Letters to the Editor
When I moved to Alameda in 1981, Waste Management sponsored a free annual community clean-up. People would put unwanted items too large to fit into the trash cans onto the curb for pick-up. These included water heaters, car parts, ladders and computers.
Why was that event discontinued? People continue to dump these larger items onto the street anyway.
I am a careful and considerate driver, keeping an eye out for pedestrians. And I’m a careful and considerate pedestrian, keeping an eye out for cars. That’s why I find it so annoying when some people just stride across a street without looking up to check for traffic.
Earbuds in ears, face to phone, they just step out and expect that they will be safe, crosswalk or not. Ironically they do end up safe, but that’s through no effort on their part! It’s because drivers like me are watching out for them and stop. I know it’s the law for drivers to stop, but as pedestrians we have a responsibility, too.
When I cross a street where there is no light for the crosswalk, I always make eye contact with on-coming motorists. If they stop, I give a little thank-you wave and smile, acknowledging that I appreciate their paying attention. I have grandchildren and a son in a wheelchair and I’m always grateful for heads-up drivers who stop and let us safely cross. My acknowledgment lets drivers know that I am paying attention, too.
Recently a whole family — parents and two children — walked across the street right in front of me where there was no crosswalk. Not one looked up. I stopped and let them safely pass. One of the children was old enough to be learning to stop and look both ways before crossing a street.
Such a shame her parents missed that teachable moment. And sad that the parents risked their children’s lives by not looking themselves.
Please, look up from your phone, pause in your conversation with your friends; take just a moment to pay attention when you cross a street! It’s foolish to expect that every driver will be able to anticipate your moves. Laws or not, we are each responsible for our own safety. Do your part.
I am president of the Alameda Island Aquatics (Islanders) age group swim team and I support the proposed new Harbor Bay Club (HBC) at North Loop Road. I’ve got more than 100 swimmers to keep in the water, and the HBC has a long history of helping us and other groups, such as Masters swimmers, keep swimming without requiring membership to the club.
The new club, with its additional pools that more than double the amount of current lanes, will increase its support of groups like the Islanders, and this support redounds to the benefit of all Alameda aquatics enthusiasts by reducing the competition for lanes at the Alameda High School and Encinal High School pools.
Securing swim lanes in Alameda is difficult. Despite the deeply appreciated, sustained and heroic efforts of the city of Alameda and the Alameda Unified School District, our high school pools are aging and not large enough to accommodate the entire Alameda aquatics community.
Encinal High School pool is currently closed for at least six months for rebuilding and the Alameda High School pool is not even deep enough to allow starting blocks at swim meets. Kids dive off of towels! We need HBC’s new lanes to take the load off of Alameda’s exhausted aquatics infrastructure.
Recently, the HBC stopped by the 61st Annual City of Alameda Swimming Championships held at Alameda High School’s fading yet beloved Emma Hood Swim Center to talk about their proposed new pools. The contrast between the HBC’s new pool plans and kids diving off of moldy lost and found towels instead of starting blocks was very compelling. Ninety-nine percent of the swim community at that meet was ecstatic about the prospect of the HBC’s new pools because this community understands the importance of adding brand new aquatics resources to our faltering infrastructure.