Letters to the Editor

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The Alameda Sun article ("Mayor, Staff Defend Bay Farm Trees," April 2) was interesting to read.

I did not realize that when I voted for Trish Spencer for Mayor I was voting for a dictator. The article, if correct, stated that "cutting down trees on private property is not illegal." In addition, the article mentioned that a permit was not required.

But Spencer decided that it was not right and ordered the removal of the trees to stop. Spencer and City Planner Andrew Thomas have demanded that a plan be presented. I am assuming the plan must fully meet Spencer’s approval.

It is wrong when a mayor can create her own law and issue a stop order simply because she doesn’t like what is happening. Spencer acted just like every other dictator, intimidating her opponent and acting as a tyrant to get her way using the authority of her office as a club.

Alameda does not need this kind of mayor.

Paul Stagnaro

Editor’s note: Mayor Spencer did not arbitrarily issue the stop-work order. She did it after consulting with City Planner Andrew Thomas. Thomas witnessed what Harbor Bay Landing Shopping Center’s Ken Liu had already done. He told the mayor that the tree cutting was beyond the normal scope, that some of the trees had been cut down for no apparent reason and that Liu had no plan in place to replace the trees he had cut down.

Alameda Sun publisher Dennis Evanosky witnessed the exchange between Lui and Mayor Spencer and Thomas. The exchange was cordial and in no way dictatorial. Liu, in fact, agreed with what both Thomas and Spencer had told him.

The Sun has since learned that the Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&Rs) on Bay Farm Island do not, in fact, allow the arbitrary cutting down of trees. Lui was able cut his trees down because commercial property owners are exempt from signing these CC&Rs that exempt commercial property owners. This is evident in the following letter.


I recently read your article about the tree removals at the Harbor Bay Landing Shopping Center ("Mayor, Staff Defend Bay Farm Trees," April 2). As the architectural standards manager for the Community of Harbor Bay Isle Owner’s Association, Inc. I would like to make a point of clarification.

Although the city of Alameda does not usually require property owners to obtain permission prior to removing trees, the Community of Harbor Bay Isle Owners’ Association does. There is a strict architectural review process in place for all 2,973 homes within the Community, which each owner agrees to when purchasing their home and signing the Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&Rs)

These CC&R’s help maintain the beautiful urban forest environment that Harbor Bay Isle is known for. Unfortunately, even though the Harbor Bay Landing is a member of the Community of Harbor Bay Isle, the CC&R’s do not apply to commercial properties.

Generally, the Community Architectural Committee only allows removal of trees that are diseased, have structural issues, or are in decline/already dead; in most cases, replacement trees are required. The CAC also restricts severe or malicious pruning, and may require that a Certified Arborist Report be provided. We encourage any Harbor Bay Isle homeowners to contact us at 865-3363, with any tree-related questions, or prior to starting any exterior projects.

Christina Hanson


The Midway Shelter for abused women and their children would like to thank the generous people who donated to the shelter in March. Some donated several times; two donors chose to remain anonymous.

Midway would like to thank Helda Moya, Maxine Bolf, Brocade Communications and Alameda Point Partners. TL Partners II LP donated in March as did Betty Sanderson, Virginia Krutilek, Rich and Susan Sherratt and Marina Village Optometry.

The shelter couldn’t survive without generous people like Alan and Kathryn Hanley, Delores Bartalini, Amber Brose, Val Rogers Gerhart and Elaine Kofman. The women and children are grateful to donors like Joanne McKray, Beverly Church, Diane Coler-Dark, Carol Gerdes and Robyn Wu, Mary Tarpley gave in March as did, Richard and Susan Osanna, Patricia Sahadi, Ronda Nixon, Joen and Edward Barbera and Mary Butler.

Helen Sause, Kathey Paget and Virginia Neuhoff each sent a donation, as did Louis Toepfer, Kent and Lynette Dupuis, David and Joyce Denyven and Joyce Mercado. The shelter also received donations last month from Barbara Gibson, Donna Danielson, Sarah Cruz, Sandy Keh and Ruth Gray.

United Mechanical & Metal Fabricators, Inc., sent a donation, as did Robert Wondolleck, Claire Meehan and John White. William and Donalynne Fuller helped the shelter with a March donation, as did Donald Kelley and Susan Getman, Mary Scott, Judith and Gary Blank, Najee and Adilah Bilal, and Teddy Tabor.

Finally the women and children at the shelter would like to thank Dominic McKenna, Jenifer Sejera, Jim Franz, Christine Buck, Donald and Dianne Lippi.

If you’d like to see your name among the generous April donors to the shelter, send a check to Alameda Homeless Network, P.O. Box 951, Alameda CA 94501. To learn more, call 523-2377 or visit www.midwayshelter.org.

Ginny Krutlek