Letters for the week of June 24, 2015

Readers sound off on wind energy, profit-sharing business models, and protests.

“Giving Job Applicants a Fair Chance,” The Local Economy, 6/10

Nice Work

Great article and kudos to the businesses and their leadership in helping the under-served population in Oakland find employment. I will be reaching out to these forward-thinking companies for potential partnerships with my reentry clients to share some resources through our transitional employment program here at Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency (Self-Sufficiency.org).

McKinley Williams, Richmond

“Oakland’s Most Radical Coffee Shop,” The Local Economy, 6/10

Co-Ops Are More Radical

Profit-sharing is only part of a co-op. There are numerous very successful co-ops that would set the stage for something more than a simple profit-sharing to running and growing the business. Keba Konte is urged to check it out and he can find help. Arizmendi Bakery is one of those co-op businesses.

Steve Redmond, Berkeley

“Our Local Green Future,” The Local Economy, 6/10

The Devil Is in the Details

PG&E already buys energy from other sources and delivers it to customers. More information is needed about who would maintain the lines, who would own them, and how the plan would be run to avoid some of the same issues PG&E has faced, or that the state faced when it tried to take over the infrastructure.

Amy Hengst, Oakland

Wind Is Not that Green

Wind energy is not always as “green” as it might first appear. Jim Wiegand (US region representative for Save the Eagles International) estimates that the annual bird/bat mortality rate at Altamont Pass caused by the wind turbines there may be as high as 50,000 per year. This includes hundreds of protected species such as golden eagles, burrowing owls, hawks, and falcons. Not acceptable! And the Alameda County Board of Supervisors needs to re-address this issue in the near future. Follow the money.

Eric Mills, Oakland

Clean Power Means Jobs

Thanks for your great article. I want to put forward one important correction. San Francisco’s Community Choice program, CleanPowerSF, is now scheduled to launch in January of 2016, just six months from now.

After more than a decade of battling with corrupt San Francisco mayors over starting the program, the newest mayor of San Francisco has finally become a supporter of the launch.

A key factor that got the mayor to stop delaying was local community advocates got our San Francisco Local Agency Formation Commission (SF LAFCo) to complete a study that clearly shows that the city can gain upward of 9,200 jobs over ten years, building out hundreds of megawatts of local clean energy and efficiency installations under CleanPowerSF.

Alameda can follow the same path with its own program and thereby sweep cynical PG&E-manipulated interference aside.

Eric Brooks, San Francisco

“Schaaf’s Priorities Are Out of Whack,” Seven Days, 6/10

Schaaf Did What She Had to Do

I don’t think the mayor had any other choice. Spend the money to protect downtown and other sites in Oakland. Oakland is constantly in the news with protests, riots, and other issues. No city official has any reason to surrender downtown to a bunch of thugs who most likely are not from Oakland, either.

J.J. Lasne, Oakland


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