Letters for the Week of March 9, 2016

Readers sound off on predatory landlords and the dearth of stories on Black professionals.

“In Praise of Old Restaurants,” Insider’s Guide, 2/24

Landlords Are Vultures

Landlords are like vultures, ruining merchants with rate hikes. It’s up to government to build out affordable spaces for restaurants, or we won’t have any left that are affordable. We also need to extend rent control to commercial spaces before cities are made unlivable.

Steve Redmond, Berkeley

“Supporting Historical, Black-Owned Businesses,” Insider’s Guide, 2/24

What About Black Professionals?

Will the Express consider writing about the greater narrative of the Black-owned business? We are more than three restaurants, a bookstore, and a record shop. Oakland is home to architects, financial advisors, engineers, doctors, etc. By repeatedly writing about the same six stores, you perpetuate the image that Black people are no more than retail entertainment. 

I hope with this note the Express will stop, take a look, and truly write about us all. I want the Express to raise its educational bar. Ask yourself, why are you not aware of Black professionals to the point where you assume we do not exist? Become curious. Then print another story about us — the wider narrative of Black professionals.

June A. Grant, Oakland

“Oakland Cops Implicated in Home Invasion and Assault,” News, 2/24


Gee, I wonder why those two cops haven’t been charged with anything yet. Can you spell corruption?

Wendy Enright, Hidden Valley Lake

“Save Oakland Art,” Opinion, 2/24

What a Bunch of Spin

Fund Oakland arts — yes! Subsidize private art galleries without any public oversight — heck no! What a bunch of spin. Shame on those who thought they could just slip that past us. If the operators of Betti Ono Gallery or Rock Paper Scissors Collective so desire, they can bring arts programs to any one of Oakland’s numerous community centers.

Matt Chambers, Oakland

Support the Arts

The reason why there is so much interest in Oakland is specifically because of the artist community and the history of social activism in the area! If the city officials are looking first toward the money and not toward the long-term implications, we should work as a community to vote them out of office and find other candidates more sympathetic to the artist community. I’d really love to attend an open hall or some type of community forum to hear what officials have to say and would love Oakland Art Murmur to post these events on Facebook so we can collectively make our grievances heard.

Mia Case, Oakland

“Fish Fight,” Eco Watch, 2/24

Regulate It

The week after I saw the herring run in January of this year, my local farmers’ market in Fremont had a stand selling herring. There were more than six huge coolers, and the herring was selling at $2.50 per pound, or three pounds for $6. I estimate that each cooler stored at least 100 pounds. I think both commercial and recreational fishing need to be regulated to ensure the herring stock is not wiped out.

Lisa Kau, Fremont

“Bridging Cultural Gaps with a Snap,” Event Pick, 2/24

A Little Piece of Genius

Hurray for your article about Snap Judgment! That show displays a little piece of genius in creating a very human way to get people to understand and empathize with each other’s life experiences. And as Glynn Washington says, if we can’t find a way to do that, we are lost. 

Years ago, I cut out a newspaper ad that read (paraphrasing): Lost: one family of man; color: white, black, brown, yellow, red; is in the habit of fighting and displays tendencies toward self-destruction.

Snap is a beautiful path to counter that concept. Keep it up, Washington! Love you!

Marilyn Clark, Oakland

“Tenant Advocates Decry Court Move,” News, 2/17


Someone please save our Bay Area renters’ souls!

Nikki Simonsen, Livermore


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