Letters to the Editor

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I live in the neighborhood adjacent to Alameda High School and pay parcel taxes to support Alameda schools. Currently, it is nearly impossible to traverse Oak or Park streets or Encinal and Central avenues, during lunch time or after school hours when the approximately 1,800 students hit the streets. 

There is total disregard by the students for traffic laws as they commandeer intersections with zero supervision by school staff or the police department. The intersection of Encinal and Oak is frequently blocked by parents in cars picking up their children after school. Residents have to plan travel times around school hours or take detour routes. Forget about going out to lunch yourself. 

If the proposed consolidation of Alameda High School and Encinal High School comes to fruition, the combined number of students could be as many as 3,100 students overwhelming the neighborhood. 

The school district’s website on school consolidation community impacts section only addresses student travel options and the effect on Park Sreet businesses. Has the impact to the neighboring residents been analyzed? How will the school district mitigate the effect an additional 1,300 high-school students will have on the residential community?


Michelle Hubbell

The Alameda Sun received a copy of this letter addressed to Amy Wooldridge, director of the Alameda Recreation and Park Department.

Ms. Wooldridge: 
I recently attended the memorial service for Lee Padway at Crab Cove Park. Many of her family and friends were in attendance. Vice Mayor John Knox White came and showed his respects as well. During the service several people made references to Lee’s dedication to restoring the East End public parklets and waterfront access.

For more than four months you’ve advised us that the process of reclaiming the public waterfront parkland is being held up by the City Attorney’s office while they do their legal research. It has been six weeks since I last heard from you regarding this research I’m respectfully requesting an update on the findings. 

This should not be a difficult issue to research. Alameda has good land-use records, the residential developer had to submit a development plan for Fernside Boulevard and Eastshore Drive communities, and the Alameda County tax records and maps are very clear. 

There is ready access to the powerful and comprehensive Lexus-Nexus database. The only issue that the City Attorney has to deal with is whatever obfuscating misinformation and baseless conjecture and claims that a few of the 10 adjacent property owners are using to try to keep their hands on this parkland and waterfront access that they don’t want to return to the people of Alameda. 

While I’m not a lawyer, it seems to me that the City of Alameda should have long ago sent certified letters to the 10 adjacent landowners, advising them that it appears they or the prior property owners have unlawfully fenced and misappropriated valuable city property. 

The letters should advise the adjacent property owners they have 60 days to either provide the City Attorney’s office with documentation that they have a deeded legal right or were officially granted an easement or right-of-way to fence off this public waterfront property, or that they have to adjust their fence lines to their lawful property lines.

If the adjacent property owners fail to do either one, the fence lines should be adjusted by the city, and the property owners should be billed for these fence line adjustments, and also face fines for their ongoing misappropriation of this public waterfront property. 

This waterfront access issue has been dragging on for more than two years, and during those two-plus years the adjacent property owners who unlawfully fenced off this public waterfront access have continued to enjoy the exclusive use of these public parklands, while the residents of Alameda have been denied the use of these public parklands.

It’s time for the city to get proactive on this issue, and to reclaim these public lands for the use of all Alamedans.

Jeff Wasserman


I’m writing to ask the help of neighborhood drivers. I’m told by the city’s Public Works Department that they act not on a single citizen report, but after a certain number of individuals complain about a given problem.

I regularly find myself stopped at a red light with no cross traffic or pedestrian in sight. Sometimes I sit for a red and watch the lights go through a full cycle, left-turn arrows and all — for no one. A good example is the intersection by Amelia Earhart Elementary School.

Maybe you’ve noticed a problem, but figure someone else will phone it in or the city will get around to fixing it. Not happening. So please, if you would, watch the sequence and timing of traffic lights and call, write or email a complaint, comment or suggestion to the city’s Public Works Department. It only takes a couple of minutes, and will save you many minutes in the long run. 

Waiting at red lights for no reason is not only annoying — with an annoying ripple effect — it lowers air quality. Idling motors produce the dirtiest emissions. 

So, even though I’ve “complained” on behalf of myself and all of the Earhart students running around the playground, it doesn’t change anything. Public Works needs to hear more reports from more residents. It’s kind of like voting. 

So, please vote to put our traffic engineers to work calibrating traffic lights so traffic flows in a way that makes sense. Thank you.


Jan Edmunds