Letters to the Editor

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The Alameda Sun received a copy of this letter.

 

Editor:

It is truly an honor to serve our students. As educators, it is our privilege to know each of them by name. Each day, we are grateful for the opportunity to come to Encinal High School (EHS) — not because of brick and mortar — but because of the students who are the lifeblood of the EHS community.

EHS students are smart, funny, kind, compassionate, loud, silly, and beautiful. They are driven, focused, inspired, passionate, infuriating, ridiculous and wonderful. But like all adolescents, they sometimes make mistakes, especially when their youth clouds their judgment and their emotions get the better of them. When that happens, we try to understand the behavior — but we do not condone it.

On Friday night, in a football game against Center High School, members of the EHS team made a mistake. An egregious one.

Following a hard, but legal, football play, one of our players reacted in an unsportsmanlike manner, leading to a fight on the field. Both benches cleared, a violation of California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) rules. Most players who ran onto the field knew they shouldn’t. But they were acting to protect their teammates, to defend their brothers, to restore order.

Unfortunately, in the moment, some also crossed well over the line of a CIF rules violation, becoming aggressors and sullying what EHS stands for: scholarship, sportsmanship and community.

It is much easier to stand by our students, or any teenager, when they do something great. However, when they struggle or make a mistake they need us the most. We will stand by them. We will show them by continuing to love and honor them through the actions we take now as adults, that even if we love and support them — especially when we love and support them — there are consequences for one’s choices and impulsive actions.

The EHS administration, athletic department and football program have conferred about what happened last Friday night and have decided that the varsity football team will forfeit its next game, the Island Bowl.

We recognize the Island Bowl is part of the fabric of Alameda. We understand the sense of loss many will feel as a result of our decision to forfeit the game.

However, as a community, we need to support each other by holding one another accountable and by taking steps — however difficult — to teach young people to make better choices and to take responsibility for their actions.

In addition, we have decided that:

• Active participants in the altercation will be disciplined by the school.

• All players who left the bench will receive a minimum of a one game suspension, pursuant to CIF rules.

• The school will endorse all other sanctions, penalties, and/or fines issued by the CIF.

• All members of the EHS varsity football team will participate in community service with local organizations focused upon violence prevention.

• All proceeds of the gate from Friday night’s game will be given to the victims of the recent Alameda arson fires.

Sean McPhetridge, Interim Superintendent, Alameda School District; Kirsten Saso, Amy Frey, and Tracy Allegrotti, Administration, EHS; Micki Singer, Athletic Director, EHS; Ricky Rodrigues, Football Coach, EHS

Alameda may be well known for its beautiful Victorian-era houses, but one of the best-kept secrets is its Mastick Senior Center. Maybe I shouldn’t say it is a secret, for it has served more than 3,500 members ages 50 years and older — seniors from Alameda and Oakland.

I have lived in Alameda for many many years. All my children went to public school here.

When I first came here, I didn’t think I’d be going to a senior center for activities. But the years are catching up with me and I am taking all kinds of classes which they offer like computer, fitness, language (Italian, Spanish, German, French), line dancing, ballroom dancing, etc.

The staff, especially the supervisor, Jackie Krause, are all jewels! Donatella Zepplin, the transportation specialist, is also the most liked teacher in Italian (I take her class). Mariel Thomas is the travel specialist and Donna Conde keeps perfect record of all the registration and classes. Norma Nocera’s line dancing class is always full. She is an upbeat person. We all have fun in her class!

There are many many volunteers who come every day to make Mastick Senior Center a home away from home — a warm, welcoming center for all to enjoy!

Millie Lum is one faithful volunteer who is like a sergeant who makes sure everybody who comes to the center keeps to the rules in the office and lobby.

People who come to the center come to learn, have fun, do their activities and to socialize. If you haven’t been there, you should go check it out! It’s at 1155 Santa Clara Ave. between St. Charles and Bay streets. The phone number is 747-7500. Hope to see you there!

Dolly Fong

Editor:

The city of Alameda Democratic Club is deceiving voters. At the headquarters at South Shore Center, next to See’s Candies there is a banner which says, "City of Alameda Democratic Club." When my husband and I were there they had posters for Stewart Chen and Lena Tam. This certainly seems as if our local Democratic club endorsed these candidates. They did not. The club endorsed only Jim Oddie for City Council and made no endorsement for BART board, which is the race Tam is running in. My husband and I resigned our membership in the club because we will not support this unethical behavior.

Judith and Rod Arrants

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