Amblin' Alameda: VA at Alameda Point

Amblin' Alameda: VA at Alameda Point

Morton Chalfy

When I think about Alameda Point, what sort of development of it would be best for Alameda and the current residents of Alameda, I think about institutions like Lawrence Berkeley Lab (never was going to happen but would have been a great fit) and the Veteran’s Administration Hospital Complex. Full disclosure, the VA is my medical caregiver and a hospital on Alameda Point, given that I’d live long enough to see it, would mean an easy 10-minute drive versus the 45-minute, hair-raising race on 880 followed by the slog through San Francisco.

My bias being stated, here are my reasons.

The VA staff are high-quality people. Whatever their function, from janitors to charge nurses to administrators to clerks behind the desk to even the security personnel, they are invariably pleasant of demeanor, helpful of attitude, understanding and patient. They are not judgmental; they treat the veterans with great respect for their service without regard to rank or status in the world today.

The doctors and the residents from UCSF provide extremely high-quality care due to their own dedication and the quality of their computer system and consequently their patients love them. I know it is fashionable to deride government employees but don’t do it in the hearing of the vets or they will give you what-for.

Adding the VA hospital to Alameda Point will place an institution that does unbridled good for its users on the shores of our Island. If there is any truth to the concept of karma, this place would radiate good karma for miles. It would probably add many local jobs in the maintenance department and the IT department and would probably encourage many of the professional staff to move here.

The nursing home residents, if there were to be any, would be lucky enough to have a view of the Bay to help their recoveries, and, probably, CNA interns from the College of Alameda to clean their bedpans.

In my mind, the more open-space and institutional use we can make of Alameda Point, the better. Fewer problems than a residential development, more public fun and relaxation and more good karma.


Submitted by Richard Bangert on Tue, Aug 21, 2012

We would get more of the open space you call for, while upgrading the experience of veterans arriving at the clinic, by moving the clinic to the area where the Lab was supposed to go. It would give us 20 more acres of open space out on the Northwest Territories that could be turned into permanent wetlands. And you wouldn't have veterans going for treatment next to a cemetery.

If the VA was smart, they'd ask for a little more than 20 acres for the clinic over by the USS Hornet, and that would allow for future expansion. The parcel we offered to the Lab is 45 acres. We should stop "Waiting for Guffman" to show up to fill up the commercial area, and instead welcome what's real.