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East Bay Regional Park District Offended by Claim of Support for Point Molate

Bay Area TV Station CBS 5 reported yesterday  “According to the tribe, the Richmond Chamber of Commerce, the Contra Costa Building Construction and Trades Council and the East Bay Regional Park District have endorsed the project,” but ,“A spokesperson for the park district Thursday disputed the tribe's claim that the district had endorsed the plan.” The “endorsement (“October 9, 2008, Project Endorsement from East Bay Regional Park District”) continues to appears on the www.Pointmolateresort.com website at http://pointmolateresort.com/files/10-09-08-EastBayRegionalParkDistrict.pdf.


An unnamed but highly placed spokesperson for the EBRPD responded to an inquiry, “…we have notified the news people and will ask Levine to remove this “misinformation” from his web site. Do you know how long the front page of their web site has shown an EBRPD endorsement? We were not aware of it. It is most unfortunate.”


Later, the EBRPD spokesperson expanded:


What ever the outcome this does not make it easier to resolve issues. Pat’s [EBRPD General Manager O‘Brien] “olive branch” to Levine was used as an endorsement which now makes communication and trust even more difficult. When the Board see’s the news that EBRPD has endorsed the project when in fact they have not taken any position on the project they will be very unhappy. The Board is also very concerned about the proposed “Environmental Settlement” with CESP and others because there is no public oversight of the $55,000,000 in promised funding. This could lead to some very nasty accusations on how the millions in promised casino money would be spent and who makes the decisions. Who are they accountable to?  Our EIR comments are public and well thought out we are not fundamentally opposed to the project but the EIR is flawed and we will not roll over just because there seems to be a stampede to support jobs. What is missing from the dialogue is the significance of this shoreline and the need to have binding conditions to restore and make it available for public use as envisioned in the PSPP Open Space Plan we all participated in. Everyone wants to paint things black or white but the fact is no one has the money to fix the buildings without development. The Navy operated there for decades and left a mess but there is also the rest of the shoreline that needs real investment and restoration of the bay and upland habitat. We now have the Chevron agreement and Tom’s effort to include its development is something we have talked about with Levine but its only talk at this point. Every time we have asked Upstream to reduce some of the impacts we are offered money but there have not been any real design changes. Everyone has forgotten that our original lawsuit required the EIR and gave the city additional legal protections on local planning not just the federal EIS. What is needed is real CEQA mitigation commitments not just promises of future revenues.