Letters to the Editor

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The Alameda Sun received a copy of this letter addressed to Alameda Unified School District Interim Superintendent Sean McPhetridge.


Mr. McPhetridge:

I find it appalling that a child isn’t given time to complete a meal during lunch at Haight Elementary School. My daughter has been yelled at with food in her mouth to leave the lunch room! The principal made her leave before finishing her lunch on Thursday, Aug. 28. I have already called about this once. This is not acceptable.

You have overfilled the school and cannot accommodate all the children. This isn’t their problem, it is yours! California labor laws allow more time for a meal than you currently are allowing the children. It is my understanding the children are only allowed 10 minutes to eat. The time starts while they are attempting to find seating or are waiting in line.

I am asking this issue be resolved immediately so my child can have a useful rest period and complete a meal. I am waiting contact from you.

Patrick Long


On behalf of Rhythmix Cultural Works (RCW) I would like to extend my sincere thanks to everyone who made our first annual Wine, Women & Song event such a smashing success. The outpouring of community support helped our organization reach our fundraising goal. We will use the money on youth arts programming that is provided at no cost to young people in and around the Island of Alameda.

RCW will be presenting free cultural arts workshops to youth at the Alameda Boys & Girls Club, Girls Inc. of the Island City, and the Alameda Music Project, as well as assemblies in partnership with Alameda’s public schools with the capacity to serve up to 1,500 third- and fourth-grade students in the coming year.

Extra big thanks go out to all of our performers, volunteers, attendees and Arts Angel sponsors of this event. These include Perforce Foundation, Little House Café, OMM Inc., Bank of the Orient, Bay Ship & Yacht, Eyewise Optometry, First Community Bank, Greer Family Mortuary & Cremation Services, Michaan’s Auctions, Property Investment Services, Rain Defense, Tracy Zollinger, L.Ac., TransPacific National Bank, and Yankwich & Associates.

Liquid libations were provided by our wine donors: Irish Monkey Cellars, Megawines from Pasta Pelican, R&B Cellars and Rock Wall Wine Company.

Media sponsors who helped get the word out included the Alameda Sun, Alameda and Oakland magazines and the East Bay Express.

We also want to extend our deep appreciation to our silent auction donors. Altarena Playhouse, Atlantis Casino, Bay Island Gymnastics, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Bellanico, Bob Gonsalves and C’era Una Volta helped make the auction a success.

We appreciate the help from Café Clem, Cal Academy of Sciences, California Shakespeare Co., Carolyn West, Chabot Space & Science, Chelsea’s Gold and Chicha Bistro.

Chop Bar, Cole Coffee, Complements Hair Design, Concannon Vineyard, De Young Museum and Disneyland all pitched in, as did Donsuemor, Eric J. Kos and Dennis Evanosky, Feel Good Bakery, the Golden State Warriors and Greens & Grains.

Ho He Ha: Home Healing by Hathaway gave generously to the auction, joined by Jan Mason, Kamakura Restaurant, La Mediterranee, La Note, Mark Sorensen and Tom Squire and the Napa Valley Wine Train.

The Oakland Raiders and the Oakland Zoo both donated to the auction. Ozumo, Pacific Pinball Museum, Pasta Pelican and Pier 39 all came through for RCW, as did Rain Defense, Raley’s/Nob Hill Foods, San Francisco Ballet and the San Jose Sharks.

Semifreddi’s, Sol Rouge Winery, Spice I am and The Kleid Group also helped with donations for the auction.

And we certainly couldn’t have done it without The Winery-SF, Touchstone Climbing & Fitness, Trabocco, Trader Joe’s, Trang’s Nail Spa, Tucker’s Ice Cream, the Walt Disney Family Museum and the Winery Collective.

We are also grateful to our board of directors and community advisory board members for their support and generosity as well. With you there is art!

Tina Blaine (bean), Executive Director, RCW

Dear Alameda:

I wanted to let you know that I am falling out of love with you.

I know it is foolish for me to think that you would be the wonderful paradise of my childhood of the ’50s and ’60s. I moved away for a long time. I left the hassle of San Francisco to come back to Island life and now it’s the hassle of living in Alameda.

I support Alameda businesses. I have no interest in the same old buildings which house the same old businesses that can be found on freeways from Los Angeles to Sacramento. This new shopping area (Alameda Landing) will back up traffic coming into Alameda through the tube. I have no intention of shopping there. How can I accept a Michael’s in place of the perfection of Needle in a Haystack or an In&Out Burger for Scolari’s work of art?

I tried my best to accept your changing personality, but it’s getting very difficult. I know the first thing that really hurt you was "The Fill." I always wondered if your residents actually voted for this invasion of your shores. Developers started knocking down your beautiful homes to build ugly six- and eight-pack apartment buildings and the fertile farm lands of Bay Farm Island turned into Harbor Bay. The residents saved you by voting Measure A into their charter. Now, they want to build 4,000 more units on your land putting more cars on your streets and instead of SunCal’s pods we have Tim Lewis’ water taxis to solve the traffic problem.

The mayor, city council and city manager are responsible for destroying the quality of life of those already here who have put down their roots to raise their children or to grow old. They have sold you out, Alameda. Measure A was passed to save the Island we love and the quality of life we all share. Measure A was supported when we sent SunCal packing with an 85 percent vote against its housing plan that wasn’t compliant with Measure A. Now the city manager has called us racist because we want to preserve the quality of life you provide us.

The city government has approved developers to build homes not compliant with Measure A on land that has been inundated with toxins for years.

The Navy has told us it is cleaning up its mess, but who wants to raise their children, play with their pets or grow a garden in soil that will probably never be safe? How can homes be built here? How can we send our children to school on toxic land? Can their health be trusted in this environment?

We have been informed that Tim Lewis is creating a "utopia" at the Del Monte warehouse and Encinal Terminals with at least 1,000 units. According to Tim Lewis’ representatives there will be small studios and one-bedroom condos. They want wealthy, working and mobile young adults to live there.

So, if Helen Sause thinks there will be housing for everyday working people or families she’s on the wrong page of Tim Lewis’s plan. They promised access to the water, coffee shops and art galleries, making this area a real destination spot with just 46 parking spaces for guests and workers who can’t afford to live there.

They are giving $2 million to help with the Jean Sweeney Park, (so good of them). They have increased the low-income housing from 15 percent to 16 percent, but all the low-income units will be located in one building outside the Del Monte warehouse for easier management (that’s what we were told at Mastick Senior Center). Tim Lewis is going to make a lot of money from your destruction and we will be left with overcrowding and traffic, while we wait for their private buses and water taxis to appear. Developers don’t care what kind of mess they leave they just want the money in their pockets.

I foresee a very sad future for you, Alameda. Your personality and uniqueness will soon be gone. This mayor, city council and city manager are selling your soul. They have the mentality like the rest of the country that put the quality of life aside to make room for the almighty dollar.

Too many cars, traffic on the bridges and in the tubes, ugly dense houses either on toxic land or on your dangerous shores to be inundated by rising waters or liquefied by a major earthquake, more speeding cars on your streets (Central and Lincoln avenues are speedways and very few seem to follow the 25 mph speed limit anymore) dangerous crosswalks, safety issues for evacuations — a complete destruction of our way of life.

So, what will I do? Will I sell my house that has been in my family for 50 years and move on because it breaks my heart to see what a few people who were elected to follow your laws fail you so miserably? Or will I decide to stay and ignore what is happening?

Gail Wasserman Howell