For Thanksgiving, the Sun presents great column again

A while ago, I was "on retreat." I prefer "on retreat" to the ominous "in the hospital," just as I prefer "on sabbatical" to "in jail" and "exploring new opportunities" to "laid off."

In any case, while I was on retreat, I had a roommate named Ferd. Ferd was a slight, unshaven man who resembled George W. Bush on a bender. In one of Ferd’s rare moments of lucidity, I asked about his name.

"Mom couldn’t spell Fred," he said.

We have a significant traffic congestion problem associated with the former Del Monte that will be greatly alleviated with the proposed conversion of the warehouse to condominiums, retail and open space.

As a resident living across from the Sherman Street entrance of the warehouse we contend daily with tractor-trailer congestion, noise and diesel fumes.

The warehouse currently houses DAMCO, a commercial shipping enterprise. With the upcoming post-Thanksgiving shopping push, tractor trailers are moving in and out of the warehouse 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Assuming the Alameda mayoral race is over, and no one is asking the Board of Elections to count chads, we can safely assume that Trish Spencer will be at the helm, steering the Island of Alameda around reefs, shoals and shady developers.

Not since such stalwarts as Doug deHaan and Bill Withrow stepped up to the plate, have we seen such integrity in city governance.

Anyone who knows Trish Spencer, knows she believes in transparency — even in local government and school boards.

Since the Alameda Naval Air Station closed in 1997 and the Alameda community lost more than 15,000 jobs, developers have come and gone with their ideas of what Alameda Point should become. Recently, the city took control of the planning process and worked closely with the community to document and adopt the community’s vision of what it wants to see at the former base: a mixed-use transit-oriented community that replaces lost jobs and creates world-class waterfront park amenities.

Regardless of how one perceives the outcome of the recent elections, on the local level, Alameda provides an inkling of hope. While big-money, out-of-town interests threw in to sway opinions, it was the small-budget local campaigns that led the field. Even if just barely.

While elsewhere in the nation, oil billionaires and big finance throw congresspeople into their Amazon shopping carts, in Alameda, principle, not money, appears to carry the day.