Letters to the Editor

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I wanted to let you know that the float featured in your piece about the Fourth of July Parade isn’t exactly connected to Bob Ross (“A Hair-Raising Fourth,” July 11.) 

I work at the PBS affiliate in the area and we looked into the story to write a piece about Elsa Greene, the woman in your caption who the family said was Bob Ross’ stylist for a decade. In the process we found out that it’s a 15-year family tradition (that the parade organizers are apparently very aware of) to make up a backstory for Elsa and theme their float entry around that. So she was never a stylist for Bob Ross (nor was she an Iditarod winner or baking champ).

It’s kind of a wild story if you talk to her son. 


Bianca Hernandez, Senior Engagement Producer KQED News

Editor’s note: The Alameda Sun was let in on two Island City July 4 traditions this year. (It’s only been 18 years). We were finally invited to the Weeden Pool Party and learned about the Greene family’s hoax. Previous Sun editors were let in on the Greenes’ secret, but the institutional knowledge wasn’t passed on.


The management of Ballena Bay Marina has thrown in the towel and no longer cares to honor the public’s right to enjoy the shore. Now at the roadside, we see an illegal stop sign stuck in a bucket while another sign below proclaims, “Private Property, No Trespassing.” 

Actually the property in question is not private or exclusive at all, but belongs to the City of Alameda. The road mentioned is indeed a county easement. Emergency rescue, fire and police and yes, even the public, cannot be denied access. It’s our space, too.

Instead of quiet fishermen or locals out taking in the air while walking the dog, the marina claims they are being overrun by the homeless. They claim teenaged hoodlums who laugh and play loud music are known to break into cars and steal or vandalize everything not bolted down. It’s a full-blown crime wave. Aside from the loud music, it’s hard to believe a single word. 

Rather than stomp around grumbling, the management might like to actually deter crime and have cameras installed in the parking lots there. Or, curtail access after 8 p.m. or so, which may indeed be a more agreeable option for all concerned.

I have written this letter because all of my queries to the management at Ballena Bay have yet to elicit a response. 


James Courtney

I read about plans to put an eight-story apartment complex on the South Shore one mile away from a one-story school that has been closed due to earthquake fears. Does this mean we have nothing to fear because a building that is bigger and taller can therefore better withstand an earthquake? 

Or does it mean that somebody is in on some “deal?”

Ashley Jones