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Alameda Beltline Block Party A Success

Dear Editor,

Supporters of the Beltline and Estuary Park held a wonderful block party on Sunday, July 26, 2009 at the end of Ninth Street adjoining the main part of the Beltline property. The weather was bright, the sun warm, and the company warmer as we downed tons of great food that everyone brought.

We chatted with folks like Debra Arbuckle, Doug DeHann, Barbara Kerr, and Jean and Jim Sweeney. Jean gave a history of her discovery of the contract between the City and the Railroad that gave the City the right of first refusal when the Railroad decided to sell the property. Jean had to pursue that right in court challenge after court challenge, but the railroad finally gave up after losing again and again. Now the City can purchase the nearly 40 acres of land at the original purchase price plus improvements: $988,000. Since fragments of the land scattered around the city have real estate value, they can likely be sold to pay for the acquisition and improvement making the park a real windfall.

An initiative that Jean placed on the ballot — that won — means the land must be developed as open space. We hope that it becomes a terrific natural park, based on ideas from all of us, and that Estuary Park becomes the active park for sports and civic events on the water (at Oak and Clement, as promised by the City since 1993. See the EPAC website at Jean Sweeney and Dorothy Freeman are working on the first draft of a design for the Beltline park. Please talk with them about your ideas for developing it. See the EPAC website for Dorothy’s draft of a design for Estuary Park.

– Joesph Woodard, Alameda

Photo by Joseph Woodard

Photo by Joseph Woodard

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