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Comment Archives: stories: News: Letters

Re: “Letters for August 18

"I want someone who will do the same with city funds as they address the needs of the city as a whole."

Ms. Davis, you must be new in town. To suggest that Jean "Let's Bankrupt the School District" Quan is financially responsible is laughable. Do not drink that Koolaid.

Posted by Lawngun on 08/20/2010 at 9:41 AM

Re: “Letters for August 4

Dreamscape is a pretty ambitious B movie, it's fun and worth watching but it's also pretty cheesy. It could use a good remake.

Posted by m33 on 08/03/2010 at 7:56 PM

Re: “Letters for the Week of July 21

@ Chris Rock,

Close but no cigar. First of all Reiko is a japanese name, second, it's a girls name.

Ms. Redmonde, by her rhetoric, appears to be a subscriber to the loonytunes "revolutionary" cult run by Bob Avakian. Look it up. They're full of shit to the eyebrows, but totally irrelevant, and therefore harmless other than being a minor annoyance.

So in conclusion "Chris Rock", you're probably right that she's a douchebag. But your stereotype guesses were way way off.

Posted by Max Allstadt on 07/22/2010 at 3:53 PM

Re: “Letters for the Week of July 21

Reiko Redmonde, Oakland:

His identity:

White, middle class, private school-educated, drives a Volvo, Subaru or Prius (probably plastered with cliche bumper stickers), drives like he owns the street, Or rides a ridiculous looking bicycle with basket on the handlebars (a loaf of bread inside it) gets in the way of cars to be bratty, thought Obama was God in 2008, lives in Oakland to be close to 'the people' (although he can afford to live elsewhere but feels guilty about it), secretly harbors racist-condescending attititudes toward all non-whites, professes to like Jazz, spoken word, spending time at Ashby Fleamarket, Berkeley Bowl...owner of a mangy, old, unleashed dog that kraps anywhere it wants (and Reiko doesn't pick it up)..was running all around the Mesherle protest with expensive camera and backpack acting out full of rage and ready for violence along with all of the others just like himself, while the Black community of Oakland told him (and all the others just like himself) to just "GO AWAY!"

Posted by Chris Rock on 07/22/2010 at 3:42 PM

Re: “Letters for the Week of July 21

"Nevertheless, the research found that the heaviest cell phone users were 40 percent more likely, on average, to be diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor."

Simple. Hang up and drive. Hang up and walk. Hang up and get a life. Problem solved.

Posted by Lawngun on 07/21/2010 at 9:42 AM

Re: “Letters for the Week of July 21

"We are stepping up the battle for justice for Oscar, the battle against the whole damn system, and we are building a movement for revolution."

Gee, that's nice. And, what do you plan to do, after you grow up?

Posted by Lawngun on 07/21/2010 at 9:38 AM

Re: “Letters for July 7

RE: Draconian Codes- Knauer, I get it your upset that the building codes dont let you use rain water reasonably. However, I think it best if you keep the discussion specific to that particular code. Building codes are EXTREMELY important to public safety, the regulations you dont agree with should be addressed in city council meetings instead of inking up your wide brush to call for the abolition of building codes... get it together man

Posted by whitneyel34ff7 on 07/08/2010 at 8:56 AM

Re: “Letters for June 2

i've always found pullquotes useless and distracting. boldfacing names, however, allows those with imperfect recall to quickly backtrack to the context in which they were introduced. i'm all in favor of this practice.

Posted by carl on 06/04/2010 at 4:10 AM

Re: “Letters for May 26

This is a farce and shame that rich (property owners) white liberals take a moral stance on destrying a business establishment like Nic Nak liquors that has caused no harm! Please make no mistake, THIS IS ABOUT RACE! As for the statement by Gery Tinkelenberg that African Americans are opposed to this business, that is a blatant lie. Once again, rich, white landowners are attempting a gentrification process which expels people and businesses of color from their "lily-white" neighborhoods.

Disgusted in North oakland

Posted by Disgusted in North oakland on 05/28/2010 at 5:01 PM

Re: “Letters for November 26

You know damn well that this is all lies based upon your personal vendetta against the sport of mountain biking. Anyone who doubts it, search Michael J. Vandeman on Google to read his rants, personal attacks, and nonsensical arguments. You should also know that your extremist views do not represent the "vast majority of the public" using the park system.

Bicycles are hardly large pieces of machinery (why don't you target Ranger trucks or several hundred pound horses?), and certainly do not "drive off" other park users. Your bullshit knobby tire arguments do not hold up to basic logic and your physical harassment of mountain bikers on the trails show your true psychosis on this matter. Obviously you have never ridden a bicycle or had a bad experience with them, as many people know mountain biking is an excellent way to enjoy the beauty of nature.

I've been to all of these parks and it is truly moronic to say or believe that the same rules apply to mountain bikers as apply to hikers and equestrians who have for years been given much better legal access to trails in the park system as a result of the outright false letter campaigns you have indulged in sending the EBRPD.

Posted by Juan Valdez on 05/26/2010 at 4:28 PM

Re: “Letters for May 12

Richard Levine. If you want peace and quiet,the suburbs offer many nice places. Cities are supposed to be FUN, that means going out at night. Nightlife improves safety by having more pedestrian traffic and makes life worth living. I bet you love going to Europe or NY. Why are those places so lively? Because there is nightlife in all the areas. There are plenty of dull quiet places to live in the bay area, Downtown Oakland should not be one of them

Posted by skull on 05/12/2010 at 8:43 AM

Re: “Letters for March 24

... since I hadn't written or said any of them.

I better get back to work.

Posted by Fred Gardner on 03/24/2010 at 3:44 PM

Re: “Letters for March 24

PS... I started pointing out the trees and lost sight of the forest. It wouldn't matter if all the assertions Downs made after "According to Fred Gardner..." had been true! It still would have been false attribution (albeit less embarrassing to yours truly). —FG

Posted by Fred Gardner on 03/24/2010 at 3:34 PM

Re: “Letters for March 24

David Downs response is an exercise in sophistry. I was embarrassed that he had run off five inaccuracies and attributed them to me. He apologizes for the first, then attempts —pretends, actually— to defend the rest of his error-laden riff.

He stands by: "Ever since Prop 215 passed in 1996 there's been a boom…" ignoring the fact that for years after Prop 215 passed, California law enforcement and the medical board choked off implementation. The late Tod Mikuriya often said, "the medical marijuana story is not just about marijuana, it's about the erasing of history." Dr. Tod was talking about the 1930s, but now it's his own role in cracking the wall of Prohibition that's being erased.

Downs stands by calling me a doctor because I play one on TV.

He stands by "Anywhere from 50 to a few hundred doctors in the state do all the prescribing" by invoking Denney's and Lopez's estimates of how many doctors have dedicated their practices to issuing cannabis approvals. This is sophistry. "All" means "all," as in 100 percent, every single one, etc. It doesn't mean "the majority."

He stands by "no one counts them" because no state agency counts them, and because the Patient ID center's list of 2,100 California MDs who have approved cannabis use by patients is only a partial figure.

He ignores the fact that he wrote "they set up high-volume practices" in reference to the "doctors in the state who do all the prescribing." He pretends he agreed all along that "not all doctors run high-volume clinics."

He also agrees —Oh, reasonable Downs— that the doctor-patient relationship should be sacrosanct. But in context, "they exclusively determine if marijuana would be an effective treatment for customer maladies," suggests that doctors who readily approve cannabis use by their patients have inordinate power and perhaps should be monitored.

Downs presumes that I was writing in response to "negative press" for my "cause." (He wrote "his or her cause," apparently confused by my androgynous appearance.) Not at all. I was writing to disassociate myself from inaccuracies that had been attributed to me.

Fred Gardner

Posted by Fred Gardner on 03/24/2010 at 2:59 PM

Re: “Letters for January 20

Powder Keg: The truth about Berkeley's failed "progressive program",and the underlying relationship between "progressives" and academic failures at BHS

(Note: in this comment I refer to people sometimes by group, and when
doing so, do not intend to suggest that all liberals, whites, poor people , rich, people Black people , or Hispanics, or any other groups mention are those who I am referring to. I am referring to a particular relationship between specific groups people HERE in Berkeley at this time, and only as it relates to a very specific set of political ideals. thank you)

To LfOD:

That's funny. did my post give you the impression that I was for Cutting Out the Science Labs and rewarding lower achievers?
What I was saying, was the opposite.

By doing this, so called "progressives" put the entire science program at risk, and make the school look like an unfavorable potential recipient of grants and state monies.

that's what I was saying.

The racial achievement gap", ( a powder keg subject nearly no one wants to touch) lies squarely on the shoulders of of parents of the kids who fail academically. Period. and the "racial achievement gap" especially here in Berkeley where there is more support, more money, and more programs for for Kids from poorer families especially African-American kids, is often a reason for Berkeley liberals to do what they always do, which is to act like heroes while they wreck everything in sight in the name if their deluded idea of "progress:


As a person from mixed family (White/black/Latino) who grew up broke, on the west side as a kid, was involved in gangs, and also failed at high school initially, I have watched four decades of "progressive" policy by well-intentioned, if not totally deluded white liberal "progressives" fail misrabely, often to the ruin of all. And STILL the "Left" won't look at itself, or it's policies with anything resembling a critical eye.

"progressives" who think they can promote change without getting deep into the Black Community and Hispanic Community's business, mindsets, cultures, families, and politics are completely misguided. It's like they want change, but really do not want to look at why something needs to be changed in the first place.

The fact is, that there is a war against the minds and lives of Youth of color, and youth of the poorer classes in general, on the part of American corporate media, and legal system which not only poisons their minds, but also promotes racism, homophobia, a consumer mentality, and a TON of old-school saying "He talks like a white person" or "he's putting on airs" because someone speaks proper English, or making fun of someone who gets good grades, or goes to college.These stereotypes are found among poor whites all over the US as well. But here, in the bay area, the poorer classes are by default, mostly black and Hispanic, and these career. and life killing mindsets are the responsibility of PARENTS first, their communities secondly, and their schools thirdly.

I guess what I am trying to say here is that there is every opportunity here for people of color so long as their parents and communities support them which they often don't. this is particularly true in the African American and Hispanic communities here in Berkeley. It's just true and everyone knows it.

If people want to excel, and break out of a system that requires thousands of Black and Hispanic men become prisoners as part of a multi billion dollar industry, the first thing they should do is get their kids off corporate media, (owned entirely by White far right fundamentalist Christians who have no love for people of color) take part in their kid's lives, and QUIT RELYING ON SO-CALLED "PROGRESSIVES"
This dependent relationship between white "liberals" and communities of color, has corrupted not only people on the "left" (who desperately need to feel like heroes, and desire to look, "revolutionary" for helping Black , and Hispanic people regardless of what kind of "help" they are "helping" with and whether it's actually helping at all) but also communities of color that need to be DIRECTLY involved in the school system, the school board, assemblies and any other aspect of their kids schooling. Instead, many Parents of color whose kids fail at school, blame the system, and then, so called "liberals" run around trying to put a bandage on it without addressing the root causes.

Decade after decade it fails. four decades in a row now. more dropouts, more crime, more men and women of color go to prison, fail high school, and no one wants to take a look at the greater causes.
How can anyone call that "progressive"?
what's progressing?

It's definitely not the interests of kids of color going to places like Berkeley high. Their interests are not being protected or progressed at all.

What it amounts to is a time honored, self aggrandizing, mutual back patting ritual that is a tradition if the white "Liberal left" here in Berkeley. and its shameful, and it needs to change.
You can't buy, legislate, grant, or decree change and progress.
It must be worked for by everyone involved, and that includes People, parents, and kids of color. History bears out this statement.

This "politically correct" progressive monopoly on morals that votes to close down extra science classes in the name of "racial equality" has brought together some of the worst elements of all these communities, from those declaring their victimhood, and blaming their kid's academic failures on anything and everything but their own actions, to those upper-class and upper middle-class "progressives" who wish to be the heroes of this tragedy, but who really do not know, understand, or seriously involve themselves with communities of color at all.
Parents of BHS kids really need to get their act together.

All over the united states millions of black and Hispanic parents teach their kids strong academic values, and their kids go to colleges, and get degrees, and get better lives, but liberals seem to somehow dislike those examples, (often because they come from families with conservative values) and never cite them because the truth is, that they are not needed by this segment of Black and Hispanic America. and it doesn't serve the emotional needs of the "left" in Berkeley or northern California's more "liberal" communities.

I have often said that liberals here LOVE a black person who is having a hard time, even if that person is a criminal, poor achiever, or academic failure, but they HATE a Black PHd. and they REALLY hate ultra successful black businesspeople, which is strange since so many of them are successful business people themselves. I've seen it hundreds of times.
It's a romantic notion that only hey, "white liberal progressives" can somehow save the day, and make up for 400 years of oppression with the stroke of a pen or the establishment of a trust, or through a school meeting.

It's time for this failed toxic charade to end.

For the record, I am a hardcore leftist, just not a "Berkeley Progressive", I detest the Racist and homophobic, republican party and have involved myself for decades raising money for schools, doing benefits, mentoring, and conflict resolution, often on a street level, and know the folly of the "left" here, probably better than anyone.

Piero Amadeo Infante

Posted by Papamalo on 01/30/2010 at 5:32 PM

Re: “Letters for January 20

Papamalo, you are wrong and so is Berkeley board's desire to redistribute resources away from higher achievers so that lower achievers can have extra... Extra what? Extra of the same that keeps them lower achievers. You canot fix the problems you address by slapping tactile solutions on the table. The "Right", "people of color", etc. are terms used to divide, and promote people to be demotivated and excuse-driven for there life status. True equity comes when one gets what he or she needs to reach personal potential. Putting a glass ceiling on achievement says, " You went far enough. Stop, and let others catch up!" This is a move to the middle philosophy where all are the same. It is socialistic in temperment, and bad for America's future! Wake up... We are not all the same, nor would anyone want us to be. Think innovation and innovators! Push the achievers and pull the lower achievers, and everyone will be successful!!!

Posted by LFoD on 01/29/2010 at 9:02 AM

Re: “Letters for January 20

Sad.As usual, my city will choose anything that looks "progressive"over anything that is actually so.
I count this as another victory for the right, who crave to eliminate science completely from the available resources offered to poor people, and people of color.
This city is sick and much in need of medicine.

Posted by Papamalo on 01/20/2010 at 8:41 PM

Re: “Letters for December 16

Cafe Ina is what you would call a third wave cafe. Organic, Fair-trade coffee and food, it's on Solano in Albany, it's small, independent, and delicious - it had all the ingredients for inclusion in your lead story. However, it's been open since 2006, which is contrary to your premise that the new model of great coffee is just now coming across the bay. Sure, the coffee innovations have been percolating up in Seattle and Portland, in their thirsty stretches towards perection, but I've stood in line at Blue Bottle in Hayes Valley, and had the best of the pacific northwest, and Cafe Ina is equivalently elegant. I'm not sure why Cafe Ina was omitted from your otherwise thirst inspiring article.

Posted by micahcf on 12/24/2009 at 7:10 AM

Re: “Letters for December 9

What assumptions have I made? I drew conclusions based on solid evidence, and those conclusions are about a single act by a single person.

I've been involved in West Oakland for a few years, that's true, but I am hungry for history lessons and I've actively sought them out. As a matter of fact, as a result of this particular incident, I have had leaders in the community invite me to become involved in various efforts, and I've taken them up on it. I intend to stay involved, and I intend to stay in the Hoover-Foster / McClymonds area, probably forever.

I remember reading your comment on the past article, by the way, and there were some important things that you brought up about obnoxious polarizing comments. They needed to be said and I'm glad you said them. It's unfortunate that a story about a personal dispute ballooned into a comment thread full of divisive flaming.

If you think I might benefit from a history lesson, and it's not going to be a diatribe, I suggest you email Robert Gammon and ask him to connect us. I am always glad to learn more about Oakland, and I'm also glad to share my experiences as a newcomer. Believe it or not, I spend way way too much time trying to figure out how I fit in here.

I really don't think that there's anywhere near as much ugliness or division in West Oakland as some folks believe. As a matter of fact, I think the difficulties in this neighborhood often make us more involved and cooperative than in many places that are better off. We have more at stake, we can't waste time with infighting.

Posted by Max Allstadt on 12/11/2009 at 3:56 PM

Re: “Letters for December 9

People have made assumptions about you, Max, because you and your supporters have made many assumptions about others, including a whole neighborhood. If Diallo is reponsible for the e-mail, he deserves to have his backside soundly kicked. However, the ugliness that these allegations have uncovered are frankly more disturbing than the accusations against Diallo. Newcomers with no sense of history, let me introduce to the oldtimers who do.

Posted by Oakland Resident on 12/11/2009 at 2:47 PM

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