Letters to the Editor
The other day, I went to hear my six-year-old neighbor, Cindy, sing a solo at her school’s talent show. They opened the program with one of the students singing the national anthem. Everyone stood up, but me.
I sat there feeling sorry for those children, growing up in our country where there are no jobs, where one in four children go to bed hungry, where college tuition is prohibitive and if you do get in, you’re in debt for a lifetime, where veterans live on the street and have to wait one year for their benefits, and many commit suicide in despair.
I’m supposed to pay homage to the flag. I’m supposed to be proud of the flag that stands for freedom — freedom to live on the street and go to bed hungry, in a country that sends pilot-less planes to kill women and children and innocent citizens attending a wedding (“bombs bursting in air”). Since I’m not free to make a speech, I made a statement by not standing up and remaining mute. And I love to sing.
A letter recently appeared written by Stewart Chen who serves on the City Council (“We all want what’s best for Alameda,” May 29). In the letter, he uses the number “800 houses” as the limit for a proposed development. What’s that, another 1,600 vehicles?
Such rhetoric shouldn’t be surprising even if it does ring of a poker chip laid on the table. Mr. Chen, what is your expertise in real estate? How did you arrive at the conclusion that a development needs high-density housing to be successful? Successful to whom? Developers and baggage?
There are many people in Alameda wondering why you are serving on the City Council. I myself, a novice when it comes to politics, had to ask the same question. Some may shrug their shoulders at your criminal record (17 counts of fraud you were indited for, followed by a plea bargain). Some might consider it old news. Who knows. A mask of integrity in politics is sometimes difficult to wear, and why bother with the accountability or accuracy of the fact.
The fact is that Alameda has enjoyed clean air for decades, even after the build up on the Oakland side of the Estuary. You, sir, and developers along with the present City Council, could never persuade or convince Alamedans that adding an untold number of vehicles — upwind, in close proximity or in Alameda — is “what’s best” for Alameda.
This letter is in response to the letters generated on May 15 (Teddy Stebbins, Taniela Moli, Curt Hennecke, Jahn Tibayan, Griff Loughran), May 22 (Elizabeth Walker, Katerina N. Milhausen, Elizabeth Inami) and May 30 (Nora Cesarep-Dense), regarding the Edison Elementary School fifth graders’ concerns about the lack of recycling and composting bins on Park Street.
I have been working very closely with Alameda County Industries, the City of Alameda’s Public Works Department, Community Action for a Sustainable Alameda, Park Street Business Association (PSBA) and Park Street restaurants for almost five years now, getting restaurants in Alameda to recycle and compost.
This is what I’m known for: Miss Alameda Says Compost! (MASC), which has helped the city of Alameda reduce its overall greenhouse gas emissions and address Alameda’s Climate Protection Plan goals of reducing our carbon emission 20 percent bellow 2005 by the year 2020.
Almost all of the restaurants in Alameda are now composting and recycling. There are only a handful of restaurants left that are not and they will be soon. I am currently working with PSBA as a part of their committee, helping with their plans to make compost and recycling bins available on city streets like Park Street.
What is most important once this does happen is that all of you students at Edison and throughout Alameda continue to do your part in diverting from the landfill.
Please, help others participate with composting and recycling and make sure that people around town know that it is important for the City’s overall success in helping save the planet. Please make sure people place the right stuff in the right bins and that they understand why it is so important not to cross contaminate bins.
When you graduate and move to middle school, then high school, please continue to do a great job composting and recycling. You all should join your school’s green teams and continue to find clubs in college that do great environmental work.
By caring and helping educate others, you will be helping the global community create the cultural and social change in order to make a difference on the planet. Once we get those three stream bins on Park Street and throughout the city, we will need your help to be successful. Thank you and keep up the great work. Do not forget the importance in helping educate others and we will save our planet, Mother Earth.