Vital's exit raises serious questions

Over the last several weeks leading up the demise of Kirsten Vital, it become known to me in my reading that she was recently awarded a contract until 2016. Three questions:

Did she conceal her negotiations with a second school district?

Did the school board know she was leaving and give her a contract extension in the hope she would stay?

Finally, and most importantly, how much did this Vital exit cost the school district/taxpayers in payout on Aug. 1, her last day of work? By this I mean: severance, future health benefits and other perquisites.

An answer to my questions will inform my decision on supporting any bond issue in November, and speak volumes about the financial oversight of the incumbent school board.

Mark Schwab

Rent control, more jobs needed here

Alameda rents are getting higher, and it's not going to change. The housing market is going up, not down.

The only people of low income who make it in Alameda are people who hold a voucher from a shelter or Section 8 housing or low-income housing funded by the federal government -- but how long will that last?

Many people in Alameda can't find work in this city, even with some kind of college education. Many people look for work outside of Alameda, and many people are forced to move because of high rents and no rent control.


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We need to offer more jobs and lower our rents with rent control. We need to take action.

Gloria Guerro

Club's solicitation reeks of desperation

I am an Alameda citizen who believes in open and transparent public discourse on important issues facing our community. I am also the parent of two minor children and a member of the Harbor Bay Neighbors.

I was stunned when I received a recent email from Harbor Bay Club soliciting me for the names of my spouse and children as "supporters" for building a new club in the business park. First off, my husband is an adult who is perfectly capable of making his own decisions. Asking me for his name is insulting to him and a disingenuous ploy by Harbor Bay Isle Associates to boost their supporter numbers with names of unconsenting adults.

Secondly, my children -- and all children -- should be off-limits for exploitation by adults bent on winning a cause by any means. The fact that HBIA believes it is necessary to gather names of anyone older than six for their cause is irresponsible and reeks of desperation. Has HBIA really reached the level that they must use the names of unconsenting adults and minors to inflate their supporter list? If so, then they've truly reached a new low. How pathetic.

In addition, HBIA insinuates that without the new club the kids programs at the existing club are not viable. Are they really threatening to take away the kids programs if we don't support the new club? The club has been operating just fine with current operations. We as parents rely on the club's afterschool programs for our kids. How can the club serve our community and our kids by moving to the business park? Kids don't belong in a business park, they belong near their school and nearby parks.

Jennifer Carrl

Hamas should quit its armed resistance

Humanitarian aid sent by the West could have been used to build homes, schools, hotels on the seashore to attract tourists creating jobs, and to upgrade hospitals in Gaza.

Instead, Hamas has used humanitarian aid to buy missiles, other armaments and tons of cement and lumber to create tunnels under homes, schools, mosques and other public buildings that terminate under Israeli cities. Missiles and other ammunition have been stored in homes and public buildings.

Missiles fired from residential areas into Israel invited a response from Israel. I wonder if this is a macabre plan to maximize civilian casualties, who are regarded as martyrs to their cause. The plan, of course, is that pictures of all of these innocent civilian casualties create an outpouring of sympathy from the civilized world and condemnation of Israel due to the disproportionate number of casualties.

War is hell, and innocent people are wounded, killed and displaced. This war was provoked by the continuous firing of missiles by Hamas aimed at civilians in Israel at the direction of the politburo chief of Hamas, Khaled Mashal, from his luxury suite in Qatar.

Elaine Kofman

Dirty politics rearing their head on Island

Recently, I received a call from Bernett Research in Oregon. It was supposed to be a general poll about Alameda, and it quickly turned into a very biased mudslinging effort against Frank Matarrese, a potential candidate for our next city council race.

I am offended that big money is being spent to try to influence voters in Alameda by using dirty politics and despicable propaganda. Make no mistake: I would be just as offended and incensed had this been against someone I dislike.

Be forewarned, Alamedans, this is dirty politics at it's worst, so let's show them that these tactics don't work in our city. Hang up on them before they even get started. I have no idea who is behind this, but it's clearly someone with deep pockets who's trying to influence voters in Alameda. Hmm, could it be one of the developers for Alameda Point?

Sue Spiersch