Letters to the Editor

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The Alameda Sun received a copy of this letter addressed to the members of the Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) board of trustees.

Dear Board Members:
I’m writing to express a concern of mine that affects many teachers.  I know you are aware that teachers never have enough planning time. Many of us use time during breaks to work in our rooms. I just received a Smartboard last week and am receiving training for it on June 25. I was looking forward to trying what I learned following the training and create curriculum for my students.

I checked with several principals and they all had the same thing to say. At the principal’s meeting they were told by Superintendent Kirsten Vital that all teachers were to turn in their keys and could not get into their classrooms until the end of August because teachers disrupt the custodians and cleaning. 

This is the first time in my 21 years in this district that this has happened. I really believe that teachers and custodians can work together, we do all year long.

Since custodians now rotate from school to school for summer cleaning, it seems that teachers should be allowed in before and after their school is cleaned.

I hope you can look into this matter and find a solution. With Common Core and other new curriculum, most of us would love and need time to plan in our rooms.

— Debby Meyer


The constituency in Alameda, I believe, is being governed by all things that have been deemed ugly in America: its insatiable debt, the power to pass that debt on and development as an easy fix for that debt. 

Presently Alameda is being threatened by an experiment testing the effects of stress from overpopulation. Witness the issues surrounding Crown Beach, the site of the Del Monte warehouse and the site of the now-shuttered Nelson Marina on the old Naval Air Station. 

Is an environmental impact report required for all of these? Is that a joke? In real estate jargon, they’d say that Alameda is being “flipped.” 

We seem to be harangued by the lack of a sizable vote. The City Council somehow manages to keep its ethical basis within the boundaries of “turn Alameda into a sad place, yet commit no crime.”
Is it too late for Alameda?

— Michael Karvasales


We made an excursion to the Alameda Concert Band at Kofman Auditorium and found a hidden treasure. What a stunning collection of enthusiasm and talent. They played everything from Scott Joplin to the Blues Brothers flawlessly, with vigor and precision. Band leader and clarinetist Michael Wirgler introduced all the music. He also perfectly replicated Benny Goodman’s solos in a series of his band’s greatest hits. He followed that with a wonderful tribute to Glenn Miller. 

The band is composed of talented and dedicated amateur volunteers who include several virtuosos, such as Tony Gallardo on saxophone and Laura Brady providing perfect period vocals for the big band tunes. The concert also featured marimba solos by Bill Reich who played all the piano parts in the Scott Joplin rags. 

It is clear from watching the band interact that its members enjoy playing together. This made the atmosphere relaxed and enjoyable for everyone. Thank you to the city’s Parks and Recreation Department for supporting this wonderful ensemble for our listening pleasure. We look forward to next season.

— Susan Jeffries