Letters to the Editor

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I would like to give a “shout out” to the Alameda County Ombudsman’s Office and the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR)! Both groups have been a tremendous help to my former neighbor who now lives in an Oakland Skilled Nursing Facility (“If only there was a wellness center now,” April 4).  

Last week my neighbor was threatened with discharge from the nursing facility without a discharge plan. The nursing home was ready to send her packing on a Friday night. It was clear to me that financial decisions were driving the pressure for her to move out “tomorrow.” The social worker even suggested that a low-priced room in the facility housekeeper’s home might be the best option. 

Never mind that the housekeeper and my neighbor do not share a common language. Never mind that the housekeeper was offering her living room for rent and no information about accessibility, let alone licensing. 

The story could have gotten much worse, but for the assistance of CANHR and the Ombudsman’s office. Next business day — just as soon as the social worker realized that my neighbor had an advocate that was aware of patient rights — the story changed, the pressure to discharge stopped, and the conversation turned to making an appropriate and thoughtful plan for discharge. We shall see if the social worker takes real action to implement a suitable plan.

After seeing this boldfaced attempt to pressure a frail, elderly resident to leave the nursing facility, I cannot help but wonder how many of the homeless men and women on our streets may have also been victims of similar unsuitable discharge from a skilled nursing facility or other care. 

This experience makes me all the more grateful that Alameda voted to support Measure A, allowing us to move forward with the wellness center and permanent, supportive housing on McKay Avenue. 

I close with another huge thank you to the Ombudsman’s Office and the CANHR.


Paula Rainey

Let me start by saying I am nothing more than a concerned resident of Alameda. I have no economic stake here, I am neither a tenant nor a landlord.

The City Council’s recent attempt at setting rent policy seems to me about picking winners and losers and unfortunately I can’t find a winner. What I do know is that an unintended consequence of the proposed policies is that a new group of losers has been added.  

These are the many retirees that have started businesses or built careers and raised families in Alameda. These are hard-working people who missed out on vacations and fancy cars in order to build a nest egg, invest in Alameda and purchase an income property to generate income in their later years. They could have invested in 401ks, or IRAs or other traditional instruments, yet they chose to invest here in our community. They chose to provide clean and safe homes for residents. 

In my opinion, the Council is attempting to severely cap their ability to generate income in retirement and penalize them for being the very kind of community members that we want in our city. In retrospect, they should have invested in the stock market — anything but provide housing for community members in Alameda. 

The winners are those who chose to invest elsewhere. The losers are the local retirees providing wonderful homes in Alameda. The proposed rent control will certainly prevent current generations of workers from investing in Alameda like their parents and further constrain the quantity and quality of rental properties that remain on the market. That would be sad for all in the end.


Ken Gonzalez

Many thanks to those individuals and groups who have contributed to the Midway Shelter for abused women and their children.   A number of the listed donors contributed several times in May.

The women and children of Midway Shelter thank Gaby Dolphin & Alan Pryor, the Pipkin-McGrath family, Virginia Krutilek, Christine Buck, First Congregational Church, and Mary Buck for their generous donations. 

Karen Hassett also donated in May, along with: Judy Hom & Winston Fong, Alice Lewis, Jessica Kennedy, David Mercado, Craig & Cynthia Stewart and Barbara Anderson. Our thanks also go out to donors: Jay Dawson Tomorr Haxhimali, Noel & Cathy Folsom, Ursula & Ulricihc Greczmiel, Elaine Kofman, Beverly Moore, Gloria & John Nolan, Paula Patillo-Dupree and Joanne Robinson. 

Camilla Whyte & Kathy Clark opened their hearts to make a donation as did: Marian Williams, Kathy & Glenn Henderson, Hewitt, Jacqueline MacMillan, Honora Murphy, Ross & Nancy Peterson, Emily Shea, Anne Yee and the Office of Supervisor Wilma Chan. We also couldn’t have done without Modesto Jimenez, Troy Windsor, Thomas & Luzanne Engh, Lois Pryor and June & Jerry Kerschman.

Two donors chose to remain anonymous.

To see your name among the June donors, send a check to Alameda Homeless Network, P.O. Box 951, Alameda 94501. For more information call 357-0205, Ext. 206 or visit www.midwayshelter.org.


Ginny Krutilek