Observations by former Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) David Shulkin may shed light on why the VA Project at Alameda Point continues to be delayed and why the health clinic may never be built. Constructing a new clinic conflicts with the Trump Administration’s goal of privatizing VA healthcare services.
In his book “It Shouldn’t Be This Hard to Serve Your Country – Our Broken Government and the Plight of Veterans” (Public Affairs Books, October 2019), Shulkin recounts his experiences after being appointed to head the VA by President Trump in January 2017, and then fired by Tweet 15 months later. Shulkin asserts he was fired because he would not go along with efforts of White House insiders to privatize VA healthcare. Continue reading “Delays of VA Project tied to Trump Administration”
On December 23, the number of harbor seals on the float at Alameda Point reached 80, a new record for a single day. The number of seals on the float exceeded 70 on 10 days during December, a new record for the month.
Seals were packed so tightly that some were barely hanging onto the edge. The cramped conditions when the float reaches 70 seals in December and January can lead to bouts of slapping and shoving, as harbor seals prefer to have some space when resting. Continue reading “Harbor seals max out their float in December”
On Monday, December 9, 2019, the Planning Board will consider approving changes to the Waterfront Park and Block 11 at Site A at Alameda Point that were previously approved in 2016 “in an effort to reduce escalating construction costs and long term maintenance costs for both the building and the park.” The City has already granted numerous modifications to the development agreement, with good reasons. The current request does not merit approval because it would cheapen the waterfront focal point. Continue reading “Developer proposes changes that would cheapen waterfront area”
On December 9, 2019, Alameda Point Partners, the developer of 68-acre Site A at Alameda Point, will ask the Planning Board to approve changes for two areas: one residential and commercial block and part of the Waterfront Park. The change in plans includes making the residential units smaller and adding landscaping.
The developer wants to “reduce escalating construction costs and long term maintenance costs for both the building and the park,” wrote Allen Tai, City Planner, in the staff report. The developer wants to reduce the approved size of the residential/commercial building on Block 11 next to the Seaplane Lagoon from 453,452 square feet to 377,318 square feet, without reducing the overall number of residential units.
Continue reading “Residential/commercial and waterfront park changes proposed at Site A”
The Alameda Recreation and Parks Department has recently launched a survey on what the community would like to see at the triangle park on the southeast shoreline of Alameda Point. It is the first step in the process of creating a Master Plan. The barely publicized survey is being conducted by students at UC Berkeley and will end on December 3. Continue reading “Planning for Enterprise Park Begins”
A Snowy Egret caught two Bay pipefish in quick succession along the shoreline next to the Hornet Soccer Field on Sunday, November 24. This sighting of the Snowy Egret catching a pipefish is evidence that eelgrass, a special status marine vegetation, is present in the harbor east of the ferry maintenance facility. Pipefish “do not wander far from the eelgrass bed where they were born,” according to Bay Nature magazine. Eelgrass is pipefish habitat, in part, because pipefish are able to avoid predators as their slender bodies blend in with the narrow blades of eelgrass. Continue reading “Bay pipefish indicates eelgrass in Alameda Point harbor”
The City of Alameda recently disclosed that it is not going to proceed with the preparation of an environmental impact report on the Veterans Affairs (VA) outpatient and columbarium project at Alameda Point, as previously announced in February.
The City hopes to instead rely on its 2014 Alameda Point Environmental Impact Report that contemplated the VA’s storm water drains. “The City of Alameda has no jurisdiction over this project approval,” said Andrew Thomas, Assistant Community Development Director. “Since it is not approving or denying the project, it does not need to do CEQA.”
A California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) impact report is required for the City to legally issue easements for the VA to lay new storm water drains across City property leading to the Oakland Estuary.
Continue reading “VA Project delayed again”