Letters to the Editor

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I am fortunate to have adopted two amazing small dogs from the Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter. I am happy to keep their vaccinations up to date, their licenses valid, to keep them on leash when not at the fenced dog park and, frankly, to pick up their poop. Because that is my responsibility, to them and to my community.

I do not assume that others think my dogs are “just so darn cute” that they want to have them running up to them, or that the sound of them barking are like music to another’s ears. 

Recently, in a public park with notices stating that dogs must be kept on leash at all times, I was annoyed and even somewhat unnerved by the many dogs that were off leash. When I stepped back and picked up my dogs as a group of three Retriever size dogs came galloping my way, the person walking behind them said breezily, “They’re friendly.” What I didn’t say, and I wish I had, was “Why would you assume mine are?”

On another occasion, I watched in disbelief as a woman allowed her two small dogs to chase the birds on the sand at Crown Memorial Beach. The signs prohibiting dogs on the beach are hard to miss. One end of the beach harbors a bird sanctuary, the other a marine reserve where all plant and animal life is protected. I am astounded at the sense of entitlement, lack of respect for the environment and utter disregard for anyone or anything that this woman displayed. Believe me, she’s not alone.

Take a walk in just about any of our residential neighborhoods, and you will find piles of animal waste. I have even heard stories about homeowners who have confronted dog walkers who continually allow their dogs to use their yards as bathrooms, to no avail. I have little bag dispensers attached to both of my dogs’ leashes, and when the inevitable happens, I bend down and pick it up with a little blue bag. I would be embarrassed to be so lazy that I couldn’t be bothered to clean up a mess that I was responsible for. 

It is a joy and a privilege to have my canine companions in my life and I take that responsibility very seriously. I don’t want anyone else to have to take care of my responsibilities, and I would greatly appreciate it if those of you (and you know who you are) would take care of your own. Your behavior makes the rest of us look bad.

— Sue McCullough

It was a week of community. The T-shirt Baseball Gala at the Alameda Theatre was a wonderful event. Many Alamedans (and others) from days gone by stepped up for new generations to experience summer playground baseball at the Alameda Recreation and Park Department parks.
Volunteer baseball players from Alameda and St. Joseph Notre Dame high schools showed up in uniform to assist.
Vida Blue, the Oakland A’s, Mark Ibanez, Steve Bitker, Erik Schullstrom and Sam Spear all contributed to this event. Donations from John Costello, R and B Cellars and Kelly Kearney of Pacific Fine Food are greatly
Having experienced America’s Cup and playoff football at the Alameda Theatre and Cineplex in the past, I am always appreciative of the generosity of the theater’s Kyle Conner. He and Allison Shannon give back continuously to this community. Their commitment to this gala cannot be understated. Their visual arts team’s addition of Who’s on First by Abbott and Costello added to the baseball theme. The return of the Alameda Theatre five years ago has been a boon to Alameda. Thank you to the Alameda Theatre and Cineplex.
My second experience of community was seeing the Alameda High School Legally Blonde cast out in force last Friday night at Encinal High School’s Hairspray production. They were returning the favor when the Encinal High School cast showed up at their production the prior week.
Ya gotta love this town. And this summer? Play ball!

— Cynthia La Croix


I have almost been run over by a speeding bicyclist on a public path. I have had a pedestrian blindly step off the curb in front of my truck when I was 10 feet from the crosswalk doing 25 mph and cursed at me for not stopping for them. 
I have watched bicyclists ride up to a red light, look both ways, well at least one, and then cross against the light. So what is the rule of responsibility and what is the law? Why are motorists being singled out, targeted and fined? How many bicycle or jaywalking tickets are being written? 
We all have a responsibility for ourselves and those around us. If the city is going to write tickets then they need to apply all the laws fairly across the board and educate everyone equally. Because I own and drive a car does not mean I have more money. Because I ride a bicycle does not mean I don’t have to obey the traffic laws. Because I’m a pedestrian does not mean I don’t need to stop, look and listen or walk within the crosswalk. 
The goal here is for everyone to be safe! However we all need to take our own share of the responsibility. We have laws in this city, apply them all and apply them fairly.

— Richard Braun