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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: Letters

Re: “Letters for the Week of July 27, 2016

Not sure how to send a "letter to the editor" so am doing it here. How about an article exposing the real money behind the so called "Grocery Tax" which is being heavily advertised as hurting small markets in underserved neighborhoods. Is this proposed tax only on sugary sodas or ALL bottled drinks containing sugar? Does it also tax actual food, fresh and canned? If it taxes soda only, who is paying the people featured in the TV and print advertisements? Are they real store owners or actors - the voters would like more clarification of this since we are being bombarded about a grocery tax which may not even tax groceries!

Posted by Francesca M. Austin on 08/01/2016 at 7:53 AM

Re: “Letters for the Week of June 1, 2016

@steve tabor
I rather think it was Mr Tabor who is having a hard time leaving junior high behind; bad experience with the football team?

And perhaps no coincidence he refers to the predominately African American athletes in the article as "boys" who need to "grow up."

Sports and entertainment are a diversion. It's Mr Tabor who is taking that too seriously, and setting up false conflict between say enjoying the Dubs and political action. All while casting shade on the thousands of Oaklanders who like a good basketball game. At their local junior high or at the Coliseum.

Posted by Ambierce Brose on 06/02/2016 at 2:08 PM

Re: “Letters for the Week of June 1, 2016

@steve tabor
Thank you very much for such a thoughtful and well written letter. I am a 68 year old man who gave up my own addiction to "sports" when I turned 50. One day, I realized the utter stupidity of deciding what I could plan for a Sunday only after hearing whether "my" team was at home or away.

I still shoot hoops, but I never watch. In fact, I'm seldom aware of which sport is even in season--one of the blessings/curses of retirement.

Thanks again; it's nice to know that my antipathy to professional sports is shared by others.

Posted by Stephen Shuttleworth on 06/01/2016 at 6:28 PM

Re: “Letters for the Week of March 23, 2016

Re-Barton response

As a homeowner in Oakland I welcome the increased value of both my land and my dwelling. There's no windfall anything. We made an investment and the value grew.

My home is "affordable" because of educational and economic decisions made long ago. Don't rent-ever or only so long as you have to OR move to a community where housing is "affordable" to your income.

Any high school student taking economics soon learns that as a function of capital , land prices will rise with increased demand. Acknowledge that as the viability of living in a diverse and city with opportunity that Oakland resonates with people with larger incomes, rents, home prices, and yes rents will go up. I'd prefer that than the shell of the Oakland I worked in during late 1980's and 1990's with mindless murder and drug wars in North and West Oakland

Posted by michael.sagehorn on 03/24/2016 at 7:05 PM

Re: “Letters for the Week of February 10, 2016

Ms. Eng nails it perfectly. Create a child friendly Oakland, create a better Oakland.

Posted by michael.sagehorn on 02/10/2016 at 1:13 PM

Re: “Letters for the week of December 16-22

In response to Erik Kengaard, I respectfully disagree. There may not be enough "developable land" for large structures but there are certainly MANY empty lots, even in my small neighborhood - there is a large empty lot at Lakeshore and MacArthur as well as a smaller one left from an abandoned building project from the recession on Wesley and MacArthur. These two lots are more than large enough for a small apartment complex. I surely have driven by vacant lots in West Oakland although I can't pinpoint them in this comment. Regarding the two on MacArthur, surely there could be a constructive project in both - right now, the smaller one is overgrown and unused and the larger one is a parking lot, currently locked and not used.

Posted by Francesca M. Austin on 12/30/2015 at 7:30 PM

Re: “Letters for the week of December 16-22

The problem arises from government policies that discourage the construction of new housing? No, the problem arises from overpopulation. There is no developable land left in Oakland.

Posted by Erik Kengaard on 12/30/2015 at 3:03 PM

Re: “Letters for the Week of September 16

Mr Elliott brave of you to respond to east bay express accusing them of not contacting you??? I noticed you didn't respond to any of their accusations----I am one of the backyard neighbors who has to put up with all the noise and partying which goes on at 1001 winsor...last night at 3am i called the police as i was tired of listening to ghostbusters being sung over and over again...we are fed up...quit breaking the law, we want our quiet residential neighborhood back...not your party central!!!! you are an insult to our lovely neighborhood!!!!!

Posted by Susan Elliott on 10/04/2015 at 11:19 AM

Re: “Letters for the Week of September 16

@ Cris Castro This is a "non-apology". Please work to inform yourself on the genocide that occurred on this soil. Read "Indigenous Peoples History of the United States" by Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz. Educate yourself on the oppression affecting native communities today and get involved in social justice issues. You will then be prepared to write a "real apology". It will go something like this: "I acknowledge the Native American genocide committed by my ancestors, and through which I continue to benefit from in our white supremacy system. I dedicate my life to understanding this truth and work to end the cycle of violence my European American community perpetrates on indigenous peoples. I am so sorry for what my ancestors did."

Posted by Molly Batchelder on 10/03/2015 at 6:01 PM

Re: “Letters for the Week of September 2, 2015

Although there are no articles in this issue on bicyclists and motorists, I'd like to comment on my observations as both of these.

Bicyclists need to fear auto, bus and truck drivers. Either the motorists don't know the new law which requires keeping three feet between their vehicles and bicyclists (or road bike paths) or they choose to be arrogant and think the road ONLY belongs to them.

The other observation is that many bicyclists don't care about their brains and won't wear helmets.

Why these seeming divergent observations? If a motorist hits you (I've been hit twice in downtown Oakland) because s/he can't share the road properly, and your head hits the pavement; you will have brain damage or die.

BTW the motorists who don't like when bicyclists don't obey the laws need to know that statistically (ratio!) more cars kill people than bicyclists.

Posted by Emily Montan on 09/03/2015 at 8:53 AM

Re: “Letters for the Week of August 12, 2015

Michael, a tenant living in a rent controlled one bedroom apartment ( $1,000.00 under market) recently purchased a new Mercedes and had his girl friend move in with him (she will pay half of the current rent) so he can save for a house. The inequity is that this person does not warrant having his rent subsidized and people that are economically deserving don't always receive that opportunity. Rent subsidy might be better distributed like food stamps, aid to dependent children or unemployment benefits. There ought to be a social benefit and not just a lucky happenstance that allows the indiscriminate distribution of benefits.

Posted by Lee Weber on 08/12/2015 at 3:36 PM

Re: “Letters for the Week of August 5, 2015

If you walk into the eucalyptus forests of the East Bay hills and just look, and listen, you'll know instantly these trees are thriving, thank you very much. In fact, they may fare much better than oaks and bays in surviving the CA droughts.

Abundant bird sounds, salamanders under the duff, and 10" of annual fog drop rain is created by these naturalized forest, thriving in CA for about 150 years.

All the demonizing of eucalyptus trees that tars them as "weeds" and worse, as "gasoline trees" that are a threat to our safety, ignore fire science, climate science, and common sense.

The current plan to cut down HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of them will actually CREATE A FIRE HAZARD by turning living forest canopy, which produces cooling shade, into dead wood (logs and wood chips), left on the ground, not removed from the hills.

Please folks, don't believe all the myths and misinformation that would have you hate and fear...trees. Eucalyptus are, after all, trees, offering all the myriad benefits trees of all species do, no matter their country of origin.

READ MORE ABOUT the roots of this environmentally devastating campaign that would be the largest SF Bay Area deforestation in 100 years:…

Posted by Jack Gescheidt on 08/07/2015 at 11:58 AM

Re: “Letters for the Week of August 5, 2015

Considering the massive amounts of lies and misinformation being spread by the EBRP, UC, Monsanto, Libby Schaaf, and all who will benefit from clear-cutting half a million of our East Bay hills trees, to be followed by massive herbiciding for decades (EBRPs actually called the poison Garlon "Garland" in a response to a concerned citizen), Mr. Booker's comment sounds like one more in a pile. Ask the eagles and hawks and other raptors why they need and prefer Eucalyptus to nest in.

The Eucs are doing just fine. Our native oaks and bays have Sudden Oak Death, and the poor redwoods along Hwy 13 are dying. (Cal Trans has ignored requests for thirty years to stop the Hedera Canariensis from smothering our trees, but instead they are on a massive healthy tree-killing campaign, as can be seen on the east side, between Redwood Road and Park Blvd. Meanwhile, 40 huge and healthy redwoods have been killed in little Dimond Park, for no apparent reason, so it's not just Eucs being targeted.……………

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Bev Von Dohre on 08/06/2015 at 8:58 PM

Re: “Letters for the Week of August 5, 2015

Response to Mr. Booker: Claims that eucalyptus trees are dying of drought and are infested with insects are just two of many story-lines spun by native plant advocates to support their demands that our urban forest be destroyed. The drought is hard on all plants and trees. If it were capable of singling at a single species of tree, it wouldn’t be blue gum eucalyptus. Mr. Booker cites a book by C.H. Sellers which was published in 1910. We have learned a lot since 1910, about eucalyptus and many other things. R.G. Florence published his comprehensive book about eucalyptus in 2000. He reports that our species of eucalyptus (blue gum) is very drought resistant, which is consistent with the fact that it thrives all over the world in many places that are much hotter and dryer than the Bay Area.

The tortoise beetle was introduced by native plant fanatics for the purpose of killing eucalyptus in California according to an entomologist at UC Riverside. But like many of the uninformed choices made by native plant advocates, the tortoise beetle does not kill eucalyptus trees.

Finally, Mr. Booker does not take into consideration that our tall non-native trees are condensing fog moisture which has been measured in San Francisco’s eucalyptus forest at 16 inches per year and 10 inches per year in the East Bay.

So many stories, all fabricated by people who are committed to returning our forests to grassland and scrub. One wonders where people find the time and energy to hate trees.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Millie Trees on 08/06/2015 at 8:21 PM

Re: “Letters for the week of July 8, 2015

Thanks to Gary Pattton for expressing my and my family's feelings exactly. Only hope the Warrior owners are reading the Express.

Allene Warren

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Allene Warren on 07/09/2015 at 12:26 PM

Re: “Letters for the week of June 24, 2015

What comes next, preventive detention? If the elected officials think for one minute that predicting where crime will break out, is the next step to identify persons who might commit a crime and put them in jail, rather than risk that they could commit a crime? Any rational person will tell you that prediction is akin to tea leaf reading, ande ouiji boards. Where will all this lead, just go and watch the classic film, Fahrenheit 451, then tell me it can't happen here.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Franklin Graham on 06/27/2015 at 10:08 AM

Re: “Letters for the week of June 17, 2015

If welfare is for food for poor people and grocery stores accept the cards, why do welfare recipients need cash? Likely for ciggeretes and alcohol.

Section 8 housing, Obama cell phones, and now complaining about access to cash! When will this entitlement culture end?

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by michael.sagehorn on 06/17/2015 at 10:31 PM

Re: “Letters for the week of June 17, 2015

No doubt many welfare recipients who read Ms. Anna Salomone's letter [Banks are Robbing the Poor, Letters, June 17-23] were scratching their heads and wondering why Ms. Salomone did not dig into the reasons for the switch from checks to bankcards. Her complaint was that banks were charging welfare recipients "up to $4 per transaction in order to access their cash benefits". Actual welfare recipients who have received checks in the past will know that $4 is a bargain. It's also safer. Just think about it. According to Ms. Salomone, "an average welfare benefit to a Bay Area family is only $670 per month." Assuming that an average welfare recipient does not have a bank account, and so must rely on a high-priced check cashing service to convert their monthly check into cash, I asked an employee at Payroll Advance, on 2005 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley, how much it would cost to cash a check for $670. The answer was $20.03, which is calculated at the rate of 2.99 percent of the check amount. There is also a serious risk of robbery involved, since the service will not cash only part of the check. If the welfare recipient only wants a hundred dollars to buy some groceries, they still must walk out the door holding $650 in cash, a fact that certainly every street thug knows well. Compare that to an ATM machine which allows the person to withdraw only the amount needed, and the safety issue becomes obvious.

Rich Clark -=- Berkeley, California -=-

Posted by Rich Clark on 06/17/2015 at 7:25 PM

Re: “Letters for the week of June 17, 2015

This comment was removed because it violates our policy against anonymous comments. It will be reposted if the commenter chooses to use his or her real name.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Editor on 06/17/2015 at 3:08 PM

Re: “Letters for Week of May 13, 2015

Sorry Kevin if I was only partially correct. Phase I affordable housing at San Leandro BART mixed with seniors units in Phase II. Considering both BART stations in that city and despite a specific plan along E 14th street for the last 25 years and that's it, excuse me if I am still underwhelmed. My point remains that until citizens and politicians are willing to talk honestly about race and privilege, construction of affordable housing is not going to happen. Here a couple more examples for you, The City of Livermore has been in a battle with Alameda County for the last 20 years about what happens in N Livermore. N Livermore is comprised of 30,000 acre north of I-580 that is totally flat and ripe for development. Part of it is in the city and part is in the county. The area has been the subject of law suits, several voter iniatives and settlement agreements over this time period. The issue is not only how much housing is appropriate but what kind of housing is politically acceptable. The citizens fear that the county will build all of their affordable housing there and that is unacceptable because it will bring undesirables to town. In the 1990's, when Danville was experiencing major growth along Camino Tassajara, a major residential developer voluntarily proposed to modify the last phase of a market rate single family subdivision and build townhouses affordable to families in the 80-120% of median income range. After the plan went public, the developers own homeowners in the early phases of the project bombarded the Town and the developer with objections to any project that would attract "those" people. At the time, "those" people for Danville, would have included policeman, fireman, teachers, nurses and public sector employees. After considering the bumpy road ahead, the developer pulled the project and built out the subdivision with single family housing. Again, until we talk honestly about race and privilege, we are kidding ourselves. Unfortunately, there are not enough George Lucas types to go around.

Posted by Gary Patton on 05/14/2015 at 9:26 AM

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