Letters to the Editor

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Editor:
It is interesting how the Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) Board of Education operates. First they throw out the idea of combining Encinal and Alameda high schools, and put all 3,000 students on the Alameda High School campus. Then they say they will have four public hearings to discuss the plan.

Now I read that the committee has wrapped up its work and will submit its findings to the board. When did AUSD hold a public meeting to discuss this plan? 

Is there some reason why Encinal High School is no longer suitable as a public school? It is possible that combining the high schools will allow AUSD the opportunity to sell the land that is Thompson Field to give it needed money to push onward? 

I’m sure the committee that was formed to look into the idea of one high school is doing its job, but it seems as if the public is being left out of the decision-making process. 

Ashley Jones

Editor:
I like running early in the morning, and I love Jean Sweeney Park. Running at that time down the Alameda sidewalks can be very dangerous. Sudden unseen drops, bumps waiting to trip you up, dogs, cats, racoons, skunks, bushes, trash; don’t get me started about cars. Keep your wits about you at all times and then some. 

Then there is something about running that messes with your brain. Its the thing that makes you want to keep running, even when the traffic lights are red. I think that’s why so many joggers get run over and killed. Their sense of timing and judgement went out the window four miles ago, they think they can beat that car. Don’t do it, the car will win! 

But Jean, oh Jean, gave us such a rest from all that.

The path is wide and smooth, no bumps, no vegetation to get in the way. If someone or something is on the path you can see it a mile away. No thinking, just get on there and run. See how fast you can go. Actually sometimes I go too fast and am really tired at work.

I am really grateful Jean and many others brought the park to the city. I’m happy I contributed tax dollars, even if indirectly, to its construction and I hope others feel the same. Even though it looks a bit bare in places, I’m sure it will get there in time. I still love the place. 

From that Proclaimers song, “Oh Jean, Oh Jean… Love her, I love her, I love her; Love her, I love her, I love her.”

 

Stuart Adamson

Editor:
A recent article (“What’s in a Name? The Namesake of Yale Drive,” Jan. 10) hints at a broader matter than the issue of changing the names of schools and streets. As researchers pursue investigation of more historical figures, more crimes will be unearthed. This can proceed in a simple way, and a laundry list of names to be changed can be tallied.

Or we could change the most egregious ones, while, at the same time, we educate ourselves and our children about the true history of our country. That means much more than identifying a bunch of “bad guys.” 

Take Elihu Yale, for example. As mentioned in the article, he was an officer of the British East India Company in India, and presided over the slave trade there. The British East India Company was not just a commercial enterprise. It had its own army and ran the colony with brutal force. Millions died in unnecessary famines. British East India Company ships famously had their tea dumped in Boston harbor in 1775. Boston families with names like Perkins, Forbes, Cabot, Coolidge, etc., joined in the slave and later the opium trade and still today wield power as a result of wealth so gained.

However, this is not the real United States! As Abraham Lincoln detailed in his Cooper Union address, the decided majority of the signers of the Constitution, not only opposed slavery, they expected it to diminish and be eliminated in a foreseeable period ahead. The words, “All men are created equal ...” were not mere words. They were principles of a truly revolutionary form of society. 

Never before had such a society existed, where in its founding documents, human beings were treated, not as playthings or servants of an oligarchy, but as innately creative beings to be nurtured and educated for the benefit of all society. And the Constitution’s formulation, “in order to form a more perfect union...” should give us guidance that we still have work to do in a never-finished enterprise.

 

Hunter Cobb

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