Letters to the Editor

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Editor:

I am a longtime Alameda resident, an original Harbor Bay Club member, a board member for Alameda Babe Ruth and one of the founders of Alameda Business Networking group. I have seen firsthand the invaluable role youth sports and recreation play in the development of our kids.

As a coach of more than 180 different kids and a soon-to-be father, I am looking forward to the new Harbor Bay Club at North Loop Road. Keeping our kids physically active while limiting their time playing with technology is a concern of mine. However, the new club design will provide more opportunities to keep our kids active. I love the idea of an all-weather multi-purpose turf area because it will provide a safe place for kids to play and practice year-round (despite the weather). I am also excited to know that the popular kid’s fitness programs, after-school Kid’s Club, summer camps and children’s center will all be able to grow at the new club. They can’t where they are now.

It is obvious that the club can’t thrive longterm where it currently is; space is limited. To try to accommodate more members, three racquetball courts were removed. Now club members are forced to share one court. The pool is no longer large enough to accommodate all swimmers (swim team, swim lessons, water aerobics, and recreational swimmers). Having been a member of the Harbor Bay Club since it opened, it is time for a change (modern club, better facilities, more pools, etc.). I say, "Yes, please."

I realize a few people will have to travel a few minutes farther to get to the new club, but that’s the benefit in living in Alameda (everything is close by). I have looked over the reports about the traffic congestion and it appears that traffic would be reduced if the club moved.

I’m excited for the possibility of a new club. I know my kids and other future generations will appreciate the upgrade.

Erik Schuler, Alameda Babe Ruth,

Editor:

I walk in my neighborhood, daily, with my newborn son. I see lawns, once green with grass, turned to dust. I observe my neighbors strive to conserve water as lawns are being ripped out and replaced with drought resistant landscaping. With the massive drought that we are all experiencing, I am happy to witness so many people taking part and letting the perfect lawn go.

It is certainly not as pleasing to the eye to have a dusty, brown yard nor as soft to walk upon, but it seems irresponsible to have a fresh green lawn these days. So, this is why I am dumbfounded by the nice little wooden signs on some of my neighbors’ properties, "Well Water." Their grass is thick, lush and green with thriving flowers. Can someone please explain why these signs rationalize pristine lawns and gardens in the most massive drought in California recorded history? Why is it OK to use precious well water? Are we not experiencing the same drought? These green lawns and their signs seem extremely insensitive and selfish to the community at large.

Someone please explain why my well water neighbors are not conserving, too?

Orion Love

Editor:

When a community comes together to support those who are the most in need, it is a wonderful thing indeed. This year The Alameda Education Foundation (AEF) was able to support approximately 1,000 low-income students with new backpacks and grade-level-appropriate school supplies through the Equipped 4 Success community wide school supply drive. AEF would like to thank the community members who made the program a success this year.

Sponsors help underwrite the costs of running a program, either through donations or in-kind support. Thank you to this year’s Equipped 4 Success underwriters: Alameda South Shore Center, Alameda Rotary Club and Michaan’s Auctions.

Alyssa Tomfohrde and Alameda South Shore Center went above and beyond by not only providing space for storing, sorting and packing the backpacks, but by donating 100 percent of concession and raffle sales from their Summer Beats concert series to the drive.

The Equipped 4 Success program received generous grants from the Alameda Community Fund, Alameda Kiwanis, Alameda Rotary, Alameda Welfare Council and the Windermere Foundation. The Alameda Rotary Club also provided volunteers to help sort and pack.

Bank of Marin hosted a shred day and requested donations in lieu of fees, generating more than $1,500 worth of supplies and donations. Singulex and Wind River here in Alameda, and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage in Pleasanton, held company drives that contributed much-needed backpacks and supplies to the drive. Several local faith organizations raised funds, hosted bins and/or provided volunteers to help sort and pack. These include Christ Episcopal Church, Temple Israel, Trinity Lutheran Church, Twin Towers Methodist Church and Live Oak Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, among others. The Family Giving Tree donated 100 backpacks to the effort.

Alameda "Peeps" Facebook members donated thousands of dollars in funds and supplies and were joined by Alameda Firefighters who hosted donation bins and made some of their own donations along the way. Several other businesses hosted collection bins or donated funds during the drive including Alameda Chamber of Commerce, Alameda Main Library, Alameda Natural Grocery, Coffee and Tea Traders, Lilac Boutique, Financial Benefits Credit Union, Harbor Bay Club, and Tucker’s Super Creamed Ice Cream.

Countless individuals stepped up this year to donated backpacks, supplies and money that made this year’s drive a truly grassroots effort! A special thank you to David and Melodie Graber for their generous donation and to Jim Franz for all his support.

Because of the many donors to this year’s drive, low-income students served by our Equipped 4 Success partners received new backpacks and quality, age-appropriate school supplies:

• Alameda Unified School District’s (AUSD) McKinney-Vento program that serves homeless families

• AUSD’s Woodstock Child Development Center

• The Alameda Point Collaborative (serving formerly homeless families)

• Alameda Family Services’ Head Start (serving low-income pre-schoolers) and Dream Catchers (serving homeless teens) programs

• The Alameda Boys & Girls Club

• Girls Inc. of the Island City

Alameda families who need a hand up at this time of year are grateful, and their students are ready to learn, thanks to the generosity of the community.

Vicki Sedlack, Executive Director, Alameda Education Foundation

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