Letters for December 15

Readers sound off on Jean Quan's Twitter activity, overfishing, and vegan Filipino food.

“Jean Quan and Twitter Spam,” News, 12/1

This Article Is Whack

I think this article is ridiculous. Can you get someone that knows anything about Twitter to write for you please? Obviously, as a mayoral candidate and now mayor, Jean Quan has a staff member writing her tweets. If Jean Quan were actually tweeting herself this article would be about how Jean is wasting her time on Twitter instead of governing the City of Oakland, or preparing to govern it as the case may be.

So what is the problem? Twitter is a conversation, a HUGE conversation that is full of tons of what most would consider chatter. Jean has always had a strong voice; can you blame her staff for trying to emulate that voice with Twitter, and use Twitter as the TOOL that it actually is. A tool to connect with communities of people, like the City of #Oakland.

Very few of her tweets are unrelated to Oakland, and the ones that are are for human rights movements and other hot topics which are relevant in Oakland. So I find this article inaccurate completely.

And on the subject of FakeJeanQuan, that account has less than 75 followers last I checked, the owner’s real account probably follows as many people, and is simply annoyed that 90 percent of his or her front page is filled with Jean Quan’s tweets. This is a common issue on Twitter and there are many accounts that get unfollowed because of this common issue.

Obviously thirty-plus tweets is a lot, I’m not arguing that, but part of it is Twitter’s problem because they allow accounts to do this but they don’t allow users to prevent seeing it except through unfollowing. And none of it is spam or unrelated to Oakland. This article is whack.

Jonathan Norton, Oakland

There’s More to Life Than Twitter

Who cares? This sounds like something off some gossip rag. First the press loves you and then they find anything to make fodder out of you when you’re the winner. There’s more important things to report on than this silly Twitter stuff.

Kit Vaq, Oakland

Sweet Tweets

It’s pretty sweet to see a politician using Twitter like an actual Twitter user, instead of getting an account during an election, tweeting out a few press releases or fund-raising pleas, and dumping it after the campaign. Also, was very easy to figure out who is helping her manage the account if you actually understand Twitter. Big fan of what they’re doing.

Adriel Hampton, Dublin

“Is San Francisco Bay Fished Out?,” Feature, 12/1

Save the Sharks

After a well-researched article I’m a little disappointed with the conclusion. What do you think will happen to the sharks as party boats like the one mentioned at the introduction shift their focus to sharks? The article discusses impacts on commercial or commercial party boats, but does not analyze the impacts from the recreational fishery.

Sharks are more vulnerable to overfishing. The large sharks like sevengill sharks are poorly managed with no size limit and a year-round quota.

As a biologist tagging and studying local sharks I’m concerned that articles like this will promote shark fishing. Sharks are slow growing, late to reproduce (over ten years for sevengills), have relatively very few young, and can only pup every other year. We know that San Francisco Bay is an important shark nursery.

Sharks are essential for a balanced bay ecosystem, one as the article implies is increasingly out of whack. Moreover, large sharks are loaded with Mercury and there are advisories against eating large sharks.

The proper management of sharks must be considered before the last domino falls.

Unless we follow Belov’s lead and limit our consumption, and fish sustainably, we will lose our entire fish resources including sharks. As Anfinson says, “Some people are starting to fish for sharks, but who knows how long that fishery will last.”

Will the next article we read be titled “San Francisco Bay’s Sharks Fished Out?”It is the mission of Sea Stewards and other organizations that include fishermen to avoid that.

David McGuire


Fairfax, CA

Far-Fetched Idea

I am a veteran of the quota-based commercial (not “party boat”) halibut fishery in Bering Sea waters of Alaska. The impending rationalization of commercial groundfish management off the West Coast is critical to rebuilding depleted species, and it will end the immoral practice of shoveling unwanted bycatch overboard — a practice that professional fishermen find abhorrent. Also, to respond directly to one claim of the opponents of rationalized management, the idea that Wal-Mart and McDonald’s will “own the resource” is ludicrous. It never happened in Alaska (a far richer “target”) and it won’t happen here.

Scott CoughlinSeattle, WA

“No Pork, No Worries,” Food, 12/1

Meat’s Not Crucial

I disagree that meat has to be crucial to still be traditional. Filipinos have been known to assimilate and make do with the ingredients available to them. Many of our dishes are influenced by other countries through trade and all its occupants (Spain, China, India, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, and America) which we then take and make them our own. One does not need to use meat (and yes, fish is meat) to still stay true to a dish — so long as you use the same preparation, flavors, textures, and care. By not using meat, a Filipino dish can be elevated into something more vibrant, colorful, healthful, and flavorful than it was originally. It can even make the dish more representative of the tropical islands that the Philippines really are composed of. I’m often asked why there are not more Filipino restaurants out there. My theory has always been that we (as Filipinos) are partly to blame for why we’re grossly underrepresented. That’s because of what I previously stated, our ability to assimilate … but also that our own cuisine varies regionally and also down to how our very own family makes a particular dish. If it’s not what we’re used to, then it’s “not right,” and we tend to reject it. Girlonbus falls into this category, and perpetuates why we will continue to be underrepresented if we’re not open and supportive of each other. All of our taste buds are comforted by familiarity, but our survival instincts need to kick in. In order to continue to make ourselves and this planet viable, we need to cut back on meat consumption.I commend Jay-Ar Isagani Pugao for taking our Filipino cuisine, making it more healthful to support his mother, and then to make it available to the masses. He at least provides a gateway for those that are uninitiated and intimidated to try Filipino cuisine. Because I no longer want to partake in the suffering of other beings, I, too, am vegan. Although I do not particularly like the term “foodie,” I am very much involved in and understand the cultural importance of cooking and sharing the meals I prepare with my family and friends. I am also making the dishes I grew up with plant-based, which actually keeps me firmly rooted in my culture, helps my family become healthier (with cancer affecting my family, surely the acidity of meat does not help in healing), and keeps me close to my Lola who originally taught me how to cook. I’m sure she would be proud.

Michelle Robles, Seattle

It’s Good to Have Choices

I understand that Filipino food traditionally consists of meat of some sort. But there are a high number of Filipinos that suffer from heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. A lot of them can’t or won’t change their diet because they are either stubborn, too conservative to change, or don’t know what to do without meat. Well, by modifying or actually innovating the cuisine one can enjoy the flavors of Filipino food but definitely eat healthier.

I myself do not eat rice because of the bad carb content. That gets more of a bad stare at most restaurants or from my relatives. But, it’s my choice, and I believe that it’s good to have choices. What restaurants like No Worries or Bistro Luneta (gluten-free options) do are take the flavors, ingredients, and recipes, and give diners alternatives. Look, I am a carnivore and love my chicken adobo, beef salpicao, ox tails, lengua, etc., but I do want to keep my heart in tip-top shape.

My review of NW on ilovesisig.blogspot.com: http://ilovesisig.blogspot.com/2010/10/no-worries-restaurant-offers-vegan.html

Fred Briones, Santa Clara

“The New Parkway?,” News, 12/1

We Love the Parkway!

Honestly, it is so important for the neighborhood. We all hope it happens and will support this business once it does reopen! We went when there was no heat and blankets were passed out! Can you imagine? Now that I have a baby I’m hoping they will do the moms and tots movie during the day too! It really provided a community service on so many levels and will help wonderful cafes like Rooz stay there also long term!

Michelle Lane, Oakland

We Really Love the Parkway!

We hope the process goes smoothly so we can all look forward to the New Parkway Theater opening soon.  There’s a lot of community support out there for this venue to start up again. Good luck and thanks to J. Moses Cesar for kick-starting this.

Kit Vaq, Oakland

We Really, Really Love the Parkway!

My fingers are crossed for success. Hey — for programming, how about devoting one night a week to classic documentaries? Could be a big draw for a lot of working-brain, true-heart, real-world folks in the East Bay. Maybe even some heathens from the West Bay.

Denny Smith, Oakland

“Club Mallard Takes Its Fight to the Streets,” Culture Spy, 12/1

The Mallard Is a Community Resource

Much as the beloved Albatross Pub is to Berkeley, Club Mallard is a cultural treasure of Albany. In a neighborhood with many densely developed apartment units, the Mallard is an invaluable resource. It’s not just a bar, it’s a living room which allows you to spare your apartment neighbors the noise of gathering with friends and family. The owners of the Mallard have created a fun, welcoming place.

I’m delighted to see the East Bay Express telling it like it is. This controversy is really the grumblings of one or two irate neighbors about a bar that pre-dates the very homes they live in. Let’s continue to affirm the right of the majority — respectful, friendly bar patrons — to enjoy the Mallard while we all continue respecting our neighborhood.

I live immediately behind the recently renovated Hotsy Totsy, two blocks from the Mallard. Yes, the patrons of the Hotsy can be noisy, especially on the weekend. Is it worth the occasional disturbance? Absolutely! As a long-term resident of Albany, I am grateful for both establishments. They enrich our town. Support your local pub!

Eric Anderson, Albany

“The GOP Is Toxic in California,” Seven Days, 12/1

We’re Against Immigrants, Not Latinos

I believe the article concerning the GOP’s toxic image in California was decent, however its lack of detail concerning IDs in Oakland, and its apparent failure to accurately depict the GOP ultimately watered down the power of the story.

First of all, the article failed to specify how making IDs more readily available was going to increase cooperation of individuals with Oakland police. After all, when crimes are committed, the criminals do not leave behind their IDs at the scene of the crime.

My second problem with the article was that it stated the GOP was anti-Latino. I think that Republicans all over the nation deserve an apology. By saying the GOP is “anti-Latino” one implies that Republicans are “anti-Latino.” This is simply not true and gives Republicans the image of being racist. In actuality the Republican Party simply is in favor of stricter imigration laws. Latinos are a majority of immigrants in the US, and for this reason anti-immigration laws seem to target them. One can understand the Latino backlash against the GOP, but to state that the GOP is “anti-Latino” is a misinformation, and should promptly be denounced in the next “Letter to the Editor” section.

Paul Nnaoji, Moraga

Quan’s Undocumented Parking

According to the East Bay Express the City of Oakland will soon begin issuing municipal identification cards to “immigrants” (aka, illegal aliens). Also noted was that Mayor Elect Jean Quan’s Prius was booted because the car allegedly had more than $1,000 in parking tickets.

Oakland is a Sanctuary City; Quan shouldn’t be made to comply with pesky parking laws. Moreover, the new mayor doesn’t have a illegal parking problem; she has an undocumented parking problem. She just needs the benefit of the Dream Act and amnesty so she and her Prius can come out of the shadows.

Wanda Gomez-Berger, El Cerrito

Republicans Are Nicer

Has anyone noticed that California, full of Democrats, has been going downhill the last thirty years? Imagine, North Dakota has better education (for less money), more jobs, and nicer people (Republicans). Just an observation.

Gary Baker, San Leandro

Editor’s Note, Letters, 12/1

RCV Isn’t the Same as a Run-Off

Objections to RCV cannot be dismissed as easily as the editor suggests. RCV differs from a run-off in that only the losers get to vote again. In this case, the preferences of Perata voters as between Quan and Kaplan are never counted. It’s quite possible that Perata or indeed Kaplan might have won had the second-choice votes of all three (not just those of Kaplan) been allocated when the field was reduced to the final three. RCV differs from a run-off as well in that RCV allows the third-place finisher to win, as could have occurred in this case.

It’s also not obvious that the second choices of fourth-place voters (and beyond) should be allowed to determine the result. Arguably, a system that records only three preferences should preclude the fourth-place candidate from either winning the election (as occurred in the case of Ed Jew in San Francisco) or influencing the outcome. Perverse results are possible in any voting system, but this case illustrates Condorcet’s paradox that the result in a three-way race may depend on the order of voting rather than on underlying preferences.

Robert Denham, Berkeley

“A Police State,” Letters, 11/10

Burris, the Ambulance Chaser

“Ask John Burris about his experiences suing the city of Oakland et al.”Speaking of ambulance chasers, I wouldn’t ask Burris a thing. He’s the biggest ambulance chaser in the East Bay. He just happens to masquerade as the poor people’s savior with promises of a lotto payday. He’s gotten very rich in the process.

Judi Sierra, Oakland

“A New Look at Recovered Memories,” News, 11/24

Parents Thanks Maran

A first-class summary of the issues and of the book. Her quote from Prof. Gardiner has the ring of truth about it: “The simple solution is very attractive. … You’re thirty-five or forty and your life is all screwed up and someone offers this very simple solution: ‘Ah, I never realized that I was sexually abused. That explains it all! It’s a simple answer for the therapist as well as the patient.”

Accused parents around the world (I write from England) will thank Meredith Maran for her testimony — and hope it will stir a spirit of questioning in their loved ones who have become estranged.

Although the phenomenon of recovered “memory” is linked to the 1980s, its effects continue to reverberate among thousands of families.

Norman Brand, Thame, Oxfordshire, England

Lying About Lies

The My Lie story keeps changing, so it’s hard to know what’s true and what’s false. For example, at the Examiner.com blog on 11/29 (extended interview) she says: “In the writing of the book, for example, I was going back-and-forth between the warring sides. I spoke at length with both Pam and Peter Freyd, who are the founders of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation, and I also spoke at length with their daughter with whom they are estranged. So I would listen to Jennifer Freyd tell me her version of what had happened in her family, and I would listen to Pam and Peter — Pam, in most cases — tell me what she believed. And they were opposite. It was challenging, but it was the point of the book to sit with the reality that each presented to me, and make peace with that myself.”

Dramatic? Yes. Except that Jennifer Freyd didn’t speak with Maran. On page 205, Maran writes, “I e-mailed Jennifer Freyd to ask if I could interview her about her accusation against her father, FMSF cofounder Peter Freyd. She told me that she no longer discusses her family or origin.”

Maran says here she hopes her book will give pause to people who make or evaluate accusations. Maybe she should have added: and to people who read the book and take the time to compare it to what she says in the prologue, the intro, and in interviews.

Lynn Crook

Richland, WA


The photos on page 12 and 16 of the Dec. 1 Feature, “Is San Francisco Bay Fished Out?” were actually taken on the California Dawn boat, not the Happy Hooker.

We misspelled the name of The Atomic Bomb Audition’s album in the Dec. 8 column of Local Licks. It’s called Roots Into the See.

Also in our Dec. 8 Feature, “Oakland Invades the Desert,” we misstated how much one hundred acre-feet of water supplies in one year. It’s two hundred homes.


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