Our animal shelter: back it, don't bash it

This letter is to address some of the negativity surrounding the Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter. I am a former board member. I find it appalling that a handful of people who do not volunteer or work at the shelter are claiming that FAAS is euthanizing adoptable animals at a ridiculous rate.

Those of you ridiculing FAAS for its standards need to think: if you adopted a pet and it bit or maimed a beloved family member or pet, who would you blame? Your beloved family member or pet? You would blame the Alameda Animal Shelter for allowing such an adoption.

Would you prefer our lost animals be sent to a shelter with a higher euthanasia rate such as Fremont or Hayward, originally looked into by the city? My suggestion is to get behind the local facility, not belittle it for personal reasons. You don't know what you have until it's gone.

FAAS is doing a fantastic job. The statistics prove it. Get behind them and support them. Don't obstruct a nonprofit trying to help the City of Alameda, the community and lost and abandoned animals.

Chuck Bianchi

Don't change Line 51 Santa Clara bus stops

Alameda residents were asked to provide feedback on a multimillion AC Transit "Line 51 Corridor Delay Reduction & Sustainability" project, including bus stop relocation/consolidation, new bus bulbs, bus-only lanes and traffic signal priority.

Comments can be seen at alamedaca.gov/public-works/line-51. Despite overwhelming concerns from affected residents, the City of Alameda Transportation Commission approved AC Transit's recommendations Oct. 23. We are appealing this decision at a City Hall meeting Tuesday.

Proposed improvements -- minimizing parking removal, optimizing bus stop spacing and improving air quality along Line 51 -- will not be achieved through bus stop relocations on Santa Clara Avenue and will create hardships for those directly affected.

For example, the bus stop on the corner of Willow Street and westbound Santa Clara Avenue would move to the far side of the crossroad. The impact:

  • Creates two bus stops on a short block, westbound between Willow and Chestnut, consisting of apartment buildings, a day care center, an elementary school, and a church.

  • Involves creating an Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant landing and removing a fire hydrant.

  • Decreases available parking spots on a densely populated block. Performed Parking Assessment does not take the number of tenants in consideration or the parents dropping off young children at the day care center or elementary school.

  • Affects the bus stop now located alongside the gated apartment building. Planned relocation would place a bus stop in front of a residence without a fenced front yard, thereby providing no safety zone between a front door and a bus stop. The bus stop shelter is currently used as a loitering location for various groups, affecting residents' safety.

  • Affects waste management collection and mailbox drop off.

    If the issue is visibility and safety for bus riders, the proposed solution is to install stop signs at all corners of Willow and Santa Clara: it allows riders with mobility issues to catch the bus and governs the speed limit of those driving recklessly between Oak and Chestnut Streets. This would also achieve the goal of the recent campaign about speeding in Alameda.

    Arlette Walls

    Thanks to all who have helped Midway

    Many thanks to those individuals and groups who have contributed to the Midway Shelter's Adopt-a-Bed program for abused women and their children. A number of the following donors have contributed several times during this period:

    Betty Sanderson, Barbara Anderson, Anonymous I, Isle City Institute #51 YLI, Virginia Krutilek, Jane Watson/Edward Jones, Alameda Welfare Council, Jean Smith-Castle. From the following In Memory of Frances Satchell: Chancel al-mansour Matthews, Karne McCloud, Sherman & Beatrice Lee and Angela & David Harmon; John & Susanne Gallagher, Srinivasan Suresh, Keith Nealy, Carol Fitzgerald, Rising Star Montesorri School, Charlotte C. Kellogg, John Cashman, John & Johnanna Schuitema, Robert S. McBride, Ann & Robert Kenyon, Lois Pryor, Lance & Sandra Russum. In memory of: Josefina Del Rosario, Conrad Goerl, Robert M. Taylor, Dorothy Mitchell, MD, Judy Pillard, Ronald Hall, John H. Rozman, Antonina Francisco, Thomas R. Edwards, Iris Peacock and Robert E. McPeak; Thomas & Sheila Lewellyn, Linda & Avianna Goomishian, Tracy Corbally.

    If you'd like to contribute, donations may be sent to Alameda Homeless Network, P.O. Box 95, Alameda 94501. For further information call 523-2377 or go to www.midwayshelter.org

    Ginny Krutilek

    Tea party has defiled ideal of majority rule

    I am a 58-year-old African-American male who has lived through many presidential elections. I voted for presidents who didn't look like me; every one of them was my president of these United States of America.

    Even when I did not vote for them, the majority ruled. Then, something happened that I thought I would never live to see: America elected an African-American president. God bless America, the majority ruled.

    Tea party Republicans said, "This can't be right, this is unacceptable, he's not even a citizen. How dare America vote for a black man? America must be punished."

    Americans want to rebuild our infrastructure (jobs that would put Americans to work that cannot be exported). The Republicans said, "No, we don't want to put Americans to work." Americans want affordable health care. Republicans said, "No, Americans can't have that." Americans want immigration reform, and the Republicans said, "Wait. We don't want to make them citizens."

    Americans, regardless of race, are being punished for electing an African-American president. The tea party has broken the majority rule.

    Benjamin May