Running out of land is only HBIA's fault

Harbor Bay Isle Associates is conducting a campaign of intimidation calculated to wear down the Harbor Bay Isle Planned Unit Development homeowners, the Planning Board and the City Council in their attempt to gain approval of an 80-home development where the Harbor Bay Club is currently located.

It is quite clear that the only reason HBIA was able to get approval to build numerous homes with minimum amenities and minimum greenbelts was due to their commitment to build the Harbor Bay Club at its current location.

The Harbor Bay Club is now part of the master plan. It has been in the same location for 35 years. It seems incredibly presumptuous on the part of HBIA to think that any attempt to move the club from its current location would receive any serious consideration.

The Environmental Impact Report should be irrelevant to the decision-making process. If HBIA ran out of land to build the 3,200 homes that they were conceptually allowed to build, it is their own fault. They obviously chose to develop projects with lesser density to appeal to the market.

There is no way that HBIA should be able to make the existing homeowners, who benefit from the current location of the Harbor Bay Club, make it up to them. Case closed.

Steve Burich

Thanks for January classroom adoptions

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

I would like to thank the following donors: VF Outdoor; Park Street Business Association Shop For Our Schools: 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; The Archer Family; Odd Fellows Lodge #3 Alameda; CH2M Hill Foundation on behalf of employee Heather Abrams; Deutsche Bank on behalf of the Samford Family; Barbara Meyer; The Fenelon-Schoenrock Family; and Senator Don Perata.

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

As of January, $69,500 has been distributed to 139 teachers this year. For more information, visit www.AlamedaEducation.org.

Kathleen C. Woulfe

Adopt A Classroom Chair Alameda Education Foundation

Elephant Sale does not need bad clothes

So, you have all come home with your wonderful new treasures and perhaps started collecting for next year's White Elephant Sale.

The 1,000 volunteers will be back working in about three months to sort through your donations for 2015. As one who sorts through these donations, I would like to make an observation and offer some guidelines. Disclaimer first: these are my personal comments; in no way should they be construed as coming from the White Elephant Sale board. They are much too nice.

We expect to sell your donations, that is how we make the money we donate to the Oakland Museum. Every donation goes through numerous hands before they reach our racks and shelves: everything that has an electrical cord is tested to get the "it works" tag; toys are checked for pieces; clothing goes through at least four stages. It's the last group that I wish to address as a "first responder."

Many items are beautiful and salable, many are not. Please show some respect for the clothes you donate. A tangled mess from the drier tells us that you don't think they are worth folding, so perhaps they are not worth donating.

Didn't your mothers teach you to how to fold? Socks, simply fold the tops over -- maybe that skill has been lost along with percolator coffee.

We may agree with the sentiments and envy the travels you sport on your T-shirts, but our shoppers want to make their own dreams. These shirts are soft and make great cleaning and polishing cloths -- you do do some cleaning and polishing?

Jeans sell well. The worn look of hard labor is in, clothing with house paint is not. If you wouldn't buy what you bring in for a decent price -- our customers won't either. Bite the bullet and use your recycle bins instead of expecting us to do it for you. I know you're hoping that we'll find the mate to the sweet white kid glove clearly filled with memories -- nope. Cut the fingers off and make boots for small dolls.

Please think about what I have said when you collect things for next year. And we can always use new volunteers -- you don't have to be a gray-haired lady to join.

Gen Katz

Oakland

A better way to use funds for military

I support Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's push to reduce the size of the military and our national defense budget.

In 2013, the size of our defense budget was greater than the next 10 countries combined. Our military is still largely staffed and structured to respond to Cold War-era threats that no longer exist, and we spend billions on weapons that are not really needed.

I would rather see the savings invested in three other areas that provide national security as much as our military does, namely education, public safety and infrastructure.

We need more qualified teachers to alleviate overcrowded classrooms and provide our kids with the quality education that will enable them to take advantage of a 21st century job market that increasingly will require a well-educated workforce.

Regarding public safety, those of us who live in Oakland can tell you that our city (and many other U.S. cities) needs more cops patrolling the streets. The federal government has the means to help turn some of those green uniforms into much-needed blue uniforms.

And with infrastructure, our ability to stay ahead in an increasingly competitive global marketplace will require that the U.S. maintain top-notch roads, schools, research and development capabilities, as well as updated broadband and energy infrastructure. Our continued economic security and vitality, which in turn pays for troops, bases, ships and tanks, depends on making the necessary investments in these three areas.

Jay Ashford

Oakland