Letters • 07-12-12 PDF  | Print |  E-mail

Councilmember Gregory: We Can, and Must, Do More to Protect Our Children’s Health


No one likes government regulating our personal lives. However, it is government’s job to protect the public’s health

and safety, so occasionally it must take steps to protect people from the plethora of deadly choices available in today’s marketplace.

As Dennis Roth pointed out recently, mandatory wearing of seatbelts is a good example of government regulation. Taxing cigarettes is another.

A recent study released by the California Center for Public Health Advocacy shows that San Leandro has the highest obesity rates in Alameda County with 42.7% of 5th-, 7th-, and 9th-graders overweight or obese.

Research shows that sugar sweetened beverages (SSB’s) overwhelmingly contribute to the current obesity epidemic, laying the foundation for future Type 2 diabetes and heart attacks.

Fructose found in nature is bound to fiber which slows absorption so the liver is not overwhelmed while metabolizing what has been ingested (think of an apple).

Fructose from SSB’s come in large doses, are not bound to fiber and overwhelm the liver causing the liver to produce fat.  Liver fat can lead to insulin resistance and thus diabetes; the fat in the bloodstream clogs arteries leading to heart attacks.

One in three San Leandro children today will develop diabetes if we do nothing. Diabetes and heart disease used to be considered “old age” diseases. Why burden our kids with a lifetime of these conditions?

As a local elected official, I feel it is my duty to take action to protect our children’s health. I have long supported our Recreation and Human Services Department guidelines for healthy beverages and food in childcare and afterschool programs. This is a start, but we can, and must, do more.

I invite you to join me for a discussion this fall. I am planning a showing of a recent HBO special: “The Weight of the Nation,” here in San Leandro.

Michael Gregory

Vice Mayor, City of San Leandro

City Council ‘Seems to Defy Rational Thinking’


I read with great interest about the appointment of Kevin Leichner to the San Leandro Planning Commission.

The City Council seems to defy rational thinking in performing their duties. This is especially true of Councilman Gregory, who seems very beholden to the Bridge Housing developers.

I have attended various meetings about the Bridge project and it always seems Mr. Gregory needs to grandly state approval of the project and extol the virtues of the developer.

The fact that Mayor Cassidy even went along with the proposal makes one wonder why anyone would attempt to vote for change when the same old dealings prevail.

Charles DeMarais, San Leandro




Calls Oliver’s Departure Letter ‘Arrogant, Condescending’


I found the letter regarding Bob Oliver’s exit from San Leandro after 60 years (Letters, June 28) rather arrogant and condescending.

His “Let’s getting out of town before the Dalton Gang arrives” attitude was amusing. Geographically, we all know our city is between Oakland and Ashland. Rather then flee in fear from our homes and the city we care about, we stay put.

We help our Police Department by becoming the “eyes and ears” of San Leandro. We choose to become part of the solution, rather then part of the problem.

Not sure what state he is moving to in order to find a city that is 50 years behind us...maybe Montana or Wyoming. I’ve heard they have been able to “freeze time” and not progress.

Wonder if he will be giving up his e-mail access, didn’t have that 50 years ago. Of course that would mean he couldn’t read the San Leandro Times on line and keep up on the city the rest of us are proud to call home. As a longtime tax paying property owner, I wish you the same “good luck” wherever it is you’re going!

Janet Gebhardt, San Leandro




Suggests Earl Cava Should Read More Credible Authors


Earl Cava (“Accuses Officials of Ignoring Important Issues,” Letters, June 28) recommended reading the book “Amateur” by Edward Klein.

What really caught my attention and caused a chuckle was when he stated he hoped he was reading a novel but states the book is reality.

Whose reality is it?

I suggest in the future that Earl Cava research the facts and an author’s credibility. Edward Klein is an author who has a history of presenting falsehoods, distorted and inaccurate facts and he makes a lot of money doing this.

Published works are not always the truth even if they make the best sellers list.

I recommend reading the following books to get one’s mind thinking:  “Obama, The Hate Machine” by Bill Press. “Take The Risk” by Ben Carson. “Space Chronicles” by Neil DeGrasse Tyson.

Kathy Starzenski, San Leandro




Calling All Pinochle Players!


The new San Leandro Senior Center, at 13909  E. 14th St., is a fine addition to the many services provided by the City. They have a great staff, and they are all very friendly and helpful.

There are  all kinds of activities including classes, trips, lunches, and game days.

On Thursdays a group of pinochle players get together from 10am to 2:30pm. We play several variations of pinochle, depending on the number of players attending (3-handed, single deck, double deck, etc.).

If you are interested, why don’t you stop by and join us in a game?

Even if you haven’t played for some time, (it comes back to you fast), we always welcome new players.

Bea Kiley, San Leandro

Appreciates Big Turnout for San Leandro Ed Foundation


On behalf of the San Leandro Education Foundation, I wish to thank the dozens of local professionals, residents and government representatives who came out last week to enjoy a wonderful evening focused on the future of San Leandro and how SLED is working to enhance the educational experience of students in the San Leandro Unified School District.

Their presence was truly appreciated and demonstrates the degree to which our community values enhancing public education at a time when California ranks near the bottom of per-pupil funding and SLUSD grapples with how to prevent additional class size increases and cuts to music and sports programs in 2012-13.

The state’s latest enacted budget unveiled last week continues the trend of K-12 spending cuts and our District alone would lose an additional $2.54 million next January if voters reject Governor Jerry Brown’s tax measures in November.

Last week’s event was an opportunity for attendees to learn more about joining the SLED 100, a group which understands the importance of educating today’s youth in order to create a thriving community and robust, talented workforce. SLED 100 participants pledge themselves to San Leandro’s success by making a significant multi-year, tax-deductible contribution to SLED.

I wish to publicly thank the following companies and individuals for their commitment to join the SLED 100: Westlake Development Partners, Bayfair Center, San Leandro Mayor Stephen Cassidy, Paradiso restaurant owner Mike Weisner, John Gooding, owner at Quadric Group, and SLED Board Member Martin Vitz and his wife Polina.

In addition, the event would not have been possible without the help of Councilmember Michael Gregory and his wife Dale, School Board President Morgan-Mack-Rose, Drake’s Brewing, On Occasion Catering and Precision Graphics.

If you are interested in joining the SLED 100, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . To learn more about the Foundation, please visit www.sledfund.org.

Deborah Cox, SLED President

San Leandro





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