Aquatic Park pitches for Berkeley Lab 2nd campus tonight

Yesterday, Golden Gate Fields had its turn in the spotlight at a public meeting held by the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab to discuss that location as one of the six possibles on its shortlist for its second campus. Richmond, Alameda and Oakland have all had their chance to shine, and Monday August 8th will see a pitch by Wareham Development for a Berkeley/Emeryville site.

Tonight Aquatic Park West, the only site that is 100% in Berkeley, will be presenting its case.

The site is co-owned by Michael and Steven Goldin and the Jones Family. The Goldins would act as partners to Forest City, the developers of the 12.5 acre site off Bolivar Drive. As it has done at all the meetings, the Lab will talk about its requirements — UC Berkeley’s Professor Jay Keasling is among those who will be on the platform today — and members of the public will be invited to share their views.

The video above is part of the Aquatic Park West presentation.

Information about the Berkeley Lab’s second campus search can be found on its website, as can videos of the Richmond and Alameda meetings.

The meeting starts at 7:00pm at the Frances Albrier Community Center at 2800 Park Street in southwest Berkeley.

Related:
Live from Berkeley Lab’s Golden Gate Fields meeting [08.03.11]
Berkeley sites for Lab’s second campus in the spotlight [08.03.11]
Berkeley bids for second campus fly under the radar [07.15.11] 

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  • Anne

    I wonder how this will affect the Berkeley Animal Care Services shelter? 

  • Bruce Love

    The video is funny as heck.  Nicely done.  

     

  • Bruce Love

    The video is funny as heck.  Nicely done.  

     

  • Berkeley Based

    This actually looks like a great site for the 2nd campus. It’s smaller than the other ones, but so much better located. The video was worth a watch — shows how it’s sited between the 4th Street shopping district and Berkeley Bowl West. And is thus near Amtrak. And is a nearly direct drive/bus ride up the hill to the main LBNL campus. Awesome for the employees.

    In fact, this made me wonder which of the six sites would appeal most to LBNL employees on a purely quality-of-life level. I’d doubt they’d want to be stuck out on the industrial corner of Alameda, or tucked into that odd part of the Richmond bay. Lovely water views at each one, but not much to stroll to.

  • Yea_right

    Yummy. The video gives a clear idea of the obvious mendacity with which they begin the proposal. No detail, just a puff piece to suggest they care about the area. They care to exploit it. Biotech is so safe. Not. Let’s invite Monsanto to move in. Weapons research? Mmm, mmm, good. And there’s Darryl….sycophant to the corporations who may grease his political ambitions. Everyone remembers the toxic sludge the city stored at the edge of the water for about 5 years? We can trust these people. Maybe they’ll take animals from the shelter for their research. Darryl could help with that.

  • http://berkeleyside.com Tracey Taylor

    Anne: It won’t affect it. There’s a good distance between the animal shelter and the proposed Lab site.

  • Jack

    Didn’t take long for that comment to get censored. What’s up with you people?

  • Jack

    Uncensored. Hmm.

  • Yea_right

    The video showed development all along the west side of the park. What do you consider a good distance?

  • Yea_right

    Is there a way to delete one’s own comments? or could you delete this part about the censor/uncensor?

  • Bruce Love

    Back off man.  It’s a “natural tidal basin” that “provides water” plus it has great views (the video says).   From that site they can “project the energy [of LBL] onto the Bay Area and San Francisco”.    Also, the biotech is perfectly the safe because in the 1970s some guys made up some safety protocols that were so good .. i mean soooo good …  that ever since there has been no need for serious update to those protocols or formalization of regulation.    It’s not like there’s any earthquake risk or anything.  Anyway, what are you going to drive your car on, huh?  Got a plan for that?  Or fight the malaria?  So you NEED this lab to be RIGHT THERE in Berkeley.  Near the “$35 steak” without which most scientists would starve to DEATH.   Also, you can buy expensive pet supplies nearby.   Sheesh, get with the program.  You just don’t understand the science, dood.

  • http://berkeleyside.com Tracey Taylor

    Jack: Readers can’t delete comments. But we can. As you requested I will delete your comments about censored/uncensored.

  • Bruce Love

    This is for Jack:

    The quickly disappearing then reappearing comment thing I suspect you mistook for censorship is probably not something Berkeleyside did.   It is because Berkeleyside outsources the mechanics of comments (not the moderation) to a company called Disqus.   As near as I can tell, Disqus designed their software to be flaky that way because they think it makes it easier for them to handle larger volumes of traffic.   (Nerdishly:  They use some sort of “eventually consistent” and “NoSQL” DB for comments in an 
    inappropriate way.  Calling it inappropriate is the editorializing part of that statement but I think that the way it sometimes makes BS look bad justifies the opinion.   Stupidly behaving young hackers seduced by too much money.)

  • Charles_Siegel

    It does seem to be a good complement to the Fourth St. shopping district.  In fact, I could see Third St. becoming as important a shopping street as Fourth St., because the Lab employees would walk right along Third St. 

  • Anonymous

    What exactly is the purpose of this kind of hysterical and baseless rhetoric? What is the point of anonymously slandering my city councilman? 

    Obviously, no one has proposed that Monsanto come to West Berkeley. Obviously, no one is proposing weapons research in West Berkeley. Obviously, no one is proposing storing “toxic sludge” in West Berkeley. Obviously, no one is proposing vivisection on shelter animals in West Berkeley.

    If you have some substantive real-world points, then make them. If you have specific allegations regarding Councilman Moore’s performance in office, then present the evidence. 

    Your post demonstrates no familiarity at all with the issues at hand. You might as well be screeching about Newark.

  • Anonymous

    Bruce, since you’re being kind of obtuse, I’m going to have to make the assumption that you’re talking about the ISO 14000 environmental and safety standards, with which Bayer’s West Berkeley facility voluntarily complies. The standard was adopted in 1996 and updated 10 14001 in 1999.

    And I don’t think the fact that we have earthquakes in California means that we shouldn’t construct buildings here.

  • Anonymous

    The new shelter under construction at 1 Bolivar is over 100 yards from the southeast corner of Bolivar and Addison, the farthest northern corner of the proposed site. I don’t know what a “good distance” is, but since the new shelter is directly adjacent to a 10-lane freeway, I don’t think Animal Services is going to be overly concerned about a laboratory a block away.

    Still mystified by opponents’ reification of this site as some pristine ecological wilderness. Most of it already is already covered with industrial buildings.

  • Bruce Love

    Hey, I agree with you that the slam on Moore was a bit excessive but…  here’s where your view has problems:

    Obviously, no one has proposed that Monsanto come to West Berkeley.

    Not literally, no.  But the proposal here includes situating wet labs where, odds are, GMO bacteria and algae will be developed, right next to the “natural [sic] tidal basin”.     LBL already does some of this crap in West Berkeley and it’s a bad idea.  As one grad student who worked for Keasling put it to me, they do darkly wonder about the scenario in which GMO biofuel escapes from the lab and we all wake up one day to a San Francisco Bay that has a nice sheen of fuel oil on it from an unstoppable release of some of these critters into the wild.    What better, then, to site such labs directly next to Aquatic Park, eh?   It ain’t like it’s a liquefaction zone  and it ain’t like the safety protocols of those labs aren’t weak — except for the fact that it is.

    Obviously, no one is proposing weapons research in West Berkeley.

    That’s unclear.  Historically, the lab was very very important in weapons research.  Today, a lot of weapons research is difficult to recognize as such from a scan of the front story of why the research is being done.   Simply put, none of us chickens without clearance credentials can be sure even though LBL boasts that it no longer does any classified work.   To be frank, in the defense arena there is concern about how rapidly genetic engineering technology is evolving and, consequently, some of the DOE sponsored work in GMO is quietly justified precisely to build out knowledge and capacity to cope with the weaponization of this technology.

    Obviously, no one is proposing storing “toxic sludge” in West Berkeley.

    The phrase “toxic sludge” doesn’t mean a lot but the proposal here is very much to site hazmats next to aquatic park.  No informed person on any side of this debate says otherwise — the disagreements in this area are on whether the hazmat risks are show-stoppers or if they are manageable.  

    Obviously, no one is proposing vivisection on shelter animals in West Berkeley.

    There, on that point, you are right.   The over the top sarcasm of the person you are responding to was, yes,  over the top on that point.  (I hope. :-)

  • Yea_right

    Berkeley stored toxic sludge at Aquatic Park for a number of years. It was removed last September. Lack of familiarity, indeed. Harrumph. : )
    The use of the word ‘slander’ in this context is inaccurate. Politicians are politicians. 
    ‘Vivisection’ was not mentioned except by TB.
    No big deal. It’s a comment, not an English essay.

  • Anonymous

    I think it’s vitally important to consider what is actually being proposed. Each and every one of your responses here boils down to, “No, but what if…”

    Among all but the most dedicated conspiracy theorists, LBNL has an excellent record of both safety and civic engagement with the population of Berkeley over its 80 year history here. There are valid reasons to oppose siting LBNL in West Berkeley, but a wild fantasy about evil scientists conspiring with Daryl Moore to enslave mankind is not one of them.

  • Bruce Love

    No, I’m not talking about Bayer and I’m not talking about ISO 14000 which is kind of irrelevant here.

    Labs like those that LBL operates in West Berkeley create new single cell life forms.   For example, they have freezers stocked with artificial strains of e. coli created mostly by inserting new DNA into the initial cells.    The new DNA can do very, very useful things like program the cell to make a medicine or to more efficiently break down biomass into fuel.   It’s great, fascinating, excellent science.   Sunlight and cheap ingredients (roughly speaking) make fuel, medicine, etc. with the magic of GMO single cell organisms.   Yay!   It really is a huge potential that has already yielded some big wins.

    The problem, in my view, from a Berkeley perspective:

    The precursors of that research go back to the 1970s.  That’s when people started tinkering with genes.   Back then, when people first figured out that this was possible, some of them (appropriately) got real scared.   Its dangerous.   You let some of that crap out into the environment and there’s just no take back.  There’s no “undo” on the menu.   You can, quite literally, f–k the very matrix of life on the planet. 

    So in the early days of that research, most of the few research labs engaged in it agreed on some protocols to try to keep things safe.     For example, it’s good practice according to those protocols, to only modify certain strains of e. coli that are easily killed by a few ubiquitous antibiotics (and that, anyway, are hard to keep alive even a petri dish in the first place).   The idea was that they would create new genotypes, sure, but they’d do their level best to make sure that, outside of carefully controlled lab conditions, none of these GMO bacteria had much of a chance to survive in the big wide world.

    There are a lot of reasons to believe that those self-imposed restrictions were naive and inadequate but there’s a problem:  politically and economically there is no serious way to improve on those standards.   There’s also a socio-economic problem in that some of the cats doing this research have to compete for grants and such and can’t really afford to buck their competitors and say “Hey, let’s go revisit safety.”   So the gene tinkerers have been taking bigger and bigger risks in the subsequent decades.   We’ve got some big shots in that area here in the East Bay.  Societally, we’re just rolling the dice on this one (and the odds look bad if you ask me).

    In biofuel GMO research, aside from the e. coli, one of the tools people are tinkering with  is GMO algae.   Maybe they are using algae for medicine, too — I don’t know off teh top of my head.   There’s a hell of a lot of promising stuff in that direction.   There’s plenty of research very well worth doing and worth funding right there.  There’s already big wins (including straight out of Berkeley).

    Puting that research THAT close to the bay — that aquatic park close — not such a terrific idea, IMHO.    Suppose the lab next to the park has recently cooked up batches of a really strong algae that makes fuel — and the big earthquake hits.  For example.     Sure, it will be convenient to not have to buy gas if we can skim our fuel off the bay, but….

  • Bruce Love

    You wrote this that doesn’t seem to respond to anything I or anyone else said:

    There are valid reasons to oppose siting LBNL in West Berkeley, but a wild fantasy about evil scientists conspiring with Daryl Moore to enslave mankind is not one of them.

    So, I guess we’re done.

  • TN

    The toxic sludge that was stored at Aquatic Park was the sludge that was dug out of the lagoon. It had been in the water already and was removed. It was not highly toxic and the city chose to let it dry under controlled conditions to reduce the cost of disposal.

  • Anonymous

    Since there are no storage facilities in Aquatic Park, certainly you are referring to the city’s practice of dredging the lagoon and leaving the material it dredged from the bottom of the lagoon on the shoreline. The city lacked a permit for doing that, and discontinued the practice, but calling this “storing toxic sludge” is, shall we say, inaccurate. It’s only “toxic” by statute, because it’s urban runoff. 

    You accused (without evidence) Daryl Moore of taking payoffs from private interests. That, by definition, is slander. Your personal assessment of politicians is immaterial. Words mean things. 

    Vivisection is experimenting on animals, which you certainly did allege. You need a dictionary, Diana.

  • Anonymous

    Perhaps LBNL could devote some research effort to technology beneficial to our local community. For instance, a futuristic hyper-micro weather control system for dissipating tempests in teacups. Or perhaps some sort of device one could wear that would act as a wide-angle lens for one’s ideological perspective. You know, the very sort of things that would be helpful for the seemingly inevitable histrionics I expect will surround this project.

  • http://www.webhamster.com/ The Sharkey

    Don’t engage with these people, @tor_berg:disqus .
    This isn’t a discussion, and this hysterical ranting desn’t help anything or even express a real opinion.

    I believe this is the kind of pointless non-discussion that Berkeleyside’s recent wave of bannings was supposed to help eliminate.
    Just flag the posts as inappropriate and move on. If you try to talk to them directly, they’ll just drag you down to their level.

  • grateful

    having reviewed all of the comments, i really appreciate/enjoy the snark, but note that Ann’s concern is not addressed by the aquatic park people. In yesterday’s meeting, it’s all about the lab and not the community at all. What will the lab bring to Berkeley, and if this question is not answered, WHY even pursue the lab being in Berkeley?

  • Bruce Love

    You will continue to be mystified until at least after you stop making up ridiculous strawmen views of what other people are saying.  For example, “Still mystified by opponents’ reification of this site as some pristine ecological wilderness”.   Nobody on any side has come remotely close to the view you are scandalizing.

  • Yea_right

    @94fd26a26f60d4d933a747b735a9f756:disqus  Berkeleyside folks: is it possible to remove the comment that starts with ‘Yummy?’ On rereading, the last sentence seems icky. Somebody apparently thinks the word ‘sycophant’ means something other than ‘apple-polisher.’Anyway, if possible, please delete it. Thanks.

  • http://www.webhamster.com/ The Sharkey

    “Back off man.  It’s a “natural tidal basin” that “provides water” plus
    it has great views (the video says).   From that site they can “project
    the energy [of LBL] onto the Bay Area and San Francisco”.    Also, the
    biotech is perfectly the safe because in the 1970s some guys made up
    some safety protocols that were so good .. i mean soooo good … 
    that ever since there has been no need for serious update to those
    protocols or formalization of regulation.    It’s not like there’s any
    earthquake risk or anything.  Anyway, what are you going to drive your
    car on, huh?  Got a plan for that?  Or fight the malaria?  So you NEED
    this lab to be RIGHT THERE in Berkeley.  Near the “$35 steak” without
    which most scientists would starve to DEATH.   Also, you can buy
    expensive pet supplies nearby.   Sheesh, get with the program.  You just
    don’t understand the science, dood.”

    …now what were you saying about ridiculous strawmen views, Bruce?

  • Anonymous

    I live in the neighborhood here. If the Berkeley Animal Care Services shelter is going to be fighting this that is hugely disappointing. They are already near an enormous freeway and a train line that sounds incredibly loud horns multiple times each day and night. The smells of the sake factory or the all night compressor noises would seem a bigger issue to the shelter and it’s animals then a lab. 

    I will be writing them to express my very strong disappointment in their stance. 

  • http://caviarcommunism.us West Bezerkeley

    Hi Tor — Sharkey is spot on.

  • Anne

    I should have been more specific. I wasn’t implying whether it would be good or bad–in fact, I’m not sure what the impact would be. I was mostly wondering if anyone had actually thought about it. I am a volunteer dog walker at the shelter, and we rely on having access to Aquatic Park to exercise the dogs. High traffic, either foot or otherwise, can be both a blessing and a curse when walking dogs. While the visibility may draw more potential adopters for the dogs, it can also make walking the dogs more difficult (i.e., some dogs get stressed out in high-traffic areas). 

  • Anne

    Hold on. Did I miss something? I don’t think BACS has expressed any views on the matter, one way or another. 

  • Anonymous

    Fortunately (in a process sense) the City Council doesn’t get to approve LBNL’s site choice or the specific buidout or even the EIR/EIS — all solely under federal rules and regs.

    This alone will save us dozens of hours of public hearings, not to mention yards and yards of Berkeleyside comments.

    Not that we will be fully histrionics-free.

  • http://www.davosnewbies.com lknobel

    According to the presentation last night, the project would both increase the size of Aquatic Park (by a modest two acres) and reduce the traffic in the park. They specifically cited Bolivar Drive as too dominated by cars. The quote was something like “better for parking cars than as a park”.

  • deirdre

    I like how your unit of measurement for Berkeleyside comments is by the yard.  Well said.

  • Anonymous

    Sorry, I missed the specifics you were concerned about which you clarified later. I actually also have a similar concern around access, particularly water access. 

    One question I have is that it appears this would finish off the water front cafe and friends? 

  • Anonymous

    The site is smaller, but they got creative with the facilities portion down the street. If they could figure out a way to do a more rapid bus service up university (major intersection stops only, bus triggered light changes etc) that would be fantastic. There is some light crime up around San Pablo I think, not sure why, but nothing significant near the site I don’t believe. 

  • Anonymous

    The site is smaller, but they got creative with the facilities portion down the street. If they could figure out a way to do a more rapid bus service up university (major intersection stops only, bus triggered light changes etc) that would be fantastic. There is some light crime up around San Pablo I think, not sure why, but nothing significant near the site I don’t believe. 

  • Anonymous

    Excellent point. Do you mean 2nd St though? Third St was the right of way for Amtrak I thought? 

  • Anonymous

    As Alan mentions, LBNL can over-ride local code and entitle the property however they’d like. 

    However, I am also sure they’d love to avoid a fight, and given that many people would welcome them if going somewhere in Berkeley means daily protests outside that might be a factor they will consider. 

  • Charles_Siegel

    Checking on google maps, I find that I do mean 2nd St.