Piano disposal story brings back memory
The recent article in the Montclarion Real Estate section concerning disposing of old pianos reminds me of my experience:
Many years ago, I rented a small house on Panoramic Hill in Berkeley located on a public stairway 86 steps up from the road below and 75 steps down from the road above.
The previous renter had an upright piano which she promised to move within a week of vacating the house. I made her agree that if it was still there a month later it belonged to me. A month passed and the piano was still there. Great --- it was all mine.
I was able to sell it for $10, to be removed by the buyer. However, a group of girls who rented the house at the top of the steps knew the former owner of the piano and wanted to save it. They invited their boyfriends for dinner after which the boys were to carry the piano up the 75 steps. This plan did not work out.
So the sale was on (I thought). At the last moment the girls hired professional movers, and thus I lost the sale.
Outcome after about 45 years is as follows:
1. I never got the $10
2. This loss is somewhat mitigated by the fact that I married one of the girls. Now we live in Montclair.
Throw book at thugs
The thugs who killed the paramedic in Oakland committed an adult crime. Their age should not matter. They should be tried as adults. No if, and or buts about it.
Honor for a great man's achievements
Although our attention was on the horrors of the Boston Marathon bombing and its follow-up, we can balance our attention with an inspiring event that took place April 17 when Muhammad Yunus was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.
He is one of just seven people who have received the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and, now, the Congressional Gold Medal.
This banker to the poor has proved the effectiveness of small loans to the poorest people to lift themselves out of poverty. In the last 20 years, more than 100 million families have had access to credit. Yunus has given the world a way to achieve the worthy goal of ending poverty.
There are 1.2 billion people in the world who live on less than $1.25 per day; 60 percent are women. Congress and the World Bank need to fund such lifesaving, poverty-eradicating programs.
I thank my Congresswoman Barbara Lee for her championship of microcredit, as well as the other Bay Area representatives, the California senators who were part of the 290 representatives and 66 senators who voted "yes" to this award.
I also thank the persistent efforts by those in the small, anti-poverty citizens lobby called RESULTS who introduced microcredit to Congress.
You can find the full ceremony on YouTube.
Oakland is green but can improve
Oakland has long been on the list of the greenest cities in the country, but what exactly does that mean? If you look at any of the criteria, such as energy upgrades, sustainable landscapes and locally grown food, Oakland goes above and beyond in every category.
Even with all of this, Oakland will not be truly sustainable until its residents take action in their own personal lives.
Easy tips for creating a sustainable environment in your own home include using compact fluorescent light bulbs, taking shorter showers, buying local produce and recycling. Most important, take advantage of the sustainable environments around you.
Recent studies show that walking or biking in a park does as much for your mental well-being as it does for your physical health.
So this Earth Day, get out there and enjoy the beautiful green spaces your city has to offer.
Thomas R. Tavella
President, American Society of Landscape Architects, Washington, D.C.
As an organization, NRA is subversive
The Senate's defeat of a bill to moderately control keeping weapons out of the hands of the wrong people suggests a reconsideration of the National Rifle Association.
I believe the NRA is a subversive organization. A definition of subversion is an intention to overthrow the government.
Statements from the NRA emphasize that the Second Amendment not only allows members to own deadly weapons, it strongly insists it gives them the license to overthrow the government, provided, in their belief, the government is tyrannical.
Given the intimidation from many members, as they boldly display their weapons for all to see at protests and elsewhere, they clearly advocate likely insurrection, with the conviction they are ready to act.
Many outbursts from NRA members reveal pathological behavior reminiscent of dangerous radicals. It is no secret that NRA extremists are armed, operate in small groups, and rehearse for that insurrection.
Five members of the Supreme Court, in their fractured logic, support that conviction, and clearly, the senators who voted against the gun-control bill are enablers. Allow me to inquire: "How long will the Justice Department give a blind eye to this mounting subversion in our country?"