Politics in Richmond must not regress

I'm a 69-year-old, longtime high schoolteacher and retail manager. Upon my wife's retirement in 1997, we returned to my boyhood Richmond neighborhood.

We settled in redeveloped Marina Bay. Across the tracks, whole neighborhoods were in shambles; Richmond was nearing bankruptcy and we were running through police chiefs. The City Council and city manager were dysfunctional and appeared controlled by our largest employer, Chevron.

Since then, we've had three mayors and a city manager, assisted by an increasingly independent council, whose emphasis is on Richmond and its residents instead of corporations.

Richmond is solvent and has a professional police force. Neighborhood improvement projects are completed weekly. While I disagree with some of the progressive agenda, I appreciate the many improvements.

The effect of millions spent by Chevron, the beverage industry and Chamber of Commerce corporate members can be very negative. Two council members were elected with significant Chevron support.

Richmond's safety depends upon the safety of Chevron's operation. Chevron's intent to continue using a potentially dangerous pipe product doesn't speak well for our future.

We've recently escaped from corporate domination of our rapidly improving Richmond. Let's not go back!

Larry Mundy


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Richmond

McCain's attack on Rice is a witch hunt

Sen. John McCain has become an angry old man. What is with his witch hunt of Ambassador Susan Rice?

McCain has no reason to attack Ambassador Rice in such an accusatory manner. Rice stated clearly that information she gave concerning Libya was based on intelligence available at the time.

When another woman named Rice, then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, told us lies about the building of WMDs in Iraq and tried to scare us with her talk of a "mushroom cloud," McCain defended her. On what basis? Strictly party line? It appears so.

Kit Miller

Walnut Creek

If you don't like comic, just don't read it

Wow. I've never seen such fuss over a couple comic strips.

"Doonesbury" has been around a long time. "Mallard Fillmore" is just a newer strip, which apparently happened to make its debut at election time. I think, if anything, Mallard is funnier.

To those who don't like it, don't read it.

There have been a number of strips over the years that I personally didn't like. So I just skipped reading those.

Tom Matarrese

Oakland

Why do we even bother with Thanksgiving?

What does it say about America when Thanksgiving is not even a bump on the road to Christmas?

Midnight openings on Thanksgiving were bad enough, but 8 p.m. is pure greed.

What's worse is that people will get up and leave their families to go shopping! Why do we even bother with Thanksgiving? Do away with it.

My employer, a food supplier, is working us through Wednesday night until 7 a.m. Thanksgiving morning to fill an order for Walmart. He felt we should be glad to get Thanksgiving "day" off to spend with our families. Sadly, he didn't care that we would need to get some sleep rather than spend that time with our families.

It's no longer relevant as a holiday. Thank you, corporate America.

Steve Brown Sr.

Oakley

Palestinian people have rights as well

During the current Israeli-Hamas engagement in Gaza, President Barack Obama said, "Israel has the right to defend itself." He sounded as if he were Israel's spokesman.

The Palestinian people have human rights, too. They have the right to resist Israel's oppression and colonial occupation.

The Palestinians have been negotiating with Israel for 19 years without any results. Israel controls all of Palestine. It is building illegal settlements and separation walls in violation of international law. Israel is becoming an apartheid state.

For the past five years, Israel has imposed an illegal blockade on Gaza to starve 1.5 million Palestinians living in an open-air prison. Israel attacks any boat carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza.

In 2008-2009, Israel invaded Gaza and killed 1,400 Palestinians, one-third were children and women. Gaza is still in ruins.

You and I pay for every bullet, rocket, tank and F-16 that the Israeli army uses. Every year, we give Israel $3 billion in military aid.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not 6,000 miles away. On Capitol Hill, the Israel lobby occupies the U.S. Congress.

Nabil Wahbeh

Oakland