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The pools themselves are averaging $5.5 million per pool in construction. That's twice as much as the Orinda Park Pool paid for their large pool renovations. Financing was only $1.9 million!The $5.5 million (times four) will be in a thirty-year bond — and at today's municipal bond rates (BAD!!!!) we can be talking $1 million a year. Talk about blowing up the credit card ...
The voters in Berkeley have Stockholm Syndrome and lap up any liability or tax the government throws at them. There seems to be an attitude that if things aren't overpriced and bloated that it's just not good enough. THEY want a bad deal and they WANT to pay more taxes. It's just an odd, lazy mentality that plagues the city. I would remind them that 30 years of $1 million a year interest payments could rebuild Iceland or many other projects.
Justin Lee, Berkeley
Support Measure C
I was disappointed with your article on May 26 covering the Berkeley Measure C (the Berkeley Public Pools bond measure) controversy. The article gave too much coverage to the Measure C opposition at the expense of some relevant facts — in particular, that Measure C has been endorsed by Mayor Bates and all Berkeley City Council members, as well as all members of the Berkeley School Board. As a forty-year resident, Berkeley homeowner and longtime user of the Warm Pool, I think that an average tax of $70/year for a 1,900-square-foot home is a fair investment in a future of health and fitness for Berkeley residents of all ages. It's time for Berkeleyans to step up and show the same vision and foresight they apply to politics and vote to pass Measure C.
Fredric Gey, Berkeley
Thankful for the Gang Injunction
We've lived in North Oakland for eight years. The area of Oakland we live in is bordered by two other cities, Berkeley on the North and Emeryville to the West.
According to the SF Chronicle, this part of North Oakland, 94608, is the hottest-selling zip code above asking price, second only to the Chicago Loop. According to OPD, we live in Area 1 Beat 10X.
Residents here are angry and sick of dodging bullets on our streets, having bullets pierce our homes, and having seventeen-year-old girls lose their promising lives here on our streets. More mundane but just as serious is that we all hear nearby gunshots day and night, see child and teenage prostitutes on our section of San Pablo Ave., dice-games on our corners, open-air drug dealing, and other forms of urban blight associated with these activities.
I became involved in crime prevention and community improvement when I noticed that there were some 3,000 homes and more than 6,000 great folks in our beat, and only a small handful of people who were preventing us from the peaceful enjoyment of our neighborhood.Many of us are thrilled that our part of North Oakland was chosen as the pilot site for the Gang Injunction. We know that it is no magic pill or panacea that will rid us of crime once and for all, but it is an innovative tool for the city to curb the rampant crime here.
We love our homes and neighborhoods but we don't love the crime, we think this injunction directed at a few bad-guys will help stop the cycle of violence that dismays most Oakland residents.
Larry Benson, Oakland
Schwarzenegger's latest cuts to all Californians prove that we need democracy in our state government now more than ever.Because a minority of the legislature can hold the budget process hostage, we'll have another costly, late, and reckless budget that doesn't represent the people. It's no coincidence that the only state with minority rule on both budget and revenue also suffers from the worst deficit and the most painful cuts. We need 50 percent votes on both budget and revenue now.
The governor has shown that he's scared of the student movement to save public education, but he can't appease us by while harming our families and communities instead. A real commitment to education and to California means an investment in children and the working class. That kind of crucial support can never be delivered while California's revenue stream is in the hands of a minority of legislators.
As university students, we care about the well-being of all Californians, not just our own fees. I want my younger siblings and little cousins to have the opportunities I have, but will they be able to reach higher education at all in a state that denies necessary medical care and childcare? We need sustainable solutions for California that don't just alternate between cutting social programs and education. Funding for both is required to produce a well-educated work force, and the only way to get funding is through a democratic budget and revenue process.
Eli Wirtschafter, Berkeley
The May 26 version of Town Business, "Oakland's One-Stop Service," mistakenly stated that Oakland's Business Assistance Center was the brainchild of Gregory Hunter, deputy director of the city's Community and Economic Development Agency. Hunter was the driving force behind the development of the center, but it originated from Mayor Ron Dellums' Small Business Task Force and was carried forward by City Council President Jane Brunner.
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