Letters to the Editor

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Editor: On the surface of things, the “Fifth Straight Island Bowl” win should, without reservation, be a feather in the Encinal helmet.

To a statistician, always sleuthing for lurking variables and confounding factors, the series of wins may be attributable to something other than athletic prowess and excellent coaching.

The victory streak may stem from information about the dangers of concussions and the difference in parental responses to that threat.

As reported by Gregg Rosenthal, Editor of Around The NFL, “It wasn’t so long ago that Tom Brady Senior didn’t allow his son to play football. Well, not until the future New England Patriot was 14 years old … Armed with even more information about the dangers of concussions, Brady Senior isn’t sure if he’d let his son play football at all.”

Parents are being informed by more and more articles published in medical literature and the press which highlight the link between traumatic brain injury, higher rates of depression and dementia among retired NFL players, and the postmortem diagnosis of chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE.

However, the parental response to that information may be disproportional within our city limits.

There may exist an east-west bias in the reaction to medical findings such as: “The average NFL career lasts only 3.3 years. Those NFL players concussed experienced a higher rate of roster instability after sustaining their concussion. After one year, the total release rate was 33.6 percent for the concussed group versus 21.6 percent for the non-concussed group … Examining the three-year total release rate, 67.1 percent of the concussed group were released from the NFL compared to 43.0 percent of the non-concussed group.”

Informed decisions by concerned parents may have reduced the number of recruits more at one school than at the other school, tipping the balance in favor of a longer bench and an increased likelihood of a victory at the Island Bowl.

— Jeffrey R. Smith

The Alameda Sun received a copy of this letter addressed to Amy Wooldridge, director of the Recreation and Parks Department.

Good Afternoon Amy, I am in receipt of your letter regarding the proposed locations for one or two dog parks dated Aug. 31. My name is Dick Heimans, I am 92 years young, have lived in Alameda since 1955 and I live on Bridge View Isle directly across the street from Towata Park, and I am a dog owner.

There is no parking now if you consider the Ravens Cove overflow parking and the handicapped/bicycle staging area parking across the street from my home and there is no parking on Peach Street. Towata Park was developed through federal funding as a bicycle staging area when the bicycle bridge was built.

Krusi Park is a good and convenient location, but parking is limited. During Little League season, parking on Otis Drive (Krusi Park side) would be very difficult on weekends and although there is parking available on the residence side of Otis you would be asking someone to cross a very busy street, especially during commute times and weekends.

Leydecker Park is the most desirable location, offering lots of parking and ease of accessibility. The disturbing part of the letter is that the City Council has approved $75,000 to build either one or two dog parks yet I have been told for years that there is no money in the budget to even maintain Towata Park’s once beautiful landscape.

Dying plants, weeds taller than the bushes and litter. I think the use of budgeted money would be better suited in the use of proper maintenance of the landscape of any City of Alameda parkland.

— Dick Heimans

The Alameda Sun received a copy of this letter sent to the City Council.

Dear Council Members, I am writing to you to voice my opposition to continuing the Slow Streets closures beyond your initial stated date of Oct. 31. The program does not provide the benefit originally intended, but instead creates unsafe and inequitable conditions.

Although the initial closures were a novel idea to give people more space while parks and schools were closed, the streets are no longer being used by the public as initially intended. I have closely monitored both Versailles and San Jose Avenues and I rarely see anyone using the streets for bicycling and never see anyone walking or rolling in the streets. The only people benefitting from the Slow Streets are the residents, who now enjoy no car traffic while the adjacent streets pick up the load. I’d like to specifically address the unsafe situation around Franklin School, Park and Pool. The road closure beginning at Morton Street and San Antonio Avenue pushes all of the traffic on the Ninth and Grand Street corridor onto San Antonio.

Prior to the closure, drivers could make safe choices during heavy impact times (like school drop-off and pick-up) to use either San Jose or San Antonio to get to/from Grand Street.

The unintended consequence of the closure is that all the traffic is now flowing past the main entrances to Franklin School and Franklin Park, creating crowded and unsafe conditions for students and pedestrians.

Furthermore, Franklin Park draws many people to the neighborhood. The street closure reduces the car parking on the Franklin Park block by 50%, pushing cars out into the surrounding streets with inequitable impact for the neighborhood.

Slow Streets is not functioning as a public good for all as originally intended. Instead, it has turned public streets into private streets and created an inequitable and arbitrary policy that benefits few and burdens many.

Please keep your word and bring the Slow Streets program to an end on Oct. 31.

— Sharon LaCroix

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