Letters to the Editor

Registered users may submit a Letter to the Editor after they first log in.

[Now that we are in the month of] September, I am thrilled to invite you to join us in celebrating National Library Card Sign-up Month here at the Alameda Free Library. Since 1987, this annual event has held a special place in our hearts as we mark the beginning of the school year and extend an open invitation to individuals of all ages to discover the joys and benefits of library membership.

At the Alameda Free Library, we believe that a library card is a gateway to a world of knowledge, imagination, and exploration. Throughout September, we proudly unite with libraries across the nation, under the guidance of the American Library Association, to ensure that every person has the opportunity to obtain their very own library card. As an added motivator, we have two new library card designs to choose from. Featuring the artistry of the esteemed Caldecott-winning author and illustrator Jon Klassen and the “Let Freedom Read” design that draws attention to the harms of censorship.

Our library stands as a community hub, a place where everyone has the freedom to read, learn, and discover. The broad range of resources and programs we offer cater to the diverse interests of the community. With the power of technology, we bring the library to you, wherever you are.

Through platforms like Hoopla and Libby, you can access eBooks and audiobooks, while Kanopy allows you to stream critically acclaimed movies, inspiring documentaries, award-winning foreign films, and more. And for those who enjoy hands-on experiences, our partnership with Creativebug presents a plethora of virtual Do-It-Yourself classes, all accessible with your library card.

Furthermore, I encourage you to stay up to date with our programs for all ages by checking out our online calendar. This month we are pleased to welcome former Alameda Poet Laureate Julia Park Tracey in discussion of her new book, The Bereaved, on Sept. 23 at 2 p.m. in the Stafford Room at the Main Branch. Additionally, our Teen and Adult Library Bingo challenge offers a chance to win an exciting library-related swag bag.

Lastly, we will be pushing 1,000 books before kindergarten to promote reading to newborns, infants, and toddlers. For more details on these programs, please contact or visit us at any of our locations.

Thank you for being a part of the Alameda Free Library community. We look forward to serving you and helping you embark on your journey of exploration.

Warm regards,

— Marlon Romero, Alameda Main Library Acting Library Director

Small businesses and local entrepreneurs are the backbone of our communities. These businesses support the local economy with employment, services, and revenue, and serve community partners with local organizations.

Sadly, many of our favorite businesses experienced sharp declines in earnings because COVID-19 limited recreational activities and businesses adopted remote work policies to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The State of California stepped in and provided over $4 billion in funding to support small business relief efforts due to the financial hardship as a result of the shelter-in-place guidelines. In addition, many Californians and business owners received direct relief through the California Comeback Plan.

I am very grateful to the Office of Small Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) for partnering with business owners, small business centers, and providing financial assistance to entrepreneurs in need of supportive services.

Presently, many of our small businesses are still experiencing financial hardships as individuals and entrepreneurs alike grapple with rising costs of living and the added costs of running the daily operations of a business.

Additionally, as community hubs struggle to return to pre-pandemic revenues, many of our beloved local businesses are closing. These challenges require short-term responses and long-term investment built through collaboration with local and state agencies, alongside private partners to enhance public safety and reactivate our business corridors.

Small business owners please reach out to learn about zero-cost services and programs for local entrepreneurs and business owners to participate in including individualized coaching and learning effective business strategies. As we navigate these challenges together, I encourage you to please share these resources with your communities.

Yours in Service,

— Assemblymember Mia Bonta

There could not have been a greater, or more disheartening, dichotomy than what occurred at the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) Enforcement Committee meeting on Aug. 23.

The City of Sausalito and the Richardson Bay Regional Agency provided detailed presentations on their efforts to remove anchor-out vessels from Richardson Bay, with buy back programs and onshore housing subsidies. By contrast, no Oakland representative even bothered to attend the meeting, a complete slap in the face to a very concerned public.

At a February 2022 BCDC meeting on this matter, a specified direction was presented that required the “removal of anchor outs and shoreline encampments within one year or by the end February 2023.”

Oakland has ignored this very specific direction with apparent impunity. The boating community and liveaboard residents on the Oakland Estuary made it clear that the current state of lawlessness is absolutely intolerable.

Perhaps it is time to impose the threat of financial penalties if the City of Oakland continues to fail in its responsibility to protect this regional resource, as was the case in the removal of the homeless encampments from Union Point Park.

A continuation of the current status quo is entirely unacceptable.

— Brock de Lappe