Alameda Point: Matarrese still in support

Almost from the get-go, some folks have tried to claim it was untrue (I guess that I was making it up, despite linking to his statement), and then again at the end of last week, the ever-correct Jane Smythe claimed that Matarrese had changed his mind because his statement was no longer on the web. At the same time, Don Roberts celebrated 20 years of talking about things without knowing what he’s talking about with special guest Pat Bail! Pat repeated the canard that Frank Matarrese had seen the light about Alameda Point because of “All” the opposition to the project (part of the “one-person, one-community-group” strategy to defeat the Point). The ironic proof? Matarrese’s website no longer presents his announcement of his support.

Matarrese’s website, like a certain other news-themed internet site, doesn’t archive old posts, and only holds a single news item at any time. (Last week, and still today) it was “I’m having a community meeting!”) Which means that everytime he updates his site, the last post disappears into the ether. Using the logic that means that Matarrese no longer supports the Alameda Point plan, one would also have to say that Don Roberts has backed away from last Wednesday’s fact-challenged posting: “Jean Sweeney says Sun Cal’s Proposed Actions are Unconscionable” as a visit to his site finds it no longer there.

So I contacted Councilmember Matarrese, who sent me the original statement and reiterated that as of May 22 (when his email was sent) he’s still supporting the plan. Here’s his full statement:

Alameda voters will have a unique chance to approve a plan and development agreement for re-use of the former Alameda Naval Air Station now known as Alameda Point.  Suncal, the developer currently in exclusive negotiations with the City to develop Alameda Point, submitted language for a ballot initiative that will let the voters of Alameda have the final say on the plan for the revitaliation of Alameda Point. I reviewed and evaluated the pluses and minuses of the plan as submitted for voter approval and have decided to support it.  In my estimation, it provides the significant benefits for all of Alameda.

This plan ensures that Alameda Point will be cleaned up to a higher standard than the Navy is required to meet.  This will ensure that Alameda Point is safe once and for all.  The plan includes a variety of public amenities for us all to enjoy and benefit from, including a new ferry terminal, a 58-acre city sports complex, 145 acres of new parks, a new library, a school site, walking, hiking and biking trails. A key component of the plan is voter consideration of an amendment to city Charter section XXVI, to allow the building of condominiums or other multiple unit dwellings, but capping the number at 4826 units and restricting height and parking per city zoning regulations.  These amendments only apply to Alameda Point and do not overturn Measure A development restrictions in the rest of Alameda in any way.

Additionally, this plan includes the potential for creating 9000 jobs replacing a good number of the jobs lost when the based closed in busiesses that will strengthen Alameda’s economy.

We have studied base re-use for almost 12 years now. We cannot afford to let the base exist in its current condition any longer.  Aging buildings present safety hazards.  Aging infrastructure at Alameda Point is a growing burden for the city and us as taxpayers.  This revitalization plan is fiscally neutral – meaning it will pay for itself and does not require a subsidy from the city.  Over time, we expect that a revitalized Alameda Point will result in new tax revenues that will help stabilize the city and school distrit budget to protect programs, services and facilities that we all rely on and value.

I encourage you all to do your own evaluation of the plan.  After close review, I think you will agree that this plan is the result of years of careful planning and deserves our support.

{Edited to fix text errors}

29 comments for “Alameda Point: Matarrese still in support

  1. laughing
    May 28, 2009 at 8:46 am

    John Knox White calling somebody else “ever-correct?”

    That is hilarious. Thank you for the belly laugh this morning.

  2. joe
    May 28, 2009 at 10:32 am

    Why are there question marks (?) in Matarrese’s statement?

    1) Check the first paragraph, first sentence which says, “Alameda voters will have a unique chance to approve a plan and development agreement for re?use of the former Naval Air Station…”

    2) Check the second paragraph, third sentence which says, “The plan includes …..a 58? acre sports complex, etc…etc..etc…

    3) Check the third paragraph that says, “We have studied base re?use for …..”

    These question marks may be subtle indicators that SunCal’s plans are not what they appear to be.
    Keep your eyes and ears open, folks.

    In fact, the 288 pages+ of the SunCal plan are indecisive and inconclusive about how the NAS will be developed if their initiative passes.

  3. M.I.
    May 28, 2009 at 11:00 am


    This may be too subtle for you, but in the case of JKW that would be “ever correct” as in regarding basic facts, not in the subjective category of opinion. As in the fact is that Frank still supports the plan and the ever opinionating Jayne’s assertion to the contrary, based on the absence of the previous post, is laughable.

  4. May 28, 2009 at 11:09 am

    I believe the question marks are simply a formatting issue when copying and pasting from MS Word to the blog software.

    Or you can just assume it’s something more insidious then punctuation marks formatting incorrectly.

  5. also laughing
    May 28, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    JKW calling somebody else’s posting “fact-challenged”? Ha-ha-ha….

  6. Michael Krueger
    May 28, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    Yes, the question marks are a formatting error, not a comment on the plan. Replace each “?” character in Councilmember Matarrese’s statement with a “-” and it reads just fine.

    For all those belly-laughers out there today, could you please provide some specific references to incorrect statements or factual errors in posts on this blog? For the purposes of this exercise, please assume that “incorrect” means “shown to be false by some actual evidence,” not “something my gut tells me can’t possibly be true.”


    Don Roberts and Pat Bail stated on television that due to massive community opposition, Matarrese is no longer supporting the Alameda Point redevelopment plan. This is factually incorrect, as demonstrated in this post. If you’re going to accuse people of being “fact-challenged,” please be prepared to back that up with something other than a “ha-ha-ha.”

  7. Jon Spangler
    May 29, 2009 at 12:22 am

    So now, formatting issues are a Communist/ developer/paranoid/outside political influence/gay agenda conspiracy, too? (And I thought that the formatting question marks were just an HTML snafu. Silly me…)

    It’s too bad that some people seem to know just as much about computers and formatting as they do about the reality of revitalizing Alameda Point, tinfoil hats and black UN helicopters notwithstanding…

    Kinda reminds me of the folks who opposed teaching mutual respect and tolerance in our public schools in a genuine effort to reduce bullying and harassmant of ALL students.

  8. dave
    May 29, 2009 at 6:53 am

    Krueger: JKW has made incorrect statements about tax increment financing.

    And then there’s the classic more density/less traffic saw….

  9. John Knox White
    May 29, 2009 at 7:08 am

    Dave, you’re so late to the party! I was worried.

    If there are statements about tax increment financing that were wrong and haven’t been corrected, let me know and I’ll update them.

    More to the overall point, everyone says something incorrect from time to time. And when honest people do so, they admit it, correct it and move on. And then there’s the Bail, Lipow, Howard, McNally, Sweeney, etc. crew who never let facts or knowledge get in the way of a good rant. Nor do they correct themselves when they find out they are wrong, instead just skipping on down the road to the next poorly understood statement.

  10. May 29, 2009 at 9:12 am

    I don’t know all of the (above) people you mention but I have met a few of them and one thing that they all have in common is that they really care about Alameda. And, I am not saying that you don’t but you act like they are just a small miniority group against the Point. I hate to tell you this but there are alot people across this Island that think the Sun Cal Plan is a very bad idea. I live in Central Alameda and no one and I stress no one is for the current plan. But, I must admit I find this all very entertaining……

  11. John Knox White
    May 29, 2009 at 9:40 am

    I agree they care, never would doubt their love of Alameda for a second. I’m unclear of the point as I assume we can agree that most people in Alameda really care about Alameda.

    That doesn’t excuse the consistent presentation of bad, unresearched and incorrect information, or accusations of financial impropriety against those they disagree with, etc. (the fact it is often done anonymously makes it even more specious).

    My guess is that a very large majority of Alamedans have no clue what the SunCal proposal is for the Point.

    I can also use anecdotal info to make inferences. Most of the people I know from all over the island (and I’m not just talking close friends, but also acquaintances) are either supportive or open to supporting the SunCal proposal. I wouldn’t turn that into an assumption as to what voters will do in November. Though my guess is it will be closer than you think no matter which way it goes.

  12. dl morrison
    May 29, 2009 at 10:10 am

    In general: this statement is just a crass personal attack on a group of people, which lumps them all togeher as if they were indistinguishable, and then accuses them all of being liars (not honest people). What sort of an honest or responsible public discussion is this?

    …And when honest people do so, they admit it, correct it and move on. And then there’s the Bail, Lipow, Howard, McNally, Sweeney, etc. crew who never let facts or knowledge get in the way of a good rant. Nor do they correct themselves when they find out they are wrong.

  13. May 29, 2009 at 10:11 am

    I guess my point is that we all care about Alameda but do we want it change into something more like Walnut Creek or do we want it to stay a small community that we moved to. I have not been reading the blogs long enough to know about the accusations you talk about but please point me in the right direction and I will do my research. I agree with you that the vote in November will most likely be close and from my point of view I hope it fails and we look at the base with a more creative eye instead of all those houses…… I was not assuming what the voters will do but I wanted you to be aware there is a silent (and I believe) large group against the Sun Cal Plan.

  14. dl morrison
    May 29, 2009 at 10:14 am

    And since you make a passing reference to Jean Sweeney in your posting, and another in your comments, here’s her statement that appeared on Alameda Daily News. Please give me an honest analysis of what you find misleading or incorrect in this statement, while you’re at it, tell me why blind allegiance to SunCal’s plan makes sense.

    “Those who’ve read Sun Cal’s initiative Exhibit F-the Development Agreement at have read about the vested rights and subsequent approvals which are: the height, number, and density of houses; the right to demolish buildings; the right to put 20% of housing anywhere; the right to do nothing for 25 years; and the right to sell to anyone. Understandably, the developers have made themselves immune from law suits. They are only restrained by the Applicable Rules which are the General Plan, the Alameda Point Community Plan, which is the new chapter 11 and the Specific Plan which have all been created or changed in the initiative so that they do not stand in the way of a developer who is determined to overturn our density ordinance.

    The public benefit promises in Development Agreements are enforceable at law even if the development doesn’t materialize. An example would be the 50 acre Sports Park. It is too bad that the sports park was not one of their promises. What did they promises in exchange for all the rights that would be given to them in this agreement? I couldn’t find any. Do you notice that the Alameda Point Master Plan is not one of the Applicable Rules? The Master Plan has no enforceable effect. It has big promises and pretty pictures but not enforceable.

    Demolishing 300 buildings to make way for 6000 homes on toxic land in a flood plain just to rip off the citizens of Alameda is unconscionable.”

  15. M.I.
    May 29, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    When you talk with Jean she comes off as a sweet old gal, and I appreciate her efforts to the extent they are for the most part civic minded etc., but she has repeatedly made unsubstantiated accusations of impropriety by the mayor and others, as have most of the “class” of people alluded to by JKW, which is in fact the common denominator which defines that class. JKW does not create that class, but merely identifies it.

    With regard to J.E.A.’s anecdotal survey, I have not been able to query my neighbors in detail, but have intended to do so. I’m virtually certain from the history of ongoing political discussion with many of them that most do not have a handle on much detail. I count one who is a staunch supporter of Measure A and though we have a cordial relationship as neighbors, my attempts to get her to discuss what I consider erroneous statements she has distributed to me on line about the plan have been met with a flat out unwillingness to “go there”. My approach has not been please let me persuade you that you are wrong, but simply to give her a list of what I claim are inaccuracies in content with a request she justify the statements with fact. In my opinion she won’t because she can’t.

    I intend to canvass my neighborhood in coming months, not to lobby for any position, but to encourage people to familiarize themselves with as much detail as possible so that however they vote they can do so with full confidence . I intent to use hard copies of the draft plan and the initiative with specific plan.

    This plan may make some erroneous assumptions or be wrong headed in some respects but I don’t think it could be more “creative”, and I don’t mean that like “creative bookkeeping”, but rather innovative and forward thinking.

    The housing density is an attempt at creatively solving the conundrum of mitigating a number of issues including economic viability and transportation. If the negative impacts of housing warrant it’s elimination, I submit that any viable alternative will have to be so creative as to defy the economic realities of development in the 21st century. People who think there is a viable light industrial solution of reuse at AP need to begin to step forward with more detailed proof than a vague notion that it seems like a more creative and therefore viable option.

  16. dl morrison
    May 29, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    “Class” of people? Seriously? Should we get them to wear armbands or something?

    I can identify (that tiny handful of) people who support the SunCal project, and I would not resort to stereotyping them, no matter how convenient that might be. I’d say that JKW and Michael Krueger seem to have very similar opinions and M.O.s, but other folks — Lauren Do, Jon Spangler, yoou? (whatever your position is), I would not lump together, and I think it would be very deliberately misleading on my part since I know it’s not true.

    One thing I will say, tho, at least some of the folks above — JKW, MK, LD and JS — all go for the coordinated strategy approach — as in using the same buzzwords over and over, like “hysteria” and “conspiracy”. That’s what they did during the Slate election and it looks like they’re dragging it out again. So the whole “those people are all the same” argument is probably yet another very calculated effort at spin.

    But, gosh, it might be true!

    And please don’t refer to Jean Sweeney as a “sweet old gal” or whatever — don’t condescend to someone who’s done far more work on issues than you ever have.

  17. May 29, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    “Hysteria” is not something that I generally keep at the forefront of my writing vocabulary. Please point to where I have ever used that word. I just did a search of my entire blog (try it) and I have never used that word. The search function is pretty helpful on my own blog because it only searches what I have written and not what is in the comments.

    Even though you say you “would not resort” to stereotyping “that tiny handful” of people you have identified as supporting the SunCal plan, insinuating that we are using a “coordinated strategy approach” is doing just that.

  18. dl morrison
    May 29, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    First of all, the reference to “a tiny handful of” people was a joke — a sardonic reference, you could say. Now you know what it sounds like.

    Secondly, your usual tactic goes as follows: “I’m sure you could ask Action Alameda/Save Our City Alameda/Protect the Point/Keep Measure A/Coalition for a Better Alameda for that survey.”

    It took me about two seconds to find a post of yours with the word “conspiracy” in it (“grand conspiracy”, 4/14/09), but I think “minimize by lumping together” has been the favored approach for you. JKW does that as well — both above with his reference to “that crew” and recently as well in “Group Specs”, 5/21/09: ” Honestly, do Action Alameda, SOC!A, Citizens for a Better Alameda, Keep Measure A Committee expect us not to realize that the contacts for these groups are all the same people?”

    So yes, you do use the same specious tactics, I’m not making that up. And regardless, the issues are what we need to be looking at, not the people who happen to be the most vocal — I don’t see what that proves at all.

  19. John Knox White
    May 29, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    Seriously DL. You don’t see where you fall into the trap you decry of lumping people together? You do it all the time on a variety of blogs!

    The 1-2 contacts/key people for AA/SOCA/CFBA/KMA include Diane Coler-Dark and/or Gretchen Lipow (in some cases both!) They are not 4 separate groups, they are the same people. They lump themselves together. Add in Protect the Point (another Coler-Dark organization) and you have 5!

    My only “tactic” is to point out the fact that there is no breadth amongst these groups. That they are so desperate to appear broad-based that they are forming multiple organizations in order to bolster their credibility.

  20. AD
    May 29, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    John, you are on the city’s transportation commission, work for TALC, write a column for the newspaper, and a blog too! And you pursue more or less the same goals in all of these venues. These are not separate organizations (TALC, TC, Alameda Journal,—they are one and the same because you are involved in all of them! You’ve been outed, John–you are one person pretending to be 4!


  21. dl morrison
    May 29, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    Okay, then, you convinced me — let’s make it personal. That will sure as heck fix everything.

    (I knew that “transit geek” comment would come back to haunt me. Actually, it was Dave who came up with “transit geek speak” and that seemed to fly, so I thought the transit geek barrier had already been breached, but I guess not.)

  22. laughing
    May 29, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    Thank you Gretchen and Diane for sacrificing your good names so the rest of us are not personally attacked and meticulously parsed to death by the likes of John Knox White and his facebook pals.

  23. May 29, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    I also used the word “conspiracy” to talk about Mif Albright, Charter clean-up language, Measure H opposition, the notion that I write the Alameda Daily Noose, and so on…

    But back to the topic of the original post. The point that was being made by your blog host, JKW, is that the contention that Frank Matarrese no longer supports the SunCal plan and has “seen the light” bolstered by the fact that his endorsement has “disappeared” from his website is erroneous. Instead of a “mea culpa” folks felt the need to resort to anonymous (and not so anonymous) ad hominem attacks.

    That’s my latin quota for the week.

  24. M.I.
    May 30, 2009 at 11:05 am


    Jean’s miracle effort on the Beltline is a case in and of itself, but I don’t think you know how my resume compares to Jean in the arc of the base reuse issue. I have been on board participating in BRAG subcommittees and every process on the Point since then, long before you showed up with your sanctimony.

    And as is well evident I’m willing to make it personal at the drop of that because sometimes that keeps it real when people are pretending to be civil but are on no higher road than anybody else.

    I was not identifying all opposed to SunCal as a class, but people like Roberts, Bail et al who talk shit without any factual accountability and never miss a beat. They pigeon hole themselves.

    As to my deliberate condescension to Jean with the “sweet old gal” line, she deserves it in that I don’t think her seniority either in age, residence or activism entitles her to getting away with the bullshit she has said about people she disagrees with.

  25. May 30, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    To M.I.
    Although this is off topic from the original post I was wondering if there are any people involved or should I say against the Sun Cal plan that you respect? I read the blogs and they always get down in the dirt with condescending comments. What I would like is a place where I can ask a simple question and then get feed back from both sides (with no BS added)

  26. dl morrison
    May 30, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    JEA: Yes, what you’re suggesting makes sense and should be possible.

    So far as people being against the iniitiative: there are many different people, with different political views, including some opposed to Measure A, who are nevertheless opposed to SunCal’s plan because it’s a bad deal for the city. We need to be looking at the plan, not the people involved — on either side.

    The Executive Summary (Part 1) of the Initiative came out yesterday, and was posted on the site (beneath the link for the Initiative page), tho, it appears that the link isn’t working today.

    Anyway, I think Action Alameda has it, within the first news item as “report”::

  27. dl morrison
    May 30, 2009 at 2:37 pm
  28. dl morrison
    May 30, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    A printed copy of the Initiative with attachments (all 288 pages) is available for $20.00 at:

    Alameda Copy Center
    1211 Lincoln (between Sherman and Bay)


    For the online links, see:

    Click on the first link on the right hand side (Alameda Point Revitalization Initiative) and a list of links for each document will appear below.

    The documents vary in length from 10 pages to 150 pages.

  29. June 2, 2009 at 10:25 am


    You asked earlier about JKW’s reflections on Jean Sweeney’s letter regarding the Development Agreement.

    I took a stab at addressing some of the issues I found with it on these two posts:

    SunCal never promised us a rose garden, part 1
    SunCal never promised us a rose garden, part 2

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