Letters to the Editor

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I am incensed to learn that the city has a "just-tear-it-down" attitude about the Clark bench in Jackson Park. I was outraged to read Alameda Police Chief Paul Rolleri’s support of this drastic measure because, according to him, miscreants use the bench to hide from the police.

If Rolleri gets his way, then those same reprobates might use the trees in the park to hide from his officers. Should we then take all the trees in Jackson Park down as well? If that were done, then all those troublemakers could hide in and around the park’s bandstand. Should we take that down, too?

With the bench, the trees and the bandstand gone, the malefactors might hide out in the yards of the homes around the park. So let’s take the homes down, too. We can start with the one at 1173. That’s where Isabelle Clark lived. After all she’s the one who started all this by building the bench in the first place.


— Guy Knecht


We commend your paper for the front page coverage of Councilman Stewart Chen’s fraud convictions. During the past week, we have been reading about this man’s criminal history written by the Alameda Sun’s online partner, The Alamedan. It is satisfying to now see the Sun publish the excellent piece on this very disturbing topic ("Councilman’s Fraud Conviction Surfaces," Feb. 20.) Thank you to Michele Ellson and Steven Tavares for researching and writing this story.

In addition, the cogent editor’s note in response to Stewart Chen’s letter ("Chen responds," Feb. 20) was impressive.

The Sun’s handling of this matter has increased our faith in the Sun’s willingness to provide Alamedans problematic but pertinent information about their elected officials.

As Alain de Botton stated in his recent book, The News: A User’s Manual, "Central to modern politics is the majestic and beautiful idea that every citizen is — in a small but highly significant way — the ruler of his or her own nation. The news has a central role to play in the fulfillment of this promise, for it is the conduit through which we meet our leaders, judge their fitness to direct the state and evolve our positions on the most urgent economic and social challenges of the day. Far from being incidental features of democracies, news organizations are their guarantors."

We can only hope that the Alameda Journal will some day become such a conduit. Perhaps the Sun’s very good investigative reporting can show the Journal the way.

— Eric and Ann Cross


January was a very busy month for the Alameda Education Foundation (AEF) as we made 23 Adopt A Classroom (AAC) presentations to Alameda public school teachers on behalf of our generous community.

As adopt-a-classroom chair, I would like to thank VF Outdoor for their donation. Also, the Park Street Business Association Shop For Our Schools program enlisted the help of: Alameda Natural Grocery, Artistic Home Studio & Boutique, Daisy’s, Julie’s Coffee & Tea Garden, Tucker’s Ice Cream, Bead Inspirations, Park Jewelers and We Are Hair.

Other donors in January included: the Archer Family; Odd Fellows Lodge #3 Alameda; Barbara Meyer; The Fenelon-Schoenrock Family; and Senator Don Perata.

The CH2M Hill Foundation donated on behalf of employee Heather Abrams and Deutsche Bank donated on behalf of the Samford Family.

Each recipient received a $500 gift card to support learning opportunities for his/her classroom. Teachers were adopted at: Alameda, Earhart, Edison, Encinal, Franklin, Island, Haight, Lum, Maya Lin, Otis, Paden, Ruby Bridges and Wood schools.

As of January, $69,500 has been distributed to 139 teachers this year. Donations to the program are being accepted through March 4 at www.AlamedaEducation.org.

— Kathleen C. Woulfe, AEF Adopt A Classroom Chair