Letters to the Editor
To those who claimed that it would be egregiously inconsistent and expensive for City Council to repeal an ordinance before it took effect:
Where were you three years ago when City Council and staff chose to abandon 40 years’ worth of work, by previous City Councils and by the people, to distinguish Alameda from the congested cities around it?
Tim Lewis Communities (TLC) proposal for the Del Monte warehouse, which the City Council approved last month, was fully vetted in many public meetings. It should go forward without further reductions in scope.
As approved, TLC plans describe a nearly ideal transit-oriented development that is sustainable (green), helps reduce traffic congestion, will help improve bus service to the Northern Waterfront and provides 55 units of much-needed affordable housing for renters and homeowners.
In addition, TLC’s project is the first viable historic preservation plan for the Del Monte that has ever made it to the City Council in more than 20 years — longer than I have lived in Alameda.
The $128 million cost of this project represents a huge economic boost to Alameda, including money to help develop the Jean Sweeney Open Space Preserve. I cannot fathom why any reasonable person would want to torpedo a project that offers so many benefits to the city of Alameda. The current Del Monte project will be another LEED-certified landmark project like the Alameda Free Library and the Alameda Theatre & Cineplex that we can all be proud of for generations to come.
If the project does not move forward, the city could face legal action by TLC. Defending the city against a lawsuit would be a complete waste of scarce city funds.
Renters and prospective future homeowners like me need more projects like the approved Del Monte project, not a blind and unthinking return to the housing and land-use patterns that have given us traffic congestion, blighted and empty historic buildings, gridlock and too little progress in reducing Alameda’s carbon footprint.
Alameda cannot afford to go backwards. Let’s keep the Del Monte renovation and reuse project on track.
I would like to thank the Red Cross’s Youth Engaged in Service (YES) team members who participated in the free gift-wrapping service during the holiday season at South Shore Center. Members from Encinal and Alameda high schools, as well as from ASTI, NEA and ACLC pitched in to give more than 490 hours serving hundreds of shoppers.
Thanks to their efforts we collected $1,288 in donations and gave that money to help the victims of last year’s arson fires. Fundraising events like this would not be possible without support from our members.
Red Cross Youth clubs are dedicated to "preparedness education." We are training some of the clubs’ 160 members to act as "Red Cross presenters," who will visit Alameda’s elementary schools this spring. They will participate in student body assemblies and speak about Red Cross preparedness.
We are looking forward to working with Alameda Unified School District Interim Superintendent Sean McPhetridge and all the elementary school principals. We want to make sure that Alameda’s families have a plan to practice and a kit to sustain them for at least three days.