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Blog: Response to "Gill Tract Update: Talks Planned" Statement

I, too, grow lettuce, grapes, kale, strawberries and other veggies. My sentiments on the issue of an urban farm at the Gill Tract and the surrounding land slated for development.

I, too, grow lettuce, grapes, kale, strawberries and other veggies.

I am on the steering committee of Albany’s , Master Gardener, music lover, traveler and a lifelong public school teacher. I have spent many years as an activist around peace and justice issues. I have tried to defend the environment since I can remember and would like to, yet again, express my sentiments on the issue of an urban farm at the Gill Tract and the surrounding land slated for development.

After reading UC’s Wilton and Breslauer’s “” of May 11, I wonder if they have ever even heard of the many Albany residents speaking before the City Council and Planning & Zoning Commission multiple times for a community urban farm on and near the Gill Tract instead of massive development? We have been ignored, rebuffed and stonewalled in the so called “due democratic process” that UC and their one Albany resident glowingly claims to have been seeped in, for lo these many years. Where was the promise to your neighbors then?

I never once remember any official of UC, that we faced in hundreds of meetings during years of our farm groups speaking out, personally approaching us to offer any arbitration ideas, trying to resolve our issues with development, letting us know they heard us, offering to collaborate, discussing advanced UC urban agriculture programs or generating any concern for broad-based decision making with us.

So now it seems like the usual strategy of UC to present solutions of backpeddling and meetings on their own terms while blaming their mismanagement of the Gill Tract and its surrounding tillable land, on the forward thinking “occupiers” when that term includes activists, UC students, farmers, neighboring townspeople, supportive Albany residents, little children, chickens and the 15,000 plants you are killing by denying them water.

Hopefully one day you will wake up to a see the world that the rest of us view: The warming of the earth, people using tactics necessary to avoid food deserts, identifying and taking action on food security and soveigntry issues, and caring about our brothers and sisters being fed sustainable food.

Our future on the planet will either be saved by people taking action or squandered by those who hang on to the status quo.

I am so thankful for the visionary people of Occupy who stood up to give all of us a seat at the table of farming instead of cement and asphalt development.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Margaret Tong May 14, 2012 at 04:31 AM
Bea, lass ( I am assuminng you are a lass) I was not at all speaking to you. It was the folks who have have the luxury of being able to spend time planting and watering. Somebody's got to be paying for their daily bread. It's always an internet posting problem. One does get confused if one does not address the comment specifically. Chums?
Ulan McKnight May 14, 2012 at 04:38 AM
Bea, I just returned from the meeting and we discussed you and the issue of the banners for a long time. One of the people who spoke with you offered his sincerest apologies for how everything went down. He was particularly saddened that you took his words as a criticism of your mothering - especially on Mother's Day. He volunteered to speak with you directly and apologize if you have any interest. No more banners will be placed accept near our encampment on San Pablo and near the light on Buchanan. Thank you again for all the energy you have put into this process. You have helped in many ways and your comments and participation are deeply appreciated.
Neo Serafimidis May 14, 2012 at 04:59 AM
@BeReal4Once There is room, and you are correct. No telling which article it was on, but I myself said several days ago that covering the tract with high-rises would save more genuine farmland from urban sprawl than the occupiers would ever figure out how to farm. This is part of the problem with this whole thing: the occupiers think they have The Truth about what's best for everyone on stone tablets. They won't accept any analysis or evidence that doesn't support their preordained view.
Dover May 14, 2012 at 05:01 AM
Bea, I am not connected to the trespassers or Ulan and I have no control over any of this, sorry. Believe you me, I wish I did. I would have sent them all home to their mommies and daddies with a firm spanking on April 22nd. I have attempted to engage some of them in conversation but I don't speak angry pothead so my attempts were futile. I wish I could say that I believe the signs will stay down but I don't. They thrive on attention, negative or otherwise, and the signs are an important part of that drive.
Jackie Hermes-Fletcher May 17, 2012 at 08:51 AM
It is likewise difficult to take someone seriously whose name is Tatter Salad, but let's talk soil. Each year 12 tons of carbon dioxide is removed from Albany's air because of the Gill Tract soil which captures the carbons that then stimulate plant growth. So keeping as much tillable soil as possible in an already densely populated area will help reduce CO2 to 25% by the year 2020, thus being in compliance with Albany's CAP. In other words, "Whole Food, Not Whole Foods". And as for the researchers, Tatter, folks can judge for themselves as to what they are doing by reading the article below. http://www.eastbayexpress.com/ebx/unclean-hands-at-the-gill-tract/Content?oid=3204032

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