Letters to the Editor

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Editor:

The Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) outpatient clinic will become a reality, hopefully by 2016. The Alameda County Veteran Affairs Commission has been working with the VA for close to eight years, preparing our disabled veterans and the community for the opening of the new clinic/columbarium at the former Alameda Naval Air Station. The land will be transferred this year.

Plans call for a 21st century, state-of–the-art medical and mental health facility as well as a critically needed columbarium. The two-story, three-wing clinic will measure 158,000 square feet on 30 acres of land and replace the VA’s current facility on Martin Luther King Jr. Way in Oakland.

More than 9,000 veterans are enrolled in the clinical services in the Oakland/Alameda area, with patient visits up 50 percent in the last five years. Approximately 543 veterans will be seen at the Alameda Point outpatient clinic each weekday and 70 on Saturday and Sunday. The VA anticipates employing a staff of 250, including 26 physicians and 34 nurses. Shuttles will transport veterans from designated locations to the clinic.

The Veterans Health Administration, the Veterans Benefits Administration and the National Cemetery Administration will all have offices at the Alameda Point. The VA is dedicated to fulfilling its promise to take care of our disabled veterans.

— Mark Raymond Chandler

Editor:

At a Feb. 3 public forum, the Alameda Police Department (APD) invited the community to discuss the department’s policy regarding the use of automated license-plate readers. One of the speakers started his comments by saying that we must not trust the police.

Thank God this is not the view of the vast majority of our law-abiding citizens. Do you trust teachers, physicians, accountants and grocery check-out clerks? Sadly, occasionally we hear some of these people are child molesters, incompetents, embezzlers and cheaters Does that mean we must distrust everyone in those professions?

Every law enforcement officer is handpicked, much more so than personnel in most other professions. Sadly, once in a while a bad apple turns up who tarnishes the profession, even after extensive background checking and investigating.

We should hold police up to the highest standards and always trust and respect them. They risk their lives and sacrifice a whole lot to keep us safe, day and night. Some of the groups that I know, and I fully understand, who do not trust the police are those individuals behind bars, among others. Without dedicated, efficient and trusted law enforcement personnel, it would be like living in a wild jungle.

Have you ever considered going on a ride-along with an APD officer? I highly recommend it. Pick a Friday or a Saturday late shift. I guarantee that after a few hours with that officer, you will have absolute trust and respect for him or her.

— Ed Mirzaian

Editor:

In regard to "Alameda Landing Tax Picture Shaping Up," Feb. 6, this is appropriate. There is no benefit to the vast majority of Alameda residents to have these new homes built, especially given the limited access to and from the Island. So, the new property owners, not the rest of Alameda residents, should fund the improvements.

By the way, these districts fall under the Mello-Roos act.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mello-Roos.

— Dave B. Howard

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