Compromise on dog park at Lake Merritt
Everyone who owns a dog in Oakland can see the need for a dog park by Lake Merritt, but if I were living there, I might oppose it, too.
I have two little rescue mutts (terrier mixes), Hobo and Scappy. There is nowhere for them to run and socialize with other dogs in the neighborhoods in and around the lake.
I know: How about a compromise? Build an oval "track" park around the perimeter of the area originally proposed. That way kids can still play in the center portion and the dogs can run in circles, which they love, of course. It might cost a bit more in fencing, but it would make our city even more attractive and enjoyable.
Dogs bring people together. I saw it while living in Alameda, and it would be great to see it here in Oakland -- the coolest city by the Bay.
Must fix Oakland's crime problem
No more downtown Oakland for me until something is done about the crime.
Oakland is trying to bring more people into the downtown areas, and many new restaurants have opened there. I would love to support them.
I was enjoying a lovely dinner in one of those restaurants recently. When I returned to my car, I found the left rear window smashed and some belongings (not visible) taken.
This was the last straw for me. It does not matter to me what they do to try to improve the downtown area. I will stay away until they do something about the increasing crime rate there. It is no longer a safe place to be.
State should reshape Fish and Game board
The confirmation hearing of Fish and Game Commissioner Jim Kellogg is scheduled for Jan. 9 before the Senate Rules Committee, chaired by Sen. Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento. Other members are Sens. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, Ricardo Lara, D-South Gate, Jean Fuller, R-Bakersfield, and Bill Emmerson, R-Riverside. Letters of opposition are needed now.
Email pattern for all senators: firstname.lastname@example.org. All legislators may be written c/o The State Capitol, Sacramento, Calif., 95814.
Assemblyman Ben Hueso's AB2609 became law Jan. 1, requiring that Fish and Game commissioners meet certain criteria. Kellogg does not qualify. Worse, he claims that spent lead shot is harmless to condors and other wildlife (false); supports the unethical use of electronic duck decoys ("roboducks"); has declared the invasive striped bass to be "a California native species" (not true); missed the October commission meeting to go hunting (missing an important vote on the status of the gray wolf in California); and at the December commission meeting in San Diego voted with the 2-1 majority (along with Commissioner Richard Rogers) to send the live animal food market issue to the Legislature, abdicating his and the commission's responsibility to protect our natural resources. Our wildlife deserves better.
Urge Gov. Jerry Brown to rescind this unfortunate appointment. The term of Commissioner Dan Richards expires this month, and that of Richard Rogers expired months ago. Time for some new faces. In 140-plus years, there have been only two women appointees. How about a wildlife biologist, a nonconsumptive user, maybe a former game warden who knows the laws? Carpe diem.
Coordinator, Action For Animals Oakland
Absurd, wasteful traffic signals
I recently drove on the Richmond Parkway and was reminded about the absurdity of poorly timed traffic signals.
Several times, as usual, the signals stopped a dozen or so vehicles in each direction for zero cross traffic. These two dozen (or more) vehicles waited not for traffic to pass, but for an arbitrary and mismanaged traffic signal to change.
The same issue of nonsense traffic signals is apparent on Valley View Road. Aside from the annoyance, there is a significant waste of fuel while vehicles idle, waiting for nothing but a "go" from an irritating game of Mother May I.