Letters to the Editor
The Alameda Free Library’s 2014 Summer Reading Program was a huge success. With more than 3,200 kids, teens, and adults participating in the Paws to Read program, this year’s number of participants exceeded all expectations.
We couldn’t have had this level of success without the help of our amazing sponsors. Many thanks for the generosity of the Friends of the Alameda Free Library. We wouldn’t have special programming at the library at all without their help and financial support. Thanks also to local Alameda businesses that made some of our prizes possible: Tucker’s Super-Creamed Ice Cream, Subpar Miniature Golf and Greer Family Mortuary.
We’d also like to thank the San Francisco Bay Ferry, the Oakland Athletics and the Alameda Recreation and Parks Department. By providing prizes for our summer reading programs, all these businesses and organizations provide the incentive many kids need to keep reading, learning and growing all summer long and they help remind teens and adults that reading is fun.
A little over a week ago, I was at my workplace, located in Alameda. It was mid-afternoon on a beautiful sunny day. At least two middle-school aged boys started skate boarding on the sidewalks.
They were laughing loudly, cursing and generally being disruptive. They had been here for approximately an hour when a business owner stepped out and asked the boys to stop skateboarding on the sidewalks. They denied that they had been and spoke very rudely to her.
When she told them that she had just watched them skate by and that they needed to get off of the skate boards, pick them up and walk away they picked the boards up over their heads and proceeded to mill around on the sidewalk.
A customer at the coffee shop stepped out to speak to them, and they were extremely disrespectful to him, mocking him and calling him names.
At this point, I had heard enough. I called the Alameda Police non-emergency number and asked that if they had a car in the neighborhood they have it swing through the parking lot. A car showed up within minutes and oddly enough, after the officer spoke to the boys, they left and haven’t returned.
I imagine that if the boys told their parents about the incident, they said that they weren’t doing anything wrong and were picked on for no reason. I assure you that was not the case.
Too often people are hesitant to step up and intervene when children or adolescents are misbehaving. In this instance, several people spoke to the boys and were mocked and disrespected. The boys were intimidating.
There were a number of customers, including some who were elderly and frail, visiting the restaurants, salons and stores, and any of them could have been knocked down and hurt.
I am writing this letter in the hope that the parents of these boys read it and get the real story. Your "little angels" were being anything but.
Editor’s note: The problem of kids misbehaving in public is nothing new in our experience, but Sun staff has heard similar stories from around the city recently. On Webster Street kids reportedly used "public property" as their excuse for acting up outside businesses there. At the Sun’s office, children (and some adults) regularly leave their litter strewn around the parking lot after eating mere feet from a trash can. Common decency needs apply in public and private spaces alike.
For the first time in recent memory, great schools of geese have been walking back and forth across Robert Davey Jr. Drive on Bay Farm Island. They march at all times of the day, possibly in search of food or drinking water. Normally they can be seen grazing on the golf course or along the lagoon paths.
These seemingly friendly geese are unfortunately slow-moving, often walking one after another in single file. They freeze like deer trapped in the headlights when cars slow to a stop and gently honk at them to safely move out of the street.
It’s reminiscent of cow or hog crossings in rustic areas but with the speed some folks zip along at well above 25 mph (like it’s a real highway), we need to slow down and be more aware to protect them.
Some misguided, but well-intentioned adults have also been feeding the geese by putting out cracked corn, dried bread and other goodies in the vehicle pullout bulbs and sidewalks along Robert Davey Jr. Drive.
This sadly might induce the geese to cross right out onto the street unsafely; so please don’t do this. Please be aware and drive slowly when you see these birds.