Letters to the Editor

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Many of us lament the degradation of our environment but mostly point fingers at politicians and others as the cause. However, so much of the problem comes down to the way we choose to live. 

Urged on by our daughters (ages 10 and 13), our family has started gathering weekly with neighbors to learn what we can do, discuss practical actions we can take, and challenge each other to take them. We have started by watching the eight-minute “Story of Bottled Water” online video. 

Here in Alameda, where we have some of the best water in the world on tap, there is no excuse for using disposable plastic water bottles. The convenience is just not worth the impact on our planet (watch the video for yourself). Reusable water bottles, water fountains, pitchers and jugs can all serve us well. 

We are making a “no plastic water bottle” pledge in our family. We challenge every Alameda family, school, sports league, worshipping community, business and organization to make the same pledge for the good of our planet. Stop buying disposable water bottles, discourage their use and educate others to do the same. 

It’s a simple, meaningful way to make a difference. 


The Canavese-Naffziger family

Editor’s note: As of Monday, Oct. 28, the Alameda Sun agreed to join the Canavese-Naffzinger family in taking the no-water-bottle pledge. To be clear, we’re not giving up our water cooler. It uses large plastic containers that are continually refilled anyway. But henceforth we do pledge that the Sun, as a business, shall never again purchase a single-use water bottle. 


Dear Mayor, City Council and Staff of South Shore Center:
I have studied the proposed redevelopment of the South Shore Center. As an Alameda resident, my concerns are as follows (in order of importance):

  • Safety risks from natural disasters (due to the liquefaction of soil under the buildings not to mention the difficulty evacuating all residents off the Island)
  • Loss of any current stores (especially local mom-and-pop stores like Pagano’s as well as Kohls, our only department store)
  • Increased everyday traffic on the Island in general as well as getting on and off the Island
  • Legal enforcement that affordable housing located near the beach will remain affordable (which seems unlikely)
  • Funds from developer to pay for additional police, firefighters and public transit
  • Insufficient parking (why isn’t there a parking garage for this higher-density use?)
  • Tall buildings cutting off the view of the ocean from locals
  • Lack of additional public transport (why aren’t additional bus stops planned?)
  • Insufficient green spaces incorporated into plan with emphasis on access to beach
  • Potential loss of neighborhood walkability/pedestrian appeal of shopping center

This development has a long way to go to win over Alamedans. The developer and city would do well to read concerns expressed on www.nextdoor.com. But this list is also a good place to start.

Thank you for consideration of my concerns.


Chase R. Martin

I’m a current junior in high school from Alameda who is working with an organization called GenUp (http://generationup.net) to plan a March for Education. The march will take place in Oakland, but will include schools from Alameda, Oakland and Berkeley. We’re trying to get as much support as possible on the day of from students, teachers, and community members. 

The march is scheduled to take place Saturday, Nov. 9, starting from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Lake Merritt Amphitheater, located between 12th Street and 1st Avenue on Lake Merritt Boulevard.

The goal of the march is to give people a space to voice their concerns regarding education, specifically regarding underfunding but the march is open to everyone and all education-related issues. Some of the solutions we propose include: creating small class sizes, higher wages for teachers, student loan debt relief, more school counselors, access to college and career-readiness resources and more. 

Gratia O’Rafferty