Check the List Twice

The decision makers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab are undoubtedly fi nalizing their selection of the location for the Lab's second campus. They are expected to make their decision by the end of November. Looking over the list of features that all the short-listed applicants offer, I noticed Alameda has some unique advantages.

• Economic sense: Setting up shop at Alameda Point would allow the University of California (the operator of the Lab) to save money (the land is free) while preserving the land it already owns in Richmond for other university programs.

• Vigorous planning for the future: The Navy has announced it will transfer 918 acres to the city of Alameda at no cost to aid in economic development of the former Naval Air Station. The Department of Defense has awarded Alameda $225,000 to prepare an economic development strategy for Alameda Point. A detailed transportation strategy for Alameda Point has already been prepared. The Lab would break ground around the same time as the Veterans' Clinic.

• Opportunities for synergistic growth: The Lab would benefi t from the additional small businesses and manufacturing facilities that come to Alameda Point as a result of specifi c development incentives the federal government is offering.

• SBA Hub Zone: Alameda Point is a qualifi ed Hub Zone, giving federal contracting preferences to small businesses that obtain HUB Zone certifi cation.

• LAMBRA: The Local Agency Military Base Recovery Area provides numerous tax incentives for companies that locate at Alameda Point.

• Foreign Trade Zone: Alameda Point is designated a Foreign Trade Zone, wherein no U.S. Customs duty or excise tax is levied on imported/exported merchandise.

• Partnership growth potential: High quality research and development offi ce space is already available at nearby Marina Village for companies that want to provide supplies or services to the Lab or develop and market products invented at the Lab.

• Proximity to Oakland Airport: Closest location to the Oakland Airport where visiting scientists and scholars will often arrive.

• The bottom line: Electricity costs are substantially lower and greener than in the surrounding areas. Alameda's utility portfolio is typically more than 80 percent clean and renewable, derived from geothermal, hydroelectric, wind, landfi ll gas and solar facilities. Alameda is the lowest greenhousegas- emitting community in Alameda County and one of the lowest in California. An ideal fi t for the Lab as it complements the Lab's goals of inventing the future of energy.

After checking the list twice, the decision to choose Alameda Point for the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab's second campus should be an easy one for the Lab to make.

Irene Dieter's writings can be seen on



0 #4 Tom Jenkins 2011-11-08 00:05
Seriously, I think we'd like to think our city is the best candidate, but Richmond doesn't have a history of mis-managment at all levels.

I don't like this site any more than you all, but it doesn't look like anything in there is incorrect.
0 #3 TA 2011-11-05 23:10
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (which spreads in the air) without containment when it was mislabeled as harmless. The U.S.’s 2001 anthrax scare and the unknown source of the virulent, antibiotic-resi stant strain of E.coli that has recently infected thousands in Europe and, so far, killed 27 raise serious questions about the effectiveness of tracking, as well as accountability.
0 #2 TA 2011-11-05 23:09
Public health also is a serious consideration. Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) killed nearly 800 people in 2003. Lab versions of the SARS pathogen are known to have escaped BL 3 and BL 4 labs via infected lab workers. And a few years ago, at Berkeley itself, workers handled deadly

Which safety lab levels will the new campus house? What constitutes “moderate harm?” Will the citizenry of this densely populated urban area know what pathogens are being used for research? Since academic and private interests operate under different safety, liability, and oversight restrictions, which research safety guidelines will apply? What remedies will apply in the event of lab worker injury, or environmental or public safety hazard? Will there be a public safety infrastructure facilitating transparency and accountability? Is the patchwork of voluntary regulatory guidelines from existing agencies adequate?
0 #1 TA 2011-11-05 23:08
In April of this year, U.C. Berkeley researchers announced the creation of the U. C. Berkeley Synthetic Biology Institute (SBI), which will ramp up efforts to “engineer” cells and biological systems. Part of its research will include experiments that insert manufactured stretches of DNA into existing organisms to create new, self-replicatin g artificial life forms—experimen ts that pose implications for worker safety, public health and environmental safety. A collaboration of university and industry, the SBI enterprise is designed to catapult basic research into profit making applications.

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