Letters for May 12

Readers sound off on Oakland's cabaret laws, our cannabis coverage, and Dyloot.

“Changes Afoot for Oakland’s Cabaret Laws?,” Ear Bud, 4/14

What About the Children?

Regarding your article “Changes Afoot for Oakland’s Cabaret Laws” and others on the subject, I’ve not heard one word about all the potential victims of this new liberalization of cabaret licensing, the great majority of ordinary flat-footed, hard-working, early-to-bed-early-to-rise citizens. I live in an overwhelmingly residential section of the city off Grand Avenue, which at that point runs along the bottom of a natural valley where sound reverberates upwards. For several years a restaurant on Grand that played live dance music weeknights as well as weekends, often until 2 a.m. or later, kept many of us up long after our bedtime. This was above all true for children who needed to be asleep by eight or nine o’clock, especially on school nights. It is amazing what a single dance band — a single percussionist — can do to terrorize an entire neighborhood.

Complaints to the restaurant went unheeded. Eventually we learned that the place had let its cabaret license expire for reasons of carelessness or expense, and we were able to get the police stop the music. Not long afterward, to our enormous relief, the place closed. Life returned to normal and we were able to go to sleep when we wanted to. Under the new regulations, the restaurant would probably not have needed a cabaret license and we would have been helpless.  

The amount of money estimated to be brought in by new cabaret licenses, around $60,000, is paltry compared to the havoc loud music played late at night can wrought. Cabaret licenses should be required for all establishments playing music that carries into the surrounding neighborhood and then permitted only in downtown areas with a low residential population, within limited hours and with community input into their granting.  I don’t know if Nancy Nadel and Rebecca Kaplan, the city council members who spearheaded the revisions, have children or live in areas that might be adversely affected by late-night noise, but my guess is that if they did they would have been more likely to take the majority of Oakland residents into account before proposing changes in the regulations. Since Rebecca Kaplan has announced provisional plans to run for mayor, this would be an excellent time for this majority — those of us who prefer not to be kept awake by loud music until the early morning hours — to let her know what we think of her ill-considered and inconsiderate actions.

Richard Levine, Oakland

“Reading, Writing, Replanting,” Feature, 4/28

Gardeners Forever?

Immediately after reading your cover story on school children being taught food and gardening, I picked up the May 3 issue of FORTUNE, in which Xerox Corporation’s African-American CEO, Ursula Burns, said: “We are structurally creating an underclass that will be hard to fix. If we don’t have people who can create value, they will be servers forever.”

David Altschul, J. D., Berkeley

“The Death of C3 Cannabis Collective,” News, 4/21

Thanks and Bless!!!!!!

I would like to thank you for supporting materials regarding medical cannabis!!!!!! I would like to request more cover stories of cannabis and all the benefits this beautiful plant brings.I hope that all of you can realize the benefits of this herb, from the earth, and how much it is benefiting many, and how it should benefit ALL. This plant restores nutrients to the soil of earth, enhances air purity, and produces medicine, and brings lots of positive energy to all on earth and beyond. Thank you, and Blessings!!!!!!I would also like to suggest the idea of switching you paper print to be created out of hemp fibers, as well as natural-eco-based inks!!!!!! Thanks and Bless!!!!!!

MMJ, Oakland

“There Will Be Blood,” Feature, 4/21

What’s Up With the Police?

I enjoyed reading cover your story about Devon Blood. However, I was curious about the police investigation of the shooting, given the existence of videotape evidence, license plate number, etc. I don’t now if that part of the story ended up on the editing room floor, if you’ll forgive the mixed metaphor, or rather, that this was another example ofOakland police indifference or incompetence. 

James Mills, Oakland

Rachel Swan responds

According to Oakland Police Department spokesperson Holly Joshi, the shooting of Devon Blood has never been solved, and no suspects were ever identified. Joshi said the police will not discuss evidence in an ongoing case.

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