Letters to the Editor

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Editor:

With the transition in city administration there have been letters regarding the legacy of outgoing Mayor Marie Gilmore. In a letter to the editor ("How I’ll remember Mayor Gilmore," Dec. 11) Rion Cassidy describes a City Council meeting in early December when the development of Site A at Alameda Point was considered and the process by which the meeting took place.

There were more than 50 residents who asked to give their opinions to the Council that evening, and Gilmore chose to give everyone the chance to share their views in turn, with the session running well past midnight. She and many others who serve our community have given countless hours to hearing the views of their constituents on development proposals across the island and Bay Farm.

I have seen the thoroughness of their efforts firsthand. A unanimous "yes" vote by the City Council, led by Gilmore, hardly constitutes a leadership of "no" as others have described it.

The people spoke on Nov. 4, and the new administration reflects those views. But in the rush of some to, as William Buckley put it, stand athwart history yelling "stop" regarding the development and redevelopment of our community and Alameda’s continuing embrace of smart growth, walkable neighborhoods and cleaner and more efficient transit.

We can’t overlook the contributions made by those who have served us in the past. I’ll remember Gilmore’s administration as one that moved Alameda further along the path of planning and progress into the 21st century.

One day when a vibrant mixed-use development sits at Alameda Point beside a natural shoreline and wetlands where the broken asphalt fields and legendary, yet outmoded buildings of 20th-century industry stand today, we will remember the policies that gave us that great legacy.

Casey Sparks

Editor:

We live in and own a home on Encinal Avenue near Union Street. We were just informed that the owners of the home at 1207 Union St. are planning to add 1,600 square feet to the property and convert the single-family dwelling into a duplex.

My understanding of Measure A is that this is against city rules, so I am writing to encourage the city to not allow an exception at this time. There are several reasons the conversion of this house would create a hardship for our family.

First of all, the addition does not include necessary parking. Parking in the neighborhood is already at a minimum. Secondly, multi-unit residences impact property value for neighbors. We recently purchased our home and a multi-unit dwelling in our backyard would have impacted our decision.

Third, a large 1,600 square-foot addition will further reduce our backyard privacy and block light to the side of our house.

Measure A was designed to reduce multi-unit rentals. This goes against Measure A. If the owners do not intend to live in the units and are purchasing 1207 Union St. solely as an income property, it is done so at the expense of Alameda residents.

Chris and Amy Dunn

Editor:

As this is the season to be thankful, I wish to give special thanks to our wonderful Alameda Fire Department’s 911 emergency response teams.

My husband had several occasions this past year to use these great teams. The latest included several times in November. The teams were always so thoughtful to both of us.

My husband has heart trouble among other problems, and I am legally blind. They took care of my needs/wants to accompany my husband to the hospital.

This, in my opinion, was going above and beyond their duty, how wonderful is that?

Pat Davis

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