Letters to the Editor

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The Alameda Sun received a copy of this letter sent to the City of Oakland, the Port of Oakland and The Unity Council’s leadership. The letter discusses the condition of Union Point Park, located across the estuary from Alameda near the Park Street Bridge.

As concerned agencies who invested public funding into and authorized the creation of Union Point Park, the State Coastal Conservancy, the Association of Bay Area Governments and the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) would like to hear from the City of Oakland the steps being taken to address the current encampment impacts at the park.

In recent months, each of our agencies has received complaints from the public about a range of undesirable or illegal activities occurring in the park, including: vandalism, graffiti, prostitution, drug use, dumping of waste, fires, threats to tenants of the neighboring Union Point Marina and a damaging act of arson at the marina’s shower and restroom facility. These activities are creating an unsafe and unwelcoming environment that is restricting the public’s ability to access and enjoy the park.

Union Point Park was created in partnership among our organizations with the explicit understanding that the state and regional agencies would fund and authorize the construction of this public space, while the City of Oakland would maintain the park in a way that would be inviting and accessible to all.

Maintaining safe access to the park and the shoreline are necessary to achieve the public benefits of state funding, as well as the regional vision for current and long-term enjoyment and continuity of the Bay Trail. BCDC, which permitted construction of the park and required associated public access areas and amenities, has a continuing interest in maintaining safe and inviting public access to the Bay shoreline. In sum, the current state of Union Point Park does not meet the goals mutually agreed upon among our organizations.

We recognize that this is a complex and challenging problem, we look forward to hearing from you, and would be happy to organize a meeting among our agencies to discuss the ways in which we can move forward together to restore Union Point Park to a safe and enjoyable public space that will benefit current and future generations.



Matt Gerhart, California State Coastal Conservancy; Brad McCrea, BCDC; and Laura Thompson, San Francisco Bay Trail Project

Dear Friends of the Arts:
We are reaching out to art supporters and artists who may be interested in serving on the Island Alliance for Artists (IAA) board or on a committee. Our flagship art exhibit is the annual Cross Currents show, a juried exhibition of work by artists with diverse backgrounds and experience.  

IAA was formed in 1983 by Ann Johnson to promote the arts through creative collaboration among artists and the Alameda community. The Cross Currents exhibit is an important show in Alameda providing a unique opportunity for artists to share their work with the public, tell the stories that inspire their work and to discuss their art processes during our artist talks. 

The show’s opening and closing events are also opportunities to meet other artists and share ideas, skills and encouragement — something we can all appreciate regardless of experience. We very much want to continue this work.

Our current activities include sponsoring the 2nd Friday Art Walk through a public grant from the Alameda City Art Commission and supporting the Cross Currents Committee. We have three board and committee members and need more to continue promoting and providing artist opportunities. 

We meet once a month and are flexible with meeting times. We would love to hear ideas and suggestions. Email islandallianceof thearts@gmail.com or call 865-0541 if you are interested in exploring the idea of serving as a board member. We appreciate your consideration.


Bonnie Randall Boller, IAA President

On Sunday, May 5, Cosette Ratcliff will be retiring from her position as head librarian for adult services at Alameda Free Library.  Her seven-year tenure there has enriched our lives immeasurably.  

She initiated such programs as Libraries Outside (we regularly check out the backpacks for our grandchildren and have joined her on several hikes and service projects), Wonderfest, Pop-up Shakespeare plays on Sunday afternoons, TEDxAlameda (hands-down our favorite free event in the city to date), in addition to overseeing the art docent lectures and Adult Summer Reading Program.  

We wish to publicly express our gratitude and extend to her our good wishes for a well-deserved happy retirement.


Mary and Jim Manning