Letters to the Editor

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Editor:

Politicians on every level have their dirty backgrounds: eponymous pictures on Twitter, a prostitution ring here, a stolen seat in congress there. Even local politicians have done a solid job of eroding the public’s belief in their willingness to do good.

Our city councilman Stewart Chen may not have done anything as a politician to establish the public’s distrust thus far, but he certainly hasn’t done anything to improve it by not disclosing his past fraud.

The whole situation begs the simple question I’m sure your readers have already thought of: if Chen covered up his shady past, what other shady dealings is he helping cover up behind closed doors at city hall?

Something tells me it’s just that kind of mindset that gets a politician elected these days. Those best able to manipulate public opinion — not those with actual problem-solving skills — get the reins of government.

A politician’s resume in today’s world includes blind adherance to party, putting the public last, a solid commitment to bilking the taxpayer and a skill set that includes secret-keeping and fraud.

 

— Coho Jerkins

Editor:

The City Manager’s office would like to apologize to the business community for the way in which the Business License Tax Audit was conducted. We heard from many of you and want you to know we listened. As a result of your feedback, we have decided to discontinue the business license audit program through Municipal Auditing Services (MAS).

The business community is a valuable part of the fabric of Alameda, and we view our businesses as partners in the health and vibrancy of our town. We continue to believe, and think you’d agree, that having the proper licenses and permits to operate a business in Alameda is a matter of fairness and in the interest of all existing businesses and the citizens.

Reviewing the record not only allows the City to capture past due taxes, it ensures that those of you who do the right thing are not at a competitive disadvantage. Having said that, we understand that a different approach is warranted to ensure compliance with our existing laws.

Going forward, we will consult again with business leaders to develop a program that ensures compliance while also recognizing the sensitivity of your business dealings and information and more importantly, treats our businesses like the partners you are.

Again, please accept our apology and our thanks to those of you who took the time to voice your concerns.

— Liz Warmerdam, Assistant City Manager

Editor:

The Shakespeare Club of Encinal High School would like to acknowledge the support we received for our first-ever Citywide Shakespeare Monologue Competition. We could not have held the competition without the support of our judges: Julia Bruce, Tristan Cunningham, Bob Lundy-Paine and Jeffrey Smith. We’d also like to thank our advisers: Gene Kahane and Jeff Raz; and our generous sponsors: ACMT, Altarena Playhouse, Stewart Chen, David W. Johnson DDS, Levy’s Bagels, Peet’s Coffee, Semifreddi’s Bakery, Tuckers Ice Cream and Virago Theatre Company.

We were also fortunate to receive support from former Alameda resident and Academy Award-winning actor Tom Hanks. He was kind enough to send our group a personal letter of encouragement. He offered tips on performing Shakespeare and best wishes for making this an annual event.

Finally, we’d like to thank all our performers for their participation. They were tremendous. We hope to see you all next year.

— Linnea Arneson, President, Shakespeare Club, Encinal High, Class of 2015

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