Clause in water hike shouldn't be allowed

In reading the brochure Alameda County Water District mailed to me regarding water rate surcharges proposed during the drought, I noticed some particularly disturbing language.

Under the heading Effective Date and Proration, it says:

"If adopted by the Board of Directors, all drought surcharges would become effective on July 21, 2014 and would remain in effect until rescinded by the board."

This is completely unconscionable. With such language we can (and should) assume that ACWD, following its own precedent, would never rescind that surcharge. ACWD has, as long as I have been a homeowner in Fremont, raised our water rates every single year. Not once has ACWD lowered the rates.

My water bill has risen more than 300 percent -- and I'm using much less water than ever. I'm in favor of conservation, and I do conserve. I don't mind paying a fair price for my water, but that clause in their proposal makes their proposal unacceptable.

Mary Barnett

Fremont

Foundation efforts show commitment

The Fremont Bank Foundation celebrated a milestone on May 15, hosting a 50th Anniversary Reception at the Fremont Unified School District Professional Development Center. Community and government leaders and nonprofit organizations were invited.

The Foundation's mission -- "Sharing with the community" -- was brought to life as 50 nonprofit and faith-based organizations were surprised to receive a $10,000 anniversary award. The culminating moment: the Foundation announced the Cancer Prevention Institute of California as recipient of a $50,000 grant, selected by bank employees.

The missions of diverse agencies, and the lives of many children, women and men have been improved because Fremont Bank invests in the community. With genuine warmth and little fanfare, Fremont Bank Foundation demonstrated how a business can enhance the quality of life for all people. Isn't this what our world needs most today?

The Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose are grateful for Fremont Bank's generous community investments and celebrate the 50 years success of this community-oriented business.

Sister Gloria Marie Jones,

Congregational Prioresses, Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose Fremont

Warning labels inform the public

We at the American Heart Association applaud the recent Times editorial, "Warning labels for sugary drinks are appropriate," to move SB1000 through the state Senate. On May 30, it passed out of the Senate and now heads to the Assembly.

The American Heart Association supports the introduction of this warning label -- similar to the support 50 years ago of cigarette warning labels.

Consumers need information to make educated choices. Sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs) are the primary source of added sugars in Americans' diet, as the average adult in the United States consumes roughly 45 gallons of SSBs each year.

A warning label will allow consumers to make informed purchasing decisions, which will lead to improved diets and heart healthier lifestyles.

California would be the first state in the nation to require a health warning on sugary drinks. As we pioneered tobacco education efforts, so we should lead the way with health warning labels on sugary drinks.

Corilee Watters

Oakland

Watters is an American Heart Association Advocate.

Newark schools are not communicating

It is clear that the community is not satisfied with the performance of our board of trustees of the Newark Unified School District. Regardless of who serves as current superintendent, it is ultimately members of the board who make crucial decisions.

Most recently, these decisions include extending kindergarten to a full day, moving the sixth graders to the junior high, and disbanding the preschool. With little consideration for logistics and little or no consultation from the exemplary educators and support staff who directly impact our students, these trustees have forged ahead with their own agenda.

The lack of communication with the school community and the citizens at large is not new. For years, trustees have run unopposed. There will be no change until voters find some new, fresh thinkers to rebuild our district.

"Business as Usual" means a continued lack of professionalism, questionable integrity and a rubber stamp mentality that is surely not best for our students.

In 20 years as an employee of this district, I have seen many changes. As a resident for more than 35 years, I have watched an educational system deteriorate to an embarrassing and dysfunctional institution.

Noel Doot

Newark