Don't rush through Del Monte project
We should not rush the review of the proposal to convert the Del Monte warehouse to 309 residential units. This is a huge project for the northern waterfront, and the community should be given adequate time to consider the proposal, provide input and work with decision-makers to ensure a quality project for our neighborhood.
A typical residential block in the neighborhood has about 30 homes, so the Del Monte conversion would have about as many households as ten city blocks.
There are several areas of concern with the proposal. One primary concern is parking. The shortage of parking is causing city staff to propose neighborhood permit parking. That is, the neighbors would need to obtain permits to park on the street. How will this work? How will this affect Alameda residents visiting Littlejohn Park?
A second concern is circulation. The plan shows a realignment of Clement Avenue, but the proposed location of the critical intersection of Clement and Sherman is owned by Wind River. What happens if the Wind River piece is not made available?
There are other concerns, too, and I am sure all of them can be resolved satisfactorily with time. However, rushing this project does not allow neighbors, staff, or the applicant to work together to create the best possible project. The Del Monte conversion is possible because the adoption of the Housing Element in 2012 created an exception from Measure A at certain sites. This is the first project to come through using this exception. Let's take the time to get it right.
Kudos to all who supported event
The Alameda Education Foundation had the opportunity to thank Alameda Unified School District teachers and parent volunteers April 25 at the Salute to Education event. Each spring, Salute to Ed recognizes innovative programs in our public schools and honors the teachers and parents who make this innovation possible. Whether the program involves teaching science in school gardens, using the latest strategies to reach struggling students or helping high school students build robots, these program coordinators contribute countless hours that make a difference.
I would like to thank everyone who made Salute to Education such a successful, fun event. That includes our volunteers on Friday evening, as well as the staff at Rhythmix Cultural Works and Café Q. Additional thanks go to Charles and Therry Olken of Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine. A complete list of the individuals and businesses that generously contributed to Salute to Education are listed at our website: alamedaeducationfoundation.org.
Pam Riley Chang
Salute to Education committee chair
Voter ID measures about suppression
A recent contributor wrote that the GOP wants voter IDs to protect our voting system against "fraud which we know happens."
The amount of fraud is minuscule. Between 2002-2005, the Justice Department found 40 cases in America, which resulted in 26 convictions -- .00000013 percent of all votes cast. This statistic remains stable today.
The idea of significant fraud is a fantasy that the GOP, having taken control of a number of statehouses, is using to enact voter suppression laws that are harmful to specific populations.
In Pennsylvania, the secretary of state estimates that 90,000 legal residents cannot meet the new voter ID requirements. Is that reasonable?
In Texas, 600,000 voters will lose their voting rights because the name on their driver's license does not match another piece of identification, according to the Brennan Center for Justice.
Often these differences are nicknames or married names. Rectifying these issues means appearing in person at the DMV, which is difficult for many, especially when some states have only five offices.
These suppression tactics affect the young, elderly, women, poor, rural and minority populations. If I belonged to a political party that behaved in this manner I would be embarrassed.
Thanks to all who have aided shelter
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. The following are donors who have contributed during the month of April. A number of people have donated several times during this period.
Thanks go to Lisa Fukuda, Maxine, Woman's Life Insurance, Marilyn Zecher, Dwayne Brighouse, Susan Nisbet, Matthew Duncan, Carol Fitzgerald, Christine Buck, Beth Strachan, Susan Goddard, Luz Cazares, Ken Kofman, Zach Vickers, Mel Nutter, Charles Sabbatini, Miriam Sundheim, Brandon & Cristina Svec, Larry Mar, Pamela Witherspoon, Winnie Chan, Gregory Tully, Virginia Krutilek, Gretel Gates, John Ziesenhenne, Sarah Cruz, First Community Bank, Anonymous I, Elizabeth Sommers, Srinivasan Suresh, John A. Johnson, Barbara Anderson, Lance & Sandra Russum in memory of: Bob Ashbaker, Dr. Michael Dobbins, Jennie Slouf, Buck, Maritzen, Sal Spingola, Jack Lancaster, Mick Matthews, Prudy Matthews, Mayr Jane Davis, Merah P. Carvelo, Vera Silva, Cynthia McCloud; Carol Gerdes, MD, John Spellman, Robert S. McBride, The Clampers, Mary Lou Kurtz, Hazel Dolio Tagat, Sothera Sang, Paula Patillo-Dupree, Isle City #51 YLI, Britteny sparks, Allison Pilmer.
Donations may be sent to Alameda Homeless Network, P.O. Box 951, Alameda, CA 94501. For further information, call 510-523-2377 or go to www.midwayshelter.org