Letters • 10-10-2012 | Print |  E-mail

Impressed by the Challengers at

Library’s School Board Debate


In response to “A Question to School Board Challengers,” (Letters, Oct. 3), I also attended the CV School Board Forum and came away with a very clear impression of all the candidates.


I thought it was a great opportunity for each of them to share their vision for CV schools and to express their willingness to involve parents and the community in budgetary decisions that will affect the quality of education at CV schools and, in turn, our property values for years to come.


I observed fundamental differences between the incumbents and the challengers. Both challengers stated they would place focus on making our good schools great schools, and that we should be comparing our school’s progress and standards to areas like Pleasanton and San Ramon instead of local schools, like Hayward and San Leandro.

Also in contrast to the incumbents, Mary Pippitt and Charmaine Banther presented a platform of inclusivness, as both repeatedly emphasized that they would welcome input from parents, teachers, students and community members in the process of striving for improvement while working within budgetary constraints.

The challengers frequently expressed an openess to thinking out of the box, presenting a proactive approach to the never ending issue of limited funding.

The fact that the CV Teachers Association has endorsed Mary Pippitt and Charmaine Banther also spoke volumes to me. In my opinion, the Women’s League of Voters Forum clearly highlighted the differences in the candidates’ approach to serving on the School Board as well as their vision for the future of our schools.

Kimberly Lima, Castro Valley



Time to Get Rid of School Districts

And School Boards?



I believe it is time to reassess the function of and necessity for school boards and school districts.

School boards began in England and Wales to develop an educational system for children during the height of the Industrial Revolution, when children were left uneducated and often forced into labor in factories and shops.

The concept has morphed into a political process pitting idealogical interests, often with poor outcomes for students. Additionally, the idea of local control of education has become obsolete as globalization requires national standards of academics and performance in order to compete.

Lastly, multiple districts has led to fiscal irresponsibility and wasteful duplication. Districts should be united into broader, more inclusive entities such as the county or larger areas of administrative control to reduce administrative replication and waste.

I am anxious to hear comments from readers regarding these ideas.

Robert S. Thomas, Castro Valley



Upset Over Speeding and Tailgaiting

On Castro Valley Streets


I was heartened to see Commander Sherry’s Sept. 26 letter on behalf of CHP Castro Valley Area. To quote him briefly: “The primary goal of the CHP is to provide the highest level of safety, service, and security...They patrol in your communities on a daily basis, striving to make your roadways safe.”

Well, I say, thank goodness for that!  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve encountered nonsense in the form of speeding and tailgating on the community’s streets.

I’ve gotten to the point where I’ll just pull over to the side of the road at the first safe opportunity to let the reckless drivers pass.

Just last week when I was on Heyer between Center and Redwood headed toward the high school, driving right at the speed limit and someone in a 40-year-old bondo-grey Camero drove right up behind me and started blowing his car horn to get me to go faster.

The same thing happened a day or so later, right there on Heyer, only this time the SUV driver just rode right up behind me and started waving his fingers at me each time I looked in the rear view mirror.  Nice ’n neighborly, eh?

I called CHP to see what I should do about speeders and tailgaters and was told that if it was safe to do so I might want to make note of the license plate and call in the mis-behavior on my cell phone. Well, I won’t talk on my cell while I’m driving, so I guess that after I’ve pulled over to let the tailgater pass my car I’ll just put it in park and call in the license plate if there’s enough time for me to actually read it!

What’s the hurry folks? There’s a speed limit for good reason. Please take it easy out there, O.K.?

Tom Hundley, Castro Valley


Donation Boxes Important to People

Who are Unemployed and In Need


MAC’s “curbs” on donation boxes are not the answer.

The only thing that curbs, permits and fees will do for the donation boxes in Castro Valley and surrounding areas is drive up the cost to people in need.

If graffiti and litter are one of the main concerns, why not impost fines for boxes that are not maintained? If they are dropped with no prior consent, make them remove them and impose fines. This money can pay for the enforcement.

There are so many more people in need these days, then you realize that may be the reason for the number of donation boxes being dropped.

Castro Valley and surrounding areas are not unaffected by unemployment, the rising costs of living, and government overspending. This is reality whether we like it or not. Just a small turn of events and anyone (including MAC members) could be in the same position.

Ilsa Maria, Castro Valley

A Reminder About the Eden Township

Healthcare District and the Election


As we celebrate the opening of the new Eden Medical Center, I would like to draw attention to the other Eden – the Eden Township Healthcare District (ETHD).

The ETHD, which consists of San Leandro, Hayward, Castro Valley, San Lorenzo, Cherryland, Ashland and Fairview, was established in 1948 to build and operate what was then known as Eden Township Hospital which opened its doors in November 1954.

The 1990s brought significant changes to the healthcare industry and as a result, the local voters approved the affiliation of Eden Hospital with Sutter Health which assumed ownership and operation of the Hospital in 1998.

The funds from this sale have enabled the ETHD Board of Directors to award grants to organizations within the ETHD that provide services enhancing the health and welfare of the community. To date, over $7-million have been awarded.

Also from the efforts of the ETHD Board, San Leandro Hospital has remained open as an acute care hospital with a functioning emergency room. The ETHD has also been playing a role in keeping St. Rose Hospital open.

Today, the Eden Township Healthcare District Board of Directors and their mission is a completely separate entity from Eden Medical Center. The Board consists of five publicly elected members. The


Board meetings, held the third Wednesday of each month, are open to the public. Two members will be elected on Nov. 6.  More information can be obtained about the District from its website, ethd.org and information about the candidates running for the Board can be obtained from smartvoter.org.

Ronald Alan Hull, D.P.M., Castro Valley

Eden Township Healthcare District



Calls Glossy Mailer for Oakland Zoo

Measure A1 Misleading


Measure A1 stands out as an imperative to make your vote count. The Zoo’s recent glossy mailer claims this parcel tax provides for improvements to current infrastructure and “humane animal care.”

What the mailer does not say is Measure A1 is also about building and expanding zoo facilities into unspoiled Knowland Park.

Plans are made for a theme park featuring California mountain lions, grizzly bears, wolves and other now- or near-extinct animals (which  disappear due to habitat loss).

Also proposed is construction of a visitor building, offices and a restaurant built on the ridge overlooking a splendid view of the Bay.  This project is outside of current Zoo boundaries and would be placed in what is now known as Knowland Park.

This very biologically-diverse park actually provides essential habitat for incredible numbers of living wild species of plants and animals.  They have the same rights to be cared for as the Zoo’s caged exotic animals.

Oakland Zoo campaign signs say “it’s your zoo.” More important: it’s your park, free access, gorgeous view, peace, quiet, open landscape, plants, bugs, birds, small and large animals are still there. Your vote “no” will send a message to zoo executives: leave Knowland Park for us all. Vote No on Measure A1.

Carol Castro, San Leandro



Calls on Library to Show the

Free & Equal Foundation Debates


Two presidential candidates were absent from the debate stage: Gary Johnson (L) and Jill Stein (G).

The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) has set up an unreasonable and arbitrary threshold of polling at 15% in five polls in order to be invited to the debates. That is an unreachable goal for third party candidates since most polling organizations refuse to include them in their polling.


In a 1988 statement, The League of Women Voters refused to “help perpetuate a fraud” by removing themselves from the CPD-controlled debates as “The League has no intention of becoming an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American public.”

With the exclusion of Gary Johnson and Jill Stein, we are being denied the voice of two candidates who do not want to bomb Iran, nor who support the Patriot Act or indefinite detention by NDAA, which Obama and Romney do support. Both Gov. Johnson and Dr. Stein are of age to qualify to be president, natural-born U.S. citizens and on the ballot of enough states to have a mathematical chance to win 270 electoral votes.

The Castro Valley Library is showing the CPD presidential debates on a big screen. In fairness, the Castro Valley Library should also show the presidential debates hosted by the Free and Equal Foundation hosted on Oct. 23 which will feature the other candidates Gary Johnson - Libertarian, Jill Stein – Green, Virgil Goode – Constitution, and Rocky Anderson – Justice, so that citizens can see other viable candidates excluded by the CPD.

Elizabeth Stump, Castro Valley



Says it was ‘Painful” to Watch

Mitt Romney During First Debate


I watched the first Presidential debate with over 100 people at the library (thanks LWV and CV Library). It was painful. Painful because Mitt Romney flip-flopped and lied about his positions virtually the entire debate.

All of a sudden he was for middle class workers and small businesses.  All of a sudden he was against the Wall Street big banks that crashed the economy because of lack of government regulation. And against the $5 trillion in tax welfare for the rich that he and Paul Ryan have been supporting all along.

How was President Obama supposed to debate an Etch-A-Sketch liar like this? Obama rightly stated how he helped to bring us back from the depression caused by the last administration. President Obama revealed how Romney seemed to have changed all his economic policy positions for the evening.

Obama discussed his contention that green jobs would create good paying American jobs (and in fact 90% of the companies invested in are successful). Obama seems to want all Americans to do better not just the very rich like Romney.

Finally, President Obama accurately stated that we have already tried Romney’s failed policies of trickle down. Did we already forget the 8 years of Bush and Cheney? Does the truth matter at all anymore?  Therefore, is it OK for the mainstream media to declare Romney the winner of a debate based on lies?

David Siegel, Castro Valley



Accuses Media of Overlooking

Obama Accoplishments



Regardless how anyone feels about any of the hot button social issues which do not really have any impact on the nation as a whole, President Obama deserves re-election.

Here is a man who really cares about the people, a man who kept his promise to bring health care reform to millions without insurance, who kept his promise to bring the troops home from Iraq, and who has appointed outstanding Supreme Court Justices and Federal judges as well.

Obama’s accomplishments are often overlooked by the media.  In addition to the above named accomplishments, he signed the Fair Pay Act for Women, reformed the copyright laws, made it easier for homeowners to deal with their mortgages, showed compassion for immigrants and let other countries take the lead in foreign entanglements, unlike Bush who was sending our military to every far-fetched outpost on the face of the earth.

President Obama is a class-act. He is a fine family man whose administration has remained nearly scandal-free and who has had to put up with a bullheaded Congress determined to derail his agenda for partisan reasons.

Obama has California in the bag, so if you want to help this great man accomplish even more in a second term, be sure and tell your friends and relatives in the swing states back East to go out and vote for him and take a friend or two with them.

David Shipp, Castro Valley



Disappointed by Paul Ryans Attitude

Toward Social Security


Save the Safety Net! I am very disappointed that Paul Ryan, VP hopeful, call Social Security a welfare program as I heard on TV recently.

I keep hearing the Republicans, including Mitt Romney, speaking negatively about Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, welfare, food stamps and other helpful programs.

Our valued Social Security pays for the disabled as well as senior retirement income. The Republicans do not seem to favor safety-net programs. That’s what I hear in their speeches.

It is President Obama and other Democrats who show concern for the ordinary folks and those in need.

Mrs. Flo Wiley, Castro Valley



Hopes Voters Will Elect Politicians

Who Oppose Citizens United Decision



I am absolutely disgusted with the outcome of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision which has effectively handed control of the country to the Corporations and their supporters and lackeys.

It is the moral responsibility of all politicians to cooperate in legislation that achieves true democracy and returns power to “We the People” and I hope that voters will choose politicians who will be at the forefront of this and other reasonable and necessary policy changes.

While I continue to be optimistic, I honestly believe that congress (and the other branches of government) are already bought by the “Corporations” and I, for one, will be contacting my “so called” representatives and will ask them to  stop legislating in Washington (which seems to make things worse) and instead stay in their districts and try and do something constructive to benefit their constituents.

Whatever you think, “We the People” must take matters into our own hands, so please research the really important issues that motivate you and do something! Otherwise the only ones we can blame for the decline of the U.S. is ourselves

Tony Beeston, Castro Valley



Says Gay Community ‘Cannot Be

Silenced’ by Hurtful Letters


I am equally tired of the hurtful letters to the editor regarding the LGBT community. However, we cannot be silenced by their frequency.

Mary Valens (“‘Homosexual Booth’ Kept Her From Attending the Fall Festival,”Letters, Sept. 26) would like to know the purpose of the Castro Valley Pride booth at the 40th Annual Fall Festival. The purpose was to celebrate the diverse community we live in, the LGBT youth, families, workers, business owners and allies who are part of this town.

You claim that you “don’t care who is or isn’t homosexual” yet you act like we don’t belong at our town’s annual celebration, like we are not part of your community.

Castro Valley Pride volunteers were not “in your face” at all, they waved from the booth, and when questioned, informed the public of upcoming events regarding DOMA, ENDA, and of course Prop. 8. What did they offer to the community, you ask? They offered information about civil rights, they motivated people to stay informed, to get involved and they offered a chance to show that we are somebody.


I, too, don’t like being attacked, yet one of the many religious booths at festival did just that. This is not the first time religious organizations have targeted our small group of concerned citizens, First Baptist Church had a service all about us.


I’m going to go out on the limb, and assume that your friends did not speak with anyone at our booth before they “called you on Saturday to tell you about (the booth).” Had they done so, they would have found some kind people, who have families, busy careers, college loans, car problems, dishes to be done and yes, they too yell “slow down” at people who speed.


I wish you nothing but the best as you lose this battle.

Austin Bruckner, Castro Valley



Believes Public Must Be Made Aware

Of Discrimination Against Any Group



I was sorry to read that Mary Valens (see above) chose to skip the Fall Festival this year because a “homosexual booth” was there. She asked what that booth offered the community.

I feel that as long as there is discrimination and inequality practiced against any group, “in your face” work needs to be done in order to educate the public, to raise awareness that such unfairness exists.

If Dr. Martin Luther King had not marched (at great danger to himself and those who marched with him) against our shameful treatment of blacks they would all still be required to sit in the back of the bus.

Kay Athos, Castro Valley



Festival Booth Was a “Human Rights’ Booth, Not a Homosexual Booth”



First off, Ms. Valens, I would like to state that I’m sorry you missed the Fall Festival this year. It was a great event, expertly put on by the Chamber of Commerce and it’s volunteer workforce. Kudos to the organizers!


However, Ms. Valens, I’m so sorry to hear that the “Homosexual Booth” repelled you. I worked at the booth all weekend, and I would like to mention that I, myself, am not a “Homosexual.” In fact, the majority of people working the booth all weekend were not.

We are not a “Homosexual” Booth; We are a “Human Rights” booth. Our purpose was to spread the word that members of the LGBT Community live in Castro Valley, and to give people some information about who we are, what we do, and why we’re here.

There was a Christian Charter School across from us; Are they a business, food, or entertainment booth?


No, they are doing the same thing we are doing: Making locals aware of our presence. The Fall Festival is a community celebration. We are part of the community.

Finally, if you “don’t care who is or isn’t homosexual”, then what exactly repelled you from the Festival? Surely, you could’ve just walked by our booth, minding your own business. But, you stayed away, clearly expressing the fact that you do, indeed, care.

Thank you for showing that your compassion for squirrels reaches much higher than your compassion for


Humans; It’s greatly appreciated.


See you next year, Fall Festival!

Joseph Paiz, Castro Valley





Doesn't Want to Read About the 'Pro Gay Agenda' On a Weekly Basis


I’m a regular reader of your paper and over the past several years I’ve noticed a trend. Several people seem to write and their views and agendas bombard this column.

Must the entire community be subject to Mr. Billy Bradford’s pro-gay agenda on a bi-monthly or monthly basis? I have no problem, with people getting their viewpoints out. I just don’t want to read it on a weekly basis.

Terrence Dunnigan, Castro Valley



Oh, the Things Spell-Check Won't Catch!


It is always a fun read when the CV Forum arrives.

Last Wednesday I read that a 20 year old “man woman” was arrested on Sept. 28, and on Sept. 25 a woman standing outside a “convince” store was questioned by deputies and a headline of “Wedding Bells on Tuesday” was followed by an announcement about a wedding on Monday, Oct. 8.

Is there nothing in the budget for a proofreader?

Midge Lewis, Castro Valley




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