Letters to the Editor

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The Alameda Sun received a copy of this letter.

Dear Chief Rolleri:
We are writing to commend you and your traffic division on your recent campaign to educate pedestrians and especially motorists on the important aspects of traversing our streets with the greatest amount of respect for one another.
Alameda consists of an intergenerational population that relishes the opportunity to walk because of the flatness, the well-designed walkways and the closeness of various shopping areas making it unnecessary to drive. Our unique neighborhoods also provide areas to meet with friends over coffee and to do some shopping along the way.
We all play a part in keeping automobile-pedestrian collisions at a minimum and education is one approach. Walk & Roll to School Day over the past 14 years has educated hundreds of kids on safety lessons and we hope that they are passing them on to their siblings.
We believe that well-thought-out infrastructure improvements that catch people’s attention when driving and/or walking can contribute to minimize collisions.
As you know, it is extremely dangerous for motorists to run through pedestrian crossings without the slightest interest in stopping. Citing them is educational for everyone. Pedestrians who do not enter a crosswalk safely need to be educated, too. The other area that is frightening as a pedestrian, is a motorist speeding through a yellow light and often a red light. People with small children and seniors who walk slowly are highly at risk.
We encourage bright colors when walking at night; hard to see pedestrians are one of the many near-misses that we all experience when driving. We would like to see an effort in the city to provide brightly colored armbands for those who walk at night and need some reflective materials on their jackets. Maybe the business associations, bike shops, advocacy groups could all band together with your current efforts to make this available as another safety 
The in-pavement lights work somewhat and certainly well at night. However, they are hard to see in the daytime. We would encourage at key crossing lanes, the upright pedestrian signs that blink showing a pedestrian is crossing. The uprights are much easier seen by motorists.
As you know, this is a vibrant multi-generational town with a large diversity of ethnic groups, senior citizens and young people. A safe well-designed community encourages its residents that they can traverse comfortably and safely, and for health reasons choose walking and bicycling.
We encourage the enforcement of slower speed limits. Overall, the best way to increase safety on our streets is slower moving traffic. The 25-mile-per-hour speed limit on most streets, when obeyed, keeps serious injuries down in the event of a collision. Statistics show that drivers can notice more around them, slow down faster and, if there is a collision, the injury is less severe. Around areas with children crossing, we encourage the APD consider the 15 mile per hour speed limit. Overall slower speeds will save lives.
Eight pedestrian-involved collisions so far this year is too many and we encourage you to continue this important awareness work. Traffic safety and respect on the road is a shared responsibility of all of us working together. 
BikeWalkAlameda is completely behind these on-going enforcement approaches and we look forward to the May event and will participate as well.
Our thanks to all the officers who have participated in this traffic enforcement program.

— Lucy Gigli, President Bike Walk Alameda, and board members: Jeff Cambra, Donna Eyestone and Audrey Lord-Hausman

The Alameda Sun received a copy of this letter addressed to Shirley Nelson of Summit Bank in Oakland. 

Dear Ms. Nelson:
On behalf of the Alameda High School (AHS) Boosters and the varsity and junior varsity baseball teams, we would like to thank you for your generous gift of $250 for the 2014 fundraising event held on Feb. 22. Your continued commitment to the high school baseball programs in Alameda is sincerely appreciated.
The event was a successful evening full of friends and supporters brought together for a great cause.
Each year, the AHS baseball fundraiser supplies the main source of financial support necessary to run these great programs. As the cost of running a good public school athletics program continues to grow, it becomes more and more important every year to obtain the outside support of civic-minded companies such as Summit Bank.
Your gift combined with that of others help supply the team with uniforms, equipment, field maintenance and other essential items needed to keep Alameda baseball alive and well.
We look forward to the possibility of a continued relationship between this program and Summit Bank for many years to come. On behalf of the baseball loving community of Alameda, the fundraising committee, the coaches and the student-athletes and their parents, we thank you. Go Hornets!

— Debbi Nakahara and Vali Ebert, Event co-chairs


I have enjoyed your ongoing coverage of the City/AUSD land swap. I am sure that you have received your share of acrimonious emails concerning your lack of support for the city, lack of support of the school system, or variations on those themes. I salute your sense of journalistic integrity. 
I know that it is hard to cover the stories that have the potential to polarize the community. Your most recent article (“Land Swap Ignores AUSD Adjacent Parcel,” March 13) resonated with me. 
The marinas on the Island are today what trailer/mobile home parks were 20 to 30 or more years ago. 
Many of the inhabitants live full time on their boats, and many are retired, older, or live on fixed incomes from disability, unemployment. 
Some have no visible means of support at all.

— Rob Schmidt