Letters to the Editor

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The Alameda Sun received a copy of this letter addressed to the City Council and Planning Board. 

Alameda City Council and Planning Board:
This is to voice my opposition to the proposed five-story Marriott Hotel south of the Harbor Bay Ferry Terminal. The building is much too tall and bulky and is incompatible with the nearby residential neighborhood. Homeowners in the “Freeport” development have already experienced adverse impacts on property values. 

The front of the hotel is too close (35 feet) to the bayside trail. Resolution 1203 for the Harbor Bay Business Park contains a Table 44 showing a 100-foot setback from Shoreline Park for “Office Research up to 100 feet in height.” 

There is no listing for hotels, which are only mentioned as fronting Bay Edge Road where the VF, Stacey and Witbeck and Maguire & Hester offices were built. 

This site was originally designated as a park, but was not purchased by the city. The site is on fill material subject to liquefaction during earthquakes. 

The nearby sea wall and shoreline were badly damaged by an El Niño storm about a decade ago and cost the city millions to repair. The fiscal benefits of hotel tax revenues may prove illusory and be dissipated by infrastructure costs to the city.

Storm wave damage from El Niño storms would be exacerbated by king tides and projected sea-level rises from global warming. The last major earthquake on the Hayward Fault was in 1868. These occur about every 140 years. 

The site should be left as open parkland, perhaps incorporating wetlands, as a buffer protecting the nearby residential neighborhood. 

There currently are at least four proposed or rumored hotel developments in Alameda. Planners and the City Council should consider these as a totality and determine which location(s) are most appropriate for the city and whether all are needed. 

Right now these proposals come up segmentally and the best locations don’t necessarily get first consideration.


George Humphreys

Kudos to the girls and boys of the Alameda Scouts who collected almost 13,000 pounds of food for the Alameda Food Bank during their annual Scouting for Food Drive on Nov. 17. 

With support from the U.S. Coast Guard, Red Cross, Elks, Rotary and many others, the Scouts’ effort is helping us put food on the tables of the 2,100 Alameda households we serve annually. 

Thanks, too, to the many Alameda residents who contributed food for this drive, and to those who helped us reach our goal of collecting 1,000 turkeys for our clients by Thanksgiving. With your generosity, we are making the holidays much brighter for many deserving folks.


Cindy Houts Executive Director, Alameda Food Bank

I would like to express my personal opinion on the future of adult cannabis use and sales within the city of Alameda. 

A total of 68.3 percent of Alameda voters approved adult use in a state-wide election. I would find it difficult to imagine or even find any mathematics that would indicate that our voters were approving use for parts of California while excluding their own cities. So why has the City Council worked so hard to delay and limit access to cannabis to Alameda residents? 

We continue to hear the same arguments that were used before the vote and were not considered true or sufficient cause to not legalize adult cannabis use. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. Statistics will show that alcohol causes more deaths on the roadways. The few accidents where marijuana is mentioned as a contributing factor, it is just that, a contributing factor. In virtually all cases other drugs or alcohol were responsible. The true danger of stoned drivers is that they drive slowly, but in Alameda which has a 25 mile per hour speed limit in most of the city, they would be very law abiding. 

It is not addictive. An addiction indicates a physiological withdrawal symptom on discontinuing the substance. Doesn’t happen. There are addictive personalities that choose pot, gambling, diet soda or sex. It’s not the substance,  it’s the personality.  

Children will have less access to dispensary cannabis than street drugs. Prices and taxes are high enough to prevent adults from wanting to share with anyone, let alone kids. 

Some people like to drink in bars to get away from children. I expect it would be about the same with cannabis.  

What do I want? I want adult access and places where adults can consume cannabis products. We know that smoking is not allowed in multiple-unit buildings impacting many seniors and others. So where can people smoke? 

Not outside. Not inside. No lounges. Must buy to smoke in a shop. This is not how to treat seniors and medical users. 

Marijuana is safer than alcohol. Would that we had been a fragment as strict when legalizing alcohol as our city would have us be with cannabis. 

City Council, wake up and smell the cannabis. It is here to stay. 


Susan Freeman