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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: Letters

Re: “Letters for the Week of May 15, 2013

Regarding handicap placard abuse: ENFORCEMENT! Yesterday at lunch NINE out of the ten cars parked on the south side of the 2200 block of Webster had placards. Most of the vehicles were also FBI agents' cars and that's crazy... the parking garage for their building has an elevator but the street spaces they are parking in are as far away from their office's entrances as you can get.

Posted by Matt_Chambers on 05/21/2013 at 10:39 AM

Re: “Letters for the Week of May 15, 2013

Thanks to Ms. Boyd for her contributions to accuracy, however deaf the ears on which they fall.

3 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by Mary Eisenhart on 05/15/2013 at 9:38 AM

Re: “Letters for the Week of March 27, 2013


If you go back and reread the story, it clearly does not advocate for weakening CEQA for open-space projects like in Knowland Park. It advocates for reforming the law only for smart-growth housing and housing mixed-use projects on or near major transit corridors in urban areas.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Robert Gammon on 03/28/2013 at 12:58 PM

Re: “Letters for the Week of March 27, 2013

Add the California Native Plant Society to CEQA Works, the coalition of environmental organizations that is fighting the assault on CEQA. Our organization relies heavily on this landmark law to protect native plant resources in our state--it's the only state law that protects rare plant communities (not just species). However, even CEQA is challenged to prevail against a determined developer. Take for instance the Oakland Zoo's attempt to develop 56 acres of prime parkland in Knowland Park. The project area possesses two rare plant communities which are remnants of Oakland's natural heritage. Ironically, these remnant plant communities that will be celebrated when the Oakland Museum unveils its new Natural Science wing in May even as the zoo continues its plan to destroy them.

Had CEQA been stronger, the zoo would not have been able to get away with avoiding a full Environmental Impact Report which requires an analysis alternatives. Thus the public was robbed of the opportunity to weigh far more environmentally sound alternatives than the destructive one that the zoo continues to cling to. Instead the zoo was able to engage in "CEQA lite" by releasing a Mitigated Negative Declaration with no analysis of alternatives.

CEQA needs to be strengthened, not weakened. I'm saddened to learn that the East Bay Express joined in CEQA bashing.

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Laura Baker on 03/28/2013 at 11:18 AM

Re: “Letters for the Week of March 27, 2013

I agree with all of these letter writers (except Hoffman who still seems to champion the pseudoscience of Thomas Malthus). A few urban infill projects will not tackle the source of climate change, which is capitalism, an economic system that privatizes the Earth's resources and socializes the costs to the 99.99999999%, i.e. the working class and all other species besides humans.

3 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Steve Ongerth on 03/27/2013 at 7:43 AM

Re: “Letters for the Week of January 30, 2013

Mr. Hensley: you just don't understand. Robert Gammon, Dan Siegel, John Burris, and the self-appointed (mostly white and affluent) civil libertarians who live in relatively safe neigborhoods like Montclair and Rockridge know what's good for the folks in Oakland's worst neighborhoods who are routinely threatened by thugs and gang bangers.

7 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Eric Tremont on 01/30/2013 at 7:48 AM

Re: “Letters for the Week of January 16, 2013

Hoffman- i think you're absolutely wrong and intolerant to boot of others than "artist/musician/poet/radical types" , so so much for your "progressive" bona fides. You obviously should have bought a year ago when prices were lower (but not 5 yrs ago when prices were higher), to complain now is just sour grapes. To tell people that are of different social or political persuasion as yourself that they cannot live somewhere smacks of at te least intolerance and depending on how far it goes, fascism. But of course that is what you are about. Gentrification is a positive for the neighborhood and the city in higher tax revenues and higher income people who live there and support businesses and need less in the way of city services - you can witness rockridge in Oak., Bernal heights in SF, and a host of other neighborhoods. Why don't you just go to another up and coming neighborhood and purchase a house (capitalist pig/hypocrite) so we all don't have to hear your moaning and why would you want to live in a "yupped up area" anyway?

7 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Jeff Diver on 01/16/2013 at 2:48 PM

Re: “Letters for the Week of November 21, 2012

I am happy for Arthur Boone in that he finds a gift tree in the desert of Jane Brunner's public career. However for many of us citizens, even those of a green persuasion (I've been a Sierra Club member for 55 years), she and her cronies will be remembered for their failure to protect minority families from violence and failure to allow the economic growth needed to bring these families out of poverty.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Mike Ferro on 11/24/2012 at 12:16 PM

Re: “Letters for the Week of November 21, 2012

Pamela Drake complains that the Express is saying that the Zoo is "run by some kind of corporate types." The fact is, that is who is running the Zoo. Here is what an article in the SF Chronicle (…) writes about their Board of Directors: "Jim Wunderman is President and CEO of the Bay Area Council, a business-backed public policy organization…. Sebastian DiGrande is a Partner and Managing Director at the Boston Consulting Group, a global management consulting firm and the world's leading advisor on business strategy…. Daniel Boggan, Jr…. assisted the municipal firm of Siebert, Branford & Shank Co. in business development from 2003 to 2006…. Cassady Hudson is a Senior Revenue and Royalty Analyst at Hands-on Mobile…. Mark McClure is a partner at California Capital and Investment Group, a real estate brokerage and development firm based in Oakland CA. He has worked on both residential and commercial development projects primarily in the City of Oakland…. Lora Tabor is the General Manager, Corporate & Services HR, for Chevron Corporation in San Ramon…."

We can like or dislike the fact that "corporate types" are running the Zoo, but the fact is that that is who runs it.

John Reimann
Oakland CA

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by John Reimann on 11/23/2012 at 2:18 AM

Re: “Letters for the Week of August 15, 2012

I list the web sites of all the other District 1 City Council candidates sans snarky comments here…

Posted by Leonard Raphael on 08/22/2012 at 9:20 PM

Re: “Letters for the Week of August 15, 2012

Caryn, I'm not your average wannabe Oakland pol. I did not want to run but couldn't find any of the "viable" candidates willing to forgo the support of the muni unions and/or city contracted non-profits. Some of the other candidates are very well educated but as long as they're tied with a funding in money or in kind umbilical cord to the muni unions and muni non-profits, they'll have to wait for a Federal bankruptcy judge before they do anything to pay for more cops, replace ineffective violence protection programs, or make a dent in the multi-billion structural deficit.

To have a little fun going negative here, (and why not since the three "viable" candidates which I call the Kingston Trio, all appeal to the same group of voters):

Raya's excellent experience is more suited to running for City Auditor, but at least he has number crunching work experience which is more than any other candidate other than me. He is particularly proud of floating zillions of school bonds. Borrowing our way out of our fiscal problems certainly appeals to the current City Council. He'll fit right in. I suspect he knows what has to be done, but simply will have too many ties to his union and ngo supporters like Oakland Rising and Oakland Uprising to dare try to upset the status quo.

Lemly considers herself to have work experience in economic development because she is a "social entrepreneur". Beats me how that's relevant to attracting anything other than more non-profits to Oakland. And her other strength, which we thought Dellums had, as an "expert in accessing state and federal funding..." Well, that train left the station about 4 years of Federal and CA deficits ago. Her solution to crime is (she's vague) something about economic development. I guess she'll bring in more non-profits that don't pay taxes and pay min wages. Great strategy.

Kalb is an unreconstructed environmentalist old school progressive. He's upfront and specific on how he'll deal with crime: "The centerpiece of Dan’s plans to create a safer city is to make smart investments in programs that reduce recidivism". Vague on everything else.

Don the Green candidate is vague too. But union leadership isn't too fond of Greens. So maybe he and I will debate the issues instead of sidestepping with feel good sound bites. Unless he goes upbeat vague on me because he wants to get those RCV second choice votes.

Believe it or not, below Shattuck all of the ncpc activists (including the many who supported the recall) are convinced Don Link is the anointed one because he's been organizing neighborhood watches and cleaning off graffiti tirelessly for twenty years. And because the SF Chroncle voted him one of the top 3 supporters of Mayor Quan. Completely unknown outside of his area. But then so are all of the Kingston Trio.

Len Raphael, CPA
Candidate for District 1 City Council

Posted by Leonard Raphael on 08/22/2012 at 8:50 PM

Re: “Letters for the Week of August 15, 2012

Len, for this town you sound fairly reasonable. I would rather see city services privatized than more funding for any programs.
I don't agree with the ideological position of the editor in the way he criticizes the cops but I'm no fan of the OPD and wouldn't mind further layoffs. They spend way too much time on drug law enforcement, which said laws should be abolished. OPD rather routinely tells disputing neighbors to file restraining orders against each other without telling them of the dire consequences including loss of Second Amendment rights for starters. This nonsense clogs up our courts. We had one (thankfully retired) Judge here who used to issue restraining orders like water mainly to promote her gun control views.
Frankly many of the cops just don't want to be bothered and my advice is to try to stay out of their way.
I may consider voting for you.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Caryn Goddard on 08/19/2012 at 1:22 PM

Re: “Letters for the Week of August 15, 2012

My election pamphlet candidate statement as limited to 150 words lays out the bare bones of what I think is needed to reduce crime. Doubling the size of OPD by adding 500 cops is necessary but not sufficient step. There was no room to list the changes needed within OPD to correct the way it's mismanaged or more accurately NOT managed by the civilian officials to provide effective and safe policing for all residents. I've done that in other posts. Bottom line: cop lovers and cop haters hate me. Can't please everyone ;)

"Oakland residents deserve a safe, fiscally secure city with functioning parks, libraries, and roads. Laying off police and furloughing employees is not the solution. Burdening younger residents with $2.5 billion of retirement and postponed infrastructure costs is not fair. Oakland must be moved off the most violent cities list. We must replace crony-ridden violence prevention programs with effective ones. To hire 500 more police, I will push for a two tiered, reduced pay system for new city employees. Crime reduction will in turn attract more employers, increasing business taxes and jobs. To challenge the status quo, I will not accept economic support from any nonprofit or union with city contracts. I am a lifelong District 1 resident with BS and MS degrees in accounting and tax from UC Berkeley and Golden Gate University. I can lead the Council to realistic decisions to fix Oakland's problems."

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Leonard Raphael on 08/16/2012 at 12:46 AM

Re: “Letters for the Week of August 15, 2012

Desley Brooks has had her problems with the OPD and is a big part of the problem in Oakland. The extortionate Riders settlement needs to be set aside.
Brooks is a typical race card player in Oakland. Three of the four Riders were non-white and the one white was married to a black woman.
Enough of this leftist nonsense and let's let the police do their job without further political obstruction.

6 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Caryn Goddard on 08/15/2012 at 5:27 PM

Re: “Letters for the Week of August 1

As a socialist, I guess I qualify as one of Vernon S. Burton's (Letters, EBX, August 1-7, 2012, pp. 4-5) "faux progressives." However, I am confused by his screed. Can he explain how insulting me, castigating me ("whine"), belittling me ("sitting on (my) hands"), and trying to scare me ("results similar to that of the 2010 mid-terms") will get me to vote for his guy?

If I'm supposed to be scared of a Pres. Mitt Romney, can Mr. Burton tell me how Pres. Romney will persecute Bradley Manning any more than Pres. Obama has.?

If I'm supposed to be scared of a Pres. Mitt Romney, can Mr. Burton tell me how Pres. Romney will throw the Palestinians under the bus, then run over them repeatedly more than Pres. Obama has?

If I'm supposed to be scared of a Pres. Mitt Romney, can Mr. Burton tell me how Pres. Romney will use the Espionage Act of 1919 to persecute whistle blowers any more than Pres. Obama has?

If I'm supposed to be scared of a Pres. Mitt Romney, can Mr. Burton tell me how Pres. Romney will seek the extradition of Julian Assange so that he can be given a show trial in a kangaroo American court--if tried at all-- any more than Pres. Obama has?

If I'm supposed to be scared of a Pres. Mitt Romney, can Mr. Burton tell me how Pres. Romney will kill more Muslims from the Mediterranean to the Indus River any more than Pres. Obama has?

If I'm supposed to be scared of a Pres. Mitt Romney, can Mr. Burton tell me how Pres. Romney will sell out the American blue-collar worker with various Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) any more than Pres. Obama has?

If I'm supposed to be scared of a Pres. Mitt Romney, can Mr. Burton tell me how Pres. Romney will support dictators or coups against democratically-elected governments any more than Pres. Obama has?

Granted, a Pres. Romney will approve the Keystone pipeline in 2013; so will a Pres. Obama.

Granted, a Pres. Romney will go to war with Iran in 2013; so will a Pres. Obama.

Granted a Pres. Romney will throw the Mexicans under the bus if elected; so will a Pres. Obama if re-elected.

Why should a "true" Progressive vote for a man who embraces Lieberman and attacks Kucinich?

Why should a "true" Progressive vote for a man who orders a Shirley Sherrod fired, and in a most humiliating way (no Cabinet secretary does that on his own; it has to come from the Oval Office), yet won't fire a Melinda Haag?

Why should a "true" Progressive vote for a man who can't find a pair of "comfortable shoes?"

Why should a "true" Progressive vote for a man who is George W. Bush's third term, and now wants to be his fourth term?

When you vote for Candidate Obama, you get Pres. Obama. Even a yellow dog Democrat or Obama cultist such as Mr. Burton should realize that once free from ever having to run for public office again, the real Obama will surface: a right-wing, empty-suit Rockefeller Republican whose only political principle is that he believes he should be President of the United States from January 20, 2013 to January 20, 2017, same as a Pres. Romney.

Eugene Webber

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by eugene webber on 08/01/2012 at 2:21 PM

Re: “Letters for the Week of June 13, 2012

Is an Arizona style immigration law coming to California?

With a $16 billion budget shortfall, a US Supreme Court ruling favoring Arizona's SB1070 could cause Californians to revisit the idea of a tough enforcement referendum. Polls show most California voters would support an Arizona style immigration law in the state.

A previous attempt to crack down on illegal immigration, Proposition 187 (The 1994 "Save our State" referendum), passed by a two to one margin. But shortly thereafter that law was struck down by a federal judge. This discouraged further attempts at such ballot initiatives. If the Supreme Court does rule in favor of Arizona things would be different.

Enforcement proponents in many jurisdictions will be emboldened by a decision favorable to SB1070. With federal lawmakers paralyzed by the unpopularity of amnesty legislation the immigration issue will play out in the states.

This court decision has the potential to be a real game changer.

Please feel free to continue the discussion. Contact

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by John DiPaolo on 06/13/2012 at 11:08 PM

Re: “Letters for the Week of April 25, 2012

I doubt education would reduce recidivism much. A person with a felony conviction is screwed for life, because employers don't want to hire ex-cons. You can work menial jobs or go back to prison. It's better than living on the street. Even with a college degree in engineering, you can't get a security clearance, the Government won't hire you, defense contractors won't hire you, and most employers won't either.

Posted by Frank Defelice on 05/16/2012 at 11:34 PM

Re: “Letters for the Week of May 2

These photos, showing Jack Russo and Alameda firefighters union officials, partying with Alameda Mayor Marie Gilmore and Councilmembers Lena Tam and Rob Bonta on election night, 2010, should tell voters everything they need to know about Measure C.…

Posted by David Howard on 05/04/2012 at 8:32 AM

Re: “Letters for the Week of May 2

David Howard has an ax to grind with our public safety officials because he was arrested for alleged domestic violence and was later charged by the District Attorney. He is Alameda's Ross Mirkirimi. He cannot see the truth about Measure C, even after a judge ruled that he was wrong. Don't let his lies hurt Alameda. Vote Yes on Measure C to have reliable police patrol and Emergency response.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Chuck Meese on 05/03/2012 at 7:59 AM

Re: “Letters for the Week of May 2

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.

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Editor on 05/02/2012 at 7:12 AM

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