Letters to the Editor

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Editor:

On behalf of Alameda Municipal Power (AMP), I would like to clarify remarks about AMP made by Richard Bangert in his recent article, ("Rooftop Solar Panels Uncertain at Point," May 14).

AMP was one of the first utilities in the country to invest heavily in renewable power, such as geothermal, biomass, hydroelectric and wind. This early investment ensured that AMP not only greatly exceeded state mandates for greenhouse gas reduction in 2020, but also prepared the utility to go well-beyond Gov. Jerry Brown’s 2030 and 2050 goals.

In 2008, when the state mandated that electric utilities offer rebates to customers who install solar over the next 10 years, AMP was one of the first utilities to fully reserve all its solar rebate funding, providing more than $4 million in rebates to solar customers — money that came from all AMP customers.

But aside from Bangert’s inaccuracies concerning AMP’s goals, there was a deeper reason why his article caught my attention. Bangert is really raising fundamental questions about subsidies that favor one renewable form of generation over all others. And these are questions that AMP is raising too.

That’s why AMP is hosting a series of town hall meetings over the next six months to discuss topics like Alameda’s future power supply and rate options. The first topic is rooftop solar and the degree to which it should be publicly financed. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, June 24, at the Alameda Main Library, 1550 Oak St.

As Alameda’s 128-year-old community-owned utility, AMP is proud of its record of providing clean, reliable energy. But there are important questions that we, as Alamedans, have to decide about the future of electricity in Alameda.

Glenn Steiger, General Manager, Alameda Municipal Power

Editor:

Even though I am new to this wonderful city of Alameda, I have been here long enough to make an observation. I see neighboring larger cities having community orchestras, while no such entity exists in Alameda. I come from a smaller city in Ventura County that has a professional symphony orchestra and a smaller all string amateur orchestra mostly for senior musicians. We played for local events gratis.

I wonder if Alameda is so close to these larger cities that our residents prefer to depend on them to supply all the musical opportunities rather than have some home-grown groups.

I am sure there are adult amateur string players in our town that would love to form a string quartet. I play violin and have a large library of classical quartet music for cello, viola and violin one and two. A quartet can graduate into a chamber orchestra if a conductor can be found.

The costs are simply what it takes for interested players to make copies of the music and then find a hall or someone’s home where we can play.

I’m an 80-year-old retired eye doctor and an amateur violinist. I am presently playing twice a month at a local rehabilitation center where I play (solo) popular music of the 1900s through the ’50s (which I love) for the residents, but I am anxious to get back to the classics and light classics.

Hey you musical Alamedans, please write a letter to the paper if you agree with my idea. I would like, as a new resident, to return something to my new home. What better way than with great music?

Music classes in our schools would love to have the kids hear quartet music. Many other opportunities exist.

Marty Raymon

Editor:

Thank you for the story about Alameda Point Collaborative’s (APC) Urban Farm Table event on May 17 ("APC Hosts Luncheon Down on the Farm," May 21). I had the pleasure of attending with my family, colleagues and friends for a truly enjoyable and inspiring afternoon.

I’ve been to farm-to-table productions before, supporting various causes throughout the Bay Area. Despite being a life-long Alamedan, this is the first year I have actively supported APC. This was an exceptional, masterfully orchestrated event where members of our community, some of us strangers to each other, were brought together around one long table to support one important program.

Over some of the best food I’ve tasted, we each participated in supporting an organization right here on the island working to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty.

Speaker Vincent Figueroa told a deeply personal story that we all can relate to in some way. He spent time before and after lunch talking with passion to guests about his work in the APC garden, having us taste radish flowers, and think about food in new ways. APC has helped him build the confidence to pursue his dreams in the culinary field and today serve as a proud role model for his children.

APC deserves our continued support. We can do this in ways large, or small. I plan to sign-up for its Farm2Market program to receive weekly shares of sustainably-grown, fresh produce.

As we continue to grow Alameda Point, APC will gain more awareness as a critical part of our community. I encourage everyone to give APC a look. This year’s event was sold out, and I predict next year they will need to set a much longer table!

Becca Perata

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