Don't let old school become apartments

Many residents will be dismayed to know that city and Alameda Unified School District administrative staff have a strategy in place to confiscate the site of old Island High and replace it with density housing despite overwhelming public opposition to maintain it as a public asset.

Although still owned by our public school district and not yet declared by our board of education to be surplus property, the city voted to include the site within the citywide housing element adopted last summer. During that process, the school's zoning was upgraded from municipal to residential, which more than tripled the property's value and prepped its pathway to serve as a housing fix for the city while generating financial profit for AUSD. It was part of the same council decision that prompted the lawsuit from the East Bay Regional Park District for their hasty zoning switch of the McKay Avenue property.

Is it a land swap? Most definitely, confirmed at the City Council and board of education subcommittee last June (hear audio on the city's website), the land will be surrendered by AUSD to the city in exchange for 12 acres that AUSD will receive once Alameda Point's land use planning is finalized. The city is ignoring Alameda residents, its parents, its students and their teachers, who all want to improve the site and develop an educational program that could serve all of Alameda.

The decision to convert the public property into housing is set to be approved by City Council at their next meeting on Tuesday as part of the city's north Park Street zoning planning area. If you are in favor of maintaining public places and public access in Alameda, and if you voted in favor of last November's Measure D, please appeal to our elected officials to remove the AUSD property from their plans for housing and instead allow it to serve the future of Alameda's students and educational needs.

Laura DiDonato

Effective self-defense an individual's right

I just read the March 15 letter, "Save lives -- repeal Second Amendment." Heck, why not include those "trying to impose their will" on what Big 5 should or shouldn't sell?

I have a right to exist, I have a right to protect my family by any means necessary -- whether it is by my hands, a blow dart, knife, baseball bat, etc. The police can't be everywhere. 7-Eleven on Lincoln ring a bell? People need to relax on their knee-jerk reactions. For those individuals uneducated in firearms, a trigger must be squeezed or pulled. It is the brain that tells your finger to do that, not the trigger.

One round or 20 rounds to stop violence against my family is fine, as long as we live. Go ahead all, stay on the phone with 911 dispatchers while your family is getting robbed, raped, beaten. Not me.

Daniel Flores

Thanks for helping Edison PTA event

On March 9, Edison School PTA hosted its annual Gala & Auction, our school's largest fundraiser. All proceeds from this event go directly to the Edison School PTA, which provides funding for assemblies, field trips, art, garden and science docents and classroom basics and supplies.

The Edison School PTA also supports the salaries of the school's music and computer teachers. This all benefits and enriches Edison students' education and experience.

The auction was a tremendous success and exceeded our fundraising goal. This accomplishment is attributed to the Alameda community coming together. Thank you to the many local businesses that generously donated goods and services, Edison families and friends that donated items and volunteered time and to the Edison faculty who contributed their "Gifts From the Heart" which make this event so personal and special. We are very fortunate at Edison to have amazing parents and teachers within the greatest community.

A special thank-you goes to our event sponsors: ACCO Engineered Systems, Alameda Nutrition, Bank of Alameda, Joel Benjamine of Albany Subaru, Books, Inc., Cairdea Design, Complements Hair Design, Fischer Group, Happy Feet Children's Shoes, Harbor Bay Realty, Island City Café, Karen N. Larson, DDS, Mahoney Walker Insurance, McGee's Bar & Grill, Placer Title, Providence Pet Hospital, W. Lance Russum Law Office, Ron Sauger Tile Granite & Marble, Gail Soares-Artikaslan, EA, Spectrum Wealth Partners, Sterling Mortgage, The Agency Orange, Tracy Zollinger, LAc.

Karin Fox, Diane Freeman and Kristen Stoller

2013 Gala & Auction Committee Edison School PTA