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I suggest that we use our resources to help, not hurt each other. A semester of jail costs more than a semester at Cal! Meanwhile, Berkeley desperately needs a shelter that's open during the day.
I also suggest that we get out on the sidewalk and get to know each other. Let's be the kind of community that's there for each other. Let's vote no on Measure S.
Root Barrett, Berkeley
S Is for Shameful
I find it quite amazing that an article about the homeless in Berkeley could appear in a weekly paper that I had considered to be open-minded and liberal! Does Rachel Swan think that the homeless are there because they enjoy being on the street? Does she think that it is fun to have people walk by and not look at you and obviously not care whether you are dead or alive; not to know where your next meal comes from; and, for most of these people, to have no connection with family or friends? Is she ignorant of the fact that, years ago, when we had a governmental agency that gave a minimum amount of money to eligible people to rent a room and by food, I hardly ever saw a homeless person on the street? I fault our government for overlooking these people and think that it is up to us to fight for their right to have this minimum amount of assistance given to them again. It is shameful that these conditions can exist in a democratic, rich country such as ours.
Ilse Hadda, Berkeley
"Red Sauce, by Way of Sicily," Restaurant Review, 10/3
The Brooklyn in Berkeley
Gerry and Angelo are my brothers from another momma in Brooklyn. Each time I come here, I'm jettisoned back home. Brooklyn Italian-American food is an essential staple of a loving upbringing, and I grew up eating this kind of food, since everyone in New York has an opportunity to eat culturally authentic cuisines. I love the red sauce seafood dish you mention [risotto alla marinara] — it tastes like Christmas Eve in Brooklyn. I come when I'm homesick and it takes me there.
Carol Wyatt, Oakland
"Questions Swirl Around Zoo Tax Measure," Election 2012, 10/3
It's Your Park, Too
Measure A1 stands out as an imperative to make your vote count. The zoo's recent glossy mailer claims this parcel tax provides for improvements to current infrastructure and "humane animal care."
What the mailer omits is the fact that Measure A1 is also about building and expanding into unspoiled Knowland Park.
Plans have been made for a theme park featuring California mountain lions, grizzly bears, wolves, and other animals (FYI, fauna would disappear due to habitat loss). Also included is construction of a visitor center, offices, and a restaurant built on the ridge overlooking a splendid view of the bay. This project is outside of current zoo boundaries and would be placed in what is now known as Knowland Park. This public park is a biologically diverse park that actually provides essential habitat for an incredible number of living wild animals. They have the same rights to be cared for as the zoo's caged exotic animals.
Oakland Zoo campaign signs say, "it's your zoo." More important, however: It's your park, and it offers free access, a gorgeous view, peace, quiet, an open landscape, plants, bugs, birds, reptiles, and small and large animals. Your no vote will send a message to zoo executives: Leave Knowland Park for us all. Vote no on Measure A1.
Carol Castro, San Leandro
The zoo claims that it has a conservation ethic but to put an expansion over what little is left of a rare maritime chaparral vegetation area — with its dependent insects, animals, and fungi and other life that we don't even know about, and over native grasslands, of which we have only 1 percent left of the original in California, is so ironic. The zoo has had choices about where to put its expansion and would not consider them. Zoo management have a wonderful opportunity to exhibit the original native California and showcase what precious little is left; instead, they are set to let the bulldozers in. I have read the measure and it clearly says the Measure A1 funds can go into expansion farther into Knowland Park. What they say now will not matter five to ten years from now.
Delia Taylor, Oakland
"Daddy Date Night," Movies, 10/3
Wrong With the Wind
I loved your review of The Oranges and you've convinced me to see it. I dug your reference to Gone With the Wind, but I feel compelled to point out one minor thing. Scarlett and Melanie aren't cousins. Scarlett marries Charles, Melanie's sister. Thus they are sisters-in-law. Melanie is often referred to as "Cousin Melanie," because she is a cousin of Ashley and India Wilkes, Scarlett's neighbors and, in the case of the former, the object of her unrequited affections. Otherwise the piece is an excellent and tight film review. Thank you for it, and for the Express. I enjoy it every week.
Meg Elison, Fremont
"Wind for One," Eco Watch, 9/26
Allow the Turbine
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