Kudos to all who helped protect parks

Congratulations to all Alamedans on the huge success of Measure D -- 80 percent was an impressive victory. It sends the message loud and clear to all future City Councils that Alameda parks are loved and will be defended by the people of Alameda. With this change to our charter, no piece of any park, including golf courses, can ever be disposed of by the council without a vote of the people.

Tens of thousands of hours have been invested in this effort. It is almost staggering to reflect on: speaking at Planning Board and Council meetings, writing letters to papers, organizing meetings, recruiting supporters and volunteers, writing the legal charter change, writing the legally required petition, consulting lawyers, collecting 10,000 signatures (with many volunteers working in the rain), validating all the signatures, raising funds for the campaign, designing and printing signs and fliers, putting fliers in store windows, putting up yard signs, explaining measure D and encouraging people to go to the polls. The number of phone calls and emails has been staggering.

All of this was done by hundreds of dedicated supporters, every one a volunteer. If you played a part in this great victory, you have given a gift to the people of Alameda for generations to come.

Congratulations on the success of Measure D.

Mary Theresa Anderson

president Protect Our Alameda Parks

Thanks for helping the animal shelter

Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter held its second annual After the Ball at Rock Wall Wine Company gala Oct. 18.

FAAS wishes to thank the entire community for making this its most successful event to date. Donations, auctions, raffle, sponsorship and ticket sales raised over $67,000. FAAS thus met the challenge from an anonymous donor who pledged a match of $50,000; bringing the total raised to more than $117,000.

It could not have happened without numerous volunteers, the FAAS Board and staff, as well as all the shelter supporters in the community. Special thanks to our honorary chairs Kathy, Kent and Shauna Rosenblum, who have done so much for FAAS.

Thanks also to Asena, R&B Cellars, Tucker's Ice Cream, JC Cellars, Rosenblum Cellars, CocoTutti, Christina Balogh-Nunes, Kathy Moehring and Lenny Broberg for their generosity. Several generous sponsors underwrote the cost of the event allowing all proceeds from the event to go to support compassionate shelter services for Alameda's animals.

Vali Ebert

chair, After the Ball

Glad to see coverage about Wadi Foquin

I commend the Nov. 9 Alameda Journal article on how Buena Vista United Methodist Church in Alameda is helping the village of Wadi Foquin in the West Bank. As a member of Buena Vista UMC, I'm proud to be part of this effort, happy to have the opportunity to live my Christian faith in ways that directly support those who suffer human rights violations under the Israeli occupation.

As the truth spreads about this decades-long occupation, including our own role in it, I'm hopeful that we will hold the Israeli government accountable for how it spends the many billions of dollars we send it every year -- a large part of it subsidizing the actions that violate the human rights of Palestinians and pose an existential threat to the village of Wadi Foquin, which has as much right as any village -- and certainly more right than any illegal settlement -- to exist.

I look forward to more such articles on Palestinians under occupation and how local communities can help.

Jose Arcellana

Oakland

Speak up against cruelty to villagers

Regarding the Nov. 9 article about members of Alameda's Buena Vista United Methodist Church speaking up and supporting the Palestinian village, Wadi Foquin, which Israel is determined to erase from the map, along with hundreds of other Palestinian villages.

Bravo, Buena Vista United Methodist Church.

It's time for people who unequivocally support the actions of Israel in their illegal occupation of Palestine to come to their senses. Do they want to wake up one morning and have to admit that they didn't speak up against the cruel actions of Israel's government (and many of its Jewish citizens) toward Palestinians?

Katharine Davies Samway

Oakland

Food bank needs much more help

The Alameda Food Bank has indicated on their website that a record number of clients has resulted in the depletion of the food inventories and that the need for food is great during the holiday season. I encourage Alamedans to be generous during this time of need.

This Saturday, the annual Scouting for Food drive will be picking up nonperishable goods. Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts and others -- such as Girl Scouts, Girls Inc., Red Cross, Rotary Club, Elks Lodge, and the Coast Guard -- have distributed door-hangers and bags for your information and use.

Please place food items outside by 9 a.m. Saturday morning.

Mark Cronenwett