Letters • 10-25-12 PDF  | Print |  E-mail

Asks: What is the Marina Without Boats?


It will be sad to see the end of the boats at the San Leandro Marina which is currently being discussed at the San Leandro Marina development meetings. The boats, yachts and the docks provide beauty, wealth and water sports to the San Leandro landscape.

It would be a shame for the city to lose such an idyllic venue. The big problem seems to be the that there is not enough tax money to keep the harbor from filling up with mud. The current plans for the Marina development are to add office space, 170 houses, a hotel, restaurants and shops.

One solution to the money shortage problem is to charge a special Marina tax on these businesses, homes and the boat owners.

Recently I was on Balboa Island in Newport Beach, Calif. They have built homes on their Marina which now cost millions of dollars which generate millions in tax dollars. We should review this type of tax generation.

San Leandro has a natural treasure in the Marina. We should plan to enhance that treasure by building up our Marina by adding boats and docks. After all, what is a marina without boats or what is San Leandro without its treasures?

Elie Parker, San Leandro




Dog Owners Shirking Their ‘Picking Up’ Responsibilities


It’s time to again remind dog owners/walkers that they are responsible to pick up their dog’s poop. The messes are all over the neighborhoods and at places like Marina Park and Manor Park.

I believe San Leandro has an ordinance that requires this action, but it is rarely respected.

Also, personally offering plastic bags to people who don’t care can be a dangerous proposition!  So does anyone have a reasonable solution to this problem?

I don’t think I am the only one who feels that some dog owners/walkers are shirking their responsibility.

I always pick up after my dogs, and others should do the same.

Randall Lai, San Leandro



George McGovern’s Legacy for Better Health


Last Sunday, we lost former U.S. Senator George McGovern. Although many will recall his disastrous 1972 loss to Richard Nixon and his subsequent leadership in getting us out of Vietnam, his truly lasting legacy will be his war on hunger and malnutrition.

In 1977, following extensive public hearings, McGovern’s Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs published Dietary Goals for the United States, a precursor to today’s Dietary Guidelines. It marked the first time that a U.S. government document recommended reduced meat consumption.

The meat industry forced the Committee to destroy all copies of the report and to remove the offending recommendation from a new edition. It then abolished the Committee, voted McGovern out of office, and warned government bureaucrats never to challenge meat consumption again. (“Food Politics” by Marion Nestle, 2007).

Yet, after 35 years of studies linking meat consumption with elevated risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, and other killer diseases, the MyPlate icon, representing USDA’s current Dietary Guidelines for Americans, recommends vegetables, fruits, and grains, but never mentions meat, and shunts dairy off to one side. (www.choosemyplate.gov/).

And it all started with one brave senator from South Dakota.

Kurt Champler, San Leandro


Mayor Cassidy Asks for Support of Measures B1, L


I ask that everyone support two measures on the ballot that will have a significant, positive impact on San Leandro.

First, Measure B1 will provide funding for the County’s new transportation expenditure plan. San Leandro receives about $1.7 million annually under the current plan. The bulk of these funds, $1.1 million, go to repairing our roads with smaller sums for paratransit for seniors and people with disabilities and bicycle and pedestrian safety.

Should Measure B1 pass, San Leandro will receive $3.1 million annually, of which $2.2 million will be dedicated to fixing our roads.  That doubles our annual allotment from the County for road repair.

But on top of that the expenditure plan allocates $30 million – yes $30 million – for road repair in San Leandro. The condition of our roads is poor. Measure B1 is the solution. In just a few years, Measure B1 will transform the quality of our roads.

Please also support Measure L for the students in the San Leandro Unified School District. Our schools have experienced devastating budget cuts for the last four years. Parcel taxes, like Measure L, are the only means for local school districts to raise funds to pay for operating expenses. The proceeds from Measure L will stay in San Leandro and cannot be taken away by Sacramento.

We know that despite the state fiscal crisis there are many high performing school districts in the Bay Area  families move to, local business thrives, and neighborhoods are safe.

These school districts are, by and large, found in communities that have adopted parcel taxes for their schools.

Everything – schools, home values, the local economy, and public safety – is linked together. Whether or not you have children or grandchildren in our public schools, please support Measure L.

Mayor Stephen Cassidy

City of San Leandro





Passing Measure L Will Keep Families in San Leandro


When I moved to San Leandro with my husband and two young sons in 2003, I didn’t really think much beyond our local elementary school.

The plan was to get our start in San Leandro and move once our kids were a little older. This isn’t an unusual plan if you ask around. We all want the best for our kids, so the higher performing schools to the east can be a draw for many. But this isn’t a plan that can help our city or school district thrive.

We don’t want to lose families to the “better” school districts to the east. My family’s plan changed, but it doesn’t for everyone.

Now with two boys in middle school, we are committed to the San Leandro schools and strongly support Measure L. There’s no reason why our schools shouldn’t be equipped to compete with the best.

We’ve been in the district now for eight years and know that San Leandro schools have great teachers, administrators and programs. But every year, they are forced to do more with less. Support of Measure L will protect the core academic programs, while also helping us fill our beautiful new performing arts center with young performers... and our soon-to-be new athletic fields with young athletes.

San Leandro is a great place to raise a family – but it can be better. My family stayed put, but many others I know have left. It’s a shame. For our city to continue to grow, we need to do everything we can to bring new families to San Leandro – and keep them here. To do this, we need to support Measure L to help our city and schools thrive.

Robyn Liebler, San Leandro


Urges a ‘Yes’ on Prop. 30, A ‘No’ on 38


As we all know by now,  there are, unfortunately, two education propositions on the ballot this year. Both would supply needed funding to our hemorrhaging schools. Some people I know are voting for both of them, but only the one with the most votes can be implemented. I believe Prop. 30 is the better of the two and so I ask voters to select 30 and not 38.

Prop. 30 will prevent drastic cuts (also called “trigger cuts”) this January in K-12 art, music, PE, science, in community college classes, and in other public services. It will balance the state budget. Prop. 30 does not

increase income tax on the poor and middle classes (though it does add a tiny temporary sales tax). It is backed by our governor, various teachers’ organizations, and unions.

On the other hand, Prop. 38 will not prevent these January trigger cuts and does not direct any funds to community colleges, nor does it balance the state budget. All Californians will see their income tax rise. Prop. 38 is backed by a millionaire lawyer, her billionaire hedge fund father, and the PTA.

Another reason to vote for 30 is to save jobs. California has one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation. Over 30,000 teachers in our state have already lost their jobs. The trigger cuts will lead to even more massive layoffs of teachers. I work at Chabot College and we will be forced to cancel over 100 classes. These cuts will deeply hurt teachers and many of our unemployed students who will not be able to get the training they desperately need for a job or the classes they need to transfer to a university.

Vote YES on 30 and NO on 38.

Lisa Ikeda, San Leandro




Ursula Reed Called ‘an Independent Thinker’


Regardless of where you live in San Leandro, you can vote for candidates in all the Council Districts. As a 43-year resident of Marina Faire, I am supporting Ursula Reed.

I served with her on the Library Historical Commission. I saw her in action then, I see her now. She is constantly fair. She listens to both sides.

She is an independent thinker, not a puppet.

That’s who we need to have represent us. Someone who is balanced, objective, displays good morals and good judgement. That someone is Ursula Reed.

Carole Rinaldi, San Leandro




Answers ‘Unfounded Attacks’ on Benny Lee


These attacks on Benny Lee lack are unfounded and derive from those who have not spoken with him on the issues or have a different agenda.

I served briefly on the Heron Bay Board with Benny and observed his leadership first hand. He has served with openness and transparency, committed to ensuring that all have their voices heard.

Regarding Elizabeth Dennis’ letter (Oct. 18), Benny has been working to change the Heron Bay Board’s decision to open Bayfront Drive for public parking; this has always been his position prior to the permits. Miss Dennis’ assertions should be directed at other Heron Bay Board members to change their decisions rather than Benny who has been working to change it.

Benny’s also persuaded our HOA Board to buy more products and services from local vendors because he believes in reinvesting in our community first.

Regarding Howard Kerr’s letters (Sept. 13 and Oct. 4), his interests appear focused on business first at the risk and expense to homeowners while Benny’s is to protect their property rights, well-being, and quality of life. Home purchase is the greatest investment that 99% of homeowners make and we need a council member who understands that balance and will protect the 99%.

Richard Zheng’s letters (Sept. 20 and Oct. 11) are well said about Benny Lee’s character and integrity.

Benny Lee is committed to public safety as he’s strongly endorsed by police and fire departments. He’s also committed to community reinvestment by leveraging opportunities for our diverse population to keep the spending in town.

I heartily encourage all in San Leandro to vote for Benny Lee as he truly represents our community of working class residents. He is a model citizen of remarkable integrity, unquestioning fairness, and undifferentiated compassion for others.

Stephanie L’Archuleta, San Leandro


Supports Benny Lee: ‘He Knows District 4’


Chris Crow is the wrong candidate for City Council. He moved recently to district 4 only to seek council seat but is not in touch with communities there. His candidate filing shows he’s “in between jobs” (unemployed).

San Leandro’s population is 30% Asians, 27% Latino, 27% Caucasians and 11% African American. We need 2-2-2-1 representation for  San Leandro to reflect the diversity.

Benny Lee lived in district 4 since the 1990s. He knows district 4 and the city well. He’s worked on San Leandro’s friendship relationships with China in 2007. He has over 20+ year career in financial technology with experience in economic and community development. He is endorsed by police, fire, elected officials and community leaders.

Ursula Reed is the only African American among six Caucasians on City Council. She listens and stays in touch with communities. She has done well for San Leandro and reflects our diversity so we need to re-elect her. I urge you to vote Ursula Reed for District 2, and Benny Lee for District 4.

Hendy Huang, San Leandro




Supports Mack-Rose: ‘Sharp Intellect, Energy, Sense of Humor’


I support Morgan Mack-Rose:

I am writing this letter in support of Morgan Mack-Rose for City Council. Morgan was one of the first people I met in San Leandro when I moved here ten years ago. I was immediately struck by her sharp intellect, her energy, and her sense of humor. I knew that Morgan is one of those rare people willing to “put her money where her mouth is.”

In the years after we met I came to know Morgan better through our common efforts in support of the schools and the City. I have been repeatedly impressed with Morgan’s commitment to this community. In particular, when many parents sought transfers for their children from Washington to Roosevelt, Morgan kept her daughter in her designated school and worked tirelessly to make Washington a better place to learn.

I learned that Morgan doesn’t run from what people see as a problem, she puts all of her efforts into solving the problem.

I supported Morgan in her campaign for the school board, and I have been unsurprisingly impressed with her judgment, commitment and willingness to speak her mind. I am thrilled that she is willing to bring her energy to the City Council.

It is no mystery that like nearly all other government bodies, San Leandro is under terrific pressure to put its financial house in order. San Leandro doesn’t need “yes” men and women – it needs women and men who have the courage to make the difficult choices and place our City on a path to prosperity.

We need people who have been active in the community, who have demonstrated their commitment to public service, who have stood for what they believe is right, who have put their skin in the game. We need a person like Morgan Mack Rose. I am absolutely confident that Morgan Mack Rose is the right person for our City Council.

Andrew Kopp, San Leandro

Support Jim Prola: ‘Always Ready to Listen...’


We believe in pointing it out when people do good things, rather than dwelling on the things they could have done better and that is why we thought it important to write a word or two about San Leandro Councilman, Jim Prola.

For the last five years we have teamed with the Interfaith Homelessness Network to serve dinner to folks who need a hot meal and a warm place to eat it on Thanksgiving Day. Jim Prola has helped us with this mission every year, and stays until the end of the event to help where he is needed.

Our son, Cory, played San Leandro Babe Ruth baseball with Jim’s son, Ken, when Jim was the coach of the team. He simply looks at these as  opportunities to be of service in his community.

Jim is also a strong supporter of local business and makes it a  point to attend as many of the Chamber “Ribbon Cuttings” as he can.

As a Council person, we have found that he is always ready to listen to our concerns and willing to lend a hand to make a situation better. He is a genuinely caring and compassionate individual and we are lucky to have him represent our city.

Suzanne and Chuck Pershing

San Leandro


Hermy Almonte Called ‘A Breath of Fresh Air’


I write this as a friend and supporter of Hermy Almonte.

Over the years I have known Hermy, I have been witness to numerous acts of kindness, humanity and concern for others. At the same time Hermy Almonte is a realist and has shown this during his term on the San Leandro School Board.

Mr. Almonte would be like a “Breath  of Fresh Air” on the San Leandro City Council while bringing a very practical approach to crucial fiscal issues.

Look toward a positive future for the City of San Leandro by voting for Hermy Almonte District 6 Council Representative.

John Duarte, San Lorenzo



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