Stefanie Gandolfi 
Member since Oct 3, 2012


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Recent Comments

Re: “Knowland Park Advocates Launch Referendum to Block Oakland Zoo Expansion

As with everything else, the image the zoological society has provided to the Express to accompany this and other articles is highly deceptive. It is an artist's impression of the proposed visitor center that gives no sense of size or proportion, and makes the structure look like little more than a really nice observation deck resting lightly on the land -- who could object? In reality, it will be a three-story, 45,000 square foot building that will contain a glorified cafeteria, a gift shop, and offices with a view for zoo execs. It will sit upon the landing dock, cut into the hillside, for the gondola ride, which you can barely make out in the illustration, but each of the 15 cars will be big enough to carry eight people. The ride will be supported by a series of pillars up to 60-feet tall, and will travel over terrain so steep and rugged that the foundations will have to be dropped into place by helicopters. Off to the right, barely visible in the fog, you can sort of make out a few animals, but there will be many more buildings and other structures up there in addition to the animal enclosures themselves, including service roads, elevated walkways, animal houses, utility buildings, storage sheds, vehicle parking, a catch-basin for drainage water, an exhibit hall, a campground, and a playground, among other things. In short, this is a large, ambitious development project that will drastically change not only the size and feel and prospect of the park itself, but also the last stretch of unmarred ridge line -- permanently. Contrary to its assertions, the zoo is not doing the least destructive thing it can do, but the most it can get away with.

10 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Stefanie Gandolfi on 12/17/2014 at 5:28 PM

Re: “Save Knowland Park Releases Poll Showing Strong Voter Opposition to Oakland Zoo Expansion

I would like to correct my earlier comment about the gondola. It should state that it's approximately 1/4 mile long, not 1 mile.

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Stefanie Gandolfi on 10/20/2014 at 3:02 AM

Re: “Save Knowland Park Releases Poll Showing Strong Voter Opposition to Oakland Zoo Expansion

Most of the stuff that's been published mentions the gondola ride without going into any detail about it, but it alone is an environmental disaster. The line will be nearly a mile long. Eight concrete towers up to 60 feet high will be required to support it. The terrain is so rough, the components will have to be brought in by helicopter. And it is located directly -- directly -- above the Hayward fault, on ground that has been designated unstable by the US Geological Service. It is also, as we know, located in the middle of rough parkland in the East Bay Hills, one of the highest fire danger areas in the state. All we need, when the Big One hits or the next Firestorm starts (perhaps because a kid sneaks a cigarette at the new campground up top), is a bunch of people trapped mid-air in closed gondola cars. What could possibly go wrong?

7 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Stefanie Gandolfi on 10/20/2014 at 12:47 AM

Re: “Questions Swirl Around Zoo Tax Measure

The fact that the public funds generated by a county-wide parcel tax will be administered not by a governmental agency, but by a private foundation -- The East Bay Zoological Society -- is disturbing to me. There is little enough spending oversight at the city and county level as it is -- the City of Oakland has not audited the Zoological Society's accounts in years -- yet here we're entrusting control over millions of residents' dollars to an appointed citizen's oversight committee that will meet once a year. Plus, the Society's decision-making process is not subject to sunshine laws that apply to governmental actions.

22 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Stefanie Gandolfi on 10/03/2012 at 1:52 PM

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