Letters to the Editor
The Alameda Sun received a copy of this letter addressed to Chief Edmond Rodriguez of the Alameda Fire Department (AFD).
Dear Chief Rodriguez:
On June 30 at about 9:45 your department responded to a call reporting a fire in the 2900 block of Johnson Avenue. Our two adjoining garages were both on fire.
We want to publicly thank the firefighters who responded with amazing speed. The first trucks arrived less than 5 minutes after our call. The crews were extremely thoughtful and kind in giving directions to onlookers to be sure no one was in danger. They exercised great care in handling belongings that might be salvaged even while rushing to contain the blaze.
At one point a firefighter came up to us and handed us a photo he saw lying on the ground. It was a picture of Vicki’s now 47-year-old son when he was five. This thoughtfulness made a difficult situation so much easier.
The fire was under control within 20 minutes, which prevented the flames from reaching our homes as well as others. The neighbors all remarked that the firefighters were extraordinary.
AFD is a public agency and we, as members of the public, hope for the highest level of professionalism from you. But everyone exceeded all expectations. We appreciated the training, dedication and empathy these professionals exhibited.
Please thank each of the crew members and staff for us and tell them how much we appreciate them.
For your consideration I would like to submit this poem about my wife, Mary Alice, and I raising a guide dog puppy here in Alameda.
We picked him up at 10 weeks and he is now 16 weeks.
Firenze asleep, breathing soft
Curled resting against my leg
Yellow lab of long service lineage
Namesake of that ancient city
on the Arno River
I see you strutting like a Medici
Over the Ponte Vecchio
Past the Uffizi and the Duomo
Then rest beneath the marble
Firenze, a world heritage city
Where millions tread your narrow
From all points of the globe.
Because Firenze belongs to the
And so Firenze beside me
You don’t belong to me
You are not mine
You will pass through my life.
For one messy, mouthy, magnificent
Green jacket to your brown leather
So sweet puppy, Firenze rest now
The great wide world awaits you.
I think maybe the unsaid thing about this whole homeless crisis is that fundamentally, a capitalist society has to have an underclass in order to function — someone to “capitalize” on. If there’s no longer any need, then there’s no reason for anyone to pay for anything and the powers that be cease to be in power. Don’t let the moneyed elite overpower what you know is right. Everyone deserves comfort.