Alameda Unified needs a pickup

Wait! What is it, parked outside Alameda’s Edison Elementary School.
AUSD truck 1
Let’s get closer.
AUSD truck 2
And closer.
AUSD truck three
Ahh, it’s an official Alameda Unified School District truck. A quick chat with the district employee driving it reveals that it’s of vintage 1978. It’s well older, one can be quite certain, than the oldest student in the district. And, not to give away my age–I’m told ladies of a certain age should not–but I was eight when that truck was new. One hopes I’m holding up better. Said the driver of the truck:

Our trucks are all old and they all waste too much gas and require a lot of maintenance. They’re not even cost efficient.

It requires an investment in schools and the people and supplies that support them to have it all coming out well in the end. You can starve public institutions but, eventually, as we’re seeing here in Alameda, stuff starts to hit the fan.

Word is that, in response to the student protests in Alameda this week, the state’s superintendent of instruction, Jack O’Connell, is coming to our island tomorrow to meet with Alameda and Encinal High student leaders. Encinal Senior Class President Mebrak Kahsai, who helped launch Tuesday’s protest, is one of the students who will meet with O’Connell Friday afternoon. She says the feeling of being heard by the powers that be is has been inspiring:

We’re actually–even though what the governor said was kind of negative—we’re actually happy that they heard us; we’re glad that he heard. People at school have been saying, “I never felt so powerful before.” …The governor responding made us feel good.


  • http://www.laurendo.com Lauren Do

    Awesome, that must be the “fat” that people are talking about that needs to be cut from the school district. Nothing says “excessive expenditures” like a 30 year old truck.

  • Susan Davis

    Excellent photo.

    But wait! There’s an older truck/student in the district, one that we used for the shade project at Otis last spring and this fall. It’s a dump truck, not a pick-up truck (so it’s bigger and way badder). I drove this truck several times; so, too did our principal, Jeff Knoth. I think–I’m not kidding–it was built in the 1940s.

    This truck has a teeny tiny sweet spot–maybe a nanomillimeter long–in which the clutch actually engages. Miss that sweet spot and the truck stalls out entirely. Moreover, the brake is so stiff I got a charlie horse in my calf from stomping on it. Truly, I was limping! And the cab door doesn’t open from the inside…which can lead to panicky feelings on a hot day when you’re dripping in sweat just from driving the darn thing from one point to another.

    This is a really fun truck to drive across a blacktop on which many parents and small children are gathered, anxiously awaiting a chance to plant daisies.

    Let me try to get a photo of that truck for you, as more evidence, yes, of the “fat” in this district.

  • Amy Gorman

    It is all true! I have seen and used the above mentioned District Dump Truck! It is so old and dangerous…Susan forgot to mention that the windows don’t roll down, so you can’t look out and see the children you are about to run over. It took 3 adults to move the truck about 75 ft, from the street to the blacktop at Otis…and we were SO relieved when it was parked.
    Let’s hope we can get some large corporate sponsors to help with reasonable equipement before someone gets seriously hurt. This dump truck is a HUGE hazard.

  • http://www.drmetablog.com Vivan

    These are valuable antique trucks and should be auctioned off on Ebay or, better still, Sotheby’s.

  • Susan Davis

    Maybe we can dress them up like Hummers and sell them to Arnold.