Letters to the Editor

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I don’t experience any aches or pains, because all of my life I have been a competitive swimmer. When you swim 20 minutes a day, as I do, your body stays loose, you have no trouble breathing; you feel clean and limber when you finish.

For me the biggest challenge is remembering when I have completed my 20 minutes because that requires me to remember what time I started my laps. What I have learned to do now is figure out when I will complete the swim and remember that time and no other. 

I have concluded from the foregoing that my body is my friend. The part of me that is letting me down is my mind. I am becoming the stereotypical elder who is unsure of where to be at what time. I keep a datebook in which I write everything that will be required of me to meet my obligations. This includes doctor appointments, classes at Mastick Senior Center, returning books to the library, having lunch with a friend, etc. 

Ashley Jones

Here are two more ways that individuals can fight climate change. I submit them as additions to Amos White’s excellent list of suggestions (“Climate Matters: Putting Out a World on Fire,” Aug. 8).

First, do not sit in your car with the engine on. According to the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality website, “An idling vehicle releases harmful chemicals, gases and particle pollution (‘soot’) into the air, contributing to ozone, regional haze and global climate change. Every gallon of gas burned produces more than 20 pounds of greenhouse gases,” (https://deq.nc.gov/about/divisions/air-quality/motor-vehicles-air-qualit..., cited Aug. 10).

I am from New Jersey, where it gets brutally hot in the summer and freezing cold in winter. There, you have to keep the engine on sometimes. In the Bay Area, much of the time, this is not necessary. I see people with the windows up, idling minute after minute every single day in Alameda, when it is absolutely gorgeous out. 

Stop doing that immediately, please. If you need your engine on to play the radio, check your owner’s manual. Most cars have a way to keep your electrical system on without turning on the engine.

Second, buy carbon offsets whenever you fly. Expedia used to have a $5 option to buy carbon offsets with every ticket purchased. The money went to climate-change mitigation projects such as tree-planting and turning methane gas from landfills into a usable fuel source. 

Unfortunately, they no longer offer this with every purchase, so you have to seek carbon offsets from other sources. There is a good program at www.myclimate.org. It costs a lot more than $5 — less expensive than an inhospitable environment, which is already killing trees, animals and people. They will help you calculate how much to contribute according to how many miles you fly. 

Our house is on fire. Let’s be like the Mayberry we say we are and make a bucket brigade, now. 


Sheira Kahn

I would like to extend a huge thank you to all the officials who organized the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Historic Alameda High School (AHS) on Aug. 8. I spoke with one organizer who said that 150 were expected, but more than 500 people attended.  

This day was long in the making, with many dark, despairing moments for AHS graduates: a study about demolition of the building; the horrible fence that sprang up the day after the school board and then-Superintendent Kirstin Vital decided on “earthquake protection” and loud protests by community members about deserting such a majestic monument that seemed impossibly naïve. Yet they persevered!  

I loved the tours inside and for many of my fellow graduates, it was poignant to walk down the halls once again. I recognized where our teachers’ classrooms had been and still are, including: Mr. Lowry’s physiology perch on the science wing’s top floor, Miss de Vecchio’s history classroom down the hall from attendance and Mr. Halleck’s calculus class near the exit to the “new wing” near Walnut Street. I still remember Mrs. Gallagher’s math classroom, the outdoor corridor to Mrs. Kympton’s PE class, Miss Claggett’s English classroom on the second floor and Ms. Holland’s yearbook room. 

Not to mention how wonderful it is that Kofman Auditorium, will be reopened to the public. 

Thank you all for your efforts to make this day happen! 

Patricia Bowen, AHS class of 1965