One of the fears I had about the great Oakland Uptown event was that New Media would not be employed in a coordinated fashion to "mark it's footprint" online for the future. For example, I happened to find a streamed video set that I could see from here in Georgia where my Mom is, but I was the only person watching it. There should be 1,000 or more viewers.
Events that draw thousands of people (or hundreds) in the 21st Century can have such a free broadcast, but it has to be part of the marketing effort months ahead of time and designed such that if I see Twitter, there's a designated tag for the event and so many tweets it comes up as a trending tag. That didn't happen.
On Tuesday, the suddenly controversial (there's a kicker) Oakland BART Airport connector project was approved for $70 million from the board of commissioners of the Port of Oakland, according to the Oakland Tribune.
The plan, which has ballooned to $522 million over the three decades of discussion, finally looks like it's on the way toward reality. Perhaps the days of $30 cab rides to the airport from Lake Merritt will end. And to put a fine point on it, a cab ride to San Francisco International Airport (SFO) from Lake Merritt costs me $40; just $10 more!
Taking BART means waiting for the crowded Oakland Airport bus, a time cost I'm tired of paying. Meanwhile I can take BART to SFO for $6 and I'm placed right in the terminal system; I can take the people mover or walk to my gate from there.
While the connector plan is hated by some, it's a much needed transportation service improvement for an airport that needs a competitive shot in the arm. For some weird reason, the Port's PR person pointed to projected vehicle emissions reductions, but that's not the real issue for me. This is one more step in improving the quality of life in Oakland and removing the "second class" tag from it.
I feel as if there's a wee battle between those who want to improve Oakland and really make it into a city, versus those who'd rather keep it as a small, crime-plagued hamlet. Why they want this is curious to me. They oppose keeping the A's, high rise buildings where we need them, and almost any other large scale project. Thinking small isn't the best way to make a city.
I've been in Georgia for a week now - most of the time I've been sick - but I'll never forget the flight to get here. Now, I've flown thousands of times and come here each month, but the way this United Airlines flight shook while entering Atlanta airspace scared the heck out of me.
Turbulence? Sure. I've felt it before – a lot actually - but usually during the flight, not at the end of the flight. Apparently the Georgia weather included more than a few storm clouds; because of this our landing was delayed 12 minutes. But then I guess the pilot got cleared to land because we just dived into the most terrible clouds I've seen in a while and all hell broke lose.
The plane shook, at one point before the video violently (which is why I turned it on) and the Airbus A319 airframe produced this kind of loud whining noise I've never experienced before. All of this is in the video. Through it all the pilot was a pro. After that three minutes of terror so close to the airport, he landed smoothly. I guess that's why he makes the big bucks, or I hope he does.
I wonder to this day if we could have waited another few minutes and gotten around those clouds. As I exited the plane, the pilot had just emerged from the cockpit; I said “Nice landing. Thanks.” He tipped his hat and breathed a sigh of what had to be relief.