Letters to the Editor
I was disturbed to read of the $450,000 settlement between an officer of the Alameda Police Department (APD) and a mentally and physically disabled resident. ("City Settles Lawsuit for Cop’s Excessive Force," May 14).
Newspaper reports and a video of the incident strongly suggested that excessive force was used by the Alameda police officer to restrain a disabled man who was a suspect in a case of petty theft in Alameda. The man was sent to the hospital for months as a result of his treatment by the police officer.
APD did an internal investigation of the incident and cleared the officer of wrong doing. A press release from Interim Assistant City Manager Amy Wooldridge stated that "the police did nothing wrong and acted legally." A viewing of the video of the incident leads me to a different conclusion. The suspect was clearly hurt and said at the scene that he couldn’t breathe. No charges were ever brought against the suspect.
I’m opposed to force being used on nonthreatening fleeing suspects and as a taxpaying resident of Alameda I am not happy to see our tax dollars going to pay settlements in cases that should never have happened. The concept of an internal police review of their own actions as being sufficient oversight is a clear conflict of interest.
I believe it’s time for Alameda to have a citizen oversight board to make policy-level recommendations regarding discipline, use of force, training, community relations and the complaint process. This could help us ensure that every citizen gets equal justice.
The 20th Annual Encinal High/Alameda Elks Band Extravaganza was a fantastic day of young people playing concert and march music. High school and middle school bands came from all over Northern California to see our beautiful city and try to earn a coveted trophy, all while making memories.
This day would not have been possible without help from many parent volunteers. A special thanks to Ann McCormick for coordinating the entire event for the third year in a row.
We also want to thank our sponsors, especially our main sponsor, the Alameda Elks Lodge #1015 who helped by underwriting trophy and banner costs, permits and many other items. The Elks are truly the best. Their commitment to the community is limitless.
Our other sponsors included the Alameda Museum, Dr. Bruce Bothwell DDS, Drs. Johnson and Jolley and Harbor Bay Realty. We couldn’t have done it without Gina Galera DDS, Taco Bell of Alameda, Alameda Awards, Dr. Barry Parker, Alameda School of Music, Dance 10 Studio and the Law Office of Gina Mariani.
Kevin Kennedy LLC pitched in this year, as did Sumiko Cafe, Wescafe, and the resdidents of the 300 block of Haight Avenue. Thanks also to our talented emcee, the incomparable Bill Sonneman.
This is truly a one-of-a-kind event. Encinal High has a great group of band students and we had fun showcasing their talents.
The members of the Alameda Homeless Network — Tony DeSimone, Al Filart, Susan Getman, Mark and Cindy Hovermale, Ginny Krutilek, Kari Thompson and Dee Tolbert — would like to extend their sincere appreciation to the following businesses and people that made the 24th Annual Have a Heart Gala held on March 27, a wonderful event:
High Street Station Cafe for catering the event with its fabulous cuisine.
Chuck DiGuida who graciously served as master of ceremonies
Benefactor Sponsor, Tim Lewis Communities
Partner Sponsors: Alameda Point Partners and First Community Bank
Balloon Mania’s Kathy McIntire for the beautiful balloons
The Alameda Elk’s Lodge for allowing us to hold the event at the lodge
Excel Graphics for the lovely invitations
Our Instant Wine Cellar donors.
We would also like to thank the following for their generous donations to our event: Al and Cheryl Filart, the Alameda Sun, the Alameda Theatre & Cineplex, Alan and Kari Thompson, Bowzer’s Pizza, Café Jolie, Chelsie’s Gold, Chuck DiGuida, Clutter Coach and Connie Jardon.
We couldn’t have pulled it off without Disneyland, Disney Family Museum, Dragon Rouge, Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter and Ginny Krutilek.
The Golden State Warriors pitched in, as did Hartford Court Wines, India Palace, Lilac Boutique, JC Cellars, Jeannie Graham and Jessie’s Grove Cellars,
KlinkerBrick Winery helped out, joined by the Lawrence Hall of Science, Mark and Tom Squire-Sorensen, the Oakland Athletics, the Oakland Zoo and R & B Cellars.
Raintree Studios helped make the event a success. Rhythmix Cultural Works pitched in, as did Dr. Richard and Teddy Tabor, the San Francisco 49ers, the San Francisco Zoo, the San Jose Sharks and See Spot Run. We couldn’t have done it without Semifreddis, Skin Deep, Speisekammer, Susan Getman and Donald Kelley and Tucker’s Super Creamed Ice Cream.
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.