Richmond uproar over gay pride flag is sad

I'm referring to the Times' June 23 article, "City Hall workers disparage pride flag."

I can't believe all the upset over flying a rainbow-colored gay flag for a few days at Richmond City Hall during Gay Pride Month.

Antoinette Jordan, who was quoted in the article, should be informed that gays can have faith beliefs, too, and their God loves all of his or her creations, not just a select few. And "Richmond is not 'the Castro' " sounds to me that Jordan feels "they" should only live in the Castro.

Linda Cisneros needs to be reminded that the city of Richmond celebrates Cinco de Mayo, Black History Month, Juneteenth and a Native American Pow Wow, as well as other ethnic events. If flags were flown for those events, trust me, no one would object.

I am a Richmond resident and am opposed to any forms of discrimination. I think it is really sad that some of our city emails, paid by us taxpayers, reflect discrimination against any group of citizens.

Christine Caldwell

Richmond

Smoking ban does not go far enough

My husband and I heartily support the proposed smoking ban in Walnut Creek, but it does not go far enough.

If we were to run a hose from our car exhaust pipe through our neighbor's mail slot in Rossmoor, what would happen? Would officials be horrified? Would they call the police? Would we be arrested? Yes, yes and yes.

What's the difference between running car exhaust into a neighbor's condo and pouring poisonous tobacco fumes into your neighbor's living room?

As I understand the current smoking ban proposal, all of us who live in multifamily units that are not new will continue to be legally poisoned. Just our tough luck, apparently. Why is the city willing to continue enabling drug addicts to poison innocent residents? It's a mystery. And, a crime, in our opinion.

Honey, pass the exhaust hose, please.

Dr. Iris St. John

Walnut Creek

City Hall belongs to citizens, not the mayor

Mayor Gayle McLaughlin needs to be reminded that Richmond City Hall does not belong to her.

The mayor has no right to disgrace it by promoting her pro-homosexual views by flying a gay pride flag! That building belongs to the citizens of Richmond. As one of those citizens, I demand the flag be taken down and put out of the view of the public.

John Mullany

Richmond

Grant taxpaying youths the right to vote

Recently, a youth rights milestone was reached in Takoma Park, Md. The City Council voted 6-1 to lower the voting age to 16.

While this may only be a reality for a small group of taxpaying citizens in Maryland, I believe this will become a reality in many other cities, and eventually, states across the nation.

As a history major and supporter of youth rights, I see this as an opportunity to allow honest, taxpaying young people to finally be able to voice their opinions on matters that will affect them in their schools, in the workplace and in their communities.

For those who don't believe this could ever be possible, I remind them how narrowly defined our electorate was up until the early 20th century. You had to have the right skin color, the right gender, and own the right amount of property.

The point is change happens. I believe now's the time to support youth rights and allow all taxpaying youngsters the right to vote.

Jester Jersey

Pittsburg

Morality is not the role of libraries

This is in response to the June 24 letter from Thomas Lynch, "Library must take moral responsibility."

As the daughter of a now retired librarian, I wanted to make it clear that a library isn't about censorship. Parents are responsible for providing a moral education for their children, not the public library and its staff.

If parents are that concerned about what their children check out, perhaps accompanying their children to the library is warranted. This "moral" issue is common in libraries nationwide.

It always boils down to how much responsibility and accountability parents are willing to accept.

Bethe Mounce

Castro Valley

Paying protesters is a gigantic mistake

According to news media reports, Oakland and Alameda County are going to pay the protesters who were arrested in 2010 during an Oscar Grant rally thousands of dollars for the way they were treated.

That is a huge mistake and a travesty of justice. They broke the law (failure to follow police directives) and such action should not be rewarded.

Paying them ransom now is misdirected and will merely encourage future civil disobedience.

Forrest West

Fremont