Letters • 06-13-2012 | Print |  E-mail

Staggered by Number of Business

Closings in Castro Valley



A group of friends and I were discussing how our faltering national economy and on-going construction on Castro Valley Boulevard continue to negatively impact our local small businesses.

The list of bankrupt, closed, and down-sized businesses we came up with was staggering. In the village we’ve watched Village Toys, Jordan’s Books, the UPS Store, the Verizon Store, and others close for business.

Dried and Tied plans to downsize and move into the space formerly occupied by Kids Are People, Too, whose owners were forced by rising rental costs to move to a smaller space next to El Rancho Steak House.  El Rancho’s owner is also struggling with a drastic drop in customers and forced lay-offs.

On Castro Valley Boulevard, the blow to our small business owners has been equally devastating.  We’ve lost JD’s Family Restaurant, Liberty Tax Service, Party Plus, the barber shop next to Sal’s, the stained glass store, and Jazzy Crafts, to name a few.

Several buildings are empty, including the Daughtrey building which used to house our little town’s most respected department store. We’ve lost Pyzano’s Pizza, and the 580 Shopping Center on the east side of town has also seen restaurants and businesses close their doors.

I urge everyone to shop locally and give our small businesses the lift they need. These are hard times for all of us, and we need to reach out and help one another in every way we can.

Pat Blackwell-Marchant, Castro Valley


Gridlock in Government Could End

With Civil Discussion, Compromise



Once again I feel compelled to write about our dysfunctional government systems – National, State and local.

Previously I have advocated that our elected officials must be forced by voters to talk constructively to each other and compromise on issues instead of taking radical or hard line positions that only achieve gridlock. We need to emphasize that there are differing points of view but they are all equally valid and should be taken into consideration by politicians that represent us all.

Government deficits are out of control at the same time as our Health care, Education and Social support networks continue to deteriorate and need to be fixed.

To solve these problems we must both increase taxes and reduce superfluous spending; a premise pretty much universally accepted but too often ignored by intransigent politicians and misguided voters. This must be done equitably, fairly and urgently – because the longer we wait the harder it is to resolve....!!

Our elected officials also need to stop blaming others for our problems. The USA needs to get its own financial affairs in order regardless of whether or not other countries; such as Europe; China; Japan sort out their economies. However we should not ignore their issues because they should teach us valuable lessons as to what happens when we do not make the tough decisions required. They are a good example of where the U.S. is currently headed !!

So we have (yet another) important election coming up and once again need an outcome that enables us to progress on the important issues that face us. This has eluded us in past but I believe with civil  discussion and compromise by everyone we are capable of achieving these goals.

Tony Beeston, Castro Valley


Gay Issue Requires Fair-Minded

To Become and Remain Involved



So Robert Stewart (Letters, June 6) considers an invitation to a gay rights forum to be intimidation and wants to ban Billy Bradford from writing letters to The Forum.

I wonder how Mr. Stewart would feel if hostile strangers conspired to strip him of his constitutional rights and used religious beliefs he doesn’t share to justify the attack. Most people would find that considerably more upsetting than receiving a letter in the mail but that’s the reality that gays and lesbians across the country face every day.

Overall, our nation is moving in a positive direction on LGBT rights issues. Our president’s endorsement of marriage equality, the end of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the courts’ rejection of discriminatory measures like Prop. 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act demonstrate this. So does the flood of letters to The Forum that answers every bigoted and prejudiced rant against homosexuals that appears in the newspaper.

As much as I disagree with the hate speech that too often appears in these pages, I would not call to ban these letters. They serve to remind those of us who want to help our neighbors instead of hurt them that the struggle isn’t over and that fair-minded people must become and remain involved.

Matt Johanson, Castro Valley


Gay Marriage Debate is On!



The Great Castro Valley Marriage Debate is on!

It took some serious logistical planning and flexibility on the part of the participants, but we are finally able to announce the details for this exciting event: 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, July 17, Castro Valley Library.

We will be talking about marriage equality, LGBT civil rights and whether or not there is anything “wrong” with gay people. I think you know where the Forum letter-writers stand, but come hear why we believe the things we write about!

Please tell your friends, family members, neighbors and coworkers and let’s get a big turnout. The debate guidelines and moderating duties will be handled with the generous assistance of the CVHS JSA/Debate Club.

Participants will include Billy Bradford, Rev. Dr. Arlene Nehring, Stacy Spink, Peter Hauer, Trinity Bustra and others to be announced.

Visit our Facebook Event “The Great Castro Valley Marriage Debate” (www.facebook.com/#!/events/470293342984087/) and note your attendance so we can get a headcount. Thank you!

Billy Bradford, Castro Valley


Concerned Over Prejudice

Expressed in Letters to the Editor



The display of ignorance and prejudice in the Letters column of the Castro Valley Forum truly has me concerned for my community.

Peter Hauer claims civil unions (blocked in Colorado and banned in North Carolina) confer all the rights of marriage and the only reason gays and lesbians want to get married is to feel good – you know, that pursuit of happiness stuff.

He conveniently ignores the 1500 federal rights and responsibilities that are given to heterosexual married couples but denied same-sex couples.

Hauer insists that marriage equality “will” lead to polygamy even though this has not happened in any country or any state in the U.S. that has marriage equality. There are some countries in the world that do allow polygamy, but I would not call Saudi Arabia exactly gay-friendly.

Jennifer Baity “knows” that all God-fearing people oppose marriage equality. There are some people of faith who would surely disagree, but that is irrelevant.

U.S. civil law is not based on anyone’s interpretation of the Bible, Quran, Bhagavad Gita, or any other sacred text, but on the secular Constitution, which does not mention God.

And of course, Stacy Spink, who writes to the Forum at least every 2 weeks to proclaim he has proven, at least in his own mind, that gays and lesbians are inferior to people like himself. Of course, he’s not a bigot, he just opposes marriage equality because he can’t use the women’s restroom.

Carol Sholin, Castro Valley

Letters to the Editor must include the writer’s first and last names, address and phone number, and should be no longer than 300 words. We reserve the right to edit as necessary. E-mail letters to: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or fax to: 510-814-9691 or mail to: The Forum, P.O. Box 2897, Alameda, CA 94501



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