This week's new articles from the alternative weeklies...
- A New Lake Merritt Dog Park? (East Bay Express)
The debate over the proposed dog park at Lake Merritt just got a lot more interesting. For years, residents have been led to believe that the only possible location for the fenced dog run was a lawn near the lake's northeastern corner, where MacArthur Boulevard and Lakeshore Avenue meet. That's precisely what has made the project controversial, with many residents arguing that the site's high visibility makes it inappropriate for a dog park. Proponents, including Councilwoman Nancy Nadel, have insisted that there is no other option. But an alternative site has surfaced that has the support of Councilwoman Pat Kernighan and appears to be favored by both Public Works and Parks and Recreation. Full article
- Is LEED really green? (SF Bay Guardian)
The archangel of sustainable development has arrived, promising much needed city housing that will add to the "social fabric of the waterfront community" with its glamorous green rooftops and unheard-of bay views. This is going to be the greenest building of them all, or so we've been told, but the truth is a bit more complicated...The problem with this $345 million project is that it's being touted, with its "green building" LEED certification, as the most sustainable structure it can possibly be. But there's nothing sustainable about building high-end condos in San Francisco, a city with too many high-end condos and not enough affordable housing. And LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), the most popular sustainable development certification system in the country, is a lie — at least as your friendly neighborhood building developer is marketing it. Full article
- The Surreal Council (East Bay Express)
Last week's Oakland City Council meeting was like watching a 2011 version of The Twilight Zone. For much of the past two decades, Ignacio De La Fuente has been known as the city's law-and-order councilman, and the Oakland police union has repeatedly backed his runs for office, including his 2006 bid for mayor. Nancy Nadel, by contrast, has earned a reputation over the years as being an ultra-liberal councilwoman, a champion of social justice and violence prevention — not of the cops. And yet during the surreal June 30 council meeting, Nadel was pushing to hire more police officers in Oakland, arguing that the force is dangerously understaffed, while De La Fuente repeatedly pounded the table, refusing to hire more cops than Mayor Jean Quan had already planned to do. Full article