Letters to the Editor

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On Saturday, July 21, 20 members of the Alameda Recreation and Park Department’s “Alameda Sings” traveled to Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall to join five other California cities and participate in the “Big Sing California” event. Thousands of singers from San Diego, Los Angeles, Riverside, Fresno, Sacramento and the Bay Area sang together via television broadcasting. 

Directions emanated from Los Angeles, but we could follow the various talented directors on a large screen together with the lyrics. In addition, Big Sing livestreamed the event on its website to listeners around the world. 

More than 1,000 singers registered to join the performance at Zellerbach Hall, but taken all together more than 10,000 joined from throughout the state. Songs included “Hey Jude” and “This Little Light of Mine” as well as recent compositions by Eric Whitacre and and Morten Lauridsen.

It was a joyful occasion and we are hopeful this will be an annual event. Nothing makes singers happier than to sing!


Gretchen Lipow (soprano)

I was sad to hear of the attacks against two local leaders (and personal friends of mine) in the past few weeks. The racist and disparaging comments said against Assm. Rob Bonta and Vice Mayor Malia Vella are absolutely reprehensible. Even in an area as diverse as the Bay Area, we have farther to go in our fight to be a community of tolerance and civility. 

As Americans we should expect better than to accept this type of hateful rhetoric as legitimate debate on how to improve the lives of others through elected office.

Phong La

It strikes me as tone-deaf for the Alameda Fire Department (AFD) to be soliciting so much money for a firefighters’ memorial right now (“Help Fund New AFD Memorial,” Aug. 2). People displaced by wildfires need help getting back on their feet, and $200,000 of public donations would be far better spent helping them than constructing an elaborate and expensive memorial. Firefighters deserve our thanks and respect, but a more modest memorial would not be out of line. 

In the aftermath of the firefighters’ union involvement in the $1 million matter involving former City Manager Jill Keimach, I would rather not hear anything from AFD or the union for quite some time, much less a request for money.


Christine Kotowski