Letters to the Editor

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I think that Alameda Democratic Club Co-President Gaby Dolphin is the apparent apologist for Vice Mayor Malia Vella. According to Dolphin, “She [Vella] did not receive campaign donations from our local firefighters knowing that she would review their contract.” The way I understand it, Vella claimed to not be aware of the contents of the City’s Charter.

I think Vella let her First Amendment rights prevail over her oath of office. Vella did not vote for Jill Keimach’s compensation package after, in my opinion, she created the need for that compensation package. 

The way I heard it, Councilman Jim Oddie told Police Chief Paul Rolleri that that he (Oddie) had the votes to fire former City Manager Jill Keimach. The way I see it, the investigation cleared only Mayor Trish Spencer and Councilmember Frank Matarrese. I’d like to know who went with Oddie to meet with Keimach. I also wonder why Vella and Oddie won’t give permission to release the tapes. Won’t the tapes clear them?

I think that the firefighters’ undue influence got Vella into this mess, costing taxpayers $1 million so far. And I feel that it is only fair that the firefighters’ contributions to their candidates’ campaign committees should cover Vella and Oddie’s legal fees instead of the taxpayers. 

Vella and Oddie just voted to place a measure on the November ballot to increase the sales tax. I think that a sales tax is a cruel regressive tax that harms the poor disproportionately. I wonder about the coincidence that this tax will earn $1 million a year. 


Barbara Thomas, former Councilmember, Vice-Mayor and attorney

I’d like to reply to Fern Wallace about Fox News (“On attacking Fox News,” July 26). I watch all three cable news networks. It is not true that many hosts on Fox are “fair and balanced.” The ones she named are very biased. I have seen them speak! 

I mean Ticker Carlson is shamefully biased. Harris Falukner has never once criticized President Donald Trump. Jesse Watters is terrible, and Jeannie Pirro is one of the worst. The others are conservative but not as bad.


Kathy Kenslow


College students juggling jobs and studies often have difficulty getting enough to eat, but few are aware that they can get help putting food on the table from a state program.

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed Assembly Bill 214, which requires the California Student Aid Commission to provide written notice to all college students qualified to participate in CalFresh. The program provides benefits to more than 4 million low-income Californians as part of the federal government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Low-income Cal Grant recipients and students enrolled in certain employment training programs or caring for depending children can receive up to $194 per month in food benefits from CalFresh.

College students are our future and they can’t do well if they are not well fed. Please help spread the word about this important opportunity and tell any college students you know that the Alameda Food Bank will provide free, nutritious food to students in need even if they don’t qualify for CalFresh. Students earning up to $3,000 a month ($5,000 a month for a family of three) can qualify for food from the Alameda Food Bank valued at up to $500 a month.


Cindy Houts Executive Director Alameda Food Bank