Letters to the Editor

Registered users may submit a Letter to the Editor after they first log in.

Dear Editor,

I read with amusement Kathleen L. Orosco’s account of the alleged Ghost of Twin Towers Church, in the October 29 edition of the Alameda Sun.

But I couldn’t help but recognize the clothing style that she describes, it matches exactly what my boyfriend wears during the winter months when the weather turns nippy. And my boyfriend is no ghost, he is a member of a cowboy re-enactment group, but because he likes the western style of clothing and since it suits him he stays with it.

I showed him the story and he reminded me of a funny incident that happened to him some years ago when the movie “Van Helsing” came out, for a while where ever we went people asked him if he was in “Van Helsing”, well no he had been dressing like that long before the movie was released.

But evidently the movie must have made an impression on some young people’s minds because one October evening some years ago when he came to pick me up at work long after the sun went down, he got out of his vehicle and walked down the block, at Historic Alameda High School there were some young boys between 14 to 15 years old, and they were playing and goofing around.

They saw him walking towards them fully dressed in a black duster, black cowboy hat, black cowboy clothing and boots. There was a slight breeze that flapped his duster in a slightly dramatic way. The boys stopped what they were doing started at him as he slowly walked towards them the breeze picking up the hem of his duster and settling it down.

The boys broke out of their trance, screamed “It’s the Grim Reaper!” and ran away.

My boyfriend stopped, watched them run away as they yelled out in fear and thought to himself “Those kids are some really scared hombres and are going to have an interesting story to tell their Grandchildren someday.”

He still to this day dresses in the old-fashion cowboy style and you might see him from time to time here and there in Alameda, and if you are interested in dressing in that style the best place to find such clothing is at Golden Gate Western Wear in Richmond.

About a Ghost at Twin Towers Church?? Well I do know that back in the 1960’s author Hans Holzer did an investigation of a Ghostly Sailor in Alameda that was first printed in his book “Ghosts of the Golden West” and has been re-printed in some of his collections of Ghost investigations, so who is to say that Twin Towers isn’t haunted, after all we do have a haunted air craft carrier the USS Hornet.

Claire Coustier


I am writing regarding the city council’s special meeting held Oct. 7 concerning the request to adopt an advisory motion regarding the General Plan and zoning designations for the existing Harbor Bay Club.

As a preliminary matter, the procedural posture of the meeting seemed confusing in that it was merely a "check-in" with the Council, as opposed to a request for a formal vote.

Nonetheless, I am grateful to the city council for allowing both sides to add clarity to their positions and engage in this public discourse. Specifically, I found it beneficial for the community to hear in no uncertain terms that the Harbor Bay Club owners are moving forward with a new club, irrespective of what occurs with the land at 200 Packet Landing Road. There has been much conversation in the community about the two transactions being inextricably tied to one another, and that confusion was laid to rest by the proponents of a new club.

As a supporter of a new club, I am glad to hear that a new club is not contingent on a particular development or zoning change of the property at the club’s current site.

Second, it was surprising to hear from some residents of Harbor Bay Isle who oppose the new club and appear to believe that they "bought in" to the existing club, despite it being a private business, or have some type of legal interest in the existing club — in excess of their basic rights as members under the club’s membership agreement–simply because they purchased homes here.

The facts do not support such a claim. Moreover, a private architect’s professional opinion regarding remodeling options at the existing site — a site owned by private owners who intend to sell — made no sense.

Councilman Jim Oddie’s comments summarized a point that I hope we keep in mind: Community members need to be careful what they wish for. The current owners could sell the property tomorrow with its existing zoning limitations intact.

A new owner could then build something worse than new housing, something that could negatively impact the value of all of our homes here on Harbor Bay Isle with little if any recourse to neighboring communities.

Perhaps it is time that constructive dialogue begin, as Council Member Ashcraft suggested, to avoid such an outcome that none of us want.

Jennifer Williams


I am writing to thank Recreation and Park Commission members Bill Delaney and Ron Limoges for their leadership in ensuring that Alamedans get a safe, complete Cross Alameda Trail across the West End and through the future Jean Sweeney Open Space Park.

When the commission learned that city staff had eliminated bike lanes planned for a busy, one-block stretch of Atlantic Avenue, on Oct. 8, commissioners Delaney and Limoges demanded more information before pressing ahead with a recommendation.

At the special meeting that followed, on Oct. 29, they pledged to remain engaged in the discussion about the Cross Alameda Trail to make sure the people who will be walking and biking on it have safe access to and from the park.

We also want to offer our gratitude to Councilwoman Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft and to Interim City Manager Liz Warmerdam and Interim Assistant City Manager Amy Wooldridge for their efforts and commitment to helping to fix this dangerous gap in the trail and to restoring the public process needed to make sure the trail is properly completed before the park opens.

The actions of Commissioners Delaney and Limoges have undoubtedly protected the safety of some of Alameda’s most vulnerable citizens, and I think the Island’s citizens are fortunate to have them in our service.

Michele Ellson, Board Member, Bike Walk Alameda