How many burger joints is enough?

At a time when the American Medical Association has officially recognized obesity as a disease, Alameda is proposing we go the other way. The city is actively considering the proposal for an In-N-Out Burger located at the entrance to Alameda (on the right, just as you exit the Webster tube). There are also plans for a 24-7 gas station with a kiosk that will serve alcohol until the early hours.

This is a slap in the face to West End residents who are already saturated with similar fast food establishments and have repeatedly voiced their preference for healthier alternatives. There is also the potential for traffic gridlock at the Webster/Stargell intersection and perhaps even backing up into the Webster tube as cars make their way to In-N-Out (which does have a devoted clientele willing to drive long distances to get their double-double burgers).

While many cities are increasingly exploring options to promote healthier lifestyles and pedestrian-oriented development, a drive-through fast food establishment is as auto-centric as much as it is a artery buster -- talk about a perfect "double double."

Is this the best Alameda can do? Residents and visitors deserve better than to be greeted with the neon lights of a drive-through and the aroma of french fries in the air every time they enter through the "gateway to Alameda," as this location is being called.

Malgudi Iyer

More places with full dinner menus needed

For some unknown reason, the West End of Alameda seems to attract fast food restaurants. Last time I counted, there were 10 on Webster Street and Central Avenue in a one-half mile radius. That's not including Round Table Pizza, Carl's Jr, Gourmet Burritos and Quizno's in Marina Village.

Pier 29 and Pasta Pelican are the two restaurants on the West End that have full dinner menus where you can order steaks, prime rib, pork chops, etc.

Now In-N-Out Burger is eager to join the crowd of fast foods at the West End. When South Shore expanded, I was hoping a buffet-type restaurant would open there.

At one time, Alameda had two Sizzler's -- one at each end -- but both are gone. Wouldn't it be great to have a Home Town Buffet, Fresh Choice or Sizzler located somewhere in Alameda?

Clearly, more fast food is not needed here at West End. I ask the planning board and City Council for Alameda Landing to please reconsider Alameda's dining priorities.

Joyce Linney

Thanks for backing animal shelter's event

Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter held their second annual Wiggle Waggle Walk recently to raise needed funs for Alameda's homeless pets. More than 100 people and dogs came out on a sunny Saturday to take a one-mile stroll, participate in fun contests, eat some great food and visit with lots of pet-oriented vendors.

Wiggle Waggle Walk raised more than $15,000 for the animals. We are extremely grateful to everyone who attended the event and to the sponsors who completely underwrote all the costs.

Sponsors were: Providence Veterinary Hospital and Clinic, MBH Architects, Kelly Lux State Farm Insurance Companies agent, Under One Woof, Alameda Business Network, Alameda Marina, Berg Injury Lawyers, Bill Botts Mirror Finish Auto Detailing, Churchward Pub, Harbor Bay Club Associates, Harbor Bay Realty, JD's Pet Care, Nancy Evans of Harbor bay Realty and Voluncheer.com.

Thanks, Alameda, for your continued generous support for our homeless pets.

Mim Carlson

executive director, Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter

People can express whatever they want

Fourth of July parades are a great American tradition and a demonstration of freedom of speech.

Parading of politics and hobbies and beliefs is free speech. Cheering the Democrats is free speech. Jeering the NRA is free speech.

On the other hand, un-American is what the author of the July 12 embarrassing and ill-considered letter, "During parade, keep politics to oneself," boils down to. Advocating silence as he does is advocating denial of free speech. As Plato put it, "Your silence gives consent."

Peter Dow

Being political was totally appropriate

Regarding the letter, "During parade, keep politics to oneself," July 12:

Perhaps the author forgot he lives in the United States? I'm not quite sure that happens while someone is at the mayor's parade celebrating July 4th.

Perhaps he hasn't reviewed the First Amendment to the Constitution lately? Nowhere does it say that one person is the sole arbiter of what is appropriate public speech in Alameda or the rest of the country. Since the irony of his complaint is apparently lost to him, I would like to quote his own words: his letter to the editor "is certainly intolerant and perhaps ignorant."

Adam Gillitt