Letters to the Editor

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Many thanks to those individuals and groups who have contributed to the Midway Shelter for abused women and their children. A number of the listed donors contributed several times in August. 

The women and children of the shelter thank: the Pipkin-McGrath family, Constance & Lon Harvey, David Mercado, Tomorr Haximali, Jay Dawson, Gaby Dolphin & Alan Pryor, Gary & Lily Gee and Virginia Krutilek. Richard & Susan Sherratt gave generously last month along with: Lance & Sandra Russum in memory of: Bonnie Perakis, Izola Couther, Emil Firpo, Nardo David, Maxine Mrognik, Harvey Hanson, Thomas Goldt, Roger Lowery and Rascal Freitas. 

Mary Buck was among the generous August donors, along with: Virginia Crinnion in honor of Jackie MacMillan’s birthday, Lois Pryor, Virginia Preston, Eliazbeth Tsai and Al & Cheryl Filart. The firm of Hewitt, Jones & Fitch opened their hearts and wallets, as did: Maylon Booth, Louis Rembrandt, Kelly Scott, Ann Casper & Mark Irons, Michele Giles & Jeffrey Ward and Marian Williams. Four donors chose to remain anonymous.

To see your name among the September donors send a check to: Alameda Homeless Network, P.O. Box 951, Alameda CA 94501. For more information call 357-0205, Ext. 206 or visit www.midwayshelter.org.


Ginny Krutilek

In the coming school year there will be a new fire season and another pending threat of the next smoke emergency. To prepare for this and other climate threats, I propose we ask the Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) to pass a climate emergency resolution.

Why? More than 78 education organizations have declared a climate emergency. And the number is growing. That includes 45 school boards, 21 student councils and 6 PTAs.

Napa Valley Unified School District passed its climate emergency declaration in June. They get it. They know all too well that it is a matter of livelihood and of survival. In 2017 alone, they had seven wildfires that burned more than 100,000 acres, killing more than 40 people and destroying 7,500 homes and businesses.  

In Alameda, we remember, too, how we suffered in that smoke emergency, and again in the longer, more hazardous smoke emergency just last year. 

The fires in Napa and Sonoma County brought tragic losses. However, in declaring a climate emergency, they are now better prepared to take on this challenge as a school district.

I think it is clear that climate change is the greatest issue facing our students and their future. Yet, I am encouraged that they know that they must be the agents of change if they are to build the solutions for a cooler, safer planet and climate environment.

When Alameda students walked out of school on March 15, they heard Greta Thunberg’s call to action and responded resoundingly. Alameda’s students were clear, “There is No Planet B” and their calls for politicians to take action now and declare a climate emergency were heard.

Four days after they marched, the Alameda City Council passed the city’s climate emergency declaration. I believe that supporting a school-based, climate-emergency resolution would best reflect the school district’s values and mission. It would also validate the students’ experiences and connect them with the global youth climate movement. It’s this generation that is changing the way world governments address and prioritize budgets to take on this climate crisis.

AUSD needs to pass a climate emergency declaration. It would show Alameda and the region that “we, too, get it,” and that we will do our part to reverse our effects on the climate. 

It is time for the AUSD Board of Education to join our students in the challenge to restore our planet’s climate. Students and parents are calling on Alamedans to come together now to act for the sake of our children’s future.


Amos White

School has just begun and low-income Alameda public school students are sporting new backpacks filled with school supplies thanks to community support for Alameda Education Foundation’s Equipped 4 Success school supply drive.

The Alameda community generously donated funds and supplies to the drive. Many businesses and organizations also chipped in by hosting events benefitting the drive, including Alameda Police Department, Alameda South Shore Center and Bank of Marin. Alameda South Shore Center also provided storage space.

Grants and donations from Alameda Community Fund, Alameda Kiwanis Foundation, Alameda Rotary Club, Alameda Welfare Council, AEC Living and Bank of Marin were essential to the success of this drive. Thank you to Alameda Fire Station No. 2, Tucker’s Ice Cream, and Coffee & Tea Traders for hosting collection bins. Many houses of worship collected supplies, including Immanuel Lutheran, Trinity Lutheran and Chinese Baptist Church. Dozens of volunteers helped with sorting and packing, including members of Alameda Kiwanis and residents of Elders Inn and Waters Edge.

Thank you to our community partners for distributing the backpacks to the low-income students they serve, including the Alameda Unified School District (AUSD), the Alameda Boys & Girls Club, Alameda Head Start, Alameda Point Collaborative, Girls Inc. of the Island City, Operation Dignity and Woodstock Child Development Center. More than $4,000 worth of school supplies were also made available to AUSD teachers and schools to support their classrooms.

Having the right supplies for learning helps students be successful in school. With the average retail cost of a new backpack and school supplies costing more than $100, many low-income families simply cannot afford this for their students. But the Alameda community came together, as they have since Equipped 4 Success was launched in 2012, to ensure our students received the tools they need to learn on the first day of school.


Vicki Sedlack Executive Director, Alameda Education Foundation