Letters to the Editor
Thanks to our caring Alameda community, Girls Inc. of the Island City’s Women Who Dare Event was a phenomenal success, raising more than $60,000 for our innovative programs! With this critical support, Girls Inc. of the Island City can deepen its capacity to help more girls seize opportunities and thrive. On behalf of the Women Who Dare Committee, I would like to thank our tremendous sponsors and supporters for helping us to inspire all girls to reach their full potentials and create bold futures.
A strong, Smart and Bold Thank you to our Women Who Dare sponsors, Alameda Welfare Council, Kaiser Permanente, Excel Graphics, Alameda Hospital, Alameda Alliance for Health, Alameda Elder Communities in honor of Darnelle Zimmerman, Alameda Pediatric Dentistry, Andy and Nadine Barbera of Barbera Pangelinan Insurance Agency, Dorie Guess Behrstock, First Community Bank, Greer Family Mortuary, Trader Joe’s and the Alameda Police Department.
In addition we’d like to thank Lauren Zimmerman Cook, The Office of Deb Knowles of Edward Jones Investments, Sally R. Han of Alain Pinel Realtors, Harbor Bay Realty, Karen Petrulakis, Kate Rezucha, and Morgan West Hansen.
Our in-kind donors included Alameda Bicycle, Alameda Theatre, June Allen, Susan Cashin, Beth Degolia, Dragon Rouge, East Bay Crew, Irish Monkey, Peg Kofman, Ken Pearce, Bryan and Madonna Pendleton, Rythmix Cultural Works, Charlotte Tlachac, Trukid, Trader Joe’s and Julie Van Buhler.
We also like to thank our time and talent sponsors Nick Sandy, Lauren Hopkins, Olivia Lopez, Janet Thoma, Mary Ann Rose, Maricel Ago, Al Wright, Marilyn Sandifur, Anita Battle and Rose LeCount.
The Alameda Sun received a copy of this letter addressed to United States Attorney General Eric Holder.
Attorney General Holder:
On behalf of the undersigned organizations, collectively representing approximately 500,000 California members and environmental activists, we are writing to oppose a pending request by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and General Services Administration (GSA) to initiate eminent domain proceedings to take California State Park property. We strongly oppose the DOJ’s and GSA’s intent to take public land for private use.
Last August, the DOJ informed California Attorney General Kamala Harris of its intent to initiate eminent domain proceedings against the California Department of Parks and Recreation to seize utility easements through Robert W. Crown Memorial State Beach and the state-owned road McKay Avenue that access the beach.
The impetus for the proposed federal taking of public property is primarily for the benefit of a private development proposal that includes a 48 unit medium density subdivision directly adjacent to a public beach and on the San Francisco Bay. A development of this size would have a direct impact on the State Park and Beach and cove area, which the California Department of Fish and Wildlife has designated a Marine Conservation Area.
This cove, called Crab Cove, is an outdoor science laboratory where thousands of children learn about the health of the Bay every year. Use of Crab Cove by area youth highlights critical, ongoing efforts to connect youth, particularly traditionally disadvantaged students, to the outdoors. This year, 46 percent of the students served by the Crab Cove visitor center were from schools where 50 percent or more of the students qualified for the free or reduced free lunch program.
We object to the DOJ’s use of eminent domain against state park property. Many of our organizations have together fought and defeated proposals to develop, encroach upon, or misuse state park property in California, based on the strong belief that designation of parkland, once granted, reflects the best and highest use of those lands and should be upheld in perpetuity. In this case, use of eminent domain by the DOJ and GSA inappropriately supports a contrary notion that parklands are trivial in the face of commercial demands and can be easily undone.
That is a notion we neither support nor do we find it consistent with federal law that upholds the preeminence of park designations, such as the federal Land and Water Conservation Act (particularly Section 6(f)(3) regarding conversion of any park lands) and Section 4(f) of the U.S. Department of Transportation Act of 1966 (now codified in 49 U.S.C. §303 and 23 U.S.C. §138), among others.
We strongly urge DOJ and GSA to cease any and all eminent domain proceedings against the California Department of Parks and Recreation. Paraphrasing California Attorney General Harris, this taking is neither supported by sufficient congressional authority nor is it for a “public use” within the meaning of the Takings Clause. It is difficult to see how the DOJ will convince a federal court that a state park owned street and sidewalk already devoted to a “public use” still necessitates the federal condemnation of it. In short, this taking is not defensible.
Thank you for your sincere attention to this matter.
— Sarah Rose, Executive Director, California League of Conservation Voters,
— Elizabeth Goldstein, President, California State Parks Foundation
— Miriam Gordon, California Director, Clean Water Action
— Patricia Jones, Executive Director, Citizens for East Shore Parks
— Leora Feeney, Golden Gate Audubon Society, Friends of the Alameda Wildlife Refuge
— Aruna Prabhala, Staff Attorney, Citizens for a Better Environment
— Ron Sundergill, Executive Director, National Parks Conservation Association
— Ron Brown, Executive Director, Save Mt. Diablo
— David Lewis, Executive Director, Save the Bay
In its article about Alameda not qualifying for a Resilient Cities grant, (“City Fails to Net Rockefeller Grant,” April 10) the Alameda Sun stated that it failed to understand why the city didn’t get the money. Violent crime, health pandemics and persistent poverty are not the grant’s focus.
A thorough reading of the “Resilient Cities” website shows a focus on natural disasters with pictures of floods, tsunamis and sea level rise, the kind of thing some folks associate with the carbon dioxide theory of global warming. Though the site does not explain this preoccupation, the sensationalist photos prove the point. This grant program is designed to feed mass hysteria about carbon dioxide that is still the current vogue.
Though long ago discredited, the theory still has major adherents in the tax-exempt foundation community, built on the takings of 19th century robber barons like John D. Rockefeller. These foundations have always worked for social engineering. They perpetuate the elitist desires of their founders, who look on the general population as a human mass that needs to be educated and “nudged” into good behavior.
This idea, expounded upon in Nudge by Harvard elitist Cass Sunstein, persistes in ruling-class circles. The population needs to be “nudged” into good behavior by their betters. This is seen as preferable to Soviet-style planning with all of its brutality and ill will.
Maybe Alameda’s “resiliency officer” missed the program’s thrust by not talking about sea level rise, flooding, getting rid of cars and building more high-rises to save on electricity. Or maybe he or she simply did not want to be “nudged.” The fact that our golf course’s new developer has pledged to build up the greens to protect them from sea level rise was apparently not enough to tip the balance.