The town has been simply abuzz with talk of petitions and big plans for that long-abandoned military base you reported on. I heard that a group of Right-Thinking Alamedans has come up with an alternative to our Evil Robot Mayor's plan for a Secret Robot Base, and I finally got a hold of a copy. It's about twenty of those fancy Powder-Point slides with nice pretty color pictures, all stapled to some musty old book from the nineties that was well over 100 pages long. I even tried to read the book, but let me tell you, it wasn't nearly as interesting as the pictures.
Now this is where I get a little confused. The old book that was stapled to the Right-Thinking alternative plan talks about building a "Cruise Boat Home Port." No matter how hard they try to make it safe, there is always going to be some risk that a cruise boat is going to take a wrong turn and wind up sailing right up that boat ramp and onto Grand St., wrecking even more havoc than that John Knox White fellow could in his wildest dreams.
Didn't we learn anything from "The Love Boat" back in the seventies? That so-called Captain Stubing was always so busy schmoozing the pretty ladies on the boat that half the time he wasn't paying any attention to where he was going. I swear, it's a wonder that none of those Caribbean cruises ended in tragedy, with the Pacific Princess crashing head-long into an iceberg, just like the big boat in that movie with Kate Winslet. Only problem is, Alameda isn't the movies. If we build a Cruise Boat Home Port in Alameda, Leonardo DiCaprio won't be around to save us from a nightmare of runaway boats stuffed to the gunnels with washed-up sixties celebrities and terrible jokes!
And speaking of boats, the Cruise Boat Home Port isn't the only odd thing in the Right-Thinking alternative plan. There was also something about "High speed Ferries," which confused me because you've reported many times that nobody would ever take a boat to work. Stranger still, it says these Ferries might be paid for with "tax increment financing." Now, I have no idea what that is, but I've been told that it's terrible…terrible! Nothing but a multi-million-dollar "bail-out" for Big Boat! In fact, I could have sworn that one of those Powder-Point slides stapled to the book said so, but maybe I was distracted by a pretty picture.
I know I'm probably the one that's confused here. I must have missed something, because a bunch of things in the Right-Thinking alternative plan sound more like something I'd expect from our Evil Robot Mayor and her Evil Developer friends: a Cruise Boat Home Port, High speed Ferries, tax increment financing, industrial clusters, trucking services, hotels, conference centers, a theme park, and "Diverse, Affordable Housing," including…if you can believe this…apartments and lofts. I thought this exactly was the kind of thing we Right-Thinking Alamedans are trying to stop. I hope that young, up-and-coming genius of the East Bay, Mr. Dave Williamson, will be able to explain to me exactly where I went wrong. I feel like such a silly goose!
Thursday, April 9, 2009