Letters to the Editor

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Ekene Ikeme’s piece (“Comparing Rent Measures on Ballot,” Sept. 8) was the clearest explanation of the two competing rent control measures I’ve read. As a home “owner” for more than 20 years and someone who rented for much much longer, I plan to vote for M1, not for the City Council-sponsored measure. 

Everyone knows that rents in Alameda (like the entire Bay Area) have become wildly unaffordable. While the City Council and Tony Daysog may claim that the present law works, all but two or three of the tenants of the Central Avenue complex, which has been a focal point in the struggle against large, absentee landlords, have been compelled to leave. Corporate landlords have not been brought to heel.

Indeed, certain that the current law (L1) leaves them relatively free to continue their speculative price gouging. Their representatives are flooding the television airwaves with anti-M1 ads. The East Bay Express documents $500,000 in funding from the California Apartment Association, the California Rental Housing Services Corporation, Vasona Management Inc. of Los Gatos, Woodmont Real Estate Services of Belmont and other property-management groups to pay for these attack ads. Where are tenants who can’t meet the month’s rent going to find funds to counter the landlord propaganda?

To those who say that M1 may hurt mom-and-pop rental unit owners: a strong law that actually can stop evictions and then, as needed, be amended, is firm ground to stand on. Don’t start with a law that big property owners and speculators find acceptable.

This means that every month more and more people will be driven from their homes.
The affordable housing which is coming onto the market is a drop in the bucket. The number of people being driven from their homes, and sometimes directly into homelessness, is a flood.

In the long term, massive public housing projects are needed a la the 1930s and ’40s to begin to assure everyone a decent affordable place to live.


Bob Mandel


With the impending Presidential Election coming Tuesday, Nov. 8, I think we should now be seriously thinking of educating ourselves on who to vote for, how to vote and what to vote for, especially in this time of strife and the violent environment we are all in. It is our civic duty as American citizens to select the best candidates. 

I used to teach at College of Alameda and now I am now a teacher of English as a second language.When I talked with people in the community, I discoved many who think that there are only two political parties — the Democratic and the Republican parties — since these are the two that are continuously in the news. They are not aware of the other parties like the American Independent, the Green Party, Libertarian Party and the Natural Law of Reform Party. 

They do not know which are the blue states or red states, about the Electoral College, or how Presidents are elected. Many people are so busy making a living, all they hear are sound and fury or sound bites. They are confused, angry and many get so fed up they end up not going to vote. 

Let’s not have this happen to us. Let us remember we must vote and be informed voters. Which candidate will earn my vote on Election Day? It is a privileged right and power for us to vote. 


Dolly Fong Brandes


Dear Alameda Fire Department Chief Doug Long and all his crew:
I’m a walker. I’ve walked for years now, but with the wrong attitude. I used to view Alameda Fire Department (AFD) as a set of garages parked with engines, poised to scream through the streets, ready to help someone — whom, I never knew. You have turned my mind around. And I thank you.

I called you last month to ask if you would help me when I died. I told you I had joined the Willed Body Program (WBP) at the University of California, San Francisco. As a professor of physiological psychology long ago at Arizona State University, I learned to respect our mind-bodies with integrity. 

It can and should be given respect. The WBP does not merely trim a ready-to-go organ for transplants. Medical students study our holistic systems such as anatomies, cardiovascular, endocrine, muscular, neural, renal etc. 

Our mind-bodies are also available for research and practicing surgical technique, e.g., of our complex hands. As an educator, I want to be a part of the flow of knowledge WBP provides students, searchers and surgeons. 

But I had doubts. My body-mind would need to meet the standards of WBP. They require no resuscitation, medical intervention, or artificial nutrition. WBP responds 24/7 to make sure. I worried that one of your first responders might not call the WBP first. You were considerate to send Dan Gerard your EMS Coordinator to see me and “to see what we could do to help.”

Dan Gerard told me that all your stations are connected. You have an up-to-date database with precise, personal information. You even list the elderly residents who have a pull-chord in their apartments. Your first responders are alert and informed of this. I was comforted by Dan Gerard when he took pictures that would warn your first responders. They will see my membership with WBP online and on my wall as they arrive. 

For your personal care, I thank you, Chief Long and all your responders.


Vernon Dolphin