Letters for the Week of September 14

Readers sound off on the Oakland Tribune, the Oakland East Bay Symphony, and student waste at UC Berkeley.

“Just Call it The Tribune,” Seven Days, 8/31

What’s in a Name?

Calm down people: even from the beginning it’s been changing its name (Oakland Daily Tribune, Oakland Evening Tribune, Oakland Daily Evening Tribune) and back in the Seventies and Eighties it was just The Tribune. Personally, I wish they’d just merge them all into the Morning Times-Tribune — or Morning Tribune, actually — but it will be pretty much the same (just as good or as bad) whatever the name is.

Craig Sundstrom, Oakland

“Oakland East Bay Symphony Puts Community First,” Fall Arts, 8/31

Viva la Symphony!

How nice that we live in a diverse, multicultural portion of the planet and have the opportunity to listen to music that reflects some of that diversity.

Thank you, Jason, for voicing the “viva la difference” that exists within our realm.

David Hicks, Walnut Creek

A New Kind of Symphony

Maestro Morgan’s bold and innovative programming sets a new paradigm for orchestras in the 21st century. This is definitely not your mother’s symphony!

Helen Byrne, Oakland

“UC Berkeley Student Waste,” Eco Watch, 8/31

The Need Is There

Seriously, there is enough need just blocks from the Berkeley campus for, well, anything, that I just can’t understand how it’s acceptable to dump functional items. Respect the bounty of your ugly Ikea desk and give it to someone who needs it!!

Anne-Marie Ross, Oakland

“College Avenue Safeway Expansion,” Editorial Cartoon, 8/24

What’s Next, Target?

Perfectly stated. Thank you, Justin. I’ve been a resident of this neighborhood for almost a decade and have disliked the Safeway expansion plan from day one. Not good for the neighborhood. I’m not even sure half of what Safeway sells could be considered food. Let’s tear down the adjacent block and put in a Target, too. It doesn’t get more all-in-one shopping convenience than that. The drunk college kids on Friday and Saturday nights will be stoked they have more than the Safeway to meander through.

Nicole Leigh, Oakland

“Fighting Tar Sands,” Eco Watch. 8/24

Something Is Seriously Wrong

Thanks for your article.  This is a huge issue about which most people don’t have a clue.  The sole fact that they will obliterate a natural forest the size of Florida is reason enough to stop this hideous project.  I’m an environmentalist and have seen pictures of the destruction, but I didn’t know they planned to kill so many trees in such a large area — just to further burn up our planet so that people can travel at unnatural speeds.  Something’s really wrong with this picture, but I don’t think that telling Houston that there’s a problem will help.

Jeff Hoffman, Oakland

“Referendums Turning the Tide on Pot Bans,” Legalization Nation, 8/24

Let’s Mobilize

I wish the Californians all the best. Luckily no such initiative is needed in the Netherlands, but pressure from abroad is causing the government to tighten regulations already.

I think that the lobby of vested interests profiting off prohibition (law enforcement, commercial prison system, religious fanatics, drug gangs and criminals, parts of the pharmaceuticals and chemical industry, and of course the alcohol industry) may get a wake-up call, as these groups need to worry — for the first time in decades — about losing parts of their business due to legalization. And it may even be a driving force behind the current tightening in the Netherlands.

Politicians will be bribed, and we’ll see vile advertising campaigns and “documentaries” with new “facts” on the dangers of this plant which has been widely used by mankind for the last 5,000 years. I hope that this time the supporters of legalization work better together and have enough funds to defend against lies and misinformation.

Bart Wakker, Zürich, Switzerland.

“My Brilliant Collision,” Movies, 8/12/2009

Defending District 9

I strongly disagree of your review of District 9. The main characters are superbly established and then, in turn, superbly tested. Seeing this film I knew exactly what kind of people these characters were very early on. As for the references to past and present-day South African culture and history, the film is a political satire and the best fiction and design inspiration comes from what we know and from our culture — or, indeed, the cultures of others. Even if you dislike certain genres of film, it’s your job to review them without bias.

Chris Halliday, Melbourne, Australia


In our September 7 news story, “Swimming Coach or Sexting Coach?”, we misstated the status of USA Swimming’s banned list. It is available publicly and Ben Sheppard is not on the list.


Our August 31 news story, “Marcus Books Is Making a Comeback,” failed to include the bookstore’s address. It can be found at 3900 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Oakland, or 510-652-2344.

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