Don't repeat famous experiment on Island
In the early 1960s John Calhoun conducted an experiment sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health on mice. He built a 9-foot square metal pen with 54-inch high sides. The pen included wire mesh tunnels that led to nesting boxes, food containers and water dispensers. Four pairs of mice were introduced to the "Mouse Universe."
The population doubled every 55 days to a total of 620 on day 315. Between day 315 and 600, there was a social breakdown. Aggressive, hostile and violent behaviors emerged and escalated each day. There was fighting, gnarling and teeth-baring, expulsions of the young before weaning, wounding of the vulnerable and other forms of social breakdown.
Since I moved to Alameda in 2000, I'm starting to observe a similar phenomenon in this town. People seem to be less patient or polite. Drivers are becoming aggressive and unfriendly. I see them speeding and cutting off other drivers. Traffic has become unpleasant. What used to take me 5 to 10 minutes from MarketPlace on Park Street to Shoreline Drive took me 30 minutes on more than two occasions. Police reports show crimes that are more violent in nature. I'm finding it increasingly unpleasant to live in Alameda.
Numerous sociology studies point to the impact of the environment on one's behavior. For instance, pedestrians walk more leisurely by the beach even in New York City than on a city street in the same city, where skyscrapers and honking cars abound. Thus, if we build buildings high enough to obscure the open sky, introduce more cars, decrease open spaces and so on in Alameda, we will very likely see a continued escalation of the aforementioned phenomenon of concern.
I ask the Alameda Point Planning Board to not build structures taller than three stories and crowd out spaces with shopping malls, plazas, big box stores or chain businesses and rows of residential units with minimal space between them. Let's maintain the quaint character of Alameda with private local retail stores and restaurants, greenery and open blue skies. Please do not turn Alameda into Mouse Universe.
Kudos for backing America's Cup race
As a member of Oakland Yacht Club and their Race Committee, I wanted to recognize and thank Alameda Theater and Cineplex for their positive impact to our community with their initial support of the America's Cup by hosting the Artemis Racing Event back on March 1.
The event allowed our community to meet team members and begin to catch America's Cup fever. As the racing progressed, through trials, tragedy and triumphs, Alameda watched.
In September, the America's Cup races commenced, with many making their way to the San Francisco waterfront and others gathering in front of televisions or watching YouTube replays. But by far the best opportunity to feel like you were on the waterfront, with the advantage of the details of television coverage, was Alameda Theater and Cineplex's free, big screen viewing of the America's Cup races, where you could almost feel the spray as Oracle and Emirates foiled upwind.
Thank you to the people at Alameda Theater and Cineplex for supporting America's Cup and Alameda as a community that hosted Artemis and Luna Rossa competitors and their families.
Harbor Bay Club plan an awful idea
The Bay Isle Pointe Board of Directors is strongly opposed to the proposal by Harbor Bay Isle Associates to relocate the Harbor Bay Club outside of Harbor Bay Isle. We object to the building of 80 new homes on land that was originally planned to be open space and recreation land for the entire Harbor Bay Isle community.
We feel that the population density of Harbor Bay Isle is already at its maximum. The 80 new homes will increase our school population, increase our commute-hour traffic and eliminate the main recreation facility within our community.
Our property values will be negatively impacted with the loss of the club as an amenity when selling our homes. Property values of the homes adjacent to the school and on the opposite side of Robert Davies Drive will be affected severely by the traffic and parking bottlenecks at school drop-off and pickup times.
The proposed new location at the foot of Island Drive has previously been deemed unfit for new homes due to the airport's impact. Why would we deem it now fit for our owners and their children to have as a recreation area?
We urge our neighbors in Harbor Bay Isle and Bay Farm to join us in opposing this development. Please go to www.harborbayneighbors.wordpress.com for more information.
president, Bay Isle Pointe Board of Directors
Thanks to all for successful tourney
On behalf of the board, staff, committee and, especially, the kids at Alameda Boys & Girls Club, we extend a huge thank-you to the 139 players, 55 sponsors, over 70 donors, and 18 volunteers who generously supported our 25th Annual Swing for Great Futures Golf Classic presented by Marzolf Brothers Construction on Sept. 23.
We were blessed with beautiful weather, a spectacular course and venue at Sequoyah Country Club and a jovial evening full of camaraderie, good food and spirits. And because of your generosity, we generated revenue of more than $70,000, making this our most successful tournament to date.
The big winners, of course, are the youth we serve. The proceeds from this event directly fund the operating expenses required to run our organization and make a critical difference in the lives of our members.
A big shout out goes to Wayne and Roland Marzolf for initiating this event 25 years ago to benefit Alameda Boys & Girls Club and to our major sponsors:
Catellus Development Corporation; Rich Sherratt; National Metal Fabricators; Trans Pacific National Bank; Alan Metheny, Wells Fargo Advisors; Otaez Mexican Restaurant; Ballena Technologies, Inc.; San Franola Granola; Provident Credit Union; Property Investment Services; The Hayes Family; One Toyota of Oakland, Brad Barnett; Michael McDonough, Principal Financial Group; and George Fullwood, California Car Care Systems.
For a complete list of our sponsors, donors, committee members, volunteers and winners and photos of the day compliments of Al Wright, of Raintree Studios, please go to www.swingforgreatfutures.com.
Thanks again for all that you do to inspire, engage and empower Alameda youth.
president, Board of Directors, Alameda Boys & Girls Club