Letters for the Week of September 11 

Readers sound off on gentrification in Oakland, police corruption, and our use of the word eponymous.

Page 4 of 6

But fair play is fair play and beyond the broken agreements, it is the leveraging of people's social trust and ideals for personal gain that left me unfazed to learn that Michele and Leon had slid out of the Crossroads Kitchen/Cafe Collective and left a discordant Lizzy Boelter and Phat Beets Produce in their wake and, despite the rhetoric, left the neighborhood without an inclusive, affordable, healthful food option. The Saturday market is a godsend, I hope that all of the parties involved can work it out and the cafe is able to provide a menu that serves healthful and affordable food to the neighborhood every day of the week.

Shan Masuda, Oakland

Not a True Collective

Phat Beets is still there on Saturdays and the vendors are still there on Saturday. The vendors left because they didn't want to pay what was needed for the space. Their rent paid for the rent of the space only and it didn't always pay for all of the rent and did not pay for the utilities, maintenance, permits, and everything else that goes along with running a restaurant. That place has been closed down for more than twenty years. I've been living in North Oakland since 1976 and it has been closed ever since I've been here. The positive effect is that the space is open and not blighted. Stop complaining and be truthful about what people are speaking. It will set you free. Crossroads was never really a collective. Everyone came in with these grandiose ideas, but most didn't step up to make it happen. Who went down to get the permits and build the space out? How can you have a true collective when most of the weight falls on one or two people? Stop complaining and be truthful about what people are speaking. The truth will set you free.  

Asual Kwahuumba, Oakland

"Oakland's Surveillance Contractor Has a History of Fraud," News, 8/28

Oakland's Self-Serving Politicians

Jean Quan and the city council strike again. It isn't clear if they are simply dimwits or venal, but the result is the same. More pain for Oakland, more tax dollars being wasted, and a governance road less well traveled. It's a shame Oakland can't seem to shake its bad karma or its self-serving politicians who seem oblivious to the problems that plague the city.

Steve Redmond, Berkeley

Endless Articles on Police

The endless Express articles covering police brutality, police state, police abuse, police surveillance, police this, and police that, have become as relevant as the never-ending protests in downtown Oakland.

After a while you start wondering: What were we protesting again? Thank god for the "What the Fork" blog in this newspaper, otherwise I would no longer know what to read with my morning coffee.

Ivan Gasparini, Oakland

"Oakland's Tennis Revolutionary," Feature, 8/28

Budge Couldn't Be Beat

My dad played junior singles against Don Budge. He never beat him and went over to doubles. He was Pacific Coast Doubles Champion when Budge was singles.

He also went to Cal and played with Budge on the Cal tennis team. Needless to say, he never beat him there either.

Phil Brown, Oakland

"When Cops Lie," News, 8/28

Misguided Labor Solidarity

You barely touch on the role played by the binding arbitration that the Oakland charter guarantees for all personnel matters of firefighters and police officers. That statute both protects bad cops from getting fired and makes it nearly impossible to lower the compensation of police and firefighters so that we can afford to hire more good cops. Repealing that statute is opposed by all the city unions out of some misguided labor solidarity.

Leonard Raphael, Oakland

Who Is the Bigger Liar?

Oh please! It's a toss-up as to who is the bigger liar: the cops or the district attorney! And that public defender congratulating [District Attorney Nancy} O'Malley's office for its Brady policy? Pure politics. The Alameda County District Attorney's office does NOT disclose Brady evidence (including lying cops and other dishonest law enforcement personnel). And its deputy district attorneys even argue in court that they don't have to! We have the transcript. The judges let the district attorney's office get away with this. Some judges appear not to know what Brady requires, while others act as supreme prosecutors, rubber-stamping the deputy district attorneys' every action. We got a couple of reams of evidence to which we were legally entitled (Brady evidence), nearly one year late through a public records request. The district attorney was never going to turn this evidence over, ever!  If you get a fair trial in Alameda County, someone screwed up because it clearly isn't supposed to happen.

Jan Van Dusen, Oakland

Miscellaneous Letters

Retire Eponymous

The Express should seriously consider implementing a software content-checker that automatically removes the adjective "eponymous" from every article submitted to the copy editor before it ever reaches his or her computer screen. This is perhaps the most abused and overused word in the American reviewer's lexicon, and it richly deserves to be retired from these pages.

The Wikipedia entry for the word "eponym" defines the term as, "a person or thing, whether real or fictional, after which a particular place, tribe, era, discovery, or other item is named or thought to be named." The entry includes an alphabetized list of hundreds of eponyms, most of which you will find in any dictionary, such as:


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