Letters to the Editor
I have enjoyed your ongoing coverage of the City/AUSD land swap. I am sure that you have received your share of acrimonious emails concerning your lack of support for the city, lack of support of the school system, or variations on those themes. I salute your sense of journalistic integrity.
I know that it is hard to cover the stories that have the potential to polarize the community. Your most recent article (“Land Swap Ignores AUSD Adjacent Parcel,” March 13) resonated with me.
The marinas on the Island are today what trailer/mobile home parks were 20 to 30 or more years ago.
Many of the inhabitants live full time on their boats, and many are retired, older, or live on fixed incomes from disability, unemployment.
Some have no visible means of support at all.
Some 100 people wearing name tags wandered Park Street last Saturday, compliments of Chuck Kapelke, who created a 40-clue scavenger hunt that gently forced Park Street business to accept songs, questions, game playing, photo shoots, silliness and small purchases along the way. All this to honor his 40th birthday.
As a newcomer to Alameda, I appreciated the opportunity to explore some of Park Street’s treasures that I hardly even knew existed. Many of the merchants and employees had been prepped for the onslaught and others were taken a bit by surprise.
I want to thank the Park Street businesses for playing along in the game Kapelke created because it was great fun for us as participants. “I loved the periodic pockets of positivity provided by the party participants,” one merchant said. Can you guess which store that alliteration came from? I may have embellished it a bit; but it was the spirit of Books Inc.
Thank you, Chuck, for your cleverness, and thank you, Park Street, and the 40 or so participating merchants.
I was disappointed with your article on the Shore Line bike lane project (“Shore Line Bike Lane Likely Moving Forward,” March 6). Even though there were the same number of people speaking for and against it, you focused almost exclusively on what the proponents had to say. The opponents had more concerns than just parking spaces, and they were very valid concerns.
The truth about the parking, which both your article and city staff have tried to downplay, is that the project will eliminate 30 percent of the existing parking spaces on Shore Line Drive.
The really troubling part is this fact, along with other problematic compromises, were not made known to the public or even the transportation commission. This stuff only came to light after more than a full year after the commission approved the project, and even then, the numbers were not spoken out loud! That was January.
This pattern of distortions and cover-ups was made known to the city council and City Manager John Russo who showed no concern at all. When people focus exclusively on results and ignore a corrupt process, it is sometimes called Machiavellian. Another way of putting it is, the ends justify the means.