Police must protect residents
Oakland is quickly losing control of the city to punks, thugs and thieves.
I own two multiunit apartment buildings in the south Lake Merritt area. In the last year, my tenants have had six car break-ins, one strong-arm robbery, one apartment break-in and one stolen car.
There was a murder a year ago and, a few weeks ago, a naked woman was assaulted at 2 a.m. by multiple males. In the case of the assault and the stolen car, the police never came even though they were called.
Two of my tenants are asking to break their leases early because they feel unsafe -- and I agree with them. The one with the stolen car told me clearly: It's like the Wild West out there.
The people who are preying on and victimizing the innocents know that no police and certainly no citizen will do anything to stop them. They are free to steal and terrorize anyone they please.
I add my voice to the citizens calling on our mayor, police and communities to protect our citizens. I can't think of anything more important to a civilized community than to provide protection to its citizens.
An acceptable level for crime?
I was watching the news and saw that the 30th homicide in San Jose caused a letter from an assemblywoman to the police chief of San Jose that stated
As I write, there have been 78 homicides in Oakland.
How much does it take for violence in Oakland to "spiral out of control" -- or at what level is it just acceptable?
Chris Stallworth Mountain House
Parents want healthy lunches
With the new school year upon us, parents' attention is turning to school clothes, supplies and lunches. Yes, school lunches.
Traditionally, USDA had used the National School Lunch Program as a dumping ground for surplus meat and dairy commodities. Not surprisingly, its own surveys indicate that children consume excessive amounts of animal fat and sugary drinks, to the point where one-third have become overweight or obese. Their early dietary flaws become lifelong addictions, raising their risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
Gradually the tide is turning. The new USDA school lunch guidelines, mandated by President Barack Obama's Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, require doubling the servings of fruits and vegetables, more whole grains, less sodium and fat and no meat for breakfast. Still, food lobbyists have prevailed on Congress to count pizza and french fries as vegetables, and fatty mystery meats and sugary dairy drinks abound.
Parents and students should consider healthy school lunch as a work in progress and insist on healthful plant-based school meals, snacks and vending machine items. Guidance is available at www.fns.usda.gov/cnd, www.healthyschoollunches.org, and www.vrg.org/family.
Don't accept shootings, guns
On Aug. 15, I was shot in the leg. I was walking my bicycle into my front yard at the time.
The shooter never told me he was armed, never said he would shoot me. He had four other men to back him up. With their help, he could easily have restrained me and stolen my personal property without the gun.
What did pulling the trigger do for either of us? I can no longer walk without assistance. He stole a bag of my dirty laundry. Neither benefited.
I was unarmed and will remain unarmed. Violence does not help us, our families or our neighborhood.
We cannot continue to live with such inhumanity in our midst. It is not just for the shooter to put down his gun, but for us as neighbors to refuse to accept shootings and guns as a part of our communities.
If I had been carrying my own pistol, I expect that I would be dead right now -- with five bullets in me instead of one. The shooter ran from the scene with my dirty laundry. Neither of us got what we wanted.
Building a better world is hard work. It is much easier if we work together.
Cal's high cost is outrageous
The public's UC Berkeley majors in harvesting money and taxes. UC Berkeley is now the nationally ranked No. 1 public university for total academic cost (resident) as a result of Provost George Breslauer and Chancellor Robert Birgeneau's goal to charge Californians higher tuition.
UC Berkeley tuition is rising faster than costs at other public universities. Cal faculty ranked No. 2 in earning potential. Believe it: Harvard is less costly.
The California dream: Keep it alive and well at Cal. Honorably retire Breslauer. Birgeneau has resigned.
Hoarding didn't start on Brown's watch
The stories about the $50 to $100 million dollars in hidden reserve funds in the budgets of some state of California departments say this hoarding behavior goes back 12 years.
Why that's one year of Gov. Brown; seven years of Gov. Schwarzenegger; one year of Gov. Davis; and four years of Gov. Wilson.
In my arithmetic, that's 10 years of Republican "business" management and two years of Democratic "political" management.
So who discovered the problem? A Democratic governor. Why isn't any investigative reporter asking why Pete Wilson allowed this to start, Arnold Schwarzenegger allowed it to continue, and it wasn't until those spendthrift Democrats came into office again that it was revealed? I know "news" papers don't deal in history, but that would be a fair question.
This type of news coverage is known as "kill the messenger." Stating, as a fact, in news stories that Jerry Brown's attempts to reverse 10 years of Republican mismanagement will be imperiled because his staff uncovered financial mismanagement dating from long before he took office seems like an attempt to "spin" the news against the incumbent, instead of presenting the facts and letting the reading public decide where the blame should be placed.
Global warming forecast coming true
The terrible drought we are now experiencing across the nation is primarily the result of global warming. Climate scientists have been predicting this type of climate change due to global warming for some 30 years. This change has arrived, in clear and indisputable form.
It is important that readers make the connection between the drought and global warming so that national action can now be taken to mitigate climate change.
We need to make the public aware of this fact, as it is crucial to planning our future. Perhaps public outcry will finally force national action.
Thomas S. Dickerman