Vendetta against the progressives

I think Charles Smith has a vendetta against Richmond progressives. The problems he cited in his letter, "Richmond divided by color and class," are more complicated than he described.

I'm not condoning corruption, but Councilman Corky Boozé, a non-progressive, was the liaison between the council and the housing authority. Yet he didn't say a word about the problems.

Councilman Tom Butt wrote a long description of what he found when he visited the targeted public housing. He discovered much of KQED's investigative report was either untrue or misconstrued.

Most people I know who've lived in Richmond a long time tell me Richmond has changed greatly for the better in the past eight years. And that's because of the progressives, not Councilman Nat Bates or Boozé.

Letters such as this don't do Richmond any good. In fact, we might end up with Bates as mayor, and Chevron and other dirty industries will rule. And you can bet crime will go up again.

I hope Mayor Gayle McLaughlin and the progressive council members write a rebuttal to Smith's letter.

Jeanne Kortz

Richmond

Woman with gun was not a 'victim'

A recent article in the Times titled, "Police: Woman slain had handgun," again missed the mark.


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Hayward police officers were forced to shoot an armed assailant because she refused repeated orders to drop her handgun. A caption in the article read, "Victim allegedly threatened officers before being shot."

Will someone please explain to print and TV reporters and editors the difference between a victim and a suspect? This is not the first time a suspect has been described as a "victim."

Clearly, it is misleading; maybe even intentionally so. By all appearances, it reeks of poor journalism. If you are calling the woman in this article a "victim," then what does that make the police officers?

Ken Bays

Martinez Bays is a retired 30-year law enforcement veteran.

More to teens' lives than algebra

In a recent column, Esther Cepeda wrote about the analytical wonderment of algebra.

While it's true algebra teaches about a "disciplined, organized way of thinking," it's also true worrying about mastering algebra is making the lives of thousands of teens horribly stressful -- when it should be full of marvelous life lessons and awakening.

Not all kids want to be doctors, scientists or lawyers. Therefore, many are falling apart, suicidal, filled with despair. The column, while meritorious, ends up being cold and heartless.

At a time when kids need a moral compass, algebra cannot guide them. Macbeth's "Naught's had, all's spent, where our desire is got without content," can.

When bullying and unkindness seem to permeate much of high school life, algebra cannot teach them the magnificent lesson David Copperfield first learns: "David, never be mean, never be cruel, never be unkind." Algebra cannot reawaken them to the beauty of daffodils, now lining our hills. Wordsworth can.

Through English and the arts, life can be made more beautiful.

You guessed it: I'm a retired English teacher.

Irwin Keinon

Orinda

Near-disaster was narrowly avoided

On a recent afternoon, while driving home from work on Highway 24, a truck signaled and moved into the lane in front of me.

It was hauling a trailer and a large home-size air conditioner was sitting right at the back edge of the trailer, which had no back gate. The contents of the trailer were obviously not well secured. I slowed down and put some distance between our vehicles.

Just as we rounded the curve to Interstate 680, the truck hit a bump and the air conditioner came flying out of the trailer into my lane. I was able to avoid it and the car next to me stopped inches from it.

We were traveling at 25 mph in heavy traffic. If we had been going 65 mph, the disastrous results would have been on your front page the next morning.

This letter is a warning that if you're driving behind a vehicle with heavy equipment and no safeguards, slow down and get out of that lane.

Harvey Tilkin

Concord