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The idea of shipping coal through the Port of Oakland makes little sense. The proposal is to mine coal in Utah, transport it by rail through the Western states, through the metropolitan Bay Area, trans-ship it at the Port, and ship it to Asia, where is burned for industrial energy. That process has used carbon based energy, and created pollution, at each of those steps. When it is burned, it produces more particulate pollution that joins the Asia-sourced toxic cloud already being detected directly downwind here in the Bay Area. This idea is wrong at so many levels. West Oakland already has one of the highest incidents of asthma in the nation, due to Port and industrial history, proximity to the freeways, and lack of governmental concern. It is not sufficient to say the impact of coal shipment/trans-shipment would be negligible: we are already well beyond tolerable levels.
The Port, nor its contractors, has a good record of hiring Oakland. There is a recurring pattern of shilling community organizations, flashing money, and garnering support for myriad Oakland jobs around such projects. After the fact, the contractors always point to the fine print that requires them to make “an honest effort” to hire Oakland. Of course, they say, they looked but were not able to find Oakland residents with sufficient skill levels to fill the required jobs. Typically the jobs go to union-affiliated individuals, (great!) but they are sourced from the suburbs. From what I have learned, the number of actual jobs would be small either in construction phases or operational phases, and would be highly technical and possibly staffed through existing Longshore affiliations.
It is usually exciting to see the Churches involved in activities of the community, but I personally prefer involvement in social justice. It is personally bothersome to see community churches swooning for some flashy silver. Yes, well paying community jobs are important. Yes, youth programs are vitally needed. However, monies invested in tech skills, entrepreneur skills, business skills would be far more productive. Across the board, denominational churches, along with other major institutions, are divesting from all carbon energy sources. That day for carbon energy is past. Alternative energy sources are price-competitive, renewable, and sustainable. Alternative energy systems promise far more jobs at all levels: manufacture, sales, installation, administration, and maintenance. Oakland prides itself on being a green city, but this proposal flies in the face of that stance.
The Police Horse Stable is an excellent site. Parking is somewhat of an issue, but it is an issue at virtually every site. I'n not sure why the projected development is listed as $35,000. That seems high. This site is already well developed although it does need remedial maintenance. I would be glad to volunteer a few days of labor toward that effort. Kernighan and her staff are to be commended for their persistance in finding a much better location!
Sweet Jimmie's has been closed at least twice for exactly this type incident. How do they keep getting re-permited? They always argue that the incident happen outside so of course it's not their fault. I say if you cater to thugs, shit will happen. They should be closed permanently and the enabler-cretin in the City Admin. should be removed from such a sensitive position. We need to be helping clean up the situation, not creating more work for the cops, more bad image for our city, and the senseless death of more and more and more young people.
I am a dog owner living in the immediate area of the propossed installation. For all of the years this land use issue has been in discussion, I have repeatedly, civily, and fervently expressed my opposition to the proposal. All such comments seem to be unheaded: special use by one group is supirior to use by many seems to be the only response.
In the winter this area is a swamp: water soaked dog waste and chips is neither attractive nor sanitary. Parking in the area is very difficult at best. This is a scenic area and siteline views are a part of that. Screened fences and other mitigations do not compensate for losing another part of the current sense of openness.
Traffic in the area has been difficult for years, but the recent contributions by the City Traffic Wizards have turned that difficulty into an incoherent and illogical miasma of congestion and anxiety. In truth, this proposed installation would be available for use mainly for those within walking distance.
Once in the vehicle and on the road, there is very little difference between Grove Schafter, Mosswood, Joaquin Miller, or very nice sites in neighboring municipalities. While a dog park in the local neighborhood might be a desirable amenity, this is not the correct place.
Why is Oakland not in the running? We have vast areas that would be ideal for such a project. Base property, streches of E Oakland along BART, etc.
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