Letters to the Editor

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On behalf of Ken and Colleen Arnerich and the 2014 baseball fundraising committee, we extend our warm thanks and appreciation to all that supported and attended Alameda High School’s (AHS) 12th annual crab feed and auction fundraiser held on Saturday, Feb. 22, at Eagles Hall.

This yearly fundraiser allows AHS to maintain the quality sports programs now in place for our junior varsity and varsity student-athletes.
Special notes of appreciation go to all of the businesses and outside individuals that supported this event. First to our nine corporate sponsors: at the MVP level, U.S. Bank; at the Grand Slam level, Nothing Bundt Cakes; at the Home Run level: Harbor Bay Realty, Rich Krinks, Summit Bank, Rich Sherratt, Oakland A’s, Encinal Market and Kevin Kearney, CPA. 
To our dedicated staff of baseball coaches and their families, the many baseball players and their families, we send out a heartfelt “way to go.” We are grateful for the important support that we receive every year from the AHS principal and the AHS staff, the AHS Boosters and Theresa Cooper.
A tip of our hats goes to the Alameda Athletic Club, Fudgelato, Gold Coast Grill, T & B Sports, Alameda Beauty Center, Alameda Point Antiques Faire, Alcatraz Cruises, Artistic Home Studio, Baron’s Meats and Sarylsue DiFabio.
Thanks also go to Great America, Disneyland and the Walt Disney Museum, Golden Gate Fields, Southern Wine and Spirits, Bowzer’s Pizza, California Academy of Sciences, Calley Peri-Baker’s Craft, Cliff House, Connoisseur’s Guide to California Wine, St. George Spirits, Sumbody, Tapioca Express, Thai Noodle House, The Golden Skate, To Herb with Love, Trader Joe’s, UC Berkeley Botanical Gardens, Wente Vineyards and Conscious Skin Care.
We greatly appreciate these fine Alameda establishments: Alameda Bicycle, Alameda Natural Grocery, The Alameda Theater, Alameda Wine Bar, Alameda School of Music, Asena Restaurant, Dan’s Produce, Dragon Rouge, JP Seafood, Dog Bone Alley, Doggy Style, Faction Brewing and Feel Good Bakery.
The event wouldn’t have been possible without: The Alameda County Fair — Don Sherratt, AMF Lanes, Beach Blanket Babylon, Birds Landing Sport Clays, Blue and Gold Fleet, Burgermeister, C’era Una Volta, Grand Lake Theater, Great Clips, Harbor Bay Club, In-N-Out Burgers and Jaryd the Barber @Millie’s.
We can’t forget to thank Chuck Corica Golf Complex, Cindy’s Customer Cookies, Color Me Mine, Farmstead Cheeses and Wines, Fruits and Chocolate Boutique, Holly Pucci-Amethyst Face & Body, IFLY SF Bay, Kimpton Hotel Group, Kinuko’s Beauty Creation, Leela Yoga, Lee’s Nails, Lola’s Chicken Shack, Maggiora Bakery, Smami’s-Maria Bezada, Murrietta’s Well Winery, Oakland Ice Center, Oakland Zoo, Pacific Coast Brewery, Pier 39 and the Renaissance Rialto Theatre.
Last, but certainly not least, we thank Alameda Home Repair, McGee’s Black Skillet Grill, McNevin Cleaning Specialists, Mei Wah Co., Millie’s Place, Orange Salon, Peet’s Coffee, Rise Bodyworks,  San Francisco Custom Chiropractic, Symmetry Spine & Wellness, Torani Syrup, Total Woman Spa, Villagio Inn and Spa, Worzalla Printing of Wisconsin, Renee’s Garden, Roaring Camp Railroads, Russian River Brewing,  San Francisco 49-ers, San Francisco Ballet, San Francisco Botanical Gardens,  San Francisco Opera, San Jose Sharks, Scott’s Shoes, See’s Candies, Winchester Mystery House and Yogafina!
For a complete list of this year’s donors, team records, schedules and game summaries, visit www.hornetfootball.org/boosters/teams/baseball.htm.

— Debbi Nakahara and Vali Ebert Event chairs


Everyone must get a fair shake at City Hall. Open government and transparency helped level the playing field for small business owners at last Tuesday’s city council meeting. On the agenda was the presentation of a city law that would, among other provisions, result in five businesses near Webster Street being annexed into the existing tax district. Under the city’s sunshine laws, these businesses were entitled to a 12-day notice describing the pending action.
While city staff report noted that the affected businesses had no concerns with the upcoming tax, Councilmember Stewart Chen, as a small business owner, took the initiative to meet with three of the businesses to be sure they were aware of the pending city action. At each business, the story was the same. They had received a letter from the West Alameda Business Association (WABA), the organization that would be receiving the tax funds “inviting” the business to join in a collaborative marketing effort. The letter mentioned nothing about the pending tax or the amount each business would be required to pay. Chen immediately alerted city staff.
Fortunately for these businesses, Eric Fonstein of the city’s Community Development Department assembled a packet informing each business of the pending action including the assessment of the tax and distributed the notice to the affected businesses following Chen’s inquiry. Without the notice from the City, none of these businesses would have known about the tax and the opportunity to comment at the upcoming city council meeting. 
At the council meeting, Chen had to recuse himself because of a family opportunity to locate a business in the Webster Street tax district. After hearing from the affected businesses regarding the deficiencies in the WABA’s noticing and outreach, Councilwoman Lena Tam was the lone voice against the council moving to impose the tax saying that the city should not take action until the affected businesses were fully informed.
While others focused on why the small businesses should pay the tax, Tam maintained that the City needed to respect the process of notification even if WABA failed to properly notice the action. After two votes to extend the council meeting past 10 p.m., and facing pressure from others to just vote, Tam finally persuaded the city to postpone the action. City Manager John Russo offered his staff to prepare and deliver the proper notices. 
Councilman Chen and Tam’s diligence helped give a voice to three small businesses on an important issue ... taxes. 


— Jeff Cambra


The comment by J. Sanders is dead on (“Comment conflict,” March 6). Every time the Alameda Fire Department gets a new toy like a heavy rescue rig, a fireboat, or an emergency operations center, it’s paid for initially by some “grant” from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the State of California, etc. Then it’s up to us, the taxpayers, to support these new toys. 
The toys also give justification for higher pay and required training for our “out-sourced” employees. They don’t live and pay taxes here, just dream up ways for us to pay more each year. 

— Mitch Sanders