Post-SunCal Alameda Point: What’s Next?

These community members and plenty of others went head-to-head with SunCal supporters at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting. But in the end, with a 4-0 vote, SunCal’s right to continue to negotiating with the city over plans for Alameda Point came to an end.

The rowdy crowd of speakers for and against was mixed, yet requests by city leaders for paid speakers to identify themselves apparently fell on deaf ears.

It’s a sad comment on the state of the issues at hand if speakers need to be paid to speak on the future of Alameda Point. And it’s even sadder that they wouldn’t identify themselves as such.

Online commentators on the issues – who generally aren’t paid (although there certainly may be exceptions) — are full of ideas and topics that will have to be ironed out as we move forward with plans for the former Navy Air Station.

They note that many environmental issues regarding toxins in the area, endangered species and other concerns are at stake. There’s also a host of transporation matters that need further thought.

Granted, these are not simple issues. However, as the recent debate and vote over SunCal’s role and plans illustrate, the community has to come to some resolution over how many new residences it wants, if any, in order to move forward.

Furthermore, there should be some concensus on what activities and character a development at Alameda Point should have.

The latest divisiveness on the Island comes from residents’ desire to see the right plans from the right developer. We want a developer that shares a community-focused vision with us and that will work on plans that lead to beneficial results via  an open, straight-forward political process.

This is quite a task. Hopefully, we can started on it after some political (and legal) healing has taken place.

(Much appreciation to James Fryer for the donated photos.)


Alameda Museum Keeps NAS’ Past Alive

The Naval Air Museum at Alameda Point – open Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. — is a good weekend spot for residents and visitors looking for a taste of the area’s history and its role in U.S. military engagement in the Pacific.

There are plenty of displays from World War II, including maps of the Pacific, objects collected by U.S. military personnel during the war and uniforms, and a running video of World War II battles, including those on Truk Island.

Early next month,  Arcadia Publishing will publish a book on Alameda’s Naval Air Station, 1940-1997.

The musem will have copies on or around July 5; the publisher has released a preview of the cover.

And on November 21, the Alameda Naval Air Museum will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the China Clipper’s first commercial flight from its base in Alameda to the Philippine Islands.

As residents help piece together plans for Alameda Point and its future, the museum serves as an important guide to Alameda’s strategic importance in World War II, as well as in the broader naval and aviation history of the past century.


Navy Shares Alameda Point Environmental Update – Tonight

The Alameda Reuse and Redevelopment Authority is meeting tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Mastick Senior Center, 1155 Santa Clara Avenue, to discuss the clean-up efforts at Alameda Point.

Derek Robinson of the Navy’s Base Realignment and Closure office will speak at the gathering about its activities on the Island.

According to the Navy, which has posted lots of information on the BRAC website, 40 percent of the former Naval Air Station has been tranferred or is ready for transferred to the city.

About 35 percent of the NAS is actively being cleaned and 25 percent is under investigation for future clean-up.   

Contacts for information about the effort are: Derek Robinson at 619-532-0951 or derek.j.robinson1@navy.mil, Anna- Marie Cook of the EPA at cook.anna-marie@epa.gov, and Jim Fyfe of the California Department of Toxic Substances Control at jfyfe@dtsc.ca.gov.  (The Cal DTSC contracts with Terradex for the clean-up).


Alameda Museum Gears Up for Jan. 2 Sale, Talks

The Alameda Museum is planning an interesting estate sale for after the holidays: from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, January 2.

A local family that includes three generations is selling furnishings and objects that date back to the Civil War (1861-1865).

At the same time, the museum is having a clearance sale of its own items, says curator George Gunn.

Also on the 2010 agenda for the museum is an exhibit on Neptune Beach (1917-1939) and several lectures on local architecture and development; see page 8 of the group’s latest online newsletter.

A talk on bungalows is set for March 25, a lecture on the Alameda Naval Air Station takes place April 29; and a presentation on glass panels in Alameda is set for May 10.  The events take place on Thursday and start at 7 p.m. at the museum, 2021 Alameda Avenue.