Letters to the Editor

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Dear City Councilmembers:
As a former staff member of the Oakland Fire Department and longtime resident of Alameda, I encourage you to question the purchase of additional fire equipment. The staff who are going to operate this equipment are shorthanded already. The Alameda Fire Department (AFD) keeps asking for more equipment with no additional personnel to operate. For example, the fireboat takes a fire company out of service and the heavy rescue vehicle takes a truck company out of service. 

Instead of ordering the two proposed tank trucks, have Public Works supply tank trucks and the personnel to operate them. With only seven total companies to begin with, why burden AFD with additional equipment? 

Additional equipment also requires larger facilities to house, larger training requirements and greater maintenance for their upkeep. It seems foolish not to make mutual aid agreements for this kind of probably never-used apparatus, or to combine the AFD with Oakland or Alameda County Fire departments that already have this equipment.


Michael M. Kelly

The Alameda Sun received a copy of this letter addressed to the City Council.


Something inspiring, positive and beautiful recently happened at the Eagles Hall. Alameda’s own, Robert “Rocko” Rhodes, unexpectedly passed away on Feb. 3, leaving his wife, Laura. On Saturday, April 9, all our local musicians stepped forward to organize a benefit to honor Rocko and help support Laura.

Rocko sponsored many benefits and events, was totally involved in the community, bartended and was part of a band. The lineup was sublime: Wild Kingdom, Daniel Castro, The Dave Krull Band, the Sun Kings and The Alameda All Stars. There was hugging, dancing, laughing, crying and a great kindness felt throughout the afternoon and evening.

And the music ... Ahhh! I have always felt honored and privileged to know and love all the talent on this island. And then there was the hall, itself! The staff was attentive. Kenny is priceless, Dana, the sound man, knows his stuff and is a pleasure to work with. 
The room is spacious, the stage is great, they have a full bar and plenty of parking at Alameda’s own high-rise parking structure. What I experienced was a filling up of human love and my cup runneth over.

I personally want to say, it feels so good, Laura, to give to and help those you love. I also want to thank all involved for helping me feel that my friend Rocko lives on in our hearts and spirits!

You go, Rock! You got your 60th birthday party after all. And it was the best.


Pati Slattery

Publisher Eric J. Kos:
Thanks, Eric, for your wonderful article, (“Project Tree Seeded” April 14), it reaffirms my belief that Alameda is one of the most wonderful places in which to live, if not the most wonderful. 

I especially appreciate the Alameda Sun’s generous contribution to the Alameda Backyard Growers, an organization which does terrific work in our community and greatly supports the Alameda Food Bank. 

Again, much appreciation to you in pursuit of fulfilling a dream, to Marla Koss (your namesake of sorts) and to all those involved with Project Tree. I look forward to seeing the project come to fruition (sorry, I couldn’t help the double entendre).


Steve Sokil