Letters to the Editor

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I guess having a bunch of politicians at the helm, like in our country generally speaking these days, means that what the citizens want or ask for is simply ignored (“Point Moving Forward with Development Plans,” April 17). So what are we going to do about it?

 Keep busy with petitions, while other leeching types sneak in the side door? Seems to me that while we’re so busy following the rules the bad guys break, we’re in danger of all we care about slipping between our outstretched fingers as we beg for a crumb. Fie on 800 new “homes.” Let’s just call them what they will be: proto-slums or “gated” communities. Either way, being an over-stuffed island is not a good thing. Fie.

— Jaan Carter


The members of the Alameda Homeless Network --- Tony DeSimone, Al Filart, Gretel Gates, Susan Getman, Mark and Cindy Hovermale, Ginny Krutilek and Kari Thompson — would like to extend their sincere appreciation to the businesses and people that made the 23rd annual Have a Heart Gala possible. The gala honored Ginny Krutilek for 25 years of service to the Midway: High Street Station Cafe for catering the event with their fabulous cuisine; Tucker’s Super Creamed Ice Cream for the cake and ice cream and Ramana Vieira for providing the enchanting music. 

We’d also like to thank our special DJ Spinderella (Lynda Kretlow), our sponsors First Community Bank and Bank of Alameda and Balloon Mania’s Kathy McIntire for providing the beautiful balloons.  

We couldn’t have done it without the Alameda Elks. They allowed us to hold the event at their lodge. Our hats are off to Excel Graphics for the lovely invitations and to First Community Bank (again) for printing our programs (and the bank’s staff for making the lovely paper flowers and their assistance at the event.)

We would also like to thank the following for their generous donations to our event: Al and Cheryl Filart, the Alameda Theatre and Cineplex, Alan and Kari Thompson, Asena, C’era Una Volta, Chelsie’s Gold, Chicha, Clara Rice Photography, Clutter Coach, Connie Jardon, David Basco, DC, Disneyland, the Disney Family Museum and the Golden State Warriors. 

We couldn’t have done it without JC Cellars, Jeannie Graham, Jessie’s Grove Cellars, KlinkerBrick Winery, Laura Lee McConnell, Lawrence Hall of Science and Lena Tam. Mark and Tom Squire-Sorensen pitched in as did Marsha Amaral from Mary Kay, Nob Hill Foods, Susan Dressler from Nofu and the Oakland Athletics. The Oakland Zoo helped out as did R&B Cellars, Dr. Richard and Teddy Tabor, the San Francisco 49ers, the San Jose Sharks, Semifreddis, Skin Deep, Angela Scott at Spank Salon, Speisekammer, Susan Getman and Donald Kelley.

We truly appreciate the support received from these individuals and businesses as well as from those who attended our event. Thank you for helping to keep the Alameda Midway Shelter available to support homeless and abused women and children. 

— Kari Thompson

The Alameda Sun received a copy of this letter addressed to Alameda Recreation and Parks Director (ARPD) Amy Wooldridge.

Ms. Wooldridge:

I have lived near Jackson Park since 1988 and have long been an admirer of the Clark Memorial Bench. Recently, I have been researching the bench’s history and getting together a citizens group to support the effort to repair and restore it. This group includes Park Avenue residents Betsy Mathieson and James and Mary Manning, all of whom spoke at the March 13 Alameda Recreation and Park Commission meeting.

We were all very surprised when the bench was painted on Saturday (particularly in light of the color change). I understand that this is probably just a Band-Aid effort to forestall further deterioration and applaud the efforts of the Latter Day Saints community service group that pitched in to help. If bench is saved from demolition, it may be a good idea to poll the residents of Park Avenue as to what their color choice would be.  

In the meantime, I’m trying to find out what the original color was. Knowing what month it was installed would be helpful in cutting down my time at the microfilm machine going through a year of daily newspapers for a description. Please let me know if you have any information about what month the bench was installed.

In any event, I am in favor of the repair and restoration of the bench and believe that a fundraising campaign to support this effort is long overdue. I spoke to Bill Sonneman and have been emailing back and forth with Bill Delaney about ways in which this might be accomplished.

Delaney believes we should wait until the city decides what it is going to do, but I believe that, without the option of drawing upon donated funds, the city’s decision will be based on fewer options and be less satisfactory than if funds were already being raised.  

I suggest that fundraising can be done through two channels: an Indiegogo account, which I would be happy to set up, monitor, and maintain, and an account at a local bank where those who did not feel comfortable using credit cards on the Internet could send donations by cash and check. I have spoken to Dawna Dowdell at Bank of Marin and she is assisting me exploring this option.

I would also love to involve high school students in the effort. Sonneman tells me that, if the city approves repair and restoration of the bench over demolition, he will assist me in setting that up. 

In my research, I uncovered the fact that Isabelle Clark was “worthy matron” of the Alameda Order of the Eastern Star in 1902 and one of its charter members. Her death in 1924 was front page news and her funeral was held at the Masonic temple. I have notified the Masons of this fact and hope they will be interested in supporting the restoration effort. 

I am also reaching out to the Native Sons of the Golden West to see if they would be willing to place a plaque at the restored bench site, explaining how the bench came to be and what “In Memory of My Dumb Friends” really means. 

— Denise Shelton