Richmond public housing fiasco

I have been a Richmond resident for more than four decades, and I can't think of anything more disgusting than the news story in the Times about the Richmond Housing Authority.

My gosh, the people living in the housing are poor and probably don't have many resources. But the city of Richmond gets $26 million a year for this public housing. I thank the Lord every day that I don't have to live in one of those hellholes.

You would think Mayor Gayle McLaughlin, who I admire for her activism on the home foreclosure issue, would get monthly reports on the agencies that affect Richmond residents.

McLaughlin says she has no knowledge of the horrible situation with the city housing. However, it is her responsibility to demand that the people in charge, such as Housing Director Tim Jones, do the job they were hired for and be held accountable to her.

It's really unfortunate the Times had to do an expose. This is a total embarrassment for the city of Richmond.

Larry McDowell

Richmond

Thomas Sowell and Ted Cruz

Thomas Sowell's Feb. 21 column links Sen. Ted Cruz with President Barack Obama and, for his tea party folks, he included Adolf Hitler.


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Sowell says Cruz's recent stunts to embarrass fellow Republican lawmakers may be an attempt to weaken the Republican Party now, in hopes the party is stronger in the future. Sowell tries to maintain his scholarly credentials by telling us about the 1932 German elections and rise of the Nazi party.

His column continually criticizes the Obama administration and says Obamacare is a giant leap of the federal government's power over Americans' private lives. He ends his column by telling us Obama and Obamacare will transform us into Nazi Germany and our freedoms will be lost forever.

I'd appreciate a column by Sowell explaining why England, France, Italy, Germany and the Scandinavian countries all have socialized medical systems that make Obamacare look like what it is -- an idea from a right-wing think tank involving insurance companies. He should explain to those countries how their health care systems have taken away their freedoms and could produce another Hitler.

Tony Daniels

Antioch

Resident treated like a pariah

This is regarding your article, "There's a chilling effect in the melting pot."

I was stunned to read Steve Kopff, who's making an uphill attempt to make a difference in his new low-income Oakland neighborhood, is being labeled a "gentrifier."

If Kopff were anything other than white, he probably would be praised. But he's not welcome and labeled a pushy colonizer with a "white settler mentality" and anti low income.

So, the goal in life is to have a low income? Is it because if one rises above a poverty-level income, he or she is no longer eligible to receive all the never-ending government handouts?

I hope people raising children there aren't teaching them to not rise to their greatest abilities. Generations of "people of color" have already been lost to the drug of government subsidy.

What's ironic is that our tax money is used to build subsidized, low-income housing, yet when a man wants to spend his own money to make a difference, he is treated like a pariah in those very neighborhoods. Who's running this circus?

Nancy Stevens

Pleasanton

Keller is part of the problem

That was an interesting PR piece by BART board President Joel Keller in the Feb. 23 Times.

Let's see, he's been on the board for two decades. Now he is up for re-election and he wants arbitration and no strikes.

Keller is part of the problem and always has been. The BART board has been giving the farm away for 35 years and Keller has been a big part of it for two decades, as he so proudly states.

Why didn't he say "no" to the SEIU 20 years ago? He is the reason why the wage and benefit package is so way out of line.

Martin Fernandez

Antioch