Pedestrian training can't come too soon

The pedestrian-safety campaign announced recently by Alameda Chief of Police Paul Rolleri is long-overdue.

I've had the pleasure -- and run the risk -- of walking the streets of the Island city almost daily for the past 27 years. During that time I've almost been hit -- and twice seen others injured -- by inattentive drivers dozens of times.

Almost always the fault resides with the motorist. Vehicles rolling through stop signs are a common danger for pedestrians. Other motorists routinely fail to look for pedestrians at intersections, don't pay attention to what's going on around them or are distracted by other persons, cell phones, texting, loud music, etc. I've even seen motorists reading books and documents while driving.

It goes without saying that pedestrians must walk defensively. I do hope, however, that APD's campaign makes many more drivers aware of the danger their inattention poses to pedestrians strolling our streets. And while we're at it, let's crack down on bicyclists who fail to obey traffic laws or observe normal rules of the road. Many of them never stop or even slow down at intersections, making them as dangerous to pedestrians as motorists.

Tom Tuttle

Relay for Life event needs help from you

The American Cancer Society's 2014 Relay For Life of Alameda Committee is delighted with the support demonstrated by our community thus far.

Relay For Life is an annual family-friendly community campout taking place on June 21-22 at Encinal High School track, with 24 hours of activities, entertainment, inspiration and practical tools to eliminate cancer as a major health problem.

Last year, Alameda raised $80,000 to support the American Cancer Society's efforts to fund research and services for those affected by cancer. Our expenses are kept very low (last year less than 4 percent) due to this event being volunteer-based.

We invite businesses or individuals to help keep our expenses to a minimum by donating equipment for use that weekend, including 150 to 250 folding chairs (it will be outdoors), 12 lightweight 8-foot tables, two generators with temporary power boxes (one 20kw tonable, the other could be smaller), two 50-foot power cords, one stage (between 12x16 and 20x20), a one-walled tent for stage, a cab-over U-Haul truck, speaker system, sand, spray chalk and stakes to mark campsites, hula hoops, Tablet with hot-spot, and one ton of ice cubes. In-Kind Sponsor recognition may apply.

Please contact Event Chair Lisa Leverton at 510-834-3800 or visit www.relayforlife.org/AlamedaCA for details. For 24/7 access to practical help for those dealing with cancer, call the American Cancer Society at 800-227-2345.

Anne Marie Fourré

Relay For Life of Alameda Committee

Enough with drug stores, nail salons

I read with disappointment that the newest building on Park Street would be a Walgreens Drug store. I think the residents of Alameda want more retail variety.

Alameda must have more drugstores and nail salons per capita than an other city in America. Come to Alameda, see the nail salons, stay for the Preparation H.

Allen Young

Meals on Wheels is thankful for support

Thank you, Alameda, for voting Meals on Wheels as one of your favorite nonprofit organizations. We were one of five recipients receiving a check for $2,000 from the Bank of Alameda/Marin.

We serve about 200 of our neighbors. Because we receive no government funding, this donation will serve many of our recipients. Your support is greatly appreciated. And thank you, Bank of Alameda/Marin for sponsoring this award.

Mark Sorensen

president Alameda Meals on Wheels

Thanks for helping our Island schools

When big companies move to a new city, they often talk about how they want to give back to the community. VF Outdoor puts their money where their mouth is.

VF Outdoor relocated its headquarters for its Outdoor Sports brands (JanSport, The North Face, Lucy, among others) to Alameda less than two years ago. Last October, they received a rebate from Alameda Municipal Power for their highly energy-efficient building and immediately chose to give back to the community.

The Alameda Education Foundation was extremely fortunate to serve as the conduit for this generosity, and we have made sure to put the funds to good use impacting thousands of K-12 public school students across Alameda. VF's $50,000 donation was used to adopt 30 classroom teachers through our Adopt A Classroom program, including elementary physical education teachers and middle and high school music, technology and science teachers, impacting about 9000 students; to help support our Middle School Sports program that serves more than 550 sixth- through eighth-grade student-athletes; and to enable us to sponsor a One-on-One Sophomore Academic Counseling program at the three AUSD high schools, which will help close to 700 students with high school course selection and post-graduation planning.

As I write this letter, I am just informed that VF has committed 200 backpacks for the communitywide Equipped 4 Success school supply drive that AEF coordinates.

Alameda is a community that values community involvement and support for its schools. I'd say VF Outdoor certainly fits right in. Welcome to Alameda, VF Outdoor.

Bill Sonneman

president Alameda Education Foundation