Letters to the Editor

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Editor:
Here we go again. 

It’s the end of a long work week. It’s 7:30 p.m. on a Friday night and the big apartment complex across the street from me has been using its leaf blower for the past half hour. I just want to scream. It’s the weekend. Wait until Saturday morning to do your yard work. OMG and ughhh.

I have to put up with this for the whole summer, again?

 

Jenny Onkka

Dennis Evanosky, the publisher of the Alameda Sun received this letter from Vanessa Cooper, the executive director of the Alameda Housing Authority. 

Mr. Evanosky:
As you know, the City Council held multiple public meetings to hear all concerns and interests on the current rent crisis, resulting in the city’s rent stabilization ordinance that became effective March 31. The city subsequently contracted with the Housing Authority to be the Program Administrator under the ordinance. As with all new programs, we anticipate that improvements in program administration will be made as it is rolled out. Because the rent program was adopted as an ordinance, the City Council has the flexibility to make changes to the legislation. 

I read your editorial (“City Attempt at Rent Solution Leaves Much to be Desired,” April 14) and you raised some valid concerns regarding the rent ordinance educational workshops. 

You are correct: some people may be put off by having to register for a workshop, but please keep in mind these are workshops designed to help renters, landlords and realtors understand and comply with the new ordinance. We feel our workshops will be most beneficial to the renters, landlords and Realtors if we keep the capacities relatively modest so that we can actually interact with people rather than just make speeches to them. The full presentation is online for those who cannot or prefer not to attend. (www.alamedarentprogram.org).

We will, however, amend our notice about the workshops, so that people know walk-ins will be allowed providing they don’t exceed capacity. People who register for workshops will be guaranteed entry, people who hope to walk-in will most likely get in, but realistically, we can’t guarantee that. 

While I agree with you that registration should never be required for a public hearing or public meeting, these workshops are not public hearings. They are educational workshops. We want to help people and in order to do that, we feel it best to limit the amount of attendees. That is why we have offered more than 40 different opportunities for people to attend the workshops, so that if they can’t make one, hopefully they can attend another.

As for the hours of our workshops, we have already added capacity for evening workshops. If we get feedback asking for more evening workshops, we will do our best to add more evening workshops.

You make another good point in your editorial: no one wants to schedule a day off or change their evening plans to attend a meeting that ends up being canceled. In order to guard against any future inconvenience, we make our current policy clearer, which is that if we have to cancel a workshop (because of illness or too few registrants) we will do our best to give two days’ notice via email to those people who have registered.

As for the May workshops that will be open to both tenants and landlords, we are finding that as time goes on, demand for workshops is diminishing and emotions are cooling. In order to make best use of our limited public resources. We are hoping that those upcoming joint workshops will be relatively full, productive and harmonious.

Again, thanks for bringing some valid concerns to our attention. We’re doing our best to factor in the needs of all those who desire our services.

 

 

Vanessa M. Cooper Executive Director Alameda Housing Authority

Editor:
The Alameda Homeless Network (Tony DeSimone, Al Filart, Mark and Cindy Hovermale, Ginny Krutilek and Kari Thompson) would like to extend sincere appreciation to the following businesses and people who made our 25th Annual Have a Heart Gala, held April 2, a wonderful event. 

• High Street Station Cafe for catering the event with their fabulous cuisine.  
• Chuck DiGuida who graciously served as master of ceremonies.
• Partner Sponsors – Alameda Point Partners & First Community Bank
• The Alameda Elks Lodge for allowing us to hold the event at the Lodge.  
• Excel Graphics for the lovely invitations.

We would also like to thank Al and Cheryl Filart, Alameda Theatre & Cineplex, Alan and Kari Thompson, Amador Valley Quiling Club and Aquarium of the Pacific for their generous donations to our event. Berkeley Symphony, Berkeley Playhouse, California Auto Museum, Cal Shakes, Children’s Fairyland, Chuck Corica Golf Complex and Clarisonic also gave generously. 

Our hearts go out to: Connoisseurs Guide, Crispian Bakery, Dance 10, David Kiewlich and Merryn Oliveira, Disneyland, Eagle Vines Golf Club, Ginny Krutilek and the Golden State Warriors. We couldn’t have done without Hand & Stone, Iceland, Jeff Cohn Cellars, Jessie’s Grove Cellars, Kathryn Gies, KlinkerBrick Winery, Le Belge Chocolatier, Lawrence Hall of Science, Lindsay Wildlife Experience and Lola’s Chicken Shack. Thanks are due to Mark and Tom Squire-Sorensen, Mike Winkenbach, the Oakland Athletics, Oakland Zoo, Rhythmix Cultural Works, Ripley’s Believe it or Not,  the San Jose Sharks, Semifreddis, Starbucks, The Golden Skate and The Melting Pot. Tik and Jon Thurston, Tucker’s Super Creamed Ice Cream, Winchester Mystery House and Zenobia Whittington all gave support.

We truly appreciate the support received from these individuals and businesses as well as from those who attended our event. Thank you for helping to keep the Alameda Midway Shelter available to support homeless and abused women and their children. 

 

Kari Thompson, President, Gala Chairperson

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