Union Stands Its Ground

Readers sound off on development, Lake Merritt, and living small.


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Biased and Unfair

We found your December 2016 edition article “Unintended Consequences” biased and unfair. The article’s author argues our labor unions are filing environmental appeals of local housing projects with the city purely to secure jobs for our members. This is a mischaracterization.

If a development project could in anyway pose a threat to the community’s health, we file an appeal. This forces the city to thoroughly investigate the project’s impact and requires mitigation. Many times, our major concerns are then dealt with at the staff or commission level, so when our appeal reaches the City Council, few items of contention remain. This means our appeal has been successful, no matter the final vote.

Is Oakland Magazine supporting developments that don’t meet basic environmental standards in its crusade to support building at all costs?

We strongly believe that new developments must meet strict environmental standards, provide jobs, support a middle class, and pay appropriate fees for their impact on the community. We will oppose those developments that do not meet these criteria.

Greg Bonato, Dublin

Business representative, International Brother of Electrical Workers, Local 595, and member of East Bay Residents for Responsible Development

 

Naturalist Notes

Thanks for the great article [“The Door to Narnia,” November]! I just wanted to chime in with a few corrections: There are definitely more than 302 species at Lake Merritt; 302 comes from the number of species counted during the bioblitz held at Lake Merritt on Feb. 23, 2013, but that’s certainly not a full accounting. There are probably hundreds more species that are there year round or part of the year, considering that this includes fungus, land and marine invertebrates, mammals, birds, plants, fish, reptiles, and amphibians.

Constance Taylor, Oakland

 

About November’s ‘Living Small’

My son pays $2,500 per month for 700 square feet in Redwood City. That’s $3.57 per square foot. These apartments rent for $5.28 per square foot. It’s hard to believe that an apartment just a few minutes from Silicon Valley is cheaper than one in Oakland. It’s crazy.

Barry Marcus

 

Published online on Jan. 25, 2017 at 8:00 a.m.

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