Letters to the Editor

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The Alameda Support Foundation (ASF) would like to thank Lance and Sandra Russum for their generous donation. The Russum’s donation was done to remember Curt Bolton, Bill McCall, Dorothy Burton, Dennis Stone, David S. Tucker, Jr., Tony Castaldo, Sarah Jan, Joyce Mullner, Shirley Carvalho, Keith Gnutzman and Camilla Gnutzman.

ASF is grateful for the gift which we will use to support students from Alameda High Schools with the high cost of college tuition. ASF continues to raise funds and those interested can send donations to ASF, 2500 Santa Clara Ave., Suite 2 Alameda CA 94501, or visit ASF’s Go-Fund-Me site www.gofundme.com/supportasfstudents.

Les Hilger


Twice this year, I have received an orange certified-mail delivery notice, from the Shore Line Drive Post Office with an illegible or incorrect tracking number.

Only one digit appears unreadable, but I have now typed the whole tracking number into the search box at USPS.com 10 times, using each possible choice; nothing works. Absolutely nothing is indicated about the sender — no name, no ZIP Code, nothing.

The last time the post office screwed this up, the mail concerned a letter from the Franchise Tax Board. It took the post office weeks to find my undelivered certified mail, in its own facility! I am now appealing this to the State Board of Equalization.

Certified mail is too important for the United States Postal Service to screw up. Nothing is more stress-provoking than getting a certified-mail slip on a weekend that you cannot even trace online. Certified mail is often bad news, which demands immediate action to prevent loss.

The incompetent postal service is completely unacceptable! USPS "service" in Alameda has been getting some awful reviews in recent letters to the editor in the Alameda Sun. ("Writer goes postal," Sept. 17; "Something very wrong at post office, Sept 24) In my experience, they are deserved. I am sorry I must add my letter to the list.

Carol Gottstein


I read with interest Mark Irons’ commentary ("City Needs Viable Emergency Water Supply", Oct. 8). The piece addressed using Alameda’s existing fire boat to fill tanker trucks to deliver water to the scene of a fire. I can only speculate how much water a single "fireboat" is able to deliver to the 2,500 gallon tank trucks, but in the case of a larger fire, precipitated by a major earthquake, I suspect the amount delivered would prove marginal, if not wholly inadequate.

Having worked at Alameda Point (formerly Alameda Naval Air Station) since the early 1990s, I am continually amazed at the lack of knowledge and appreciation of the resources at the Point that would be available to Alameda in times of emergency. Specifically, the National Response Corporation (NRC) maintains a large fleet of small tanker trucks that would be available, especially if bridge and tunnel collapses made transit into and off of the island impossible.

The Marine Administration (MARAD) fleet is docked at Alameda Point. These include the Cape Orlando, Cape Mohican, Algol, Cappella, Gem State, Colorado State, Keystone State, Admiral Callaghan, and Cape Henry).

Each of these vessels has two fire pumps for a total of 16 pumps. They have on-board, diesel-powered, emergency generators (and are independent of the need for shore power) specifically intended to power their fire pumps and other necessary auxiliaries.

I don’t know the specifics of Alameda’s fireboat, but it would be a safe guess that any one of these large high-pressure, marine-fire pumps would exceed the pumping capacity of Alameda’s fireboat. Remember there are 16 of them.

There are currently plans in place to use these same MARAD vessels as emergency communication and fueling stations in the event of a natural disaster. I strongly urge every resident of Alameda to demand that the city investigate and incorporate the assets available at Alameda Point into Alameda’s disaster preparedness plans.

Merchant Mariner