Editorial

I shudder and shake my head in disbelief every time I drive by Buena Vista Avenue and Park Street and see the empty building on the intersection’s northeast corner. I remember the sudden rush to tear down the abandoned Queen Anne-style cottage that once stood at 2413 Buena Vista Ave. In its place stands a brand-new vacant building.

I remember the city looked the other way (at the beginning of its so-called Preservation Season) and allowed the Hoi Liang Phau Trust to demolish the cottage a little more than three years ago. 

Robert Sullwold’s incendiary criticism of city hall and the firefighters union IAFF Local 689 (“City Stuffs Stockings for AFD Firefighters,” March 27) showed dogged and detailed research. He is to be commended for bringing such numbers to light in the community interest.

As all professional firefighters know, the first thing one does when something is ablaze is to vent and let the smoke out and he does a fine job of this as well. The problem is that what all those numbers add up to, as far as his reasoning goes, amounts to mostly smoke.

Oakland’s most beautiful, wild stretch of waterfront is about to go under the bulldozer. Notices have been posted around the neighborhood which warn that Signature Properties is applying for special permits to begin development on the land, without actually calling it development; so they can get around the restrictions in the environmental impact reports that have been filed for this contaminated, yet beautiful spot on the Oakland Estuary.

How long did it take the school district, city and housing authority to reach their final “win, win, win” approval of the two-year planning swap deal? Three weeks’ time from the first public notification! It was accomplished in secrecy, with them stating that closed sessions were allowed by the Brown Act. As the last elected official’s approval vote was stated, City Manager John Russo smiled a Cheshire cat grin. He had “won.”

Pages