Letters to the Editor

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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

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

The Humane Society of Alameda is very grateful to our members and donors for their support throughout the year. Their gifts allow us to continue our programs helping our beloved animals.

Their generosity through Sept. 20, helped with financial assistance for emergency and non-emergency veterinary medical expenses ($11,733.27), spay and neuter expenses ($300), in-kind financial assistance to the Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter providing food for shelter animals ($25,840.20), along with in-kind special requests including kennel disinfectant, micro-chip needles and special needs for small animals ($5,332.27).

Donations are gratefully accepted via U.S. Mail sent to the Humane Society of Alameda, P.O. Box 1571, Alameda, CA 94501, or our website, hsalameda.org. Click on “donate.” Donations are also accepted at our dog and cat collection canisters at various businesses in Alameda.  

A friendly reminder, when you access your shopping experience on Amazon through smile.amazon.com/ch/94-2325502, 0.5 percent of eligible items purchased will be donated to the Humane Society of Alameda.

When preparing your gift list keep our beloved animals in your thoughts.

Best wishes for the holidays.


Holly Schmalenberger-Haugen, Humane Society of Alameda, Board of Directors