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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: Letters

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

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

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