Hardworking teachers deserving of honors

Wednesday has been designated as Day of the Teacher. For many years, the second Wednesday of May has been a time to honor our hardworking, dedicated educators. The East Bay Division of California Retired Teachers Association recognizes those teachers every year through their local divisions. East Bay Division 2 does this with a proclamation and a variety of treats for schools in Alameda, Oakland and San Leandro.

Our members have volunteered 18,400 hours of their time, worth thousands of dollars, helping in their local neighborhoods as tutors, mentors, caregivers and a multiplicity of activities that make a positive difference among our many populations.

Also, Division 2 awarded four substantial scholarships to three high school seniors who explicitly desire to become educators and to one graduate student accepted into UCB's Teacher Program where she will earn a master's degree and teaching credential. We do this by the generous donations of our members, friends, families and supporters through various fundraising efforts throughout the year.

Help us by thanking your local public school teachers and supporting your children, the communities' children in our schools.

Marcia Hawkins

Board member CalRTA EastBay Division 2 Oakland

BART's agents could learn from the Metro

I recently returned from a weeklong visit to the D.C. area and used the Metro, their subway system, for several days.

I was impressed with Metro station staff, who were available and courteous at various stations assisting bewildered tourists using the ticket machines.

I wish our BART station agents could match the level of customer service. Our agents prefer to remain stationary inside their booth and offer assistance from afar and often begrudgingly. Metro agents provided hands-on assistance with a smile.

Harry Gin

Union City

Support open space, keep all courts open

Hidden Hills Tennis Club on Carlos Bee Boulevard in Hayward, which includes a clubhouse and 10 tennis courts, will close May 31. We learned this in a letter dated April 14, and no explanation has been forthcoming.

In the 1970s, the city of Hayward approved what is now called City View Apartments with the condition that the club facility and tennis courts be completed before occupancy. Evidently, the city recognized the need and importance of open space and opportunities for outdoor recreation.

Essex informed City View tenants that only one court will remain open for their use. It does not make sense that Essex would allow the remaining courts to lie vacant and fall into disrepair year after year. Hence, our assumption regarding using this open space for additional units.

We implore the city of Hayward to support open space and the tennis facility that serves Hayward residents as well as a meeting place for tennis players throughout the Bay Area. The club also supports junior teams and teams for seniors.

Fran Krug

Hayward

Bill to stop fracking should pass Senate

Recently, there was another success for the anti-fracking campaign that is rapidly gaining momentum in California.

The Senate Environmental Quality Committee passed SB1132, which calls for a statewide moratorium on fracking. Local bans on hydraulic fracturing are popping up all over the state, the city of Los Angeles being one of the largest.

As a member of UC Berkeley's Students Against Fracking chapter, I experience daily the growing support for a moratorium on fracking, as well as the frustration that many students share toward the continued presence of this irresponsible practice in our state.

Californians are realizing that the consequences of contaminated groundwater and increased carbon emissions are just not worth it. Plus, in the middle of a drought, we cannot spare millions of gallons of water for each of the thousands of fracking wells that the industry has planned for us. SB1132's next test is the Senate Appropriations Committee, where I strongly urge our legislators to approve of this bill.

Eva Malis

Co-coordinator

UC Berkeley Students Against Fracking