Letters for the Week of October 31, 2012 

Readers sound off on the Oakland Zoo, sex trafficking, Richmond's soda tax, and more.

Page 6 of 10

Melvin Dean Baker, San Francisco

What About Implementation?

I vote for everything environmental. But we are cutting back on education, cutting back on police, cutting back on the prisons, cutting back on fire departments. Who will pay for the cost of the study? Who will pay for the cost of removal? Who will pay for the cost of getting the floor of the valley in shape for restoration? Another question: They recommend using more groundwater? I find this unsustainable. The water table is getting lower and lower every year. You recommend using recycled water from sewage treatment plants. Is that safe from drugs? I'm not insinuating people from San Francisco are on drugs, but elderly people are — can they filter those meds out? Would you want your kids to take a bath or swim in them?

You also recommended rainwater. How much would trying to capture rainwater cost? If you want to spend money to clear your conscious, go ahead. But implementing it is a totally different story.

Philip Moya, Merced

"Liberal Versus Liberal," Election 2012, 10/17

Two Good Choices

In general, I feel that Rob Bonta and Abel Guillen are both very capable individuals with substance who would both represent us well in the State Assembly. As far as which one is the most liberal: I would say that there are times at which certain issues in our society are not liberal, moderate, or conservative issues, but issues that, one way or the other, affect everyone. In such instances, one should not adhere to liberal or conservative concepts in order to develop solutions. Both men have strong core principles and will do what is best for the people that they represent, regardless of educational or socioeconomic status. I have followed the 18th Assembly race since the beginning, and always felt that Bonta and Guillen were the most qualified candidates, and most capable of getting things done in Sacramento.

Tyron Jordan, Oakland

"Vote Bates, Capitelli, and Moore, and Yes on Measures R and T," Election 2012, 10/17


Let me start by saying these are just my own personal opinions, not those of any organization. It seems the Express has abandoned its long history of local community support in favor of promoting economic growth at all costs. That's too bad. While growth can be good, it needs to be done in the right places in the right ways. For example, the Measure T West Berkeley Plan would allow large and tall buildings to tower over Aquatic Park, severely damaging the park's ambience and access to sunlight. In North Oakland, two of your endorsed candidates, Amy Lemley and Richard Reya, have, as yet, been unwilling to take a position on Safeway's oversized College Avenue shopping center. Your third choice, Dan Kalb, has stated that he agrees with the community's concerns about the project's size and impacts. When candidates won't take stands on local issues, that's troubling.

Stuart Flashman, Oakland

Just a Coincidence?

On October 3, the Express came out in favor of Measure S, a law banning sitting on the sidewalk in Berkeley. Two weeks later, it came out against Prop 35, which is marketed as making sex trafficking more difficult.

It is worth noting that poor people do not advertise in the Express, while restaurant and store owners, who support Measure S, do. Meanwhile, sex workers, who will be harmed by Prop 35, also advertise in the Express.

Is it just coincidence that your editorial stance in both cases was that which will maximize your advertising income? I know there is more to it than that, but maybe not that much.

Chris Darling, Richmond

The Editors Respond

We came to our endorsements conclusions independently, based on extensive research (With regards to Measure S and Prop 35, see "Unfounded Fears," 10/3, and "Redefining Sex Work," 10/17, respectively, to see the results of that research). The business side of our operation was not involved in the process, nor did we factor the Express' advertising income into our decisions.

"Vote Kaplan and Yes on Measures B1 and S and Props 34 and 37," Endorsements, 10/10

Wild and Green

My family, friends, and colleagues can attest to my green way of life and my and concern for the well-being of animals. For these reasons, I feel fortunate that I work as the Conservation Director at the Oakland Zoo. I chose this organization because the zoo's heart is like mine: wild and green, with conservation at the center of our mission.

We have award-winning green initiatives, including a new, LEED-certified vet center. We are deeply involved in the protection of vulnerable wildlife, including the Western Pond Turtle and the California condor. We keep the Arroyo Viejo Creek clean and native, restoring it with volunteers from the local community, and we inspire thousands of children to connect to and take action for wildlife and nature.


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