Op-ed

Like many, my wife and I moved to Alameda in 2003 because we were impressed by the city’s strong sense of community. When our 5-year-old son started elementary school this year, this sense of community became even more evident for us. We believe that everyone living here should have the same wonderful experience, but the lack of available housing and a persistent jobs-housing imbalance makes for a formidable barrier.

The residential and commercial neighborhood proposed for 68 acres at Alameda Point’s east entrance implements the approved 1996 vision for conversion of Naval Air Station Alameda to civilian use.

The hard work that takes place in our public schools was evident on Friday, April 24, at the Alameda Education Foundation’s Salute to Education.

Dear Editor:

For the past 21 years I have co-owned Bay Ship & Yacht in Alameda Point. We employ nearly 400 people to repair, convert and build, commercial, military vessels and super yachts.

While we are one of the largest employers on the Island, only 10 percent of our workforce actually lives here, because they cannot find affordable housing. I have thoroughly reviewed Alameda Point Partners' plan to redevelop a portion of the former Naval base and am encouraged to see that it includes two-thirds rental housing and 25 percent affordable units. This is the workforce housing that we are missing at Alameda Point.

Bike Walk Alameda is very excited to finally see tangible movement in new housing and infrastructure at Alameda Point. We have been involved in planning at Alameda Point for more than 15 years and believe that the current, community-created plans offer the most benefit for all Alamedans.

This development will help create roads for all users that will connect Alamedans to the waterfront at Alameda Point. Driving, walking, biking and public transit will be integrated and expanded.

Upon reading an article out of The Alamedan called "Alameda paramedicine pilot set to launch," published April 7, 2015, I am writing this as a concerned citizen of Alameda County. It has come to my attention this pilot program has been approved by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors. Currently, there are no substantial research findings that can support quality health outcomes for citizens who have been cared for by paramedics.

We represent some of the larger employers currently operating in Alameda. One of the many attributes that attracted us to locate on the Island is the promise of desirable housing and recreation for our employees – an attractive environment for jobs. We call upon Alameda’s mayor and City Council to fulfill this promise.

Many individuals and groups have recently expressed their opinions regarding the proposed extension to the city's public safety contracts. Information has been shared in bits and pieces, which can make it hard to understand how these proposed contracts contribute to long-term financial health of the city. The proposed contracts for the city's public safety employees take incredible steps to resolve several issues that have been discussed over the last 15-plus years. Most notably, the contracts propose a solution to salary, pension, and the currently underfunded obligation for retiree health care, known also as other post employment benefits (OPEB).

“The comedy of #Alameda elected officials downplaying great economic news because it undercuts austerity plans is very evident (at the April 16 special City Council meeting on the budget). - Steve Tavares, Twitter

During the above-referenced meeting, it appeared that some city leaders ignored or glossed over the city’s improved financial position in an attempt to justify opposing a proposed contract extension to public safety workers that would help the city reduce its retiree health benefit (OPEB) costs. The council is to vote on the contract on April 29.

Dear Editor,

A new record has been achieved for Alameda Education Foundation’s Adopt A Classroom program this year. In March, we made our 189th presentation for the 2014-15 school year. To put it in perspective, six years ago we did 39 adoptions, and we have now topped that by 160; $94,500 has been donated to classrooms thanks to generous members of our community.