Letters • 09-13-12 PDF  | Print |  E-mail

Accuses Benny Lee of Trying To Hide Anti-Business Stance

The Times’ article, “(Benny) Lee Runs for Council in District 4,” (Page one, Sept. 6) stated: “He now says he does not want to share his personal opinion on the (proposed Halus Power Systems) turbine...”

Mr. Lee has apparently concluded that it would be bad for his campaign for voters to know that he is aggressively trying to force a green small business to leave San Leandro – taking with it the 10 existing jobs and the potential for many more. Or to know that he personally and as President of the Heron Bay Homeowners Association submitted letters (available at City Hall) unequivocally opposing the project.

Mr. Lee is trying to keep his anti-business activities a secret – saying one thing and doing the opposite. The voters need to know the facts!

Halus Power Systems is the kind of business we should fight to keep in San Leandro – green technology, R&D and manufacturing. Halus recycles, re-engineers and repurposes wind turbines. Halus, in partnership with the prestigious Sandia Labs, needs the turbine to conduct important research – research that can result in significant energy efficiencies for alternative power.

This is the kind of business every community wants, and Mr. Lee, in opposing it, is out of touch and out of line.

San Leandro has a great opportunity to attract new investment and new companies in the coming years. But Benny Lee’s “secret” efforts to force Halus Power Systems to leave San Leandro based upon his personal opinions and unsubstantiated fears will undermine that opportunity.

Now is the time for San Leandro to welcome new businesses and promote existing businesses.  Now is not the time for politicians to say one thing and hope you don’t know that they are doing another.

Howard Kerr, San Leandro

Former Councilmember, Dist. 4




Says City Officials Should Be ‘Loud and Clear’ on Positions

As a resident of Heron Bay in San Leandro, I was disappointed to read about Benny Lee’s position or lack of position on the Halus project. A few weeks ago I went to a Heron Bay Homeowners Association meeting and the consensus of opinion was that the Halus project would be harmful to the community and that Mr. Lee would lead the fight against the project.

Now I read in the San Leandro Times that Mr. Lee (who is running for City Council District 4) does not want to share his personal opinion about the project.

As a City Council member you can not remain silent on matters that affect the community. Leadership is not only sharing your opinion but fighting for it. How can a voter know where a person stands if that person is silent on his opinions.

We need city officials who have the integrity and the strength to say loud and clear their positions and are willing to fight for them for the good of the entire community.

Elie Parker, San Leandro




Hopes San Leandro Will Invest More in Its Schools

As a parent of two children in San Leandro Public Schools, I was surprised to read the claim that Castro Valley’s “cost per student is significantly lower than San Leandro’s.” According to the sources cited by Mr. Banks (Letters, Aug. 30), Castro Valley actually spends over $3000 more per student per year compared to San Leandro.

Data from the Calif. Department of Education shows recent budget data for all districts on the website ed-data.k12.ca.us.  San Leandro spent $7,796 per student while Castro Valley spent $10,963.

In fact, San Leandro spends the least per student among all districts in Alameda County and places far below the state average of $9100 per student.

CDE also reports that while most funding for districts comes from state and federal sources, Castro Valley makes a local contribution of $166 per student, while San Leandro only provides a local contribution of $32 per student, also the lowest in Alameda County.

I’ve been impressed with San Leandro’s ability to stretch every dollar to help meet the needs of all students, including our English learners (we have three times as many as Castro Valley, and our students qualifying for free and reduced price lunch), but dismayed to see the impacts of deferred maintenance, increased class sizes, lack of materials and high teacher turnover.

I do agree with Mr. Banks assertion that Castro Valley is getting an excellent return on their investment and hope that San Leandro is willing to make similar investments in our schools and our children.

Nate Ivy, San Leandro




Calls Parcel Tax Measure a “Win-Win” for San Leandro

As our schools go, so goes our community. It is a mantra that most people can identify with.

I spend countless hours each year coaching and mentoring kids at San Leandro High School and I get to see a success in our students that no standardized test could ever measure. We have tremendously talented kids in our schools and supporting them is fundamental to the success of all the greatest plans for our community.

I am writing to urge San Leandro voters to support our students and Vote “yes” on Measure L this year. Measure L is a reasonable parcel tax that will give more local control of funding to our school district, and be less reliant on Sacramento. It will prevent cuts in enrichment programs, school libraries, sports programs, and so much more that is critical to a great education experience.

San Leandro must make it clear that supporting our youth/students is our utmost priority. A Yes vote on Measure L will send communities around the Bay Area a message that San Leandro is serious about making changes to fix the inequities in our Schools and improve the overall quality of life for its residents.

Measure L is a win-win for residents and businesses. Passing Measure L will immediately enhance every economic development opportunity going on in the city right now, and provide an attraction to new families and new jobs to move to San Leandro.

Chris Crow, San Leandro




Wants to Remind Leo West Prop. 8 Ruled Unconstitutional

In his letter of Aug. 30, Leo West reminds readers “that we, the workers of this state, voted and passed: Yes on (Prop) 8!”

I would like to remind readers that Prop. 8 was subsequently ruled unconstitutional and overturned.

The Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment says, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

Mr. West appears proud to have supported legislation that is unconstitutional. Does he respect the constitution? Does he hate America?

Owen Brand, San Leandro





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