Letters to the Editor
A recent letter (“Please oppose ‘gigantic’ high school proposal,” Feb. 28) expressed several concerns about Alameda Unified School District’s (AUSD) high schools. Some of the concerns appear to be based on incomplete facts. We’d like to set the record straight.
First, the “series of meetings to discuss consolidating Alameda High School (AHS) and Encinal High School” that were said to be in process have, in fact, already occurred.
Second, based on the committee’s final report, the Board of Education has decided against consolidating the two high schools. As such, the claim that AUSD has already “placed plans in motion” to combine the schools is incorrect.
Third, in the course of their meetings, the 21-member committee also explored other scenarios, including allowing students to take classes at both high schools and expanding dual enrollment opportunities at Peralta Community Colleges. These alternatives will be further considered during the strategic planning process beginning this spring.
Fourth, a decision has not yet been made about the Emma Hood Pool at AHS. AUSD and the city are working together in a joint subcommittee to explore the best ways to meet the needs of high school and recreational swimmers alike. We are excited about this partnership and the potential for developing a plan that will benefit all the swimmers in our community.
As the April 9th special election is getting closer, it is becoming apparent that the Measure B campaign is repeatedly spreading misleading, fear-based information and outright lies to further their cause. After extensive research, we would like to break these down for our fellow Alamedans.
1. The Measure B campaign employed paid signature gatherers who misled people into signing their petition by stating it would protect open space land in Alameda that would otherwise be taken away and repurposed, or worse. None of this was accurate, yet many Alamedans unknowingly signed the petition because they believed it to be so.
2. The Measure B campaign refused to disclose their campaign donation information until concerned residents filed a complaint with the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC). The complaint was sustained and the campaign was fined for their lack of timely disclosure.
3. The Measure B campaign states: “Alamedans will pay for increased Fire, Police, Paramedic, Trash, Traffic (MORE TAXES) - Friends of Crab Cove (FOCC) flyer. This is a lie, as the project will actually result in substantial savings to medical services through reduced emergency visits and hospital stays.
4. The Measure B campaign states “If we lose this McKay Avenue land at Crab Cove it is gone forever” - FOCC flyer. This is a lie: Crab Cove is not in danger. This project does not affect Crab Cove. Further, EBRP is adamant that the property is not suitable for park expansion, and they have no interest in acquiring it.
5. The Measure B campaign states:“Protect our waterfront and open space” - FOCC flyer. This is a misleading statement because the property being discussed is not on the waterfront and is not open space. It will not become open space (see #7).
6. The Measure B campaign states: “Benefits special interests (Kaiser, Sutter, Anthem Blue Cross) at Alamedans’ expense” - FOCC Flyer. The opposite is true - Alamedans will be benefiting from the likes of those mentioned on the flyer. These organizations are investing their own money to help residents of the city and county of Alameda, in clear recognition of the fiscal, medical, and mental health benefits to those who will be receiving services from the center.
7. The Measure B campaign states: “No priority to serve Alameda’s homeless seniors or veterans” - FOCC Flyer. The Center will dedicate 50% of the services to Alameda residents. Specific subsidies to serve veterans will also be part of the senior housing component.
8. The Measure B campaign states: “This facility does not belong next to parks and schools” - FOCC Flyer. This is a misleading statement as the school district, as well as principals and staff of every nearby school, has endorsed the project.
9. The Measure B campaign states: “Federal LAND GRAB for a private Regional Homeless facility” - FOCC Flyer. This is a lie. The buildings were declared surplus by the Federal government and specifically donated for this work per federal requirements laid out in Title V of the McKinney Vento Act.
10. The Measure B campaign states: “The Drop-in/Resource Center will draw more homeless to Alameda” - FOCC flyer. This is a fear-based statement with no supporting data. The resource center will provide information for the exclusive use of Alameda residents who are housing insecure. The Center will use the same tried and true residential qualification as the Alameda Food Bank, which helps many vulnerable members of our community, including children.
11. The Measure B campaign states: “Threatens funding to Alameda’s unique non-profits (Food Bank, Meals on Wheels, Midway Shelter, Warming Shelter, Mastick Senior Center)” - FOCC flyer. This is a blatant lie. None of the funding of the Wellness Center will be coming from the funding sources that these wonderful organizations rely on.
For more facts about the Alameda Wellness Center, Alameda Point Collaborative, and the #YesonA campaign, please visit wecarealameda.com, join one of our site tours, or come to an upcoming house party. Vote Yes on A, No on B on April 9th
The dust has settled. It is what it is. Just that simple. What will the map of progress look like? What can we expect? At the moment, transparency is essential. It must be fueled by reasonable and valid questions followed by intelligent answers and a willingness to listen.
I am a supporter of Measure A and have been encouraged, at least to this point, by the enormous amount of effort by Alameda Point Collaborative, the federal government and the City of Alameda to address the wellness of our neighbors.
At the same time, I am curious about the future, both short and long term.
What will the 3.65-acre parcel look like and what will it offer? It seems to me time, effort and a significant amount of money will be necessary to accomplish the goals of the people in favor of Measure B.
At some point, the residents of Alameda will need to see an artist’s rendition, including costs, a list of project deliverables and what the plan offers the community at large.
So it’s April 10 ...