Letters to the Editor

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I was glad to hear that two Board of Education members said they would not support the new bond for school repairs to the two old and inadequate high schools in our city. I’m a life-long resident of Alameda and attended our public schools. I have voted for every school bond brought up to the voters in the past but I will never vote for a new bond that will pour good money down the rat hole that is Old Alameda High (OAH). 

You can dump $50, $80 or $100 million into OAH and it will still be an inadequate campus needed for a modern facility. What I believe has to happen is that we need to build one brand new state-of-the- art high school. The children of Alameda deserve nothing less. 

The new school could be built at the Wood/Lum school site. The site is large enough to meet the state’s requirements for the number of students the new school would support. We could build the new school for $200 million. That is less than the total the board says it needs to upgrade our schools. The site is in the middle of the city so location is not an issue. 

When we build the new school it will be something the entire city will unite behind and be proud of. Encinal High School (EHS) could be remodeled into a K-8 campus that would serve the West End or EHS could be sold to develop new houses. What a beautiful place it would be to live. 

OAH could also be sold to developers and/or turned into a city center-type location. We could keep the new gym, swimming pool and the Kofman and level the rest. I have talked to a lot of people that attended both Alameda and Encinal high schools and they all say that they support this idea. 

— Don K. Peterson


We want to thank the Edison Elementary School students concerned about the lack of recycling options on Park Street (See the series of letters printed May 15, 22). We are also concerned and have been working with the city and Alameda County Industries (the city’s waste-management service) to come up with a cost-effective solution that all parties can agree on. 

Over the past few months a number of positive events have made it possible for us to finally plan for recycling in downtown Alameda:

• The city, in partnership with the Park Street Business Association (PSBA), is currently pursuing grants that will assist us with the costs of recycling on Park Street. 

• We’ve already started to include recycling and composting at the major events on Park Street. (During our recent Spring Festival, we deployed “clear-stream” units,, which included trash, compost, and recycling units.)
While not perfect, these units went a long way to segregate the refuse better than we’ve ever been able to in the past. We expect this program to continue in the foreseeable future at all of our major street events. 

• We had volunteers and “clear-stream” units in front of Peet’s and Starbucks on Earth Day to educate the public on what material goes into what container. 
Many of the businesses in downtown Alameda already follow best practices for recycling and composting. 

In addition, PSBA encourages businesses be “green” certified and to participate in special recycling and composting programs.

As a step toward  implementing recycling throughout the entire Park Street District and reducing trash on the sidewalks, all the green metal caged garbage cans will soon be replaced by larger receptacles on a temporary basis. These larger receptacles will be placed in more locations up and down Park Street and the side streets. ACI has agreed to increase the pick up service on Park Street to every weekday, instead of the current Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule. This action will enable PSBA, the city, and ACI to determine what the best course of action will be to ensure proper trash, compost, and recycling service in the district.  

As plans become clearer, we will engage the public in the decisions being made in accomplishing our goal to be the “greenest shopping district.”


— Donna Layburn, owner, The Marketplace and PSBA President ,Kate Pryor, owner, Tucker’s Ice Cream and Chair, PSBA Maintenance and Improvement Committee

I want to respond to Horst Breuer’s letter that berated San Francisco Chronicle writer Chip Johnson for his interpretation of an interview with City Manager John Russo. (“Russo’s amanuensis,” May 15).

Breuer incorrectly states that Measure A, the 40-year-old charter amendment was to “preserve our Victorians.” Actually the measure simply states that “no multi-family housing could be built on the Island of Alameda.” 
One can interpret the meaning of that simple phrase only as prohibiting any type of multifamily housing.   

Fortunately, the state has found this type of language exclusionary. The state  has ruled against such restrictions. They prevent housing opportunities for those who would like to downsize to a small condo or provide starter housing for our kids and any others needing a variety of housing types.

With the closure of the Navy base, a third of the Island’s land mass has been deeded to the city. Now with support of state law and added land we are fortunate to have a way to address the need for homes in Alameda. 

We are also fortunate to have  the civic leadership and staff that support the need for more employment opportunities by creating new jobs at the former base and providing a diversity of housing there to serve all incomes.

The lack of a housing inventory in Alameda doesn’t provide for the housing needs of our current residents and certainly not the new workers at Alameda Point.


— Helen Sause, President HOMES (Housing Makes Economic Sense)