Letters to the Editor
In the fine United States of America money is our everything. It’s our lord and savior and all the rest. Money has become America’s morality. Not having enough money to be comfortable is not evil, but judging people based on their economic station is flat-out evil.
In the specific case of the McKay Avenue fiasco, I think it is easy for the Friends of Crab Cove to look down on their fellow man from the comfort of their homes, because this is what capitalism has taught them to do.
The Alameda Kiwanis Club would like to thank the businesses and residents of Alameda for their generous donations to its successful 20th annual Chili Cookoff on Jan. 26 at the O’ Club at Alameda Point. In addition to the chili competition, the club hosted a silent auction, a live auction, barbecue buffet dinner, entertainment by Dance/10 and open dancing.
More than 90 businesses and Alamedans donated items to the silent auction and the live auction. Additionally, the following businesses and individuals sponsored the event, including: Poppy Bank’s Kari Thompson, Edward Jones office of Dominic McKenna, Berkshire Hathaway Realty’s The Schuler Group (Eric Schuler and Vivian Ho); Higinio Hijada of H&R Block, Denise Gasti & Cheryl Saxton and Susan Hagemann.
Kiwanis also thanks: Bob “The Builder” Larsen, Scott MacAskill, Gayle Thomas and Mike Williams, Russ & Linda Grant, Lars Hansson, Dave Hewitt, Ed Kofman, Joanne Robinson, Jean Sweeney Open Space Park (Dorothy Freeman) and Pat Bowen.
In-kind sponsors included: Bob Baker of Excel Graphics, Fenton’s Ice Cream, Alameda Magazine, Almanac Brewing, Faction Brewing, Alameda Island Brewing, Starbucks Park Street (Andrew Andehueson) and Keith Crowell, Fine Wines.
Kudos to the chili competitors: Girls Inc. of the Island City, Alameda Firefighters, H&R Block, Relay for Life, American Legion Post 647, D-Lot and Vegan Epicureans.
Kiwanis will donate all proceeds to Alameda non-profit organizations with a focus on children and youth. Thank you, Alameda, for your generosity. See you next year!
I have served as a firefighter-paramedic in Alameda for more than 11 years, and a member of the Alameda Fire Department’s Community Paramedic Program for the past three years. The time I have spent responding to calls to aid people living on the streets has shown me not only what these individuals need, but more importantly, what our city lacks as far as local support services and housing.
I’ve picked up medications for a senior woman living in her car. I’ve managed to secure temporary shelter (outside Alameda, of course) for an elderly man who was recovering on the streets after being treated for pneumonia.
I’ve scheduled follow-up appointments for a homeless senior who was newly diagnosed with Stage 3 melanoma during a hospital admission. Without a cellphone to assist in the process, all contact with this individual was made at local businesses that he was known to frequent. The health system is difficult to navigate when you have basic resources available to you; it is exponentially more difficult when you’re living on the streets.
If you or someone you know has required admittance to a hospital for medical treatment, you understand that hospitals are not in the business of getting patients to “100 percent” before they are discharged. The healing process is expected to continue outside the hospital, typically at home or in a skilled nursing facility.
Our homeless neighbors, especially those categorized as “medically frail seniors,” are generally not afforded this opportunity. I have worked with many who have been discharged from the hospital onto the streets where they are expected to continue their recovery process in difficult surroundings.
Oftentimes, they have complex medical conditions that require immediate follow-up, sustained treatment and continuous observation. Without proper aftercare, their health can deteriorate to a level that frequently requires going back to the hospital via a call to our local emergency services. These emergency transports, while necessary, are costly. They place our responding ambulances out of service until the patient is transferred safety to the hospital.
The Alameda Wellness Center is a pragmatic and compassionate solution to the litany of problems our medically frail homeless seniors face. The Alameda Point Collaborative has worked tirelessly to secure an appropriate location for this facility as well as funding that will ensure successful implementation and continued operation long after our votes are cast.
I implore all Alameda residents to vote “yes” on Measure A and “no” on Measure B on April 9.
This facility is needed now more than ever to support and protect our most vulnerable citizens.