Letters for December 3 

Readers sound off on the band Solcraft, illegal immigrants, and John Swett High School.

"Local Licks: Solcraft," Music, 11/5

Like a Freight Train

I've seen Solcraft at the Rockit Room in SF awhile back and they rocked like a friggin' freight train. They are a very well-kept secret in my opinion.

Donna Lynn, Newman, CA

"Stepped-Up Enforcement of Traffic Laws Chills Fruitvale," News, 11/5

Make Streets Safe to Ride

Seems overly harsh to write folks up for riding a bike on the sidewalk when there isn't a safe street to ride on in the whole neighborhood. I think there's "quality of life crimes" and then there are quality of life crimes. I will say, driving without a license sure seems messed up given the hit-and-run issue, but I'm really conflicted. When will the state finally figure out a solution to this?

Doug Johnson, board member, WalkOaklandBikeOakland.org, Oakland

We Create the Problem

I find the actions of Oakland's police unconscionable. The vast majority of immigrants — whether they be legal or illegal — come to the US to work and create a better life for themselves and their families. This has been true since the beginning of our nation's history. Immigrants have built this country and continue to be a critical element of its workforce and economy. Immigrants should not be terrorized or punished, but rather given the opportunity to become citizens to fully participate in our society. By disallowing immigrants from obtaining driver's licenses legally, we force them to drive illegally — thus endangering themselves and others. Instead of blaming the victim, we must strive to make more inclusive our laws and actions.

Lindsay S. Imai Hong, Oakland

Drive More Carefully

While I agree that ICE has no place in law enforcement in Oakland, I applaud increased traffic enforcement on International Boulevard. I have treated far too many children with severe injuries from being hit by cars on that street; people drive too fast, too stupidly, and too much, considering that AC Transit runs several bus lines in the area. While I deplore racial profiling and feel for those who lose cars that they need to earn their living, the car*nage on International — and on all of Oakland's streets — must stop.

I feel confident that drivers who drive carefully and at or below the speed limit are less likely to be stopped. (Odd, that one should have to point that out.)

Michael Treece, San Francisco

Illegal = Illegal

I think some people have forgotten what the term illegal immigrant means; it means someone living illegally, you have broken laws and continue to break them by living illegally. I am a legal resident and had to wait over ten years to come to the US and what makes me really angry is when illegal immigrants in the US complain of the police monitoring or arresting them. What you think is the role of the police? Isn't it to protect the laws of the state and country? Otherwise just let the US be open to anyone and see the chaos it will bring. The point I am making is that illegal is illegal.

Noel Santos, San Lorenzo

"Standing Apart (By Standing Together)," Feature, 11/5

The Band Was Our Life

Thank you for your article on John Swett Union High School, "Standing Apart," Nov. 5-11, 2008.

I graduated from John Swett in 1959 and it was then just as you described it now... "Football" and "The Band"!! Jim Turner was our quarterback and later played pro ball for the New York Jets with Joe Namath and the Denver Broncos with John Elway. (Both teams as their kicker.)

We once lost a game 91 to 7 against Liberty High School but "The Band" played on under the direction of Howard Wigell. We were the first "dancing band" in our league.

For many, "The Band" was our life and personally, the trumpet section was the best!

Kathy Stern Mcarter, Berkeley

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