Letters to the Editor

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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.


In recent months, the United Methodist Church (UMC) has been in the news as it moves to discipline pastors for performing same-sex marriages. In Pennsylvania, Rev. Frank Schaefer was stripped of his clerical credentials for performing his son’s same-sex marriage.

Retired Rev. Thomas Ogletree will be put on trial for performing a same-sex marriage for his son. Action against a retired bishop for the same "offense" is pending. These disciplinary treatments are based on the Methodist Book of Discipline which considers "homosexuality incompatible with Christian teaching."

Nearly 600 United Methodist churches have joined UMC’s Reconciling Ministries Network. They believe that the Book of Discipline is incorrect on this point. Twin Towers UMC is one of these churches. We know Jesus was an inclusive shepherd; all persons are welcome at His table. Even His murderers were not excluded as He asked the Father to forgive them because they didn’t understand their actions.

Who is anyone to presume to speak for Jesus? Who is anyone to exclude, on any basis, another person from full participation in the Christian community? Nowhere in the Gospels do we find Jesus rejecting anyone based on sexual orientation. Judgment is not ours. As an open and inclusive church community, we at Twin Towers UMC welcome all.

— Jim Lair, Steve Garner, Fred Fielding, Lay Leaders, Twin Towers United Methodist Church