About this blog

On March 29th, 2009, Alameda residents awoke to smoke and debris from a fire that had been burning on Alameda Point since 2:00 that morning.  The smoke billowed over the island all day, with the county health department issuing a “shelter in place” advisory at 2:00 pm, 12 hours after the fire began.  At 6:00 pm, when I drove through it, the Posey tube was thick with white smoke.

On Monday, March 30, the SF Chronicle published an article about the fire with this ludicrous title: “Fire In Alameda Hospital Burns Safely.”  In the article, AFD Division Chief, Rich  Zombeck said “the smoke is not believed to represent a health concern – the building is mostly concrete and wood, although he said there is also some asbestos in the walls and tar on the roof.  “Health precautions had been limited to voluntary shelter in place instructions for those downwind, he said.

On Tuesday, March 31, I (Liz Williams, username: zizzlah) ran into Denise Lai at the Marketplace and got to talking about the fire.  I told her about the asbestos and the curious lack of concern of everybody’s part.  She told me about the debris – some of it quite large – in her yard.

After days of stonewalling from the city and the responsible agencies (BAAQMD, EPA), Denise has finally made some progress:  She contacted the county DA and he is looking into the matter.

In addition, Denise had the material in her yard tested.  It is 10% asbestos, which puts it in the range requiring regulation and clean up. That means you can’t just throw it in the trash – it needs to be properly disposed of.

We created this website so Alameda citizens can share stories, compare notes and help each other get our elected officials to do their jobs. Our focus is on getting answers. If the debris in Denise’s yard is the only one contaminated with asbestos, we require proof that we have not been exposed. If we are, as we currently suspect, awash in asbestos, we want an immediate clean up.

Neither of us is what you’d call technically gifted, so please forgive any difficulties you encounter with this blog. We’ll do our best. Your suggestions are welcome.

Want to read more? Here’s the latest.


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