A Good Hire: Kevin Kearney
Readers have their say on hirings, content, fish sauce, Barbara Dane, and Habor Bay Club.
Photo by Pat Mazzera
Just came across this article [“Two Quirky Alameda Elected Officials,” July 2015]. I was on the city council in ’91 when we appointed Kevin Kearney.I consider Kevin’s appointment my best “hire.” It is extremely difficult for any elected official to speak truth to any public employee union. Public employees are arguably the only consistent special interests in municipal government and elected officials who want to move on to higher office are loath to annoy them. Kevin Kearney has consistently and effectively stood up for constituents and ratepayers in spite of the potential to make well-funded enemies. He is exactly the kind of guy that should be in local government. Alameda is lucky to have him.
About That Traffic
Traffic lights are pretty old and bad [“Unsafe at Any Speed,” October.] How can you not have a dedicated left turn only light on Park Street? They just give a green light, so you have wait for oncoming traffic to clear plus pedestrians will be crossing as well. Pretty poor from an engineering standing.
More Alameda, Please
I am a new subscriber to Alameda Magazine. Since there is also an Oakland Magazine, I expected this one to feature Alameda. Yet every article in this issue other than politics and the raising of octopi is about Oakland, Berkeley, or Emeryville. The real estate is in West Oakland, the shopping street is Solano Avenue in Berkeley, and even the food reviews and quotes are from chefs in other East Bay locations. How hard would it be to focus on people and places that reflect Alameda? If I don’t see more about Alameda in a publication of that name, you have lost me as a reader.
Just got the article on Cuong Pham and Red Boat Fish Sauce [“Homage to a Motherland,” October.] It is terrific!!!! Thank you very much.
What a terrifically written piece about a local treasure [“Barbara Dane’s Wild Ride,” October]! Mike Healy skillfully has captured the essence of the Barbara Dane we all know and love. His story filled in so much about her early years, with which I was unfamiliar. Thanks for sharing more of this earthy and energetic songstress with us!
New Club Advocate
I am writing regarding the City Council’s special meeting held on Oct. 7 concerning the request to adopt an advisory motion regarding the General Plan and zoning designations for the existing Harbor Bay Club. As a preliminary matter, the procedural posture of the meeting seemed confusing in that it was merely a “check-in” with the council, as opposed to a request for a formal vote. Nonetheless, I am grateful to the City Council for allowing both sides to add clarity to their positions and engage in this public discourse.
Specifically, I found it beneficial for the community to hear in no uncertain terms that the Harbor Bay Club owners are moving forward with a new club, irrespective of what occurs with the land at 200 Packet Landing Road. There has been much conversation in the community about the two transactions being inextricably tied to one another, and that confusion was laid to rest by the proponents of a new club. As a supporter of a new club, I am glad to hear that a new club is not contingent on a particular development or zoning change of the property at the club’s current site.
Second, it was surprising to hear from some residents of Harbor Bay Isle who oppose the new club and appear to believe that they “bought in” to the existing club, despite it being a private business, or have some type of legal interest in the existing club—in excess of their basic rights as members under the club’s membership agreement—simply because they purchased homes here. The facts do not support such a claim. Moreover, a private architect’s professional opinion regarding remodeling options at the existing site—a site owned by private owners who intend to sell—made no sense.
Council Member Oddie’s comments summarized a point that I hope we keep in mind: Community members need to be careful what they wish for. The current owners could sell the property tomorrow with its existing zoning limitations intact. A new owner could then build something worse than new housing; something that could negatively impact the value of all of our homes here on Harbor Bay Isle with little if any recourse to neighboring communities. Perhaps it is time that constructive dialogue begin, as Council Member Ashcraft suggested, to avoid such an outcome that none of us want.
Taylor’s Sausage is in Oakland, not San Leandro [“Spread, Rub, and Savor,” November 2015]. The address is 908 Washington St., Oakland, where it has been for decades.