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Tracing Tracy Territory

Another view on baseball’s compatibility with Port of Oakland

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Last week, my column questioned the decision of the Oakland City Council in advocating moving the A’s from their present stadium area to a site on the Oakland Estuary at Howard Terminal as the only way of keeping the A’s from moving out of Oakland. Here’s what Tracyite Tom Santos, who knows a thing or two about Oakland and its port, has to say about the issue:

Hello, Sam,

Thanks for your article regarding the Oakland A's pending deal with the port. I am a 20-year resident of Tracy and have worked in the shipping industry for 30 years, out of both Southern and Northern California.

I spent almost 20 years with K Line, which was an ocean carrier that serviced vessels out of the Port of Oakland as well as globally. Today, I work as an importer/exporter of agricultural goods and chemicals for an SF-based company, virtually from home in Tracy.

This is just my personal opinion as a resident, not on behalf of my company or former companies, but I wholeheartedly agree with you. The Port of Oakland has a long-standing track record as one of the top five ports in the U.S. to import and export through.

The amount of jobs and impact for goods through the port reaches all over the Bay Area, Central Valley and up to Reno for distribution centers, retailers, truckers, port workers, manufacturers, logistics companies and shippers. The impact of port business which carries manufactured goods and raw materials for both imports and exports that contributes to our state and country's economy is significant.

When the owners of the A's promote the project with housing, retail and jobs, I look at this and wonder who will really afford one of the very expensive condos and how many additional jobs are really created.

The location of the proposed park sits literally in front of the turning basin for the ocean vessels. Crowding that region with private boats against huge ocean vessels doesn’t sound smart.

Limited entry into the ports (two exits/two lanes each) will prove to be a massive bottleneck when competing with the thousands of trucks that come through on a daily basis.

Name one MLB ballpark where fans navigate around 40-foot containers and trailers en route to the game. Way to put you in the mood!

In Seattle a few years ago, they faced something similar. However, their mayor stepped up and protected this important industry. In Oakland I believe they are scrambling to protect the last professional team and as a Raiders/Warriors fan it is very sad to think of the A's moving.

Not sure why they can't just find a way to finance something in East Oakland where those existing jobs are protected, new jobs are created, and a very critical industry is maintained at the port.

Watching my Oakland Raiders move to Las Vegas will never sit well with me, and I sympathize with A's fans. I just hope that in a desperate move, we don't trip over ourselves to accommodate another wealthy owner.

Best regards,

Tom Santos, Tracy

• Sam Matthews, Tracy Press publisher emeritus, can be reached at (209) 830-4234 or by email at shm@tracypress.com.

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