Letters to the Editor

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Now that the hysteria of the election is finally over, hopefully people can do a bit of sober reflection on some of our pressing problems. Take the rent control issue. Did anyone really think the passing or defeat of Measure K or Proposition 10 would solve the problem of sky-rocketing housing prices? Maybe we should now think about some serious solutions to the underlying problem.

For example, why have we allowed our financial system to turn into a casino of derivatives speculation? Money from Wall Street, London, the Cayman Islands and China is driving up rents. Why do Robert Reich and Elizabeth Warren and other “champions” of the Glass-Steagall Act, which would rein in such practices, hysterically refuse to work on this with President Donald Trump, who has also called for reinstating the act?

Now that Democrats have won control of the House and Trump has made an overture of bipartisanship to Nancy Pelosi, it’s high time to run with this to the end zone!

What about homelessness, drug abuse and traffic congestion? These are not really local issues. Our newly elected Mayor and City Council need to work with Trump (even if they don’t like him) on the biggest infrastructure building the country has ever seen. 

They could start with calling for reviving plans for the North American Water and Power Alliance, the massive project for water from Alaska that was planned in the 1960s but faded away after Kennedy was shot. The alliance would put four million Americans and Canadians to work and inspire a generation. 

Think how many youngsters would find a purpose and a future as skilled workers or engineers in such an undertaking. As far as I know, there’s no law against a mayor making noise about the need for big national projects.


Hunter Cobb

Editor’s note: Congress enacted the Glass-Steagall Act in 1933 in response to the 1929 stock market crash. This bill forbade commercial banks from participating in investment banking with its inherent risks. The 1999 Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act repealed Glass-Steagall because lawmakers saw Glass-Steagall as placing too many restrictions on banks and businesses. President Donald Trump said he would consider reinstating Glass-Steagall. 

The Army Corps of Engineers conceived the North American Water and Power Alliance in the 1950s. The environmental movement opposed the alliance. Modern-day supporters include Lyndon Larouche and President Donald Trump — both view global warming as a hoax. 


I appreciated the front page article on Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) teacher’s pay (“District, Teachers Reach Deadlock,” Nov. 1). I was shocked to learn that “AUSD teachers are the lowest paid in Alameda County, a fact the district office acknowledges.” 

Could you please follow up with information about how AUSD administrators’ pay compares to other school districts in Alameda County? If the state chronically underfunds our district, it is only fair that the administration should share the pain equally. 

We voters need this information to find out whether our current school board members have made sure not to over-compensate the administrators.


Robert Heimbichner

Editor’s note: A perfunctory online search returned the average Alameda Unified School District salary ranges from approximately $44,814 per year for adult education teacher to $116,805 per year for director. Average AUSD hourly pay ranges from approximately $10 per hour for site supervisor to $36.12 per hour for adult education teacher. These ranges do appear to be lower than in other school districts in the county. 


The women and children at the Midway Shelter extend their thanks to those individuals and groups who contributed to the shelter in the month of October. A number of the listed donors have contributed several times during this period. Two donors chose to remain anonymous. 

Kudos to Jay Dawson Tomorr Haxhimali and Christine Buck. Mr. and Mrs. Walter Grady donated in memory of Doris Phife. Rich & Susan Sherratt sent a donation, as did the Pipkin-McGrath family, Alameda Aerie No. 1076 F.O.E., and Dianne Richmond. 

Ulrich & Ursula Greczmiel, Ginny Krutilek, Joanne Robinson and Jacqueline MacMillan all donated in October to help the shelter. Ron & Evelyn Coffman joined Beverly Moore, Shirley Doumitt, Gaby Dolphin & Alan Pryor with generous donations. 

Elaine Kofman, Frank & Winifred Ghiglione, Jean Parrington and David Bratzler donated in October, as did Patrick & Cathy Kelly, Shirley & Ron Goodman and Eugene Hosler. David & Joyce Denyven stepped up with a donation. They were joined by Beverly Church, Barbara Anderson, Mary Buck and Patricia Gannon. 

The Anckaitas family donated to the shelter in honor of Madeleine Byrd Keiser’s bat mitzvah. Deborah Potter & Francisco Vilaseca sent a donation, as did Elizabeth & Jay Mechling, Bill & Judy Norton and Paula Patillo-Dupree. 

Carolyn Queener & John Platt sent a check to help the women and children, as did Pamela Williams, Lois Pryor and Kristen & Todd Jones. David Hewitt donated last month. He was joined by Nancy Issel-Mayes & Guy Mayes, Regina Panzarino-Dimig, Jim Hager, June Kerschman, Czrol Gerdes, MD and Cheryl Schwartz, DVM.

To see your name among the generous November donors to Midway Shelter, send a check to Alameda Homeless Network, P.O. Box 951. Alameda CA 94501. Call 357-0205, ext. 206 or visit midway shelter.org to learn more.


Ginny Krutilek