Letters for the Week of June 11

Readers sound off on Attorney General Kamala Harris, the failed fracking ban, and Jerry Brown's proposed budget.

“The Strike Force That Never Struck,” Feature, 5/28

Replace Whole Kit and Kaboodle

Kamala Harris herself is a fraud. A product of a corrupt two-party system in the thrall of big money, she, like many others in the “party,” are in for what they can get out of it. Big salaries and benefits are only a little piece of the pie when the trough is full for the slurping. Kick them out in November. Unfortunately, the Green Party isn’t running anyone, but, ah, what a breath of fresh air it would be to start replacing the whole kit and kaboodle from Governor Senile on down.

Steve Redmond, Berkeley

Worse Than Idiots

Sacramento has reached new, postmodern moronic depths. The legislature is criminally insane. To say California is dysfunctional is to be hopeful. And Harris thinks she is doing a good job. We are being run by idiots or worse. Probably worse. Definitely worse.

Ken White, Sonoma County

“There’s No Reason to Oppose a Ban on Fracking Now,” Seven Days, 5/28

Illogical Argument

If fracking is in as bad of shape in California as you say, then there is no need to ban it; the market will do that for you. Your argument is illogical. Why would you need to oppose something no one would waste money on?Talk is cheap. Taking a risk is expensive. They will drill and frack if there is more oil and gas than you say.

Gary Baker, San Leandro

Protect Future Generations

An alternative headline for Robert Gammon’s timely piece could be “There Is a Good Reason to Ban Fracking Now.” Namely, to replace climate-changing, health-threatening fossil fuels with environmentally and human friendly renewable sources of energy. If we foolishly continue to pursue fossil fuels at greater and greater cost, we put the health and safety of our children and grandchildren at greater and greater risk. It’s something the “market” cares little about, which is why we must do all we can to convince our government to protect ourselves and future generations!

Ruby MacDonald, El Cerrito

“EBMUD May Block Wild and Scenic Status for Mokelumne,” Eco Watch, 5/28

EBMUD Should Lead

The EBMUD board learned the wrong lesson from conservationists’ successful 2009 lawsuit protecting the Mokelumne from the proposed expansion of Pardee Reservoir. Some of them think the lesson was never to “get ahead” of the water agencies in foothill counties, who care little about the Mokelumne River. The real lesson was this: EBMUD should be a leader in conservation, efficiency, and Mokelumne River protection.

Katherine Evatt, president,
Foothill Conservancy, Jackson

Steward of Water Supply

Great news, the Senate passed SB 1199. I am hopeful that we’ll get a bill to the Governor’s desk this session, but if not it will be back. I am running for Ward 3 of EBMUD in part because there should never have had a 4-2-1 vote to oppose a wild and scenic designation, one of the most effective protections we have for our water source. More than that, I’m running because EBMUD should be the undisputed national leader in showing what it means to be a steward of a precious water supply. Visit my site to learn more: Young4EBMUD.org.

Marguerite Young, Oakland

“The Best Neighborhood Parks in the East Bay,” Summer Guide, 5/21

Another Gem

Shepherd Canyon Park in Oakland is a gem, too. Tranquil, big field with trails, deer, etc.

Andy Kleiber, Oakland

“Brown’s Budget Proves He’s A Centrist,” Seven Days, 5/21

Just Dumb

The “moderate” Brown wants to spend $200 million in cap-and-trade money for his high-speed rail boondoggle. That’s not right, center, or left; it’s just dumb. Hope the court hearings now taking place will result in an end to this poorly conceived project.

Rob Anderson, San Francisco

Centrifugal Force

A lot of billionaires in California and their corporations are not paying any taxes or are paying far less as a percentage than Robert Gammon or some other wage-earner. That has everything to do with what California can spend on green infrastructure, social programs, and so forth. Don’t forget our huge and expensive prison system. It’s the state of California that provides the centrifugal force. Jerry Brown is under the influence of this centrifugal force. I know that’s what Gammon really means.

Michele Ocla, Oakland

“A Growing Fire Hazard in the Berkeley Hills,” News, 5/21

Deal With Reality

Here’s another example of how better education (and dealing with reality) would work wonders, rather than always resorting to the increase in policing and surveillance, i.e., “The American Way.” Providing official locations for fires along with instructions on how to correctly extinguish fires may be helpful.

The alternative is the costly policing and surveillance strategy, which only results in the cat-and-mouse game (while the cat’s away, the mice will play). Driving visitors away will only increase the chances of a fire going unmonitored for an extended period of time.

Segue Fischlin, Oakland

“A Cafe Oasis in Deep East Oakland,” Food News, 5/21

Other East Oakland Spots

Great profile, and thanks for bringing my attention to it. I’ll be there. But don’t forget about World Grounds on MacArthur in the Laurel for an excellent place to get coffee. Also Cafe 3016, which is also on MacArthur.

Joel Denney, Oakland

“Teachers Forced to Sign New Personal ‘Morals’ Code,” News, 5/7

Unconstitutional Infringement

Pope Francis is not as rigid and hard-line as Bishop [Michael] Barber is professing to be. He said he takes his lessons from Pope Francis. Well, step up Bishop Barber and do the right thing and stop this unconstitutional infringement on human rights of teachers and their right to the freedom and the pursuit of happiness.

Jimmy Long, Washington, DC

Diminishing Recruiting Ability

It may be the Diocese’s right to do this, but it would be unproductive and may well significantly diminish Bishop O’Dowd’s ability to recruit and retain excellent faculty.

Spreck Rosekrans, Oakland


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