Letters to the Editor

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Editor:

I wish to thank retired Superior Court Judge Chester R. Bartalini for his thorough recording of the events leading to Stewart Chen’s past behavior and conviction regarding fraud ("Chen Has Paid His Dues to Society," Feb. 27). Initially my thoughts were that this behavior was troubling but on the other hand, 20 years has passed and as the headline states, Chen has paid his debt to society.

Bartalini adds important information regarding the unfortunate representation Chen received and, more importantly, his continued growth in citizenship over these past two decades.

I don’t accept, as one reader states, that Chen had hidden his past ("Tip of the iceberg," Feb. 27). How many people share all of their past if it is no longer relevant? Many, I’ll wager. If Chen serves our city well, I’ll certainly consider voting for him.

— Anne Spanier

Editor:

January was a very busy month for the Alameda Education Foundation (AEF) as we made 23 Adopt A Classroom (AAC) presentations to Alameda public school teachers on behalf of our generous community.

As adopt-a-classroom chair, I would like to thank VF Outdoor for their donation. Also, the Park Street Business Association Shop For Our Schools program enlisted the help of: Alameda Natural Grocery, Artistic Home Studio & Boutique, Daisy’s, Julie’s Coffee & Tea Garden, Tucker’s Ice Cream, Bead Inspirations, Park Jewelers and We Are Hair.

Other donors in January included: the Archer Family; Odd Fellows Lodge #3 Alameda; Barbara Meyer; The Fenelon-Schoenrock Family; and Senator Don Perata.

The CH2M Hill Foundation donated on behalf of employee Heather Abrams and Deutsche Bank donated on behalf of the Samford Family.

Each recipient received a $500 gift card to support learning opportunities for his/her classroom. Teachers were adopted at: Alameda, Earhart, Edison, Encinal, Franklin, Island, Haight, Lum, Maya Lin, Otis, Paden, Ruby Bridges and Wood schools.

As of January, $69,500 has been distributed to 139 teachers this year. Donations to the program are being accepted through March 4 at www.AlamedaEducation.org.

— Kathleen C. Woulfe, AEF Adopt A Classroom Chair

Editor:

We commend your paper for the front page coverage of Councilman Stewart Chen’s fraud convictions. During the past week, we have been reading about this man’s criminal history written by the Alameda Sun’s online partner, The Alamedan. It is satisfying to now see the Sun publish the excellent piece on this very disturbing topic ("Councilman’s Fraud Conviction Surfaces," Feb. 20.) Thank you to Michele Ellson and Steven Tavares for researching and writing this story.

In addition, the cogent editor’s note in response to Stewart Chen’s letter ("Chen responds," Feb. 20) was impressive.

The Sun’s handling of this matter has increased our faith in the Sun’s willingness to provide Alamedans problematic but pertinent information about their elected officials.

As Alain de Botton stated in his recent book, The News: A User’s Manual, "Central to modern politics is the majestic and beautiful idea that every citizen is — in a small but highly significant way — the ruler of his or her own nation. The news has a central role to play in the fulfillment of this promise, for it is the conduit through which we meet our leaders, judge their fitness to direct the state and evolve our positions on the most urgent economic and social challenges of the day. Far from being incidental features of democracies, news organizations are their guarantors."

We can only hope that the Alameda Journal will some day become such a conduit. Perhaps the Sun’s very good investigative reporting can show the Journal the way.

— Eric and Ann Cross

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