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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: Letters

Re: “Letters for the Week of January 7, 2015

Privatization of parks is a major initiative in the so-called "hospitality and recreation" corporate environment. In California, 5 state parks were recently contracted out to private for-profit companies as a result of the threat to close 70 parks. No one said a word about this, certainly not the California State Parks Foundation and its president, Elizabeth Goldstein. They keep such moves under the radar. So, while names are important, and no company should prey on them as private meat, the real shame is the ongoing threat of privatization and the lack of adequate funding for your state and federal park lands.

Posted by Franklin Graham on 01/12/2015 at 8:07 PM

Re: “Letters for the Week of January 7, 2015

How does one put a price, on the name Ahwahnee? So if they lose the contract, will it be called the Marriott hotel ? It's something that needs to be resolved before a new contract is signed. No sense in kicking the can down the road.

Posted by Phillip Moya on 01/08/2015 at 1:29 AM

Re: “Letters for the week of October 15, 2014

The information in the letters from Jennfer Berg and Leila Moncharsh about Jill Broadhurst do not surprise me. In addition to Broadhurst's misteps in those areas, she is also leading voters to believe she is endorsed by the Democratic Party, but this is simply not true. In her opposition to Measure Z, Broadhurst characterizes it as a band aid and claims more is needed. Well guys, Broadhurst is Chair of the Montclair NCPC which is attempting to raise 60K for a mural!!!! Oakland has high rates of crime and fire and earthquake safety risk factors. It is an incredible lack of leadership and good judgement on her part to pursue a 60K mural. That money could have been used to help fund a new Police Officer position for Oakland or even Montclair; it could have been used to renew and improve the expiring Wildfire Prevention District; or it could have been used for many other worthy safety innitiatives. The only thing consistent about Broadhurst is her lack of good judgement.

Posted by Nicholas J. Vigilante on 10/22/2014 at 2:17 PM

Re: “Letters for the Week of October 8, 2014

Ever wonder why Chevron hasn't put out hit piece mailers on Tom Butt?
Knee jerk white liberals can't see the obvious, Chevron candidate for Richmond Mayor Nat Bates and Richmond candidate for Mayor Tom Butt are two sides of the same coin. Butt and Bates have played good cop, bad cop for Chevron for years to the detriment of Richmond residents. Unfortunately, the East Bay Express prints political propaganda pieces rather than informed commentaries which ultimately end up harming Richmond's working class community.

Posted by Charles T. Smith on 10/09/2014 at 6:22 AM

Re: “Letters for the Week of September 17, 2014

Elmano Gonsalves states, "The Oakland Zoo brings people to the area who otherwise would never come to enjoy Knowland Park. The zoo is the attraction. The people of Oakland, living well below the view ridge, deserve a vibrant and prosperous city with attractions that bring people to Oakland to spend money, which in turn contributes to the tax base and to the general fund."

So, keep the citizens of Oakland down in the flats, while "the city" prospers from those who from afar have money to spend entering the Zoo ?

Better to make the FREE Knowland Park more accessible to the Oakland flatlanders, providing them with direct access to their wild heritage, and nurturing their appreciation of the environmental services provided to them by Knowland Park Nature, for FREE. People, even flatlanders, will want to live in Oakland because it ALSO can provide natural amenities, like an open and free-access Knowland Park.

That's what the people of Oakland deserve. The City should be obliged to provide it.

Peter Rauch

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Peter Rauch on 09/19/2014 at 1:23 PM

Re: “Letters for the Week of September 17, 2014

Is Mr. Gonsalves the zoo's PR man? If it's "one of the best zoos in the United States" our zoos are in a deplorable state. His statement that it's "on a beautiful setting unmatched by any zoo in the United States", surely is a joke.

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by Robert ANderson on 09/18/2014 at 10:06 AM

Re: “Letters for the Week of September 3, 2014

Yo Joyce I only got a few minutes so the list will be short for now.

August 11, 2014 20-year-old Salt Lake City resident and father-to-be Dillon Taylor shot and killed by black cop.

April 2009 Greece, NY licensed gun owner Roderick Scott a 42-year-old black man with the build of a football player shot and killed white 17 year old neighborhood kid Christopher Crevini from across the street. ME report showed Cervini shot in the back. Cervini's cousin testified they begged Scott not to shoot.……
Black governor pardons and commutes sentence of John White convicted of manslaughter for shooting Daniel Cicciaro, 17, point-blank in the face.

blogger uses 15 year of UCR data
Race and justifiable police homicides (use link to see data)…
Back in 2008 I posted about what I called the "Al Sharpton effect": cops shooting white people doesn't generally make the news. That post has gotten a lot of hits recently (roughly 2,000 page views a day, when normally my whole blog gets about 700).
So I've re-crunched these numbers, both to make them more current and to look at the past 15 years, from 1998 to 2012. This is fact 1 of 7 (give or take).
Fact 1: The racial percentage of those killed by police hasn't changed. In other words, police are not more (or less) likely to shoot and kill blacks than they were 15 years ago. (In more academic terms, there is no correlation between year and race, from 1998 to 2012, selecting for whites and blacks).
Before I post the next fact, ask yourself this: what percentage of those killed by police do you think are black?
I ask because because it's good to know if your "facts" are actually based on reality And if the actual facts don't coincide with what you think is true, then you need to reconsider your opinions based on lies. Too many people don't do that.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Laura Menard on 09/03/2014 at 5:23 PM

Re: “Letters for the Week of August 27, 2014

@James Fenton - The solution is clearly for you to move to the soulless wasteland known as Walnut Creek. Nothing out there anyway.

Posted by JJ Noire on 08/28/2014 at 7:14 PM

Re: “Letters for the Week of June 4

Protecting against massive wildfires requires a new approach instead of the ridiculous waste of resources now in play. It may be good for CDF to build a huge bureaucracy but doesn't work too well.
I have a practical solution that while requiring up from capital investment will quickly more than pay for itself and stop wild fires in populated areas. It involves building a network of massive partially buried water tanks camouflaged to fit into the landscape and controlled by computers with spray lines reaching out and intersecting. Pressure would largely be developed by using a gravity fed system with pumps used as sparingly as possible. The Oakland and Berkeley Hills are the very kind of area that could be protected instead of wasting billions in firefighting and property damage not to mention burns and deaths. Our Berkeley engineers can design this and it can be built for what will ultimately be a fraction of the cost of wild fires. It will protect homes and communities but allow fire to continue to be a natural force in our forests.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Steve Redmond on 06/05/2014 at 10:44 AM

Re: “Letters for the Week of May 7

Darwin BondGraham and Ali Winston hit the nail right on the head. Lobbying did go on and officials were influenced behind the scenes. What SST hates is transparency, which gets in the way of insider manipulating. East Bay Express is showing the light on this sort of thing. Way to go.

Posted by Franklin Graham on 05/22/2014 at 4:58 AM

Re: “Letters for the Week of April 30

Whenever a candidate for any local office says that they can pay for a specific number of police by cutting waste or growing existing tax revenue sources, ask them to provide the numbers to back up their projections.

Police (and fire fighters) cost approx 200 thousand/year total cost of compensation including current employment benefits, the City retirement contributions and accrued costs for retirement medical benefits using City provided cost estimates.

Most property tax that comes to Oakland, other than real estate transfer taxes, goes to K-12 education. Most of the sales tax goes to the state and county. Only a miniscule fraction goes to Oakland general fund for services like police.

Similarly, the Oakland business tax, as high as it is, is a low percentage of gross sales. Certain types of businesses, such as Pandora get further reductions in rates.

To pay for 300 more cops @200K/each we'd have to generate 60 Million additional annual tax revenue from sales and business tax is only possible if you believe we can massively quickly increase Oakland retail spending on taxable stuff. Not gonna happen any time soon enough. We have to either cut the benefits we provide to police and fire; cut other public services, cut compensation of other city employees, or make better use of the police we do have.

Paying for more cops by "growing our tax revenues" or "cutting waste" falls into the same category as "industrial marijuana growing".

Oakland pipe dreams.

Posted by Leonard Raphael on 05/01/2014 at 8:39 PM

Re: “Letters for the Week of April 16

sullivan is a parasite on oakland

0 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by demotro polis on 04/25/2014 at 4:10 PM

Re: “Letters for the Week of April 23

Parking should not be free? ever- WRONG- We've already paid for the streets with our taxes. What officials ought to do is figure a way-it's not hard- to have people pay for parking with a fast pass type device instead of being ticket hungry whores off to make a quick $50 to pay for their fiscal mismanagement in other areas. why should a 1 second mistake translate into a $60 ticket- it shouldn't. Fast pass type of device plunge a plunger down the device shows green and automatically debits your device, when you return to your car push the stop, and stop the billing. now more sneaky tickets, no more 2 trips to your car (park, go to meter, return to car, then on your way) and you pay for what you use- not buy in advance and find that you have money leftover. And no more waste paper parking receipts to litter on to streets!

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jeff Diver on 04/23/2014 at 4:20 PM

Re: “Letters for the Week of February 12

That's a good one Dan Siegel! Do you sympathize with taxpaying citizens for getting no value for taxes paid? Should criminals who abuse citizens or neglect their civil responsibility move elsewhere? Should we expand our very expensive police force and will that be a priority for you if you are (g-d forbid) elected mayor. how will you deal with crime and criminals?

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Jeff Diver on 02/12/2014 at 2:31 PM

Re: “Letters for the Week of January 29

Agreed, Paw Fund is great and deserves support!

Posted by Mary Eisenhart on 02/01/2014 at 11:07 AM

Re: “Letters for the Week of January 29

I have just read your Pet Issue. I wanted you to be aware of a small non-profit called PAW Fund that serves low-income/ homeless pet owners & stray animals in the East Bay. Every month they have a free shot clinic set up in a parking lot for dogs and cats, with local vets donating their services.
PAW Fund helps those who have pets in need by arraigning discount veterinary services or pet food donations. They have saved & placed many animals into
loving homes that would have otherwise not survived. They do so much good work over here, and receive no city funding whatsoever (unlike similar services in
San Francisco). The woman who runs it, Jill, is tireless in her efforts to help animals in need. I know that they desperately need funding, and that PAW
Fund operates on a month-to-month basis. Please check out their website, and FaceBook page, please, please!
I love them and they are largely unheard of. Their omission from your Pets Issue proves this point.
Thank you,
Michelle Castro
Oakland, CA

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Michelle Castro on 01/31/2014 at 6:05 PM

Re: “Letters for the Week of December 4

Right on regarding Seeley Quest's letter regarding transphobia. Absolutely right on around the use of a trans person's birth name being unnecessary and lacking privacy and care, especially for a person no longer here to give consent; on the care for Sascha Fleischmann's well being being mutually exclusive from charging a 16 year old who made a very dangerous decision. Being charged with a hate crime at 16 years old, potentially landing him in prison for life. We need care, understanding and learning, not more teens locked up for life. As Quest puts it " Actual social justice for Sasha, Richard, and all of us requires more nuanced response to violence than what the currently proposed criminal justice framework offers."
Kangs T.

Posted by Kangs Trevens on 01/08/2014 at 5:58 PM

Re: “Letters for the Week of January 8

Juan Reardon states, “I just want to clarify that Charles T. Smith did not resign from the RPA, he was asked to leave due to his repeated insults to fellow members who disagreed with him”.
Here is my letter of resignation which was emailed to the leadership of the Richmond Progressive Alliance which included Juan Reardon.
Sent: Friday, August 20, 2010 10:37:41 AM
Subject: End of sanction!
Officially I was to be returned to my position as a member of the RPA Steering Committee on August 23. I had planned to wait until then to notice the members of the steering committee that because of what I consider to be irreconcilable differences with the majority of the members of the RPA steering committee I can no longer be a member of the RPA. Since I've just been put back on the mailing list I'm resigning my position on the steering committee as of today.
I do plan to continue working on the campaign to get Gayle, Jovanka, Eduardo, and Corky elected in November. I will also continue to fight to stop the casino.
On my part I leave the RPA as a friend with no axe to grind. I feel my political work would be best suited to a different type of organization.
In Struggle,

Charles T Smith

Posted by Charles T. Smith on 01/08/2014 at 8:23 AM

Re: “Letters for the Week of November 14

I work with young women in East Oakland. In areas of economic disparity, technology can level the playing field. Kids without a computer or internet access have a difficult time completing homework assignments. Oakland has a 29% drop out rate. 39% of Oakland families do not own computers. Half of the street thefts in SF are smart phone robberies. This isn't an advanced puzzle. Children living in poverty need access to technology in safe spaces. Community based tech centers? Where is Quan?

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jen Jastrab on 11/14/2013 at 10:41 AM

Re: “Letters for the Week of November 6

Well said, Jeff Hoffman. Thank you.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Mary Eisenhart on 11/06/2013 at 7:23 AM

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