Link development to traffic solutions
Alameda needs TLC. It is an island nearly overpopulated. Traffic is becoming overbearing.
Ultimately, the island needs a tunnel or a bridge connecting West Alameda to Oakland. Future generations will not look favorably on current plans to add new residential and commercial units in Alameda Point without a major traffic solution.
Let's not kid ourselves that more expansion will be beneficial to the city tax base, without a solution to ongoing, and certainly expanding, traffic jams. The developers proposing feel-good plans really don't pay attention to the future. In fact, they have no reason to care.
Humane Society grateful for support
The Humane Society of Alameda membership drive for 2013 is underway. A big thank-you goes to our supporters renewing their membership, to our new members and to everyone who made a donation to our organization.
We know you have choices, and we appreciate your thinking about the Humane Society of Alameda. Your donations and membership renewals allow us to provide for all the helpless, homeless animals and animals in need of special services and attention.
It also gives us the opportunity to continue our programs providing financial assistance to the Alameda Animal Shelter. The big project this year (2013) was resurfacing, resealing and painting all the shelter kennels at a cost of $32,425. The money also went to: providing food for the animals at the shelter in 2012, $16,259.17; medical assistance for the animals, $2,149.83; cat carriers, new blankets, kitten heating pads, 600 leashes, new energy efficient dishwasher, new energy efficient freezer, $3,865.41; other financial assistance for the spay/neuter program and medical assistance to those animals in need, and the free vaccination clinic and free microchip clinic, $5,879.
Along with our free animal adoptions, from the Alameda Animal Shelter, for Alameda senior citizens living on low incomes, we have instituted a new program through a special bequest, offering Veterans of the Armed Services the opportunity to adopt an animal from the Alameda Animal Shelter free.
So, you see your memberships and donations are taking care of our beloved animals in so many ways. Please continue sending your memberships and donations to The Humane Society of Alameda, P.O. Box 1571, Alameda, CA 94501 or by donating through our secured website, www.hsalameda.org. The board of directors thank you for you continued support these past 37 years -- and our beloved animals thank you, too.
Holly Schmalen- berger-Haugen
treasurer, board of directors Humane Society of Alameda
A record that doesn't inspire confidence
As a professional in the financial services industry, it is my job to analyze a company's financials and past management performance to predict the likelihood of a positive outcome if my client invests in the stock.
In reviewing Ron Cowan's Harbor Bay Isle Associates, the financial analysis is terrifying. A quick Google search of Ron Cowan brings up a recent investigative article. Highlights include:
1. Early 1990s: A $22 million loan from two California Union Pension Funds to save his failing company.
2. 1996: Bankruptcy and default on loans.
3. Late 1990s: A $34 million loan from Lehman Brothers.
4. 2002: A growing loan balance of $43.1 million and another Cowan default on a loan.
As for management performance, after $65.1 million in loan defaults, a bankruptcy, an FBI subpoena of HBIA during its public corruption probe of former state Sen. Don Perata, and the seizure of 338 of the 350 acres of the Harbor Bay Business Park that HBIA originally owned, I would have to ask "what is the likelihood of a positive outcome of Cowan's current idea for a new Harbor Bay Club relocated in a business park and 80 new homes where the current club is located?"
As a financial professional I'd tell my clients to stay away from this one. It's a sell, not a buy. They would be better served investing in a company with proven financial responsibility. I urge residents to register their disapproval of this idea by visiting harborbayneighbors.wordpress.com
Columnist King a superb mentor
Joe King had a positive influence on my life in the few short years I knew him. I was an early member of the Alameda Boys Club, attending almost daily from 1956 through 1958.
I had never known hardship until I went to camping in Yosemite with Joe as our leader. We hiked the Half Dome trail, and with his steady encouragement we all made it. Those numerous trips, hikes, swimming ventures, etc. that he took us boys on prepared me for many of life's challenges. I have never forgotten Joe and have mentioned his name and place in my life to my friends, family and now my grandchildren.
Ten years after leaving Alameda, I served in Vietnam as an artillery forward observer to an infantry company. Those 18 months in the Mekong Delta with half the tour slugging through the mud brought back those intense hikes and adventures with Joe King.
He was a superb leader to us young boys. I remember Joe as all business mixed with some good humor. I knew he cared about each one of us.