Bill Gates has nothing on our city council when it comes to beneficence toward the favored few.

Every child probably would like to have a rich uncle who can be counted on regularly to put the latest gadget under the Christmas tree. But even Bill Gates’s nieces and nephews might envy the members of the Alameda firefighters’ union, whose letters to Santa have found a receptive audience — one might even say a captive audience — at City Hall.

The news about the deal between the Alameda Unified School District (AUSD), the city of Alameda and the Alameda Housing Authority is getting some much needed attention. This deal, which has been reported to have been the subject of many closed sessions of the city council and school board, seems to be in need of some “sunshine” to get the facts out, to provide public input to the city council and school board as they give direction to staff and to preserve accessible public record of discussion, directions and decisions made by these governing bodies.

"You’re representing developers’ interests, not the public’s, therefore we’ll take over and do it ourselves."

I recently attended a planning meeting for people who volunteered to carry petitions to place a referendum on the November ballot to save Crown Beach and stop the City "leaders" from giving public land to a private developer — just as we did with the Chuck Corica golf course, when we, the public, told our "leaders" to stop trying to give the golf course to Ron Cowan.

The Alameda Sun received a copy of this letter addressed to Amy Wooldridge, director of the Alameda Recreation and Park Department.


Dear Ms. Wooldridge:

Jackson Park has been our family’s front yard for 13 years. As a "passive-use park" Jackson needs places for people to relax. The Clark Memorial Bench is such a place. Its crescent shape makes it ideal for small groups to gather and talk. It is durable — made of solid concrete — and has lasted 94 years.

The Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) was disappointed to see that in the article about the Encinal High School (EHS) gas leak ("School District under Fire," Feb. 20) the Alameda Sun failed to include sentences in the district’s statement that explained that a) teachers can talk to reporters, but b) we prefer they talk to district staff first.

The AUSD statement emailed to the Sun, said in full: