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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: Letters

Re: “Letters for the Week of May 22-28

It would be great if this comment list could become a much needed logical and scientific investigation of the basics of recycling. No such thing has ever publicly existed because recycling is simply accepted and urged on a tired and uncaring public by zealots and taken for granted by the public because some minimal reuse can be seen.
It's simple: if you design products for discard, and provide the social institutions for discard, they will be discarded. If you design for reuse, and provide the social institutions for reuse, they will be reused. HOWEVER, if you design for discard and then attempt reuse, you will fail. As we have failed.
Aluminum cans (the favorite model of the recyclers): These have a reported three month cycle from creation to disposal. One-half of all cans end up in dumps every three months. Run the math for four three-month cycles per year and 15/16ths of all the cans created in January are in the dump by December. Some model!
Glass bottles: the highest reuse modality for all products is the function that they were laboriously created for, not their simple, cheap materials. Glass materials are just silica, or sand, the cheapest of all earth's bounty. The way to use containers is to REFILL them, not smash them. Smashing into cullet means carrying heavy silica around in large trucks to a distant factory, then expending all the same fuel to melt it as would have been needed for raw material silica. It's an insane idea, with no environmental benefit. But refilling containers that never need to be trucked around and melted, saves all of the fuel that made them initially. It's a HUGE benefit. Deposits are a bad idea because it breaks the train of history. If a consumer empties a wine bottle and rinses it, he KNOWS it is clean and can refill it. If a distributor gets in a deposit bottle HE DOES NOT KNOW its history so must treat it like it's severely contaminated and clean it with harsh chemicals (sodium hydroxide is the cleaner of choice) which then end up as unnecessary chemical pollution. Refilling by the original user requires no such harsh treatment. Let's have a discussion about how to effect such easy refilling.
Join me in weighing the pluses and minuses of various ways to reuse all of society's goods, but let's not stick to personal consumption. We also need to discuss buildings, cars, airplanes, streets and industrial equipment some day.

Posted by Zerowaster on 06/20/2019 at 4:39 PM

Re: “Letters for the Week of May 8-14

All political leanings aside, I would never vote for anyone who supports animal abuse, such as Mr. Swalwell who is a member of the Rowell Ranch Rangers. People who lack compassion and a sense of fairness toward others should not be holding office and making decisions that affect their constituents and others. We've got enough people like that in Washington already.

Posted by Claire Vinet on 05/09/2019 at 10:28 AM

Re: “Letters for the Week of May 8-14

Regarding Congressman Swalwell and his unintentional support of rodeo cruelty as a "Rowell Ranch Ranger," be aware that the Alameda County Board of Supervisors is hold a hearing on rodeo issues at their Tuesday, May 21 meeting, 1:00pm. (See board website for agenda.) PLEASE BE THERE FOR THE ANIMALS! In the interim, emails to the board members in support of animal welfare would be helpful. (president) (represents the Castro Valley area) (represents Livermore Rodeo area)

As the Dalai Lama says, "Our primary purpose in life is to help others. But if you can't help them, at least do them no harm."

P.S. - Mr. Swalwell is a frequent guest on THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW. Encourage Ms. Maddow to raise this humane issue with Mr. Swalwell. EMAIL -

Posted by Eric Mills on 05/08/2019 at 1:15 PM

Re: “Letters of the Week: Our Readers Chime in on Last Week's Issue

I am jonathan Bradley wafer..........also known as the calm authority

Posted by Jonathan Wafer on 11/21/2018 at 4:01 PM

Re: “Letters of the Week: Our Readers Chime in on Last Week's Issue

This paramedics plus incident happened to me four separate times...I am to the point that everytime I see there "truck" I get nervous....I think the Berkeley Police Department is "involved" on every occasion...I received a bill for over $3,000 and I am not paying it, of course. I did not call paramedics plus or 911 ever........Even a 72 hour hold was placed on me the Berkeley Police Department as I was handcuffed and told to sit on the hood of their vehicle.......I refused medical consent every single time. No, I am not a member of Berkeley Mental HEALTH YET I ADMIT I HAVE ON A FEW OCCASSINS (SIC) been a walk in at John George Medical Facility. Cheaper medication. I am a Berkeley native ...whatever that means.

Posted by Jonathan Wafer on 11/21/2018 at 4:00 PM

Re: “Letters of the Week: Our Readers Chime in on Last Week's Issue

Andre Soto, didn't you move away from Richmond a long time ago? Don't you live in Benicia now? You can't even vote in our elections anymore.

Posted by Sandra Davenport on 07/05/2018 at 9:20 AM

Re: “Letters of the Week: Our Readers Chime in on Last Week's Issue

So the negative campaigning and character attacks begin against progressive Jovanka Buckles, Richmond City Vice-mayor, with the author of the attack not signing their name to their posting.

"Really, anonymous and pseudonymous comments will be removed"?

So what's up with INC East Bay Express?

Posted by Jim Mordecai on 06/21/2018 at 7:03 AM

Re: “Letters of the Week: Our Readers Chime in on Last Week's Issue

As a resident of Richmond, my experience with Beckles is that she is weak, unprofessional and easily influenced by the winds that blow around her. She makes a fine speech but that's about it. Anything labeled "progressive" and she is all in. She does not look further than the surface for ways to make good policy. What good is not taking corporate money, when your policies play right into corporate hands? Her "big win" over Chevron amounted to $5 million. I was there when that fire happened too with the smoke that sent hundreds to the ER. $5 million is nothing to Chevron, it is an invitation to do it again. Her narcissism and stubborn refusal to listen to other view points is weirdly similar to Trump. If we send Beckles to Sacramento, she will be an embarrassment to us all. But she would be out of Richmond...

Posted by INC on 06/21/2018 at 5:34 AM

Re: “Letters of the Week: Our Readers Chime in on Last Week's Issue

Notice how HNU parrots the word "assault" about facts that are very much in dispute, and about which there was never a police investigation or a civil complaint. HNU simply refuses to talk about significant problems with the university's education. For that see WWW.HNUFAILS.US

Posted by Mark Hanson on 02/23/2018 at 8:22 AM

Re: “Letters of the Week: Our Readers Chime in on Last Week's Issue

So you think housing in the east bay is expensive and scarce?

I pretty tired of elitist poliiticans such as Ben Bartlett using terms like "depressed exurbs" code word to describe places outside of expensive urban areas where many young families and professionals of color have migrated. These "exburbs" such as Antioch are places people can still realizee the dream of home ownership. Many people of color and others still have this goal. It's "places like Antioch" where communities are slowing transforming, where transit center such as BART are expanding, open space is plentiful. People are not living one on top of the other. Politicians such as Mr. Bartlett need to find a new narrative and stop denigrating Antioch. Call a thing a thing Mr. Bartlett, you are living in a fantasy world..Berkeley is already an elitist community. The only reason poor and working class people can live there is because of rent control otherwise you wouldn't see any brown faces except for some college students and restaurant help.
I'll make sure to not select your name on the ballot.

M Hasan
Antioch resident

Posted by capmama17 on 02/18/2018 at 9:15 AM

Re: “Letters of the Week: Express Editor-in-Chief Kathleen Richards Responds

What planet is Ms. Epstein living upon? Ms Brooks has a record of behavior on the dais as well as in public and personal actions indicative of a non- leader. Gaps in wealth dont concern me. Crime, street repair, and fire service , plus access to soccer pitches and recreation opportunities do. Ms. Brooks has exposed the City of Oaklands financial health to several millions of dollars of risk. Vote her out and maybe lock her up along with our current President.

Posted by michael.sagehorn on 01/27/2018 at 3:26 PM

Re: “Letters of The Week: Our Readers Chime in on Alameda Landlords

Frank Snapp, I assume you're being sarcastic. In response: No one's looking to take the shirt off your back. What we want as a public asset is that pile of shirts you were planning to rent to those with nothing to wear.

Posted by Mitchell Halberstadt on 11/14/2017 at 2:10 AM

Re: “Letters of The Week: Our Readers Chime in on Alameda Landlords

Frank Snapp: I've got a better idea. Let's just nationalize all the assets of the wealthy scum who have assets, and give them to the needy poor.

That will surely fix things and bring about economic equity.

Posted by Ernest Montague on 11/08/2017 at 9:40 AM

Re: “Letters of the Week: Our Readers Chime in on Last Week's Issue

Mr. Sagehorn, you're right. It's not a "conspiracy" -- but has it ever occurred to you that most people don't have something called a "portfolio," and can't afford to be players in the game you describe? People should be free to play the game, but survival shouldn't be dependent on it: when it is, that's its own form of totalitarianism (the hegemony of Ownership). For vast numbers of people, true economic freedom comes down to freedom FROM economic need -- not the privilege of gambling on property if they so choose.

Posted by Mitchell Halberstadt on 10/30/2017 at 11:56 PM

Re: “Letters of the Week: Our Readers Chime in on Last Week's Issue

Im ignorant? Hardly. Housing in the United States is a commodity- associated with real property which is valued and revalued in every economic cycle. Property in the Oakland Hills was once cheap and used primarily for ranching and logging. Now its valued much higher. Folks who cant/wont invest their incomes in home ownership will always struggle when the sale value of their rented homes/apartments exceeds the rental returns it generates to the owner. The crisis Ms. Calef speaks of is not a crisis but rather the simple economic lesson of supply and demand. Urban and suburban neighborhoods are always susceptible to change, but its not from any sinister plot by any group, color, or political party. Renting is not investing.

Posted by michael.sagehorn on 10/26/2017 at 4:33 PM

Re: “Letters of the Week: Our Readers Chime in on Last Week's Issue

Mr. Sagehorn reveals his ignorance of the housing crisis and home ownership in general with his comments. Most renters would be home owners if they could afford to buy into their own home but they cannot. They don't have the funds and don't have the income.
There IS something sinister about our economic history which has consistently awarded tax breaks to the top 10% richest in the country and kept wages flat for the past four decades. Learn from that Mr. Sagehorn.
E. Calef

Posted by liza calef on 10/25/2017 at 1:25 PM

Re: “Letters of the Week: Our Readers Chime in on Last Week's Issue

Ms. Chen: The issue of what makes the folks of West Oakland vulnerable to housing displacement is neither their color nor creed, but rather their choice to be renters not owners. As demand for property in Oakland grows, rents and property prices will all rise. Theres nothing sinister about economics. Learn from it.

Posted by michael.sagehorn on 10/25/2017 at 7:36 AM

Re: “Letters of The Week: Our Readers Chime in on the Potential Site for the A's New Stadium, and on Prop 13

What is the problem/issue with the current Oakland Alameda County Coliseum for use by the A's, please:) Why do the A's want to change locations, please?
Gordon Hopkins

Posted by Gordon Hopkins on 09/15/2017 at 9:19 AM

Re: “Letters of the week: The Homeless Issue in Oakland was a Hot Topic Among our Readers

What can legally be done to limit where one sets up a tent? Why do they allow tents to be set up in city parks? We keep talking about the rights of the homeless what about the rights of all people that live here in Oakland. I'm all for helping the homeless I just believe there should be limits They seem to have free rein to litter and place large furniture pieces in the street. Just because the Mayor has no idea what to do we must place pressure on her to do something. Our police pass right by and do nothing. This city deserves better it's a beautiful place to live and taking care of it should be all of our priorities.

Posted by elephantinrm on 07/03/2017 at 9:44 PM

Re: “Letters of the Week: Our Readers Chime in on Gentrification and the closure of Pic├ín

it is true that such things as greed and gentrification do a lot to contribute to the drive of rent control in areas like oakland and richmond. but, since the whole issue of housing contributes to the drive of rent control also, the land lords should be required to allow a certain number or amount of units for 'affordable units' within a building without regard to whether the potential tenant is senior citizen, afdc, handicapped, low income, disabled, etc. the labels should cease. there should be affordable units in the buildings or complexes and not just a few, but forty or fifty percent of the units affordable. this would be a good drive for the control of rent. make the units available, period. to do this, make them affordable without the labels.

Posted by Estella Davis on 06/22/2017 at 6:32 PM

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