Letters for the Week of July 11, 2012 

Readers sound off on our ageism, anti-hunting bias, and "progressive bullshit."

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I was schooled as a conservationist and studied wildlife management as an undergraduate. I question whether non-friable lead, such as that in lead bullets and shot, has an effect on any wildlife.

The bottom line is anti-hunting and anti-gun groups such as the Humane Society and the Brady Campaign want to stop all hunting in the state of California. And, unfortunately, they have the backing of the current majority in the legislature. This is a Humane Society-backed bill and just another step toward banning hunting. What will be brought up next in the hot-button, knee-jerk legislature? Banning the use of dogs to hunt game or retrieve waterfowl? My suggestion to you is to study up on the issue and present facts in an unbiased way. As for fish and game laws, that should be left to the Department of Fish and Game and the Fish and Game Commission. They are the avenues for study, public comment, and wildlife habitat and management — not the anti-hunting state legislature.

James Zigenis, Oakland

"Up in Smoke," Seven Days, 6/27

Progressive Bulllshit

Just like with the failure of the recall in Wisconsin, Robert Gammon, and most of the media, blame the failure of Prop 29 on the amount of money pumped into it by corporations.

Proposition 29 was supported by the Democratic establishment that enjoys overwhelming majority in Sacramento and all of the offices in the state, plus the media, but it still lost. It lost because we, the workers of this state, won't allow any more gimmicks from the Democratic Party to justify more taxes on consumers — and I don't even smoke.

It just doesn't matter if "Perata squandered Prop 29 funds" or not; we are going to continue to defeat your same-sex marriages, your marijuana legalization, your affirmative action, and any of your propositions. We are not swallowing your progressive bullshit.

Leo T. West, San Leandro

"Damning Report of OPD," News, 6/20

Reform Starts from the Inside

The City of Oakland is already starting to hem and haw about the Urban Strategies research. Quan's aide has already stated that the 100 Blocks plan was based on crap. She's in Brazil. What a surprise.

BondGraham and Winston have done more work on more important issues in the Oakland Police Department than anyone else in several years, maybe more. I wouldn't get too entertained by the one date mistake — although I agree that the two-year lag in that policy was a harbinger of the future — that a reader chanced to find. Their research and observations putting it all together are the best chance the people of Oakland have to empower their community — if they will use it and stand up to their do-nothing council, the council that allows the people's police to spend the funds that should go to education, social services, and salaries of city workers on [settling] brutality [cases] and covering their asses.

We need more than anonymous quotes from concerned OPD officers telling us what we already know. OPD's decent officers need to stand up as professionals and clean up their department. There's no other way they can take pride in what they do for a living.

Cynthia Morse, Oakland

Miscellaneous Letters

I'm Not Lovin' It!

The McDonald's construction project on 45th Street and Telegraph Avenue has shown blatant disregard for our city's street trees. It now appears the Temescal neighborhood may lose up to six mature London Planes as a result. Two trees have already been removed. These trees were never posted for removal, and it is uncertain if tree-removal permits were even issued, as required by the Oakland City Tree Ordinance. Three of the four remaining trees have suffered significant root damage and could be lost; one tree's roots were cut up the base, where destabilization may now be an issue. There are no standard tree-protection measures in place, which are also required.

The project should be halted immediately and the remaining trees should be assessed for damage and stability. If the four remaining trees can be saved, appropriate health mitigation treatments should be prescribed and implemented immediately.

Furthermore, a discussion needs to take place on how McDonald's can compensate the Temescal neighborhood for the significant loss in tree canopy cover. Small-stature trees planted in the restaurant's parking lot will not begin to compensate for the loss of these mature city street trees.

As an arborist, I don't understand how these transgressions could have happened. But I would like to see the city put measures in place so that nothing like this can happen again.

Molly Batchelder

Consulting Arborist, SBCA Tree Consulting

Ahead of the Pack on Affordable Care Act

The US Supreme Court decision upholding key provisions of the Affordable Care Act is welcome news for Alameda County, where we have already been advancing a program to expand health care access to thousands of low-income residents.

The need for reform is clear. Walk into any public hospital in the US today and you see a very different population than that which is depicted on television shows like ER. You see not only the faces of the homeless, gunshot victims, and migrant workers. At Highland Hospital, Alameda County's primary site for indigent emergency care, many of our patients work multiple part-time jobs and delay preventative care because they must choose between paying the doctor's bill and buying groceries.


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