Insufficient holiday patriotism on view

A message to the merchants of Montclair and the Montclair Village Association: May 26 was Memorial Day.

This is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering those who died while serving in our country's armed forces. These brave men and women gave the ultimate sacrifice to protect your freedoms.

If you happened to walk or drive through the Village on Memorial Day for the past several years, you would have noticed not a single merchant displaying the American flag or any other indication that Memorial Day existed. We all hate war, but let's not forget, or transfer blame to, our fallen sons and daughters, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, each one a hero. They only serve as ordered by the commander and chief.

Shame on you, Montclair, it's time for the merchants of Montclair to show some patriotism and respect for those who defend our country.

Dan Brown

Oakland

Post office seems like it's being set up to fail

Is Montclair losing its post office? For months now, the post office in Montclair has been going through a subtle but steady change, and it does not look like a good one.

First, the vending machine that dispensed stamps was removed, making us wait in line for one of the two people who worked the counter. There used to be three people at that counter, but, like the vending machine, one was removed, never to be seen again. Once the wait in line was over an overworked but kind postal clerk had to explain that they were out of the type of stamp I wanted and that in addition the prestamped postcards and the priority stamps that used be in that machine were not available and that I would have to go to Piedmont Station to get what I need. What?

The next thing to go was a decent selection of the Priority Mail shipping boxes. Again, the response to the question of where the boxes were was the "Piedmont Station" reply if I wanted them now, otherwise they have been ordered. I did check back a few days later (thinking Priority mailboxes might be there in two to three days), and the reply was that they get delivered to the Piedmont Station and they will bring them to Montclair when they have the time. The last straw was when the table in the side room was removed along with the scale that was on it!

Any one of these issues is not that big of a deal. However when you look at them as a whole it would seem as though an individual or individuals is systematically undermining that branch in order to close it down. If some government bean counter takes the time to do a look back at the viability of the different branches and looks at the production, income, sales etc. of our Montclair branch the conclusion might be that, unfortunately, the branch is not performing to standards and it needs to be closed down.

Now I understand, (better than others) that when it's time to close a store, it's time to close a store but when that store is set up to fail and a concerted effort to undermine the operation from within exists then there is serious issue that needs to be addressed. I depend on the convenience of that location, and I cannot sit around and let some government hack close our post office.

David Sarber

Oakland

If only every town had city's problems

I got a number of laughs out of the May 16 Piedmonter police reports. I strongly recommend the ones I mention be transferred into a comic section that can be created because they are truly entertaining.

Here is what I'm talking about -- and I quote these as the paper printed them. The first entry that caught my eye:

FRIDAY, MAY 2: 5:41 p.m. -- Hillside Avenue. "A squirrel was spotted in front of a driveway. All units were notified."

My jaw dropped as I reread the entry a number of times. I think it was a kind of reality check on my part. Why would someone contact the police, or even the animal control for something like this. I can imagine if the police had been called if it had been a mountain lion.

I then wondered if the squirrel sighting had a connection to the marching geese on Hampton Road (see below). No, I couldn't make a connection there. Perhaps the person had actually seen a huge squirrel, actually a person disguised as a squirrel, who was casing the residence for a future crime. I threw my hands in the air and found myself writing this call off as a waste of resources, be it police or animal control.

The second and last entry that caught my attention read as follows:

FRIDAY, MAY 2: 9:56 a.m. -- Hampton Road. "Someone reported seeing a family of geese marching down the roadway for several blocks. Geese were gone before police arrival."

Personally, if I saw a family of geese marching down the roadway while I was driving, I would yield to them, honk (knowing things won't get ugly if they honk back) or simply drive very slow so as to let them part, which would allow me to continue on my way. I could also step out of my car or if on foot, simply shoo them away. Especially if there was any concern they could be hit by a car. If the person who contacted the police was driving at the time he/she saw the geese, I would suggest they refer to the DMV driver's manual.

Most important, if anyone else ever sees a family of geese marching down a roadway, please don't call the police. They have more important things on their plate. This type of call keeps them from patrolling the neighborhood looking for real trouble or responding to other calls in a timely manner where they're really needed.

Here are actually a few things I can think of: home invasion robberies, car thefts, vandals, suspicious persons and burglaries, just to name a few. Last time I looked, unlike most doctors, burglars still make house calls.

I once saw a police report for Piedmont of a police call stemming from a complaint that a rat was in a tree. The person obviously described a tree rat. If you've ever seen one, they move at lightning speed and almost appear to defy gravity the way they spiral around branches as they work their way through a tree. One thing is a cat perched high up in a tree that appears to be stuck; another is a tree rat running through one. Incidentally, I have seen a report of a cat that was stuck in a tree. Well, if it's any consolation, I have yet to see a skeleton of a cat in a tree.

Ignacio Aceves

Oakland