Free Internet for El Cerrito

The City of El Cerrito has spent resources on implementing and supporting a weekly catering food truck event, "Off the Grid," that supports few El Cerrito residents.

Let's shift city resources to a project that benefits many residents and will showcase El Cerrito.

Many of us who live in El Cerrito would like to see the city bring us free wireless Internet (Wi-Fi). This means more to us than a weekly "Off the Grid" event that caters to outside residents and is frowned upon and unsupported by the majority of residents.

Bring free Wi-Fi to El Cerrito.

Shelly Marie

El Cerrito

Impractical plans for many

I read with interest your article in The Journal about the discussion at the El Cerrito City Council of plans for San Pablo Avenue. According to your article, the plans focus on "making circulation changes that would emphasize pedestrians, bicycles and buses as a priority over automobiles."

This strikes me as charming, but impractical for many El Cerrito residents.

El Cerrito is situated on a hillside, with an elevation of approximately 700 feet from San Pablo Avenue to Arlington Boulevard. About 60 percent of El Cerrito residents are over the age of 44. How many of these residents will find bicycles to be a practical mode of daily transportation up and down the hillside?


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Bus transportation up and down the hillside was severely curtailed in 2003 when AC Transit eliminated the El Cerrito portion of the 67 bus route from Arlington Boulevard to the El Cerrito Plaza BART station. What is the likelihood that AC Transit will restore the El Cerrito portion of this route?

As one of the speakers said at the Nov. 5 City Council meeting, San Pablo Avenue is a state highway. San Pablo Avenue extends from downtown Oakland to State Route 4 at Hercules. It supplements Interstate 80 during peak commute hours and serves as an alternate route when necessary.

If, as your article suggests, the plans being considered by El Cerrito will reduce the capacity of San Pablo Avenue to allow for automobile traffic, this will create a bottleneck in the middle of a major thoroughfare, and will result in a major disruption for through traffic, as well as for El Cerrito residents.

Local businesses will lose customers to more accessible shopping districts, local residents will spend more time commuting each day, and traffic is likely to be pushed onto smaller residential streets.

El Cerrito grew up along the old U.S. 40 highway, and many residents were attracted by the accessibility of the location to other parts of the Bay Area. The plans being discussed have the flavor of "downtown envy."

Perhaps we would do better by finding ways to enhance the natural and historic geography of our city, rather than by trying to imitate other communities.

Ken Stanton

El Cerrito

All of us are interconnected

It seems to me likely there will soon come a time when many people will become sufficiently fed up with the results of hating and decide to seek the ways of loving.

That they will be fed up with fighting and dedicate themselves to recognizing and resolving conflicts within themselves and with others. And become sufficiently fed up with competing for their own selfish interests and take up cooperating for the common good of all.

When a certain threshold of being fed up is reached, what a marvelous world outlook will arise like a phoenix from the ashes of our attachments to and identification with illusory values.

Eventually, humanity will be swept up in this wave and enjoy the peace, plenty, the pursuit of practical solutions to life's challenges, and wholeheartedly embrace the fact of our interconnection with everyone and everything in existence.

Gifts freely bestowed upon us in abundance are here, now. Shall we open ourselves to their presence?

Ron Greenstein

El Cerrito

Support our public schools

As a retired "public" elementary schoolteacher for 39 years in Berkeley and a lifetime member of the Berkeley Retired Teachers Association and California Retired Teachers Association, it's a puzzle to me how charter schools compare to public schools.

From what I've been reading, it seems to me that charters are "shadow public schools." These schools are not easily accessible (transportation problem) for all children. Who pays for these charter schools?

Is the difference between charter and public schools comparable to the haves and have-nots? Is this a return to segregation?

We've lost the true meaning of America's public school system. The system needs help and we must support it. Put our country's public schools where they were once upon a time -- on top.

Maryan T. Gong

Berkeley

Demonstrated compassion

If I had the funds to do so, I would offer full scholarships to professional caregiver programs, or any school program of their choice, to Miguel Alvarez and his co-workers, who stayed at the Castro Valley senior home to care for its residents.

If I had the position to do so, I would offer them jobs. If I were a leader of their communities and/or churches, I would honor them with fitting tributes. If I were in a position with the state to do so, I would not challenge, but honor, Alvarez's self-documented hours and pay him.

But, as an unemployed registered nurse who was forced to resign for attempting patient/staff advocacy at a Martinez hospital this year, I have none of these options.

I encourage anyone who does have the funds, is in a job recruitment position or mayoral capacity, to officially and formally recognize these individuals for their selfless actions.

They demonstrate more compassion, translated into action, than many of the professionally licensed caregivers I've worked with over the last 29 years.

And shame on those alleged "caregivers" who abandoned their patients. This abandonment should result in the revocation of their licenses -- forever.

Mary List

Port Costa

List has a master's degree in nursing.