment rentals and rising costs create obstacles and present a recruiting and retention challenge for local businesses.

The city is presented a real opportunity to attract quality commercial tenants with plans to re-develop the former naval base. Most employers are no longer looking to fill large office parks and force employees into long commutes to corporate campuses. The Site A plan will attract commercial businesses in the technology and new economy sectors. But to start-up or relocate here, and to recruit and retain a durable workforce, they need a community to support them. This includes infrastructure, capital, facilities, a collaborative culture and places to live. 

Plans for two-thirds rental housing — workforce housing — including 25 percent affordable units, are part of this business ecosystem. Housing employees near their workplaces also will alleviate rush hour traffic in the tubes and on our bridges. A new ferry terminal, bus rapid transit and bike paths also are part of this network. Artisan dining and retail, parks and recreation complete the community. Without an interconnected system, we cannot grow or sustain jobs. Site A is the catalyst for job generation at Alameda Point.

There is a reason Alameda is considered one of the most- sought-after places to live in the country. It is also one of the best places to work. By joining in this public-private partnership, Alameda can model the success of other cities that have planned for a thoughtful mix of housing near workspaces — creating a sense of place for employees seeking to improve their lifestyle by living closer to where they work.

— Christopher Seiwald, Perforce Software, Patricia Pierce, VF Outdoor, Inc., Doug Biggs, Alameda Point Collaborative, Leslie Cameron, Bay Ship & Yacht Co., Robert Doud, McGuire and Hester & Brad Shook, Bladium

I love the Arctic because it is so important for the environment. It’s the earth’s built-in cooling system.  Shell Oil got a permit to drill in the Arctic, which would be very bad because there’s a 75 percent chance of an oil spill. If there were to be an oil spill, many animals would die. If you love the Arctic like I do, please pass on this information because together we might be able to change Shell’s mind. For more information, go to www.greenpeace.org.

— Maggie Spiegel

The Alameda Sun received a copy of this letter addressed to “my elected officials.”

What do I want? I want my elected officials to discontinue promoting the policy of, “we have to get people out of their automobiles.” I want to drive my automobile in and out of Alameda. I am fortunate and proud to live in Alameda, to own an automobile and to be an American.

America is about automobiles; I do not want my elected officials to continue depriving me of my privelege to drive my automobile.

I want no approval of any further home construction, including the approval of home construction at Alameda Point, not until the effect on traffic resulting from the completion of the hurried current projects can be properly studied, preferably through a non-fiction version of a traffic study.

We do not need a traffic study now, we need one after the current projects have been completed. A study now would be nothing more than costly self-serving speculation.

I want no further constriction of the streets in Alameda; no reducing of four lanes to two or one to none. The goal of such a construction is to “get people out of their automobiles.” The results of the last election should convince my elected officials to cease and desist the approval of further housing and constriction of streets; if not, I, and I trust many others, will see you at the polls. 

I realize I could be mistaken, but I beleive the view I express here is the majority view in Alameda respecting futher housing and restriction of our streets, including our street parking spaces. Whatever your view, let it be known.

— Michael Cosentino