Letters to the Editor

Registered users may submit a Letter to the Editor after they first log in.

Mayor and city council:
There currently are approximately 12 parklets along Park Street, two along Santa Clara Avenue, and one on Central Avenue. There is a whole section along Alameda Avenue. They are taking up valuable parking spaces for the people that want to support the business on Park Street. Are the adjacent businesses paying the approximately $15 per space per day for their personal use. Each parklet uses two to three parking spaces. Many of the parklets are hardly used. Safety is another concern. Wouldn’t the city be liable for allowing these parklets to continue, should a car crash into anyone using a parklet?

Perhaps this is the time to make a change and open up Park and Webster streets so all the citizens of Alameda can benefit.

Editor’s note: This letter was originally sent to members of the Alameda City Council.

— Jeanne Allen

I’m interested in reading letters from the conservative side of Alameda, but so far, it’s been disappointing. This week there is a letter from Jordan Ma, a Jeff Smith wannabe. Ma appears to be emulating Smith’s bloviated rhetoric, and I wonder if they share the same thesaurus.

Like Smith, Ma distorts facts. He accuses Darin Ow-Wing of “pivoting” from Smith’s “cogent polemic” against Big Government (i.e. Gavin Newsom and the Democrats) and the mess they’ve made of the insurance market. Smith mentions that Gavin Newsom signed a bill that targets insurance fraud, but that’s a good thing, right?

Ma needs to read Smith’s letter more carefully. Smith never explained why his condominium insurance premium increased so sharply. I asked a lot of people about their insurance premiums, including people who live in condominiums. None of them have had anything like the sharp increase that Smith is reporting. For myself, my home and car insurance premiums have not had any unusual increases. Is there something going on at Smith’s complex that he’s not telling us? Smith repeats the usual talking points, such as “the insurance markets need to be more competitive,” but Democrats want that too. The devil is always in the details. Instead of offering empty rhetoric, Smith and Ma could explain the key differences in the Republican and Democratic fixes for the “California insurance nightmare.”

Ma says that Ow-Wing’s pivot is to blame Smith’s increased insurance premiums on climate change, but that’s a distortion because Ow-Wing doesn’t address Smith’s premium. Since the majority of Smith’s letter discusses the “insurance nightmare” in the state of California, it was fair game for Ow-Wing to address that topic. Ma might be inclined to deny that climate change has any impact on risk in the insurance markets, but I’d like to see him try to deny that the risk models for insurance companies have been changing for the worse.

Ma claims that Ow-Wing is suffering from “cognitive dissonance.” But Ow-Wing acknowledged that “our government is messy” and Smith’s “various arguments about government overreach may or may not be accurate.” Does this mean Ma and Smith also suffer from cognitive dissonance?

Distortion is a rhetorical device, too, and Jordan Ma wields it poorly.

— Steven Mason

Many thanks to those individuals and groups who have contributed to Midway Shelter for abused women and their children. A number of the listed donors have contributed several times in October.

Midway Shelter would like to thank Jordan Hagaman, Jackie Baker, the Robert Lippert Foundation, Anonymous I, and Tomorr Haximali. Many thanks also go to Jay Dawson, Virginia Krutilek, Marian Breitbart, Diana Bain and Anonymous II.

Donations may be sent to Alameda Homeless Network P.O. Box 951, Alameda, CA 94501. For further information go to www.midwayshelter.org.

— Ginny Krutilek