Letters to the Editor

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The City Manager’s office would like to apologize to the business community for the way in which the Business License Tax Audit was conducted. We heard from many of you and want you to know we listened. As a result of your feedback, we have decided to discontinue the business license audit program through Municipal Auditing Services (MAS).

The business community is a valuable part of the fabric of Alameda, and we view our businesses as partners in the health and vibrancy of our town. We continue to believe, and think you’d agree, that having the proper licenses and permits to operate a business in Alameda is a matter of fairness and in the interest of all existing businesses and the citizens.

Reviewing the record not only allows the City to capture past due taxes, it ensures that those of you who do the right thing are not at a competitive disadvantage. Having said that, we understand that a different approach is warranted to ensure compliance with our existing laws.

Going forward, we will consult again with business leaders to develop a program that ensures compliance while also recognizing the sensitivity of your business dealings and information and more importantly, treats our businesses like the partners you are.

Again, please accept our apology and our thanks to those of you who took the time to voice your concerns.

— Liz Warmerdam, Assistant City Manager


The Shakespeare Club of Encinal High School would like to acknowledge the support we received for our first-ever Citywide Shakespeare Monologue Competition. We could not have held the competition without the support of our judges: Julia Bruce, Tristan Cunningham, Bob Lundy-Paine and Jeffrey Smith. We’d also like to thank our advisers: Gene Kahane and Jeff Raz; and our generous sponsors: ACMT, Altarena Playhouse, Stewart Chen, David W. Johnson DDS, Levy’s Bagels, Peet’s Coffee, Semifreddi’s Bakery, Tuckers Ice Cream and Virago Theatre Company.

We were also fortunate to receive support from former Alameda resident and Academy Award-winning actor Tom Hanks. He was kind enough to send our group a personal letter of encouragement. He offered tips on performing Shakespeare and best wishes for making this an annual event.

Finally, we’d like to thank all our performers for their participation. They were tremendous. We hope to see you all next year.

— Linnea Arneson, President, Shakespeare Club, Encinal High, Class of 2015

Several readers chose to share their opinions on the Alameda Sun Facebook page regarding "School District under Fire," Feb. 20. The comments have been slightly edited and presented here in the order they were posted.

Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) board member Margie Sherratt: "AUSD will be forwarding to you the highlights of programs and progress at each of our schools as reported out at Board of Education meetings. I hope you will also take the opportunity to report on some of our amazing students and their accomplishments. Thanks."

Julie Kaipolani Dickens: As the parent of an ADHD child I had to fight and battle every step of the way with AUSD and it was unpleasant to say the very least. I, myself enjoyed my school years, but I would not put another kid of mine through this school system past fifth grade in Alameda.

(AUSD) board member Trish Herrera Spencer: Thank you for reporting the news. I hadn’t heard that teachers were told not to talk until reading it in your paper. My guess is they’ll ask the new communications person (at a salary range of $90,000 plus) to send the "feel good" stories.

Peggy Forbes: While no school district is perfect, I have been very happy with the education my children have received while attending AUSD schools and feel that there is far more positive news then negative, which seems to be reported more. Thanks, Ms. Sherratt, for encouraging the reporting of the district’s successes.

Lori Huffine Keep: Alameda Sun, please do a little better job of reporting both sides of a story, especially regarding the gas leak. Your story is lacking details.



various authors

Editor’s note: Thank you, everyone, for your feedback and discussion. We invite all of our readers to express their opinions online at facebook.com/alamedasun.1, @Alameda_Sun at twitter.com, via email at editor@alamedasun.com or via snail mail at 3215 Encinal Ave., Suite J, Alameda, CA 94501; a dropbox is also available at this address.