.Letters of the Week: Our Readers Chime in on Last Week’s Issue

“Seeing Things,” News, 11/21

Carrying Water, Again

Naomi Schiff also got her pro-gentrification nonprofit Oakland Heritage Alliance to turn out en masse to block 0-30 percent AMI [area median income] affordable housing earlier this year, asking, “Are a few units of affordable housing worth losing priceless views?”

Also weird how [Mark] Brustman says 11 stories is the magic number he can live with, because that is also exactly where the developer would be removing the affordable housing component from the project to make it get built.

Wish I could say I was surprised that the Express would publish this piece, but they’ve been carrying water for gentrifiers for years.

Victoria Fierce

Preserving the View

Oakland Heritage Alliance questioned the number of additional stories permitted in exchange for adding so small a number of affordable units at the 15th-Webster site across from the historic Julia Morgan YWCA building (if this is what you refer to, Ms. Fierce). We advocated preserving the view of City Hall from 18th Street pier.

The subsequent redesign of the proposed building to a lesser height, however, resulted from an internal decision by RAD [Urban], with whom we had cordial discussions, and whose work we respect. That decision was made for unrelated reasons.

Oakland Heritage Alliance has consistently supported preserving the cultural and economic diversity of Oakland and has not taken a position in favor of gentrification.

Naomi Schiff

“Conservatives Target Malia Vella”


The statement, “An independent investigator’s report last spring concluded that Vella had done nothing wrong,” is a complete misrepresentation. It said that using a standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt” that there was not sufficient evidence that Vella did anything prohibited by the [Alameda] City Charter. If you read the report (which I have done twice), I suspect you will be of the opinion that there was at least suggestive evidence of a violation of the charter.

David Winsemius

“California’s Nightmare,” Seven Days, 11/21

Berkeley Is Full

I live in one of the few houses north of the UC [Berkeley] campus that escaped the fire of 1923. It is also within the area that could be forced to upzone under legislation proposed by State Sens. [Scott] Wiener and [Nancy] Skinner. Yet opposing this misguided legislation makes me a “NIMBY.”

There are plenty of Bay Area cities that have space to build (San Leandro, Hayward, Fremont) that are not already very densely populated like much of Berkeley and are not in WUI [wildland-urban interface] areas like the Berkeley hills.

Christopher Adams

Hell Freezes Over

Mr. Gammon is completely correct. It’s one of about five times I have agreed with him.

Ernest Montague

“Oakland’s Wormhole Wednesday Is Ending,” Music, 11/21

It Was Special

Wormhole Wednesdays will always hold a special place in my heart. It was a gateway for me in so many ways to practically countless treasured relationships and experiences.

Nick Hytinen


Wormhole has built so much community in its six years. I can’t even do it justice in this comment. #epic #youwillbemissed

Erin Callahan

Thank You!

It means a great deal to us to be written up like this in the Express! Thanks much for shining a spotlight on this event that means so much to so many people!

Gleb Tchertkov


Our Holiday Guide story, “Green Holiday Getaways,” misstated the name of a Kauai North Shore town. It’s Princeville, not Princetown.


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