Letters to the Editor

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Family intercedes; unable to settle on grandmother’s truthful identity

The Alameda Sun helped our  family come to terms with reality.

Placing light on false claims can bring about much good. Upon reading the letter to the editor “Local secret divulged,” Aug. 1, the Greene family held an intervention with my mother. Sadly, it doesn’t stop with claims of doing legendary television painter Bob Ross’ hair, for many more truths willed out.  

Among others, here are a few revelations: Mom is not a pie- baking champion (never having made a pie, instead she has an account with Marie Callender’s); she was not even once engaged to actor, singer and teen idol Frankie Avalon (immediately stopping one family member’s paternity suit); she was not a two-sport Olympian (a grandchild took this hard as swimming-javelin biathlon dreams faded); she did not win the annual long-distance sled-dog race, the Iditarod (better explaining her wearing sweaters on hot days); and, she did not invent both the car cup holder and waterproof mascara (being distracted in self-driving cars just won’t be as personal to our family anymore).

However, one thing was confirmed as fact. Creating the right time and place to come together and be silly as a family will provide great bonds and memories. This fact remains even if Mom really wasn’t the co-inventor of AstroTurf.  

On behalf of all the Greenes,

David Greene Proud son of world-famous donut mosaic artist Elsa Greene

I am writing because I am concerned about all the building going on in Alameda: the 1,200 apartments proposed at South Shore Shopping Center and the senior housing at Alameda Point, for example. Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for housing, especially for veterans, seniors and the homeless. We desperately need more housing for all.

I am not an archeologist nor an engineer, but my common sense tells me that all this building on landfill may cause problems in the future. I can only assume these landfills are made up of a mixture of sand and soil. If you do not recollect what happened during the Loma Prieta Earthquake of 1989, especially in San Francisco’s Marina District, let me remind you that much of the housing and many homes collapsed.

Entire buildings were completely demolished because they were built on top of sand. The ground just melted and dissipated.

An earthquake may not hit today or tomorrow, but it will hit someday. 

I think if people could even dig to the core of the earth and if an earthquake hit, it would be very devastating to say the least. I think it would be similar to the 1906 earthquake. The state of California is a wonderful state, but it is “Earthquake Country.”


Mary A. Cronin

Many readers will have noted the weekly presence (every Saturday since inauguration) of a sign-wielding group at the intersection of Park Street and Santa Clara Avenue. Sometimes referred to as The Human Billboard, individuals and groups including Alameda Progressives, Black Lives Matter and Resist came together rain or shine to hold vigil and affirm the stance “Everyone Belongs Here.” Sometimes we numbered in the single digits, sometimes in the hundreds.

Due to the “retirement” of lifelong activists Ruth Smiler and Ashley Jones, who were the glue and guiding forces, the vigil is on hiatus until further notice. We thank them both for their strength and spark. Thanks to all the others who joined in when they could, and the many who expressed support and solidarity through horn honks and high fives. Even those few who felt compelled to flip us off did their part to fuel our conviction. And a thank you to Stanley Hallmark who weekly stepped out of his corner newsstand to join us and raise his sign high.

The vigil is on hiatus, but the work continues as old and new issues become more and more pressing on a daily basis. There are many ways to get involved on our little island. All are needed!


Jane Peal