Force our officials to fix crime problem
Like all concerned residents of Oakland, I am appalled at the recent spate of violence and crime in the city and at the ineptitude and immobilization of the mayor and council.
However, it is not enough to rail against these local politicians who blithely allow the violence to continue unabated. I would urge everyone to write and call other elected officials whose salaries are paid by you: Gov. Brown, state Assemblymember Nancy Skinner, state Sen. Loni Hancock, U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer and U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee.
They should be made aware of the carnage in Oakland -- and should bring state and federal resources to bear. Please write and call -- don't just complain.
Senior exemptions: setting it straight
The school parcel tax article on the front page of the Dec. 7 Piedmonter misquotes me. The printed text in the article read, "Also, the senior exemption should be the rule, not the exception."
My exact words were, "A senior exemption is much more the rule than the exception."
As printed, my meaning is entirely different from my actual words and intent. The transcript can be verified at the Piedmont city website at about 58 minutes.
I have two surveys supporting my comment that a senior exemption is "much more the rule." One lists the many regional school districts that have a senior exemption, and the other shows that all high-ranking school districts in the state have a senior exemption. Piedmont is singular in not having an exemption.
Linda Davis is an excellent source of objective news for Piedmont, and this is in no way a criticism of her fine work.
Less talk, more walk needed on crime
Having lived and worked in Oakland for roughly 20 years, I have attended hundreds of meetings, focus groups and summits on local issues. One of the most disheartening trends is the logarithmic increase in meetings, PR, engagement and plans (strategic or otherwise) coming from elected officials and bureaucrats.
I have treated thousands of crime victims and gunshot wounds during my 20 years of service at Highland Hospital, attended dozens of meetings, and had my husband and mother-in-law held up at gunpoint in front of our home. That being said, I am not a crime expert.
I think we need a professional police department, not another crime plan. Both the police and the public deserve real management; the Oakland Police Department has been a political football.
If the "Iron Women" of City Hall -- Jean Quan, Libby Schaaf and Deana Santana -- want to continue their careers as crime fighters, then they should apply to the police academy; we have openings. Otherwise, they should get out of the way.
I receive regular if not daily political spam from Quan and Schaaf about all they are doing about crime. Schaaf supported Proposition 35, the "Pimp Punishment Proposition," and held meetings and summits about the human trafficking problem. I get regular PR about their plans and all their official hard work to fight this horrible problem.
Meanwhile, there are 650 unsolved sexual assaults in which evidence is yet to be analyzed. This smacks of incompetence and a complete disregard for crime victims. I haven't gotten a single email from Schaaf or Quan about how they might correct this problem.
If our crime leaders don't plan to analyze this evidence, maybe we should stop putting sexual crime victims through the trauma of a sexual assault exam and evidence collection. Perhaps we need a summit or focus group.
Stealing petroglyphs an outrageous act
It is shameful that someone stole four American Indian petroglyphs from a sacred site near the Southern California city of Bishop.
The petroglyphs were created by American Indians more than 3,500 years ago. They carved pictures of hunters, deer and other animals, as well as geometric shapes, into a long escarpment. The petroglyphs were hacked from lava cliffs in the eastern Sierra.
Whoever did this showed no respect for the religious rights of American Indians who use the petroglyphs for spiritual and historical connection.
Billy Trice Jr.