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Guest Column: Off Leash Albany Bulb vs. the Sierra Club

Why is the Sierra Club trying to change access to the Albany Bulb, wonders one reader.

As an animal lover, I completely support a club that wants to protect animal habitats. That's why I'm confused. Some of my dog's favorite habitats are the off-leash parks around San Francisco Bay. Now I hear that the Sierra Club wants to change her access to some of these parks.

As the companion of an active dog in charge of the health and well-being of my family, I look forward to our twice-a-day walks. 

In my neighborhood, leashes are a requirement. I understand that. It keeps a dog safe from racing across a busy street in a pro-active defensive measure against the wily fox squirrel. However, compared to my dog, we are fairly slow-moving folks, and she really enjoy setting her own pace. That’s why I’m so happy about the variety of off-leash parks near my neighborhood, like Point Isabel in Richmond and parts of Cesar Chavez park in Berkeley .
  
That's where the Albany Bulb  comes in. We hear there’s a movement afoot to to the Albany Bulb. I don’t know what the details are, but we were e-mailed a message that the park's off-leash status was in peril. Seems that the Sierra Club has some issues, but dogs and human companions have needs too. I want to be even-handed about this, so if you want to . 

To learn more about the Albany Beach Habitat Restoration and Public Access Feasibility Study, here’s that link

You may also want to learn more information about the The East Bay Regional Park District’s Master Plan in general. The Board of Directors welcomes your input . It will take about 15 to 20 minutes to complete the survey, but if you enjoy the parks you might want to weigh in with your preferences and concerns.

Emilie Raguso March 02, 2011 at 12:53 AM
It seemed like the website was down earlier, which may have exacerbated the issue. Thank you for your response. I think that always helps.
Tim Q. Cannon March 02, 2011 at 01:09 AM
MT..your anonymity doesn't bother me..we vote anonymously don't we?..I think the potential for hypocrisy exists when , for example, someone claims they represent a group, and in fact are just one person, trying to influence policy without any other support. I think you should change your name to 1000 Oaks....it's more topical.
Million Trees March 02, 2011 at 01:21 AM
Although I speak for myself on MT, I am a member of a large coalition of like-minded critics of the destructive aspects of native plant "restorations." I have allies in San Francisco, the East Bay, and Marin County. See http://savesutro.wordpress.com for a focus on issues in San Francisco and hillsconversationnetwork.com for the East Bay perspective.
Caryl O'Keefe March 02, 2011 at 02:09 AM
Peter Rauch asks excellent questions. Are there are good answers that don't require the Sierra Club prefernce to ban dogs from the Bulb? The answers have to be more than "I control my dog and pick up debris." There's too much evidence that others do not control or pick up. Re Bulb history questions, I posted an undated (2005?) pdf from the City of Albany's site that addresses some of the questions above re the landfill, which was construction debris. link is www.albanyca.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=577 . Note that the Regional WAter Quality Board lifted a closure order on the Bulb in 2005 - time and tide did their work re toxic concerns. But per the 1985 lease agreement the City has with State Parks, (which I can't find on the site and may no longer be valid and was never mandatory), Albany would still have to pay millions to remove rebar and concrete chunks, dogs and "plop" art, and relocate homeless, if it still wanted the Bulb transferred to the State. Unfortunately Albany's $600,000 Voices to Vision report dismissed the future of the Bulb as "known" - there should be real dialog about its use and ownership. Not an empty mantra "we know it will go to the State." (so we can ignore the facts that it won't go to the State unless we pay attention to it and spend a lot of money we don't have on it.) Next City of Albany Waterfront meeting is Wed March 2 at 7:30: http://www.albanyca.org/index.aspx?page=16&recordid=3926&returnURL=%2findex.aspx%3fpage%3d1
Peter Rauch March 02, 2011 at 04:34 PM
MT, Would you please provide a link to an original source document which substantiates the statement that you were "...chased down the hall at city hall by a name-calling native plant advocate." Documenting the name "called", the name of the person (if known) who called you that epithet, which city hall the incident occurred in, the date/time of the incident, and evidence for your attribution of the label "native-plant advocate" as relevant to this person and his/her behavior, will provide the readers of this particular unidentified "public comment" (of yours) with the a measure of credibility that possibly can be validated. Peter

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