Letters to the Editor

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

Dear Editor:

The Park Street Business Association extends heartfelt thanks to the Alameda Fire Department, the Alameda Police Department, and the Alameda Public Works Department for quickly responding to the recent rash of fires in the Downtown District during the early morning hours of September 28.

With the close proximity of the buildings in the District, one of the biggest fears we have is fire. Because of the quick response by AFD and other cities extending mutual aid, the damage, while devastating to the effected businesses, could have be much worse without the rapid and intense response by the Fire Department.

In addition, we’d like to thank the Police Department for apprehending two persons of interest so quickly. We also want to thank the un-named police officer who discovered a burning trash container behind Lee Auto and put the fire out before any damage to the two structures could take place. Public Works crew did a terrific job in responding to the emergency and closing down streets and providing for detours around the area as the Fire Department and Police Department were doing their jobs in the affected areas of the Downtown District.

We just want the Fire Department, the Police Department, and Public Works to know how much the entire membership of the Park Street Business Association appreciates their efforts.

Donna Layburn
Park Street Business Association

Robb Ratto
Executive Director
Park Street Business Association

Donna Layburn PSBA President


I just finished reading the commentary "Fool the Incumbents before They Fool Us," in your Sept. 18 edition. I’m not even sure what the author means to infer. I am wary of the

recommendation in the piece to vote for Trish Spencer as mayor, partially based on her "no" vote to put Measure I on the ballot.

I am undecided on how to vote on this school bond but it is incontrovertible that the schools need repairs, which come with real costs. It is imperative to have a public debate and vote on the bond option, and less than democratic for a five-member school board to preclude that vote.

Spencer’s tenure on the school board is hardly marked by her ability as a consensus builder, a preferred quality for any elected official. People often refer to how great it is that she voted "no" on this or that, but I can hardly recall any vote on which Spencer was a "yes", including retention of an Alameda Unified School District veteran administrator as interim superintendent.

I’m afraid this letter is another "no" vote: a caution to voters not to fool themselves by voting for Spencer for mayor. If she succeeds, the silver lining would be the absence of the obstructionist element she brings to school board.

It does not thrill me to publicly criticize an individual who has committed so many hours to a public service such as grueling service on the school board, but Spencer’s consistent contribution has been to make a daunting public process even more so by voting "no" while lacking clear visions for alternatives. The opinion piece concludes with the mantra "Anybody but the incumbents." Really?

Has "Anybody but Perata" been a resounding success for Oakland?



Mark Irons


Gov. Jerry Brown’s re-election team seems very complacent in light of the still-emerging accounts of the questionable Public Utilities Committee (PUC) interaction with Pacific Gas & Electric Co. Some of us remember that Richard Nixon barely returned with a huge majority when he got entangled in Watergate.

Brown’s 21-point lead and favorable finances indicate support from big money, but many concerned voters who are deeply offended by the actions of his PUC appointees and even potential judges may see things differently.

Brown may well have "won" the recent so-called debate, but he isn’t over the finish line yet. Getting rid of the PUC chairman could still help his cause but he should have done that at the outset.

Red Wetherill