Letters to the Editor
My choice for the renaming of Haight Elementary School is Niel Tam. Niel was a dedicated teacher, administrator and Alameda Unified School District Board Member for all his career.
His caring and true devotion to the children of Alameda deserves this recognition.
Editor’s note: While the public comment period on the school’s name change to Love Elementary School remains open, that name won over more than 200 names submitted by the community. Of those original 200, the Haight Renaming Committee chose four: Don Grant and Niel Tam (submitted by adults) and “Love” and “Ohlone” (submitted by students). Love won in an election held Jan. 15. For the full story, see “Comment Period Now Open on Proposed Name for Haight School,” Feb. 7).
Nothing like a little homelessness to bring out the best in us. I see in the “other” paper that a new homeless shelter “could end concerts at Crab Cove.” We certainly wouldn’t want that to happen, would we?
The letter could have been written by Marie Antoinette.
Thank you, dear Alameda neighbor: I have not forgotten that Friday night last January when I met you — or rather, your voice, your fingers.
Were I not alone myself that cold, rainy night I might not have noticed the slight wiggle of the door handle on the bike locker outside the big-box store and realized you were inside, sheltering down for the night. When I whispered “Are you OK?” You fought back your fear and you whispered back, “Yes.”
With just that small, human interaction, you denied my conscience the ability to forget what my senses had just seen and heard. Your soft “thank you” as your fingers accepted the food and drink and the little paper money I offered through the tiny hole in the locker door, has created an immense well of gratitude that will serve me a lifetime. I may never need another thank you from anybody else again.
Thank you, Alameda neighbors: I feared, when I knocked on your door, some of you might close it in my face. I realized, when I researched Measure A, and wholeheartedly endorsed it, that I would need to be arguably intrusive and trespass onto your property, knock on your door and disturb your peace to discuss Measure A. You, like me, have a home, and some peace and some property to disturb.
Some of you told me in no uncertain terms why you feared the measure, and I understand that, even if I was unable to allay any of that fear with the facts I had at hand. Still, I thank you sincerely because we are neighbors, because each of us has our own struggles and fears and because my reservoir of gratitude is immense.
Thank you, Alameda neighbors: When I strolled through your little patch of well-manicured yard and knocked on your door, you responded — perhaps out of courtesy, curiosity, boredom or loneliness. You shared your longtime love of Alameda, fears of growing old and losing your health, family or your own modest housing. You almost made me forget the reason I had knocked on your door in the first place. But really, you have helped me forever remember why: We all deserve a place in our own community — a place of comfort, safety and love. A place we call home.