Letters to the Editor

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I recently sent an email to West Coast Arborists (WCA) regarding their trimming of trees. They responded with the fact that someone criticized their work in the Alameda Sun (“Many Trees in Town ‘Broom’ for Spring,” April 3). It is so sad when the critics, no matter what their qualifications or motivations, are louder than those who give praise.
This is the third trimming of a tree in front of our home on San Jose Avenue. The first was a lone man with a clipper on a pole, got branches he could reach; second was a crew but who barely did anything; then this crew who trimmed the tree both for safety and for health of the tree. It also let in some sun to our roses in our front garden. 
I told the foreman I was so surprised and pleased. I don’t know what the commentary you have published said or the author’s concerns. I can only guess one who believes trees should be wild? Only trim dead twigs? In any case, these are not trees in a forest but along city streets.  
And this trimming is healthy for the tree, safer for the buildings around the tree and lets in some sun to the gardens below it. I hope you will print this letter along with the criticisms.

— Rev. R.W. Ackley


We are writing this letter to express our dismay about a situation that exists in our town. We love children and have devoted much of our lives and work to developing them to become future leaders. We are homeowners and voters in Alameda and active participants in civic affairs. 
We are dedicated teachers and have taught every grade from preschool through high school. We have also worked in several corporations as programmers and managers. We have supervised student teachers and employees. We are members and officers of Zeta Phi chapter of the International Women Educator’s Honor Society, Delta Kappa Gamma.
It has come to our attention that one of our very fine new teachers was “non re-elected” and asked to resign. This means that she must leave our school district and cannot teach here. What a loss to our children and community. 
It doesn’t make sense, for this teacher is well regarded by parents, loved by her students, admired by many of her colleagues and greatly appreciated by the volunteer assistants who work with her in her classroom. She has also received excellent reviews from her principal and supervisor.
However, this same principal has “non re-elected” 11 other teachers in the last three years. Many parents have reported transferring their children to a different school because they didn’t want their child to be in a school with that principal making those decisions. 
There are many procedures set up to evaluate teachers, to discharge or rehire them. What practices do we have in place in our district to evaluate principals and to achieve fairness and justice for all?

— Fern Kruger and Joanne Robinson


When big companies move to a new city, they often talk about how they want to give back to the community. VF Outdoor puts its money where its mouth is.
VF Outdoor relocated its headquarters for its Action Sports brands (Jansport, The North Face and Timberland, among others) to Alameda less than two years ago. Last October, the company received a rebate from Alameda Municipal Power for its highly energy-efficient building. VF Outdoor immediately chose to give back to the community.
The Alameda Education Foundation (AEF) 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. 
AEF used VF’s $50,000 donation to adopt 30 classroom teachers through our Adopt A Classroom program. These included elementary school physical-education teachers and middle and high school music, technology and science teachers. This impacts approximately 9,000 students.
The donation also helps support AEF’s middle-school sports program that serves more than 550 sixth- to eighth-grade student-athletes; and to enable us to sponsor a one-on-one sophomore academic counseling program at the three Alameda 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 community wide 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