Mike Vandeman 
Member since Oct 29, 2008


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Recent Comments

Re: “Big Climate Change March in Oakland This Saturday

My letter to President Obama

Re: Refugees

It is well known that problems are easier to solve at the source. Instead of taking in refugees, we should (through the United Nations, of course) fix the governments from which they are fleeing, so they don't need to flee! The United Nations is very under-utilized. And hurry!

Mike Vandeman

Posted by Mike Vandeman on 11/21/2015 at 10:08 AM

Re: “Oakland Zoo Expansion Won't Be Stopped By Knowland Park Referendum

Anyone who has studied conservation biology knows that zoos are obsolete. They teach people that putting animals in "jail" for the titillation of naïve visitors is acceptable. Of course, it's not! The zoo should be working to restore grizzlies to California. Locking them in a cage does nothing to further that important project. And "protecting" habitat that was already protected provides no net gain for California's wildlife. This project is about money, not conservation.

9 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Mike Vandeman on 01/12/2015 at 9:21 AM

Re: “Letters for November 26

It's tiresome hearing mountain bikers continually whining about "unequal treatment" in our parks. Since the exact same rules apply to mountain bikers as to everyone else, this is nonsense. Actually, the only way for everyone to enjoy equal access to the parks is to ban bicycles, and all other large pieces of machinery from the trails. Whenever bikes are allowed, hikers and equestrians are driven off of the trails and out of the parks, due to fear and the loss of the experience of nature. That's what has happened in Joaquin Miller Park, China Camp State Park, Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park, and everywhere else that bikes are allowed. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that bicycles, unicycles, mountain boards, etc. are incompatible with the enjoyment of nature by the vast majority of the public.

Mike Vandeman
2600 Camino Ramon # 2E950I
San Ramon, CA 94583-5099

Posted by Mike Vandeman on 11/27/2008 at 2:26 PM

Re: “Fighting for Their Right to Bike

Mountain bikers don't tell the truth. The fact is, they have EXACTLY the same access as everyone else: ON FOOT. Only BICYCLES don't have access to all the trails. But why should they? They are inanimate objects, and have no rights.

Mountain bikers also don't tell the truth about their impacts. An honest assessment of the scientific evidence shows that a mountain bike has SEVERAL TIMES the impact of a hiker (see http://home.pacbell.net/mjvande/scb7 for details). They travel several times as far, and as fast, as a hiker, with more weight (including the bike) and a smaller footprint (causing greater pressure on the ground and more erosion). Allowing bikes on trails greatly increases the cost of maintaining the trails -- money that the parks can't afford. Mountain bikes also run over and kill small animals and plants on and next to the trail. That is inexcusable.

I have been asking this for 14 years, and have yet to hear even ONE good reason to allow bikes in natural areas. Parks are basically WILDLIFE HABITAT, which is why they are attractive to people. Wildlife, therefore, must be given top priority, or we won't have parks worth visiting!

That mountain bikers are considering not supporting Measure WW shows how little they care about the condition of the parks and the preservation of habitat.

Mike Vandeman

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Mike Vandeman on 10/29/2008 at 4:43 PM

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