Letters to the Editor

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That is assuming you are not one of the dozen or so residents who found their vehicle trashed assuming they found them. Or like our school maintenance staff who had the unpleasant surprise to find eight of their (our) vehicles totally looted from their content and one stolen then recovered.

I have two questions as our school board, who will not hesitate to put another measure to raise taxes to cover their negligence, why are our assets not locked up with public work equipment? It is our money, you are negligent.

The second question is for California Attorney General Rob Bonta and his spouse, our California Assemblymember Mia Bonta, what are you doing to fight that crime wave that is happening under your watch? Aside from having the city turn a public street into a semiprivate street.

How about the rest of us, it is time for California to wake up and stop the self-serving political gravy boat. You have all been elected to serve the resident and you are failing.

— Joel Rambaud

On Aug. 30, the air quality in Alameda wasn’t very good, due to smoke from the Happy Camp Complex near the Oregon border. It has been worse in past years, but we decided to shorten our walk. We had that luxury, but it made me think of our neighbor, Steve Lucero.

Steve is one of the Alameda firefighters who has volunteered and been trained to help out with emergencies like wildfires and he was deployed to that fire up north for two weeks. According to the Alameda Sun, and Steve’s wife Chrissy, another group was sent to help with tropical storm Hilary in Southern California.

The remaining firefighters had to cover all the shifts in town. I was thankful they were on the job, but I was concerned about the air that Steve and his team were breathing while working and staying near the fires, and not for the first time.

We in the general public are routinely warned to close our windows and limit outdoor exercise when air quality is bad, but the firefighters can’t do that. They have to dig fire lines and cut brush, sometimes close to where fires are burning, in thick smoke.

I’ve worked in occupational health and have an idea what that does to their lungs and their heart. And unlike working on fires here in Alameda, there is still no equipment that can protect them from the smoke and gases during wildfires, in the heat while doing such hard labor, that will still allow them to breathe in those conditions.

I worry about Steve and his colleagues, working for 12 smoky hours a day, and sleeping in trailers that are air-conditioned, but probably don’t filter the air. He came home yesterday, with a bad cough that keeps him from sleeping; everyone on the crew has it. Then there are the families at home. Now that Steve’s kids are older, it isn’t so bad, but he almost missed his youngest son, Micah’s, third birthday when he was fighting a wildfire.

So, as I write this on Labor Day, I want to thank all those who risk their health and safety for our health and safety and thank their families for making do without them too often during our longer fire seasons.

— Catherine Thomsen

Many thanks to the individuals and groups who have contributed to Midway Shelter for abused women and their children. A number of the listed donors have contributed several times during this of August 1 through 31.

Midway Shelter would like to thank Harlyn Trayer & Joyce McConeghey, D.T. Dessling, Jordan Hagaman, Mary Butler, Tomorr Haximali, Jay Dawson, and Virginia Krutilek.

We would also like to show our gratitude to Los Pryor, Gabrielle Dolphin & Alan Pryor, Lance & Sandra Russum in memory of: Darlene Russell, Edna Buel, and Olga Arenevar.

Lastly, we would like to thank Di Huntly, Robert Rubino, Bobby Long, Dwight Gray, Leila Palsak, Mark Longley-Cook, Jimmy Thompson, Dee Rourke, Donald Sherratt; Ann Casper & Mark Irons for their contributions.

Donations may be sent to Alameda Homeless Network P.O. Box 951, Alameda, CA 94501. For further information go to www.midwayshelter.org.

— Ginny Krutilek