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Letters to the Editor for February 16, 2024

Alameda Post - Letters to the Editor

It’s too late for the historic Alameda Belt Line building

To the Editor:

On the evening of February 12, 2024, homeless campers set fire to the historical building on Sherman Street at the Jean Sweeney Park. An email was sent to ARPD staff on January 27th requesting the campers be moved from the vicinity of the building because there was fear of a fire. No response from ARPD staff and the campers were not relocated. Now half of the building has been destroyed.

Dorothy Freeman,
Alameda


Unauthorized car shows are getting out of hand

To the Editor:

On January 8, I wrote to [the City Manager] regarding an unauthorized car show.  Since that time, another large event happened on January 28 and again on February 10.



On January 28, I rode through the event in the morning before it got out of hand later in the day.  At that time, they had deployed two porta-potties in the parking lot adjacent to the coach works and several portable tents along with food trucks across the street.

I believe the event on February 10 near the USS Hornet was the same group from January 8 that left so much debris on both sides of the street.  They already had several portable tents set up and as I was leaving the area, I saw professional drifter cars coming in on trailers to put on a sideshow.

Obviously, since Alameda has chosen not to take any action on these events, they believe they can come here any time, creating a public nuisance with the noise and debris as well as extreme danger to other motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians using this area.

I have always been proud to live in Alameda and supportive of a police force that has always taken care of us.  If the current police chief is unable to address this issue, it is probably time to hire a new one.

In the meantime at the very least, we should:

  1. Post the areas being used stating that gatherings of this nature are not permitted without prior permission under Section 5-29 of the Municipal Code or other section as the City Attorney would suggest.  The City Attorney should also make sure appropriate rules are in place to allow the police department to do their job.
  2. Officers should patrol the area mid-morning on weekends to stop the events before they grow to an unmanageable size.
  3. The City should have large vehicles, i.e. dump trucks or other large equipment staged nearby that can be used to block the area.

Obviously, I am not a professional, but seeing nothing done is very disturbing.

Cris Baker,
Alameda

Editor’s note: The Alameda Post received a copy of this letter, addressed to the City Manager, the Mayor, and Councilmembers.


Where are County Voter Guides?

To the Editor:

I have resided in Alameda for approximately 25 years, and during that time have been registered to vote from the same address, where I have resided since 2000. I have voted in every election. Voting is very important to me, as I’m sure it is to all of you.

A few weeks ago, I received a pamphlet from the California Secretary of State, which was entitled “Voters Guide” and which contained a list of the individuals running in the U.S. Senate primary, plus the text of proposed State Proposition 1. The front cover of the Guide stated that early voting would commence on February 5. I planned to vote during that first week, as I would be unavailable after that.

Last Wednesday, I received my ballot in the mail. I looked through the ballot and saw a number of candidates for offices that were not listed in the Guide I received from the Secretary of State. I also noticed two local measures that I did not know anything about.

On Friday, February 9, I called the Secretary of State’s Office to ask about this discrepancy and was told that only the federal Senate candidates were listed, because “they [apparently referring to the Presidential candidates] had missed the printing deadline.” I asked what that meant and was told, “I’m not sure.” I asked where the local measures and the local candidates were and the person I was talking to told me that it was the job of the County Registrar of Voters to provide that information. She gave me the number for the Registrar of Voters.

I called and asked to speak to the Registrar and was told he was “unavailable.” I then asked why I had not received my County Voters Guide. I was told that “they have all been mailed out,” and that if I didn’t receive mine, it had to be the fault of the Post Office. I asked when they were mailed out, and she said she didn’t know. She offered to connect me with someone at something called “Voter Services.”

I was then connected and repeated my questions. I was told that the Voters Guides had all been mailed out and repeated the speculation that if I had not received mine, it was surely the fault of the Post Office, something that the Registrar naturally has no control over. I repeated, “They’ve all been mailed out?” I asked that because by that time I had checked with several friends in Alameda and learned that I am not the only one who has not received the County Voters Guide. (Two friends told me this weekend that they had finally received theirs on Saturday, February 10.) The agent repeated the assertion that the Guides had all been mailed out, adding, “Oh, except for the ones in languages other than English — like Tagalog, Vietnamese, and so forth.”

I called County Supervisor Lena Tam’s office to try to get someone to figure out what is going on with the Registrar of Voters. When I called, I received a message saying, “No one is available to take your call,” and asking me to either leave a voicemail or send an email. Unfortunately, the robot voice that gives the instructions for emailing her office is incomprehensible, and I was unable to figure out where to send the email — so I left a voice message, asking that someone return my call today.

I’m not sure what—if any—authority the Alameda City Council has in this matter, but I thought I should let you know about the lackadaisical manner in which the County Registrar of Voters is handling voting in the City of Alameda. To say I am appalled by this turn of events would be to severely understate my feelings. Particularly at the current time, when questions of the validity of elections and voting are so prominent in the news, I would have thought that the County would be making every effort to assist citizens with voting, rather than placing barriers in their way.

Alexandra Petrich,
Alameda

Editor’s Note: The Alameda Post received a copy of this letter, addressed to the Mayor and City Council. The Alameda Post offers a guide to the current election, with candidate and voting information, located at AlamedaPost.com/Election.


Editorials and Letters to the Editor

All opinions expressed on this page are the author's alone and do not reflect those of the Alameda Post, nor does our organization endorse any views the author may present. Our objective as an independent news source is to fully reflect our community's varied opinions without giving preference to a particular viewpoint.

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