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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: Letters

Re: “Letters for the Week of September 16

@ Cris Castro This is a "non-apology". Please work to inform yourself on the genocide that occurred on this soil. Read "Indigenous Peoples History of the United States" by Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz. Educate yourself on the oppression affecting native communities today and get involved in social justice issues. You will then be prepared to write a "real apology". It will go something like this: "I acknowledge the Native American genocide committed by my ancestors, and through which I continue to benefit from in our white supremacy system. I dedicate my life to understanding this truth and work to end the cycle of violence my European American community perpetrates on indigenous peoples. I am so sorry for what my ancestors did."

Posted by Molly Batchelder on 10/03/2015 at 6:01 PM

Re: “Letters for the Week of September 2, 2015

Although there are no articles in this issue on bicyclists and motorists, I'd like to comment on my observations as both of these.

Bicyclists need to fear auto, bus and truck drivers. Either the motorists don't know the new law which requires keeping three feet between their vehicles and bicyclists (or road bike paths) or they choose to be arrogant and think the road ONLY belongs to them.

The other observation is that many bicyclists don't care about their brains and won't wear helmets.

Why these seeming divergent observations? If a motorist hits you (I've been hit twice in downtown Oakland) because s/he can't share the road properly, and your head hits the pavement; you will have brain damage or die.

BTW the motorists who don't like when bicyclists don't obey the laws need to know that statistically (ratio!) more cars kill people than bicyclists.

Posted by Emily Montan on 09/03/2015 at 8:53 AM

Re: “Letters for the Week of August 12, 2015

Michael, a tenant living in a rent controlled one bedroom apartment ( $1,000.00 under market) recently purchased a new Mercedes and had his girl friend move in with him (she will pay half of the current rent) so he can save for a house. The inequity is that this person does not warrant having his rent subsidized and people that are economically deserving don't always receive that opportunity. Rent subsidy might be better distributed like food stamps, aid to dependent children or unemployment benefits. There ought to be a social benefit and not just a lucky happenstance that allows the indiscriminate distribution of benefits.

Posted by Lee Weber on 08/12/2015 at 3:36 PM

Re: “Letters for the Week of August 5, 2015

If you walk into the eucalyptus forests of the East Bay hills and just look, and listen, you'll know instantly these trees are thriving, thank you very much. In fact, they may fare much better than oaks and bays in surviving the CA droughts.

Abundant bird sounds, salamanders under the duff, and 10" of annual fog drop rain is created by these naturalized forest, thriving in CA for about 150 years.

All the demonizing of eucalyptus trees that tars them as "weeds" and worse, as "gasoline trees" that are a threat to our safety, ignore fire science, climate science, and common sense.

The current plan to cut down HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of them will actually CREATE A FIRE HAZARD by turning living forest canopy, which produces cooling shade, into dead wood (logs and wood chips), left on the ground, not removed from the hills.

Please folks, don't believe all the myths and misinformation that would have you hate and fear...trees. Eucalyptus are, after all, trees, offering all the myriad benefits trees of all species do, no matter their country of origin.

READ MORE ABOUT the roots of this environmentally devastating campaign that would be the largest SF Bay Area deforestation in 100 years:…

Posted by Jack Gescheidt on 08/07/2015 at 11:58 AM

Re: “Letters for the Week of August 5, 2015

Considering the massive amounts of lies and misinformation being spread by the EBRP, UC, Monsanto, Libby Schaaf, and all who will benefit from clear-cutting half a million of our East Bay hills trees, to be followed by massive herbiciding for decades (EBRPs actually called the poison Garlon "Garland" in a response to a concerned citizen), Mr. Booker's comment sounds like one more in a pile. Ask the eagles and hawks and other raptors why they need and prefer Eucalyptus to nest in.

The Eucs are doing just fine. Our native oaks and bays have Sudden Oak Death, and the poor redwoods along Hwy 13 are dying. (Cal Trans has ignored requests for thirty years to stop the Hedera Canariensis from smothering our trees, but instead they are on a massive healthy tree-killing campaign, as can be seen on the east side, between Redwood Road and Park Blvd. Meanwhile, 40 huge and healthy redwoods have been killed in little Dimond Park, for no apparent reason, so it's not just Eucs being targeted.……………

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Bev Von Dohre on 08/06/2015 at 8:58 PM

Re: “Letters for the Week of August 5, 2015

Response to Mr. Booker: Claims that eucalyptus trees are dying of drought and are infested with insects are just two of many story-lines spun by native plant advocates to support their demands that our urban forest be destroyed. The drought is hard on all plants and trees. If it were capable of singling at a single species of tree, it wouldn’t be blue gum eucalyptus. Mr. Booker cites a book by C.H. Sellers which was published in 1910. We have learned a lot since 1910, about eucalyptus and many other things. R.G. Florence published his comprehensive book about eucalyptus in 2000. He reports that our species of eucalyptus (blue gum) is very drought resistant, which is consistent with the fact that it thrives all over the world in many places that are much hotter and dryer than the Bay Area.

The tortoise beetle was introduced by native plant fanatics for the purpose of killing eucalyptus in California according to an entomologist at UC Riverside. But like many of the uninformed choices made by native plant advocates, the tortoise beetle does not kill eucalyptus trees.

Finally, Mr. Booker does not take into consideration that our tall non-native trees are condensing fog moisture which has been measured in San Francisco’s eucalyptus forest at 16 inches per year and 10 inches per year in the East Bay.

So many stories, all fabricated by people who are committed to returning our forests to grassland and scrub. One wonders where people find the time and energy to hate trees.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Millie Trees on 08/06/2015 at 8:21 PM

Re: “Letters for the week of July 8, 2015

Thanks to Gary Pattton for expressing my and my family's feelings exactly. Only hope the Warrior owners are reading the Express.

Allene Warren

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Allene Warren on 07/09/2015 at 12:26 PM

Re: “Letters for the week of June 24, 2015

What comes next, preventive detention? If the elected officials think for one minute that predicting where crime will break out, is the next step to identify persons who might commit a crime and put them in jail, rather than risk that they could commit a crime? Any rational person will tell you that prediction is akin to tea leaf reading, ande ouiji boards. Where will all this lead, just go and watch the classic film, Fahrenheit 451, then tell me it can't happen here.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Franklin Graham on 06/27/2015 at 10:08 AM

Re: “Letters for the week of June 17, 2015

If welfare is for food for poor people and grocery stores accept the cards, why do welfare recipients need cash? Likely for ciggeretes and alcohol.

Section 8 housing, Obama cell phones, and now complaining about access to cash! When will this entitlement culture end?

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by michael.sagehorn on 06/17/2015 at 10:31 PM

Re: “Letters for the week of June 17, 2015

No doubt many welfare recipients who read Ms. Anna Salomone's letter [Banks are Robbing the Poor, Letters, June 17-23] were scratching their heads and wondering why Ms. Salomone did not dig into the reasons for the switch from checks to bankcards. Her complaint was that banks were charging welfare recipients "up to $4 per transaction in order to access their cash benefits". Actual welfare recipients who have received checks in the past will know that $4 is a bargain. It's also safer. Just think about it. According to Ms. Salomone, "an average welfare benefit to a Bay Area family is only $670 per month." Assuming that an average welfare recipient does not have a bank account, and so must rely on a high-priced check cashing service to convert their monthly check into cash, I asked an employee at Payroll Advance, on 2005 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley, how much it would cost to cash a check for $670. The answer was $20.03, which is calculated at the rate of 2.99 percent of the check amount. There is also a serious risk of robbery involved, since the service will not cash only part of the check. If the welfare recipient only wants a hundred dollars to buy some groceries, they still must walk out the door holding $650 in cash, a fact that certainly every street thug knows well. Compare that to an ATM machine which allows the person to withdraw only the amount needed, and the safety issue becomes obvious.

Rich Clark -=- Berkeley, California -=-

Posted by Rich Clark on 06/17/2015 at 7:25 PM

Re: “Letters for the week of June 17, 2015

This comment was removed because it violates our policy against anonymous comments. It will be reposted if the commenter chooses to use his or her real name.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Editor on 06/17/2015 at 3:08 PM

Re: “Letters for Week of May 13, 2015

Sorry Kevin if I was only partially correct. Phase I affordable housing at San Leandro BART mixed with seniors units in Phase II. Considering both BART stations in that city and despite a specific plan along E 14th street for the last 25 years and that's it, excuse me if I am still underwhelmed. My point remains that until citizens and politicians are willing to talk honestly about race and privilege, construction of affordable housing is not going to happen. Here a couple more examples for you, The City of Livermore has been in a battle with Alameda County for the last 20 years about what happens in N Livermore. N Livermore is comprised of 30,000 acre north of I-580 that is totally flat and ripe for development. Part of it is in the city and part is in the county. The area has been the subject of law suits, several voter iniatives and settlement agreements over this time period. The issue is not only how much housing is appropriate but what kind of housing is politically acceptable. The citizens fear that the county will build all of their affordable housing there and that is unacceptable because it will bring undesirables to town. In the 1990's, when Danville was experiencing major growth along Camino Tassajara, a major residential developer voluntarily proposed to modify the last phase of a market rate single family subdivision and build townhouses affordable to families in the 80-120% of median income range. After the plan went public, the developers own homeowners in the early phases of the project bombarded the Town and the developer with objections to any project that would attract "those" people. At the time, "those" people for Danville, would have included policeman, fireman, teachers, nurses and public sector employees. After considering the bumpy road ahead, the developer pulled the project and built out the subdivision with single family housing. Again, until we talk honestly about race and privilege, we are kidding ourselves. Unfortunately, there are not enough George Lucas types to go around.

Posted by Gary Patton on 05/14/2015 at 9:26 AM

Re: “Letters for Week of May 13, 2015

Gary Patton's statement that the only multiple-family housing at San Leandro BART is for seniors is incorrect. The publicity for this complex has always emphasized that it includes family housing without age restrictions.
Kevin Walsh
San Leandro

From the City's website:

The estimated timelines for the two proposed phases of the Marea Alta are below:

Phase I (Family Housing – 115 units)

March 2014 – Low income housing tax credit (LIHTC) deadline
June 2014 – LIHTC award
July 2014 – Building permit submittals
December 2014 – Start of construction
May 2016 – Construction completed

Phase II (Senior Housing – 85 units)

July 2016 – LIHTC application
September 2016 – LIHTC award
November 2016 – Building permit submittals
March 2017 – Start of construction
August 2018 – Construction completed

Posted by Kevin Walsh on 05/14/2015 at 5:22 AM

Re: “Letters for the Week of April 1, 2015

Mr. Gammon needs to go back and review Journalism 101 along with so many other members of the media these days. The time to research alternative viewpoints is BEFORE you print the article. Responding to the emergence of the other side in the way he did is not only disrespectful, it's distasteful. And transparent.

Posted by Scott Gordon on 04/10/2015 at 11:37 AM

Re: “Letters for the Week of April 1, 2015

Mr. Gammon is still exaggerating the ag use of water; he seems to think that water we let flow is somehow not valued. Our recreationists, salmon fishers, and environmentalists would beg to differ.

You can get a more accurate picture here:…

Posted by Ambierce Brose on 04/02/2015 at 10:33 AM

Re: “Letters for the Week of February 18, 2015

@ Joe well too bad the criminals aren't all raising their hands. LOL.

You are citing national "facts" but only Oakland's are relevant.
These factoids aren't the whole picture as you well know. I don't think we will always be stuck in this endless cycle but the community must pull itself up - the black community should be outraged at the lack of educational opportunity- but they cannot because they have supported teachers unions that delivered such bad outcomes for their community. Look at the graduation rate for Blacks hovering around 50% in Jokeland, who's reading at grade level by 3rd grade? a predictor of success.

You cited a bunch of behaviour that your white friends do- all victimless and just taking drugs not selling - this is not Oakland's big problem, robbery assault, burglary are. Oakland has fewer cops than any major city in america per capita.

I wouldn't mind being stopped, questioned and frisked If the tradeoff was more police patrolling my neighborhood.

Your numbers are quaint, cute, but not revelatory.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jeff Diver on 02/25/2015 at 3:46 PM

Re: “Letters for the Week of February 18, 2015

@JefF Diver
If only those Black people suspected of victimizing others were being arrested, then I would have had no inquiry in the first place. Check these FACTS:

1.) Of all Blacks who were arrested 2012 nationally, 63% of those arrests were for "victimless crimes".
2.) Of all "victimless crimes" arrests, Blacks made up 27% of those arrested, yet we are only about 12% or the population.
3.) 37% of arrests were for what you call "not victimless". This includes non-violent and violent crime.
4.) Out of Black Arrests for "not victimless", 16% were for violent offenses. Out of total Black arrests, only 6% were for violent crimes.
5.) By the way, these distributions are pretty similar for White arrest. The difference is that whites proportion of total arrests (69.3%) was slightly underrepresented compared to whites being 72.4% of the U.S. population (while black arrests were 28.1% of all arrested, compared to our 12.6% proportion in the U.S. population).
*You can crunch these numbers yourself as I did from the FBI 2012 crime data you can download in excel (table 43).

But, if, as you suggest about my white friends, Black people weren't arrested for "victimless" crimes, then this would cut black arrests down to only 12.8% of All arrests. Imagine that, black arrests would be representative of our population in the U.S.

So, it brings me back to the original question, are Black arrests and incarceration rates higher than white folks because we get arrested at a greater rate for the same shit that white people do -- things that people like you believe isn't really crime? Do those arrests happen at a greater rate because police have created greater opportunity to find us doing something wrong, by profiling us? Do people like you believe that profiling is necessary because Black people have higher rates of arrests?

Is this the fucked up circle and cycle of implicit bias we will always be stuck in - this bias that says if I do, sell or buy weed (or coke, or e, or speed, or mushrooms or...ect) I am a thug, dopefiend menace to society deserving of being arrested - but, if my white friends do it that's not real crime and that's why they aren't being profiled and arrested?

0 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Joe Jackson on 02/19/2015 at 2:34 PM

Re: “Letters for the Week of February 18, 2015

@Charlie- right you are.
@Joe - see Charlie's letter, further all your white friends' crime are victimless, if that was true in Oakland generally there wouldn't be a crime problem- too bad it ain't the case.
@Len- It actually pains me to say this but i do hope you're right that a tech cure to crime will become affordable and that we use it. I am scared of the 1984 scenario but crime is just out of control in jOakland, and police are too expensive.
@ cynthia- see Robert Gammon's small expose of jerry Brown- he is a midget. I have no idea why people are so in love with him. I'll add this to my list of why not Jerry.

Thanks for those that see closing BART are not civil rights protestors and ought to pay the fines and BART board are a bunch of chikensh*t's for backing down - it would serve them right if there was a protest every week like this one.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jeff Diver on 02/18/2015 at 8:07 PM

Re: “Letters for the Week of February 11, 2015

Thank you, Mr Mordecai for your constant loyalty to democracy. Please keep your research and investigations up. We are depending on you. Patricia Arabia, Oakland public school teacher.

Posted by Patricia Sliney Arabia on 02/13/2015 at 9:21 AM

Re: “Letters for the Week of February 11, 2015

Yes, Adia Mariam, Charter Schools regional director, "Charter Schools Work".

They work to divert public education tax dollars to private management.

And, they also work to increase segregation. Oakland School Board recently renewed the charter of Oakland School of the Arts (OSA) founded by Governor Brown.

It is the most segregated charter school of all 38 Oakland charter schools. And, the School's enrollment trend each year is fewer and fewer African Americans. OSA is a School located in downtown Oakland lacking neighborhood enrollment.

District report found that over 40% of OSA enrollment came from cities outside of Oakland.

The Oakland School Board permits class and race segregation because it supports OSA policy of enrollment by audition.

The Oakland School Board could take away OSA's use of auditions. It could give enrollment preference to students in the neighborhood in poverty. It could give second level enrollment preference to students from the District.

The Board talks equity, but in the case of OSA charter school, endorses enrollment auditions that created class and racial segregation since 2005.

Jim Mordecai

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Jim Mordecai on 02/12/2015 at 12:48 AM

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