Letters to the Editor

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I was pleased to read the letter by Ryan Metcalf ("Baseball, Bullies Not a Good Mix," Apr. 16) about bullying by coaches in youth baseball in Alameda. My family experienced many of the same issues in this particular for-profit program. We are rather perplexed as to why it seems to be so popular right now. We can only guess that it is because of the pressure tactics employed by the staff, which encourages the players to look down on the Babe Ruth volunteer coaching system.

We have heard about inappropriate language and jokes about players made by the coaches (such as about a player’s weight), about players being forced to spend most of a practice running laps, or sent home early, as punishment for not paying attention, etc. Discipline is fine up to a point, but these are just kids.

Youth baseball should be about having fun and learning good sportsmanship, not focused on making a high-school or college team. I don’t know Metcalf personally, but it must have taken some courage to write his letter, so I applaud him and hope his effort will lead to changes.

Russell Vernon


At end of the comments on traffic by Mark Greenside ("Our City Needs Sensible Traffic Plan," April 9), he writes that Alameda needs slow growth, affordable housing and a traffic plan.

He is right about slow growth, as a fortunate Alameda homeowner I would like to say that Greenside is not right about affordable housing. Alameda does not need state-forced "low-cost housing." when all types of Alameda housing is affordable. Ask any Realtor.

Alameda is prime property and only the most expensive homes should be built on expensive property. The city would collect much higher tax per parcel. That’s without a high-population drain on city services, not to mention less auto traffic generated from single-family homes compared to multiple-occupancy housing.

Phil Tribuzio


An interesting but obscure bit of Alameda trivia is connected with the Navy operations center on Clement Avenue in the old Pacific Bridge shipyard ("Buildings Once Part of Active Shipyard," April 16). That building, street address 2144 Clement Ave., is the only building in our town, and likely one of but a few buildings anywhere in the United States, that violates the bedrock American addressing convention of putting even numbers on one side of a street, and odd numbers on the other.

Clement, you see, customarily has odd address numbers on the north side of the street and even numbers on the south, in line with Alameda’s other east- west streets. But for some curious quirk of history, most likely related to redevelopment of the shipyard property after World War II, the Navy building was given an even number and has retained it ever since.

As a Navy man who spent many days in that building in the course of a 30-year career, I considered the bollixed street number a sign of pure Alameda uniqueness.

David Foote, Captain, U.S. Navy (Retired)

Editor’s note: 2144 was the address of the Pacific Bridge Co., which closed its doors on October 1, 1944. First the Naval and Marine Corps Reserve and then the Naval Operational Support Center took over Pacific Bridge’s property, put the building up across the street and were able to keep the original address.