Study of Bay Farm Wildlife Flawed

Study of Bay Farm Wildlife Flawed


The article by Messrs. Garwood and O’Rourke (“Westmont has done its homework,” June 16) states that “no active bird nests, and other endangered species were observed within the zone of the project site during the May 4 study.” I strongly disagree with their premise and urge them to notice that within this so-called zone of the project site on that week, there was major construction going on — and still not completed — right next door, on the same parcel of land. 

You don’t have to be a zoologist (I am one), to notice that when major construction is going on within a few feet of the proposed site, with all the noise and air pollution from the diesel engines and jack hammering, you won’t find any wildlife, because they are running for their lives. Just because you did not see any wildlife on May 4 does not mean they do not exist. Believe me they did or a few still exist, as I’ve been walking the whole are for couple of decades. 

Endangered species as the Alameda garter snake and beetles were very common in all of these Bay Farm lands before they were covered by ugly office buildings and asphalt. Birds and jackrabbits are timid, shy creatures. They don’t like to sit and watch construction crews putting building and parking lots on their former habitats. Perhaps if their land was left alone by the adjacent “development,” the authors of the pro Westmont opinion piece would have seen them and taken note. 

Let’s call a spade as a spade, and be honest when you are promoting yet more buildings and parking lots: If any animals (endangered or not) are in the way of building and making a quick buck, they will be destroyed or driven away. Well they were driven away, but there are no more open spaces left, so you I see more animals run over on Harbor Bay Parkway. 

As a Harbor Bay resident of nearly 20 years, I’ve witnessed out-of-control office building and wholesale destruction of open space and habitats. We used to have several colonies of jackrabbits and owls and other wonderful wildlife that have been decimated by this relentless “growth” and pursuit of more tax revenues. This growth has mostly benefited the construction companies after a quick buck. City Hall has green-lighted the projects almost in all cases, because the city wants more tax money. 

Have these tax revenues really helped our community? Has the quality of life increased as a result of all the tax money pouring into the coffers? Do you see fewer potholes in the streets? The answer is “no.” If you read the letters of the longtime residents who have left the city, they all say the same thing. Let’s make no mistake: Construction companies are after a quick buck and leave after they are done and covered the precious land with ugly buildings and asphalt for hundreds of gas guzzlers. The results have been fewer birds and jackrabbits, less clean air in our community year after year.

Now to the subject of “assisted living” which is really a nursing home with a more politically correct name. Does anyone study that a senior home in the flight path of 500 Southwest airplanes every day and night is not a good idea? How are these seniors going to rest when we have 100 planes an hour overhead with the noise rating of 100-plus decibels? Nursing home in the flight path of planes is truly an insane idea. Jet noise night and day does not add up to a rest home for the elderly. Anyone listening out there? 



Ron Kamangar is a longtime Alameda resident.