Op-ed

I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce myself to the Alameda community. My name is Sean McPhetridge, and I am serving as the interim superintendent for Alameda Unified School District this school year.

I have worked for the district for nine of the last 14 years. I began as a vice principal at Alameda High School, and then I returned here after graduate school to serve as director of secondary and career technical education and also principal of Alameda Science and Technology Institute. Most recently, I spent three more years as the district's assistant superintendent. I am grateful for the opportunity to be back in Alameda.

Since I became director of the Alameda Food Bank, I have been skeptical when anyone in our organization refers to our clients as “them.”

Now that there is a full slate of candidates for City Hall elections, which of them is going to stand up for Bay Farm Island and be our voice in Alameda politics?

Candidates should be falling over each other to court our votes. Bay Farm is one of the biggest, most consistent voting blocks in Alameda. Nearly every candidate to win the popular vote on Bay Farm has also won the citywide general election.

Plus, Bay Farm has a unifying issue.

We are going into the fifth grade at Maya Lin School. We have now spoken at three school board meetings. We don’t think we should have to ask to feel safe.

As parents of Alameda students, we were saddened, but not surprised, by AT&T’s refusal to remove cellular antennas from Maya Lin School where they may present a danger to our children. Many community members are concerned that radiofrequency (RF) emissions from cell antennas may cause long term harm to our children; they are exposed to these emissions while they are still growing and developing.

One of the sure signs of summer in Alameda is the announcement of the headliners for the free, family friendly Concerts at the Cove music series co-produced by the Rotary Club of Alameda and the East Bay Regional Park District. The 15th season will conclude on August 8 when two KFOG Local Scene bands headline the final concert.

This summer is a season of change in Alameda Unified School District. As many of you have heard, our superintendent, Kirsten Vital, has resigned her position as of August 1 to become the new superintendent of Capistrano Unified School District. Ms. Vital has served our students and families for nearly six years. We thank her for her strong instructional work to improve the teaching and learning for all of our children. Please join us at 5 p.m. Tuesday, July 22 at the Elks Lodge Rathskellar for a farewell reception to honor Ms. Vital’s work and to wish her well in her new position!

Here's a poem of celebration to thank the many Alameda residents who enthusiastically cheered the Alameda Gay Pride Float entry in the Fourth of July parade.

Ron Cowan’s Harbor Bay Isle Associates (HBIA) continues its push to move the Harbor Bay Club. Its recent campaign at City Hall implies that Harbor Bay Neighbors opposes the building of a new Harbor Bay Club.

As a member of Harbor Bay Neighbors, which is in opposition to moving the Harbor Bay Club from its 35+ year location in order to build homes or a hotel, I frequently hear misconceptions and untruths that have been accepted as fact. I'd like to take this opportunity to set the record straight.