Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Let’s Get Ready to Rumble (For the Lawrence Berkeley Lab)

By Nate Seltenrich
Wed, Jul 20, 2011 at 8:00 AM

This year, one item on every East Bay city’s wish list is the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s proposed second campus. Ah, the romance! Beyond improving the Port of Oakland and keeping the A’s stadium, Mayor Jean Quan hopes a new lab at the Brooklyn Basin along East Oakland’s waterfront could be the big-ticket item to win Oakland’s future.

Meanwhile, Alameda has an eye on the lab for some prime property at Alameda Point, always on the brink of development but never quite there. Albany hopes to join the big leagues with a lab at Golden Gate Fields, which would entail razing and relocating the horse track, while Richmond thinks it’s got a leg up with its Richmond Field Station, a bayside plot already owned by the University of California.

But that’s not all! Berkeley has offered up 12.5-acres at Aquatic Park West, off Bolivar Drive at the park’s north end, while Emeryville has its fingers crossed the lab will land at EmeryStation, a sexy new glass-sheathed development that already houses LBNL staff in its biofuel-oriented Joint BioEnergy Institute.

The six locations are among 21 originally proposed by eight East Bay cities — Walnut Creek and Dublin’s offerings didn’t make the cut. The next step is to narrow down the shortlist of six to a single winner by late November, and that’s where you come in. Starting with a meeting last week on Alameda Point that we’ve already missed (though we hear that everyone who was anyone in city politics was there, and they all supported it), the University of California is hosting a series of public meetings over the next few weeks — including one tomorrow — that will address each of the proposals in greater detail.

The meetings include presentations from lab representatives, information on potential site development, and comments from local officials. Members of the public are invited to attend, listen, and comment, too. So go brush up on the proposals, root for your favorite, and tell the others what for. It’s your democratic duty.

A full list of meeting dates, times, and locations follows:

Richmond Field Station
Thursday, July 21
7:00-9:00 PM
City Hall Auditorium
403 Civic Center Plaza, Richmond

Brooklyn Basin
Wednesday, July 27
7:00-9:00 PM
Jack London Aquatic Center
115 Embarcadero, Oakland

Golden Gate Fields
Wednesday, August 3
7:30-9:30 PM
Albany Community Center
1249 Marin Avenue, Albany

Aquatic Park West
Thursday, August 4
7:00-9:00 PM
Frances Albrier Community Center
2800 Park St., Berkeley

Emery Station
Monday, August 8
7:00-9:00
Emeryville City Hall
1333 Park Ave., Emeryville

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