Mixed-use plan for El Sobrante?
Because I live nearby, I attended a recent community meeting in El Sobrante, in which the rezoning of more than 100 parcels along San Pablo Dam Road and Appian Way to mixed use or "smart growth" was presented.
Supervisor John Gioia described this land-use transformation as the culmination of some 10 years of work by members of the El Sobrante community. He stated the county had spent more than $102,000 on this plan and that it had wide community support.
These rezoned parcels are located in the same area as the El Sobrante Redevelopment Plan -- a plan strongly opposed by El Sobrante residents because it used eminent domain and would have added more than 1,200 new residents in mixed-use housing along San Pablo Dam Road and Appian Way.
Because of the opposition, the county dropped redevelopment as a means to achieve mixed-use zoning, and instead rezoned via a "general plan update" that set up tightly controlled planned unit developments, or P-1 districts.
Most people I talk to are unaware of this plan. The potential transformation and population increase of a small unincorporated area such as El Sobrante should be voted on, not simply presented and decided upon in poorly attended community meetings.
Question to advocates against abortion
If they would fail to honor this "child" just as they would any other, I would conclude their claim rings rather hollow.
Legislators help delay prison vote
Thanks to our state Sens. Loni Hancock and Mark DeSaulnier and Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner for representing the best interests of everyone in helping to delay a vote on expanding the number of prison beds.
It is a very complicated situation, what with holding illegal immigrants as well as coping with many people awaiting trial.
The prisoners need help, which doesn't come with a bed. Just providing a bed with no education, job counseling and other services will guarantee that these prisoners will be recidivists.
A plan must be concocted that will help, not just house, these prisoners so that they will become law-abiding citizens instead of repeat offenders.
UC will be charging in-state students more
The public's UC Berkeley majors in harvesting money and taxes. UC Berkeley is now the nationally ranked No. 1 public university for total academic cost (resident) as a result of Provost George Breslauer and Chancellor Robert Birgeneau's goal to charge Californians higher tuition.
UC Berkeley tuition is rising faster than costs at other public universities. Cal faculty ranked No. 2 in earning potential. Believe it: Harvard is less costly.
The California dream: keep it alive and well at Cal. Honorably retire Breslauer. Birgeneau has resigned.
Ryan has surfaced some critical issues
With the selection of Paul Ryan as candidate for vice president, the political coronations and eviscerations of him, and his plan for Medicare and Social Security, have begun. The knives are out, but most of the "facts" being claimed about his plan are based on future market assumptions and ideological biases.
One fact that perhaps we can all be in agreement about:
If it were not for Ryan, we would not even be having this discussion. We (and most lawmakers) would be only too happy to put our heads in the sand and ignore the absolute unsustainability of Social Security and Medicare.
It took one man's courage to crunch the numbers and write down a proposal to save what otherwise will vanish in the face of demographics and irrefutable laws of mathematics. It may only be an opening offer, a starting point for negotiations and a vision of one individual lawmaker. But it has brought us all as a nation kicking and screaming (mostly at each other) to the discussion, which I am certain the nation and its "leaders" would have preferred to ignore and pass on to someone else.
Good for him. And good for us.
Patrick J. McNamara