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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: Eco Watch

Re: “The Return of the Crematorium

Oh goody! More NIMBYs

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 11/17/2017 at 4:39 AM

Re: “The Return of the Crematorium

Where is your compassion and understanding of environmental racism, which includes planning and zoning. there is not toxic and Industrials where affluent or people in Oakland that live in the hills have to endure those impacts. understand what it does to one's health and in this identified top 5% disadvantaged communities by CalEnviroScreen East OaklandS leadership, planning department, planning commissioner and the loopholes in the city where a business comes in and allowed to still operate knowing what it emits THAT KILLS peole and again those people it is going to impact, is environmental racism.

Posted by EM Goolsby on 11/15/2017 at 12:31 AM

Re: “The Return of the Crematorium

There is no doubt that poor and low income neighborhoods in America have always been impacted by injustice and unequal treatment when it comes to nuisance land uses that create dangerous environmental impacts. Lack of political power and lack of concern and sensitivity for the welfare of these neighborhoods (racism) by politicians are most assuredly to blame. Both West Oakland and East Oakland have long histories of industrial land uses interspersed in and around residential neighborhoods. As the factories and warehouses which once provided jobs for residents of these neighborhoods began to disappear in the later part of last century, awareness of environmental issues began to increase. Remaining on many of these sites are the dormant remnants of previous industry. There are storage tanks, lubricants, oils, solvents, paints, and contaminants of all kind.While I understand the concern about the Neptune Society, the fact is that they prevailed in court because they followed the zoning and environmental laws in existence at the time they chose to locate a site in East Oakland. Because of political pressure, the City then tried to retroactively deny their permit, which is illegal.There is also the "poltergeist" factor of a crematorium, which nobody wants to live next to, but many choose as an alternative for deceased love ones. Neighbors should be concerned about the impacts of remaining industrial uses whose operations are grandfathered from modern air and soil monitoring requirements. In addition, there are regional ambient environmental impacts from freeways filled with diesel trucks servicing the Port of Oakland and stuck on I-880 in traffic. There are diesel powered container ships sitting at the Port for days until they can offload their cargo. There is a prevailing southeast wind blowing contaminants over East Oakland 24 hours a day. These impacts are real whether or not the Neptune Society locates in East Oakland. They are also a much more dangerous threat to short and long term public health. It is good that people are mobilizing to protect their neighborhood, but the Neptune lesson is that neighborhoods need to focus on areas where they can actually make a difference. If neighbors want to affect change, make the City amend the General Plan and Zoning laws, which were the real problem in this case, not environmental racism by individual decision makers.

Posted by Gary Patton on 11/14/2017 at 6:58 PM

Re: “Living Dangerously

We control the fire in these developed areas. As a result, the vegetation grows more dense, and more flammable. A natural area would be burned out on a regular basis, making the area less flammable. The homes in these areas need to have a yearly tax that pays for regular brush, road, tree and other clearance. Then they would be paying for the cost which the fire ultimately imposes on other taxpayers.

Posted by Jerry Udinksy on 10/26/2017 at 1:57 PM

Re: “Living Dangerously

Story, while usefully informative especially for those who have never reflected on California ecology, fire science or land-use policy, omits making critical connections.

It's all about transportation. Suburbs, the WUI and even the denser urban areas of California are all designed for the automobile.

It's like building a highrise office building with a separate elevator for everyone who works in the building. That's as sensible as what we've done in developing land, building buildings and creating transportation infrastructure.

We would have to rethink how we get around in order to use land better.

No, the robocar is not the solution--it's still a car.

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 10/26/2017 at 10:19 AM

Re: “Oakland's New Sewer Fees Penalize Water Conservation

Just got new bill from that f..s. 176$ for 2 month. I called them to help me out to understand it. So 3$ - since I wasn't at home, as actually for water and 70 for Okland, 36 for me having the water meter which they are using !!!! 40 service fee. So person on a phone told me that next time I need to call them and cancel the account before go to vocation or they will send 170$ for nothing no matter what...................

Posted by Roman Somov on 04/14/2017 at 9:35 AM

Re: “East Bay Hills Tree Removal Plan Still Sparking Debate

No doubt that Eucalyptus trees are things that need to be strategically maintained. But there are ways to do it - ethically and cost-effectively - as you can see in the tree services provided by teams like Oregon Woodsmen in Salem, Oregon -

Posted by Kelly McGrath on 12/15/2016 at 1:44 PM

Re: “High-Speed Rail Is Definitely Green

The Valley Express of the Bay Area

Check it Out!

The Valley Express will be a High Speed Train connecting the San Francisco Bay Area to its Easterly Suburban Communities in Blazing Speeds! Connecting Commuters and Businesses alike to the Ever Popular San Francisco Peninsula with an Additional Bay Crossing.

Posted by Patrick Penticoff on 08/09/2016 at 1:01 PM

Re: “Benicia Oil-by-Rail Battle Hinges on Legal Controversy

This comment was removed because it violates our policy against anonymous comments. It will be reposted if the commenter chooses to use his or her real name.

Posted by Editor on 04/14/2016 at 7:33 PM

Re: “Benicia Oil-by-Rail Battle Hinges on Legal Controversy

Mr. Thompson sounds like a cowboy!

Posted by James R Monroe on 04/14/2016 at 10:02 AM

Re: “Benicia Oil-by-Rail Battle Hinges on Legal Controversy

Maybe Valero should simply find a location where it can do business without people who throw up barriers. Valero could tear the entire refinery down, bulldoze the land and sell if off for another one of Benicia's residential projects that drain the city's treasury to support schools, fire protection, sewage, water, and policing. All the refinery taxes paid to that city would be gone. College student Jaime Gonzalez could then graduate and get a job at McDonald's.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by William H. Thompson on 04/13/2016 at 5:42 PM

Re: “What's Killing the Baby Sea Lions?

Was just at the beach in Monterey and witnessed pups washed up and near death. Heart breaking to say the least. Called numbers posted on signs for help. Hours later no one ever came.

Posted by Michelle Duhr-Kara on 04/13/2016 at 3:14 PM

Re: “East Bay Hills Tree Removal Plan Still Sparking Debate

Eucalyptus and acacias are often cut back with the intent of reducing fire risk or improving the view. However, they are very tenacious and will quickly resprout thicker than before than before unless actively deterred.
Shortly after moving to the East Bay hills in 1996, we completely removed the eucalyptus trees surrounding our house and replaced them with redwoods. The redwoods are now 20 to 30 feet high, and volunteer oaks and bay trees are starting to sprout around them.

Posted by Mitchell Craig on 04/04/2016 at 6:18 PM

Re: “Fish Fight

I'm surprised by this article. It seems clear that commercial fisherman are using the recreational loophole to get around fishing regulations. What's the problem with making sure that everyone is playing by the same rules?

Posted by David D. on 02/27/2016 at 7:49 PM

Re: “Fish Fight

The week after I saw herring run on January this year, my local farmer's market in Fremomt had a stand selling herring. With more than 6 huge coolers, $2.5 per pound, three pounds for $6. My estimate each cooler store at least 100 pound. I think both commercial and recreational fishing need to bw regulated to insure the hering stock not to be wiped out.

Posted by Lisa Kau on 02/24/2016 at 2:07 PM

Re: “Coastal Peril

It is too bad that you did not take the time to develop the other argument that may favor change. Historically the commission staff has tried very hard to lead the commission not just advise it.A perfect example of that was the approval of the desalinization plant in San Diego County. Staff .The staff fought it at every step and the commission nevertheless narrowly approved it. Now that plant is part of the solution to our drought problem . We need a commission staff that has a broad view of California's needs not just zealously opposing every proposal to do something in the coastal zone.
The commission members should be able to make policy not the staff. That is the real issue.
P.s. Yes there is a real issue with the lack of diversity in the commission staff.
Oh yes how about commission staff fighting with the State Department of parks over attempts to manage parking.

Posted by ed gerber on 02/10/2016 at 1:00 PM

Re: “Proposed Dam Sparks Government Fight

This comment was removed because it violates our policy against anonymous comments. It will be reposted if the commenter chooses to use his or her real name.

Posted by Editor on 02/04/2016 at 8:49 PM

Re: “Crude-By-Rail Projects Face Key Votes

Having worked 35 years as a railroad conductor on freight trains, I find it amusing to suddenly find the public 'up in arms' over the proposed transit of oil trains through the Bay Area. For a decade or more, 80 tank cars come in weekly full of volitile ethanol and are transported daily around the Bay to mix with gasoline and keep our CA air clean. Really dangerous cars of chlorine have been transported throughout the Bay Area for decades that are off-loaded safely to make bleach, swimming pool cleaners and added to our drinking water so we don't get biological diseases. There are five refineries producing all kinds of dangerous by-products of crude oil like liquid petroleum gas, anhydrous ammonia and all are transported throughout the Bay Area in hundreds of rail cars daily with rarely an incident. Suddenly heavy crude oil on a train is a problem? Ignorance is bliss, I guess.
Brian Lewis,
Richmond, CA

Posted by boxcarcowboy on 02/02/2016 at 12:34 AM

Re: “Keystone 2.0

Our children and residents are already experiencing rates of respiratory illness at double the average national rate.
We must begin investing in new, cleaner sources- not continue to dig for finite resources which become more and more polluting. Why are we not investing in more solar, wind and tide energy harvesting?

Posted by Kim Thelen on 12/14/2015 at 7:24 AM

Re: “Keystone 2.0

Sadly, a proposed project in Vallejo for a new deep water marine terminal at the outlet of the Napa River is another battle point. Vallejo residents are fighting to keep the project from being approved and poisoning the city.

Posted by Boudicca Hot-toddy Todi on 12/13/2015 at 9:40 PM

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