|Letters to the Editor|
Published: Friday, 21 September 2012 02:50
Job well done
I want to recognize and commend a citizens' group seldom mentioned or noted. At its Aug. 28 meeting the Alameda Civil Service Board voted with one abstention to disallow a job retitlement/ promotional examination. The acting director of the Alameda Park & Recreation Department instigated the exam that resulted in laying off three senior employees with years of service and good employment histories.
An independent investigation by a contractor paid for by the city found nothing unusual in what the director had done. However, the board found enough irregularities in both procedures and arithmetic to act on the matter.
Integrity and fairness of this kind should always be noted.
Avonette Peeler sits as the board's president. Peter Horikoshi is the vice-president. The board members are Dean Batchelor, Linda McHugh and Marguerite M. Malloy.
— Michael Leahy
Alameda City Employees Association
Alameda, take note
The Sept. 11 edition of the New York Times had a front-page story about global warming that residents of Alameda should take note of. "New York Is Lagging as Seas Rise" was about the 520-mile coast of New York lined by "teeming roads" and "fragile infrastructure."
A researcher with Stony Brook University complained of a "lack of urgency" about this and instead of "planning to be fl ooded" city, state and federal agencies should be "investing in protection like sea gates that could close during a storm and block a surge," By analogy, Alameda should be "expanding wetlands to accommodate surging tides" instead of developing the old Navy base; placing new units outside of the Bay Shore areas instead of approving 2,417 units near the northern shore and relocating somewhere else other than the Harbor Bay business park for the school administration offi ces rather than trading one potential disaster, a major earthquake, for another, climate change.
— David Baker
Redundant and unnecessary
Charles Fasso's op-ed ("Closing Fire Station No. 3," Sept. 13) can only be politically motivated as it could not be further from the truth! There are no reports that contradict the 2009 ICMA report.
Moreover, the ICMA report based its fi nding on national fi re industry standards: each fi re station needs to provide a 1.5-mile radius of coverage.
What the heck does that mean for us exactly? It means that out of all of the fi re stations we have in Alameda, Fire Station No. 3 is the only fi re station that we do not need.
Why? Because every other fi re station perfectly and slightly overlaps to provide service for the entire city. That's right: the coverage provided by Fire Station No. 3 is redundant and unnecessary.
So why is our city leadership and management hell bent on spending millions on the redesign and expansion of the Fire Station No. 3 facility and staff and exacerbating the annual multi-million dollar overspend on overstaffi ng of fi re services? One needs only look at the political donations to made by the fi refi ghters' union, IAFF Local 689, to fi gure this one out: the local fi re union has been averaging $50,000 in donations per election to local candidates and measures.
Our city's citizen legislature is anything but.
— Denise Lai
It's for the kids
Gene Kahane's letter to the editor ("Stop the EHS-ACLC Separation," Aug. 24) laments the division and separation that beset our country.
He implored our community to rise above such attitudes and behaviors and show that we are better than that. An Encinal High School (EHS) teacher, Kahane lent his support to Alameda Community Learning Center (ACLC) student-athletes seeking to play on EHS athletic teams. He suggests that we can all learn a lesson by "letting the children play together."
Thankfully, that lesson has not been lost in Alameda. At the most recent school board meeting, Kevin Gorham, EHS athletic director, and Sean McPhetridge, the district's assistant superintendent, announced that not only would student-athletes from ACLC be able to play on EHS teams, but that they were working on multi-school agreements that would allow students from the other Alameda charter schools to participate in high school sports.
Gorham and McPhetridge spent signifi cant time and effort to reach this result, working closely with California Interscholastic Foundation's (CIF) North Coast Section. In fact, due to a timing issue, Gorham will be traveling to Sacramento later this month to secure approval from the state CIF organization for the multi-school agreements — approval that we are optimistic will be forthcoming.
Gorham noted that in future years, renewing the multi-school agreements will be a simple clerical task. School board members supported Gorham's and McPhetridge's work, expressing their views that participation and inclusiveness are values in our community. As Gorham said, "It's for the kids."
In a cynical world, seeing someone do something right for the right reasons can restore faith. Such acts can bring about real change: a return to civility and recognition that what we share is much greater and important than our differences. Gorham and McPhetridge have made a difference to our students and our community. Thank you.
— Mike Melendez
Not what it seems
Jeffery R. Smith's story: ("Thoughts on the Freshly Installed Great Wall of Alameda," Sept. 13) was funny, but the Wall is actually a hedge against litigation. Therefore, the spendthrift Alameda Unifi ed School District offi cials are "hedgehogs." — Mike Gilmore
Help pass Measure D
When the city council refused to put the Mif Albright land swap before voters, Protect Our Alameda Parks gathered 10,000 signatures to put Measure D on the ballot. We must pass this so parklands can no longer be swapped without a vote of Alameda residents. This will close the loophole in the measure passed 20 years ago by Alameda residents when the city wanted to sell golf course property.
Contributions of any amount can be mailed to: Protect Our Alameda Parks, 875 Island Drive, Box 201, Alameda, CA 94502.
— John Nolan
An insulting affront
The recent commentary about Alameda Hospital ("The Big Bag of Lies," Sept. 13) is an affront to this taxpayer and to the knowledgeable, well-meaning and hard-working administrators, employees and volunteers who support Alameda Hospital.
I am always wary of those who profess to spread their "truth" about issues without providing factual basis to support their opinions.
Then all credibility is lost, as far as I'm concerned, when a commentator resorts to such deliberately insulting language like "the current board of inept clowns" to describe the Alameda Healthcare District directors.
There is much good to be said of the contribution that Alameda Hospital makes to our community and the expanding services that it provides, like its recent partnership with Alameda Fire Department to provide transport services, like the new Kate Creedon Center for Advanced Wound Care and like its recent certifi cation to operate the Waters Edge skilled nursing facility.
I hope Alamedans will remain mindful of the many benefi ts that our island hospital provides us when they read the negative comments of those angry few who use these columns to express their personal grievances.
— Harry Reppert
Stop uncontrolled access to dog park
I have been taking our dog to the Alameda Dog Park twice a day for more than two years. Conditions at the park have declined, steadily, over this time period.
The decline has accelerated, since the city abandoned animal control, and part-time animal-control offi cers rarely visit the dog park on weekdays and never on weekends.
This park belongs to the city of Alameda. Yet, on Saturdays and Sundays the park is inundated by people from Oakland and elsewhere.
Many of these people are unable or unwilling to control their dogs. Consequently, on Sunday, Sept. 2, my dog was attacked and seriously injured by a large, unaltered, mixed-breed dog. The owner, from Oakland, was totally unable to control her dog.
There is no control of access to the park, nor is there any enforcement of the park requirement that owners be in control of their dogs. Many Alameda residents and regular park visitors have abandoned the use of this park on the weekends.
In addition to the attacks on our dogs by uncontrolled dogs, we have had a number of attacks on Alameda dog owners.
As an Alameda taxpayer, I resent the uncontrolled access to our park. Now, I, like many Alameda residents, have had to abandon the use of the Alameda Dog Park at Washington Park on holidays and weekends.
Perhaps we could charge a fee to use our dog park; possibly, $50, or more, a year for an Alameda Dog Park tag for non-residents and $20 a year for residents. The funds could be used to support our Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter.
— Robert Robillard
Yes on Measure D
Our thanks go out to all the Alameda residents whose signatures earlier this year kept the Mif Albright golf course alive and fi rmly established on the path back to prosperity. We all have an opportunity now to confi rm our success by voting "yes" on Measure D to ensure that our children and grandchildren will never need to fi ght this battle over again.
If you missed the Sept. 19 celebration and fund-raiser at Dragon Rouge, please note that any contribution you can offer to this worthwhile cause will help to defray the costs of keeping all Alameda residents well informed, so we welcome your participation.
And remember — let's have a resounding "yes" for Measure D on Nov. 6.
— Red Wetherill
Adopt-A-Bed update on local donations
Thanks are due to all the generous people who donated to Adopt-ABed in the month of August.
There was one anonymous donor in August. Noel and Cathy Folsom gift honored Andy and Nadine Barbera's 50th wedding anniversary.
Lillian Molzan donated in memory of Kathryn Duncan. Sophia Moore and the cast of Sophia's Summer Camp gave generously as did Joseph and Gail VanWinkle, Isle City Institute #51 YLI, TW Holdings, Inc, Jim and Belinda Ray.
Adopt-A-Bed also received generous donations from First Christian Church, Timpson & Garcia, LLP in memory of Marian L Roth, as well as from Betty Sanderson and Virginia Krutilek. Lynn Jones and Cynthia Withrow gave generously, as did Keith Nealy, Paula Biwer, Lois Pryor, Derryl Zeller, M. Booth, Suzanne Martin and Jerome McCollom.
Donations may be sent to Alameda Homeless Network, P.O. Box 951, Alameda CA 94501.
To learn about making a donation call 523-2377 or visit www.midway shelter.org
— Ginny Krutilek
From the Website: On the wall
Sigh, Professor Smith, you're right, again ("Thoughts on the Freshly Installed Great Wall of Alameda," Sept. 13). Thank you for the history lesson.
I remember when the fight in Alameda was over tearing the old school down so the new Alameda High could be built in its place. This, it turned out, was unthinkable because of the alums who loved the old building so.
It is handsome, certainly. But it does seem as if more and more contortions are necessary to justify its continued existence.
Thanks for your wit, your acuity and your vigilance.
— Helen Harr