Letters to the Editor

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Editor: In 1998 I moved to the northern waterfront neighborhood here in Alameda. I quickly discovered the old railroad property. My dog and I spent many hours exploring it. It was especially fun picking blackberries in the fall. Other people had discovered it too, including Jean Sweeney, as anyone who knows the story, she saved the area from development. Now I understand that the 2.8-acre section on the south side that is fenced off could be sold for development after all. That area is the only acreage that remains original. Mature trees, rotting logs, paths and yes, berry bushes. Jean Sweeney described the 27 acres in 1998 as a natural meditative space within the city, she noted seasonal freshwater ponds supporting the Pacific Chorus Frog, jackrabbits, red and blue bellied lizards, many species of birds, hawks, owls, egrets, dragonflies, and butterflies. Most of the 27 acres was bulldozed to make way for the new park. The habitat that was destroyed during construction hasn’t made a comeback from what I’ve seen. Now you would be hard pressed to find any wildlife, except maybe in the 2.8 acre fenced off area. The new park also suffers from light and noise pollution. Just walk through the playground section after dark, the businesses on the north side light up the park and loud motors run all night, making it undesirable for insects and birds.

Let’s save this precious land and add it to the existing park. Then we need to plant more trees. Let’s provide a place for nature to thrive and restore that meditative space that Jean Sweeney loved so much.

We also need to question Mayor Ashcraft and the City Council as to why they have acted in closed sessions without the public’s input!

— Leslie Carter

Editor: Alameda Recreation and Park Department is considering putting in two dog parks at Krusi Park, Towata and Leydecker parks.

Parking is already maxed out around Krusi. On a daily basis and especially weekends, the baseball games and activities use up parking around the park and for many blocks in the neighborhood. During school hours children will make their way to the dog park. Every time I see a dog with a parent at Otis Elementary School there are crowds of children around the dog.

Dogs are a magnet for children. It is insane to consider a dog park near an elementary school. The persons planning this obviously do not have children. The plan would include taking up a substantial amount of grass and replace the area with dirt for the dogs. The plan is for two separate parks, one for large dogs and another for small ones.

Krusi has four tennis courts and four baseball fields with bleachers, a large children’s play area, a baby play area complete with play and pit, a children’s multi-use center, as well as a family picnic area with stage area and barbecue pits. Krusi Park already has too many people flocking there on a daily basis. Every day I see neighborhood residents relaxing enjoying the peace and cool air that comes with sitting under the tall trees on the grass. Krusi Park is unique and should not be destroyed or altered.

Towata Park already has the dirt area required for a park. It also has parking. I live across the street from Towata Park. In 20 years, I have never even sat at one of their benches. Furthermore, I have never witnessed anyone using Towata Park. Towata Park’s big on people walking through as on the way to the Bay Farm Bridge.

There are very few homes adjacent to Towata Park, so it is not going to disturb a neighborhood that really is non-existent. Towata is on the water’s edge with a bridge view and a substantial amount of noise from traffic going to and leaving the Main Island and Bay Farm Island.

Leydecker Park, is also a good choice, due to the amount of parking available, and the low amount of people who use the area where the dog parks are being considered. There would still be the need to tear out the beautiful grass and destroy the serenity of the area. The tennis courts and baseball fields are a good distance away so they would not be an issue.

Weighing all the pros and cons, Krusi Park is just not a good choice, for so many reasons.

— M. Myron Manow

I'm sure I am but one of very many who feel the loss of an Island Treasure, with the passing of Ashley Jones. I've never known anyone who lived life more fully or righteously than Ashley - right to the very end. In the few years that I've known him he has enhanced my life and inspired me by his example. Here's to a life well-lived!

Jane Peal

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