Letters to the Editor

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Editor:

Thank you, Eric Kos, for your editorial ("In Praise of Grass Roots Alameda," Nov. 13) regarding people who don’t vote. You spoke without preaching or scolding. You simply told the truth. For a long time, I’ve wanted to say the same thing so I cheered when I read your words. There’s just one thing more I’d like to add.

Before I moved to Alameda, I lived in my native New England in Foxboro, Mass. Each year, Foxboro has a town meeting, which allows the residents the opportunity to vote on new ordinances or give their opinions about issues facing the town and to elect the town officials.

One woman who worked in the same office where I worked always had strong feelings about the action taken at the town meeting. One year, I was unable to attend so I asked her what had gone on at the meeting. "Oh, I don’t know," she answered, "I never go."

She was amazed and angry when a person standing nearby commented that she had no right to complain if she had not been part of the action. If people choose not to vote, they forfeit the right to complain about the candidates or anything else that was on the ballot.

It’s pure and simple. If you make the decision not to be involved, then you have to live with whatever other people have chosen for you. If you want to complain about it, then earn the right and vote. You’ll be glad you did.

Violet Grayson

The Alameda Sun received of copy of this addressed to City Clerk Lara Weisiger.

 

Ms. Weisiger:

I live one block from the Del Monte warehouse. During the past couple of weeks our neighborhood has become inundated with tractor-trailer trucks.

The 1,000-foot-long Del Monte building is now surrounded on all sides with shipping containers, delivered to the sight by these trucks. I have heard from neighbors who have spoken with management at the site that the building is now being used by DAMCO, which it leased from owner Tim Lewis Communities (TLC) as a distribution center for merchandise for Walmart.

The noise, congestion and pollution that this massive operation involves is way out of scale for our quiet residential neighborhood. There are children living in homes literally fifty feet from the Del Monte building. The streets in this neighborhood were not designed to be used by such large trucks. They can’t make the tight turns required, and accidents are bound to happen.

I have called the City Code Enforcement office and the police depart to alert them to this hazardous situation and have been told that the Del Monte warehouse is zoned for commercial use so this situation is perfectly legal.

This property was recently approved for rezoning by the City Council to Mixed Use (Residential and small commercial, NOT Industrial). It seems ironic that a city that maintains such a hardline for private residential permitting and code enforcement policies, would allow a huge corporation to engineer an operation of this magnitude in a residential area.

My neighbors and I would appreciate it very much if the City would enforce codes and regulations for the common good of its citizens rather than to fill its coffers. It also doesn’t bode well that the future developer of the Del Monte property seems to have such little regard for our community.

Frank D’Amico

Editor:

A veteran wrote a letter in last week’s paper lamenting the dearth of citizens at a Veteran’s Day ceremony at the USS Hornet ("Just another day off," Nov. 13). The San Francisco Chronicle reported a disappointingly small attendance at the city’s annual Veterans Day parade last week.

These concerns have been raised for years and it seems a shame that the sacrifices made by our soldiers are treated in such a cavalier manner. About the only consistent attendees at these honoring events are the politicians and veterans themselves, providing colorful photo ops.

I have often wondered why Veterans Day would not be more meaningful if it became our national voting day. What better way to honor those who fought and died for our freedom to vote in a free and open expression of democracy.

There might be objections from various commercial establishments. The ceremonial events would be diminished but considering the disastrous lack of participation of our citizens in this past election it might provide a more valuable way of honoring our veterans. I voted.

Anne Spanier

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