Letters • 10-24-2012 | Print |  E-mail


Serious Concerns Over Streetscape Traffic Flow


Castro Valley residents and businesses have endured years of delays, traffic nightmares, financial distress, and business closures related to the Castro Valley Boulevard Streetscape Improvement Project.

Contractors report that most of the delays were related to engineering change orders. The result, we have been promised, will be worth it in the long run.

The final project is starting to materialize before our eyes, and while it is not yet complete, I already have some serious concerns.


First and foremost, a traffic engineer’s job is to ensure that the design provides for safety and traffic flow (before any concerns for aesthetics). I was expecting that the new design would provide for a natural flow of vehicles and pedestrians. Instead, what I have already experienced more than once is fear.


I predict that unless design changes are made, traffic accidents will increase along the Boulevard.

The most dangerous condition I have encountered is leaving the Lucky’s parking lot at the Pet Food Express store. If an SUV, van, or truck parks on the Boulevard in front of the Pet Food


Express store, then vehicles exiting the parking lot are blind to oncoming traffic that is accelerating from the traffic signal at Wilbeam Avenue.

There is no room to creep forward to see oncoming traffic, since the parking spaces encroach right up to the traffic lane. How did we Alameda County residents get so lucky to have engineers design unsafe streets?

Brian A. Foster, Castro Valley





Grateful for Bradford’s Help with Athletic Programs


I work with Castro Valley Independent Sports League here in Castro Valley. We had a situation where a sound system was needed in a hurry on the CVHS Football Field for our last


Home game of the season for the Gladiators.

I contacted Billy Bradford of Castro Valley Pride who was able to grab his audio gear, rush to the stadium and get us going within an hour.


I appreciate all Billy has done to help out our youth athletic programs over the years. We are truly grateful. Thanks again!

Rick Ramirez, Castro Valley




Takes Issue with ‘Obama Drones’ Letter


Russia is waiting for us to stumble so they can have us for lunch?  Really, Mr. Dias? (“Calls Many Obama Supporters ‘Drones’.” Letters, Oct. 17).

Uh...I think you need to shift from 1975 to 2012. You do know the Berlin Wall fell, and that


Russia has become nothing but a corrupt backwater of a country that can barely produce anything, don’t you? Or, perhaps you need to stop watching the Fox News Channel, whose pundits seem to be warping your brain.

Robert Thomas, Castro Valley



Encouraged by Romney, Disappointed in Obama


In reference to the debates between Governor Romney and President Obama, I have been encouraged by Mitt Romney and the positions he has outlined.

In fact, I have been extremely disappointed in Obama. In the first debate, he came completely unprepared as this was reflected in his demeanor and his responses to questions. What this really reflected was Obama’s lack of respect for the American people as he could not be bothered to prepare for the debate. What a difference from the Obama I voted for in 2008.

In the second debate Obama continued to avoid questions on providing a program to fix the economy and create jobs. He even had the gall to compare Romney to Bush and continued to blame the Republicans for all this country’s problems.


The bottom line is that unemployment has remained high on Obama’s watch with the real U-6 unemployment rate as measured by the government 14.7%. In reality on the individual level, there are still 100 people or more applying for a job in which one person gets selected.

When you are out looking for a job, the last thing you want to hear is how this was all caused by someone else four years ago.

My perception of the two candidates after the debates is that Obama does not want four more years in office as he cannot not be bothered to prepare and defend his four years in office or enact legislation to create jobs and improve the unemployment rate.

On the other hand, my perception of Romney is that he will work better with the Democrats namely Reid and Pelosi as opposed to the dismal working relationship Obama has with Boehner and Cantor. If elected Romney will improve the Congress approval rating currently at 10% because he is the kind of person that works well with both parties to get things done as proven in Massachusetts while governor.

Dan Dalton, Fairview



The Meaning of ‘Voting Christian’


It is my belief that a lot of people are misunderstanding what “voting Christian” or “voting Bible” means.

The truth about “voting Christian” is voting for the candidates) who are compassionate, like Christ was. It means voting for the candidates who advocate acceptance and fairness, like Christ did. It means voting for the candidates who accepts all people as they are, like Christ did.

No matter how you feel about abortion, gay marriage, or prayer in school, voting for the candidate who accepts and treats all people the same is the Christ-like thing to do.   Just read about Jesus and His  message in the 4 Gospels.  It might shock you to find out which candidates are more like Him and which aren’t.

David Shipp, Castro Valley



Passage of Prop. 30 Called ‘Critical’


I have been a computer science and math teacher for 25 years at James Logan High School.


The past 10 years my class size has soared due to state budget cuts. I once averaged 30 students per class and now I have over 40.


It is difficult to make sure each student has the personal attention they need because of the ever-increasing class size. In addition to increasing class sizes, we have lost transportation, library access for all grades and counseling services for elementary students. We have 5 less days of school to help our children learn a full year of curriculum.

Passing Prop. 30 is critical for us. If it doesn’t pass, we would have to cut an additional 15 days of school this year. This would mean New Haven students would have one less month of school compared to New Haven students two years ago.

California children will lose if we do not pass Prop. 30. For our students., for our future, vote Yes on 30.

Charmaine Banther, Castro Valley



Supports Both Prop. 30 and 38: ‘Must Have

Increased Funding’ for Schools



I am supporting both Prop. 30 and 38 because our schools must not have further decreases in funding. Our district, Castro Valley, as well as all districts in the Bay Area, have lost hundreds of dollars per student and cannot possibly continue an adequate education with further cuts.

If we want high quality education, we must have increased funding. Our children are the future of the nation and must be cared for and supported by the taxpayers.

Even if your children are grown, as are mine, we all depend on and will someday be dependent upon our younger citizens to be educated, capable, employable and willing to assist seniors with their needs. We are all a part of a large village and are influencing all children by how we value them.  Please do your part.

Janice Friesen, Castro Valley



Calls Prop. 32 ‘Deceptive and Outrageous’




Coming soon to California schools near you: larger classes, fewer courses, and an end to sports and arts programs.


All of this and much worse could come to pass after Nov. 6 if voters approve Prop. 32, a deceptive and outrageous initiative which would empower corporations, Super PACs and the wealthy to control California. That would be disastrous for public education and the state as a whole.

Prop. 32, the Special Exemptions Act, would sharply limit unions’ ability to raise money from their members and completely prohibit them from contributing to candidates.

Californians rejected this idea twice before, leading proponents to try a new trick. This latest measure contains language about corporate paycheck deductions to give the appearance of fairness. But since businesses and owners can raise limitless amounts through profits, Prop. 32 will leave corporate power untouched.

In addition, the measure does nothing to check unlimited spending of “Super PACs,” the political action committees unleashed by a Supreme Court ruling.

Should Prop. 32 pass, what parts of their agenda will they impose here? Other states are fighting voter suppression, mandatory vaginal ultrasounds for women and vouchers to steal support from public schools. Perhaps a better question is, what parts of the extremists’ agenda won’t they impose here?

Nurses, firefighters and teachers like myself don’t need or want “paycheck protection” from our own unions, which benefit everyone who approves of an eight-hour workday, minimum wage and weekends. Silencing the voices of working people would be a catastrophic mistake.

Matt Johanson, Castro Valley



Recommends Maher for District 5 BART Director




After watching the Tri-Valley Community Television interview between the candidates for the BART Director District 5 position, I recommend a vote for the challenger John Maher over the incumbent, John McPartland.

As current BART Director for District 5, Mr. McPartland does not give me the impression that he is concerned with strategic planning for BART. From the interview, he reported that he was surprised how fast the BART East Dublin garage parking spaces filled.

Any project that has significant costs should be reviewed for “user requirements” such as sufficient parking capability, and design plans should be verified to meet these requirements.


Mr. McPartland should have participated in review processes to ensure that facilities such as sufficient parking for BART riders remained a top priority.

BART must have adequate parking lot spaces to promote the use of BART. He was also the Director during the long delay resulting from not completing the walkway to the East Dublin station that spans over Interstate 580.

I think any BART Director should not loose sight of being involved with activities that represent huge BART investments (such as a new station). Mr. McPartland did not remain close to those planning activities, and I do not trust him to make smart decisions regarding the future of BART in District 5.

I recommend a change for BART Director District 5 with a vote for John Maher.

Conrad Wilgus, Castro Valley



Supports Re-election of ‘Sometimes Eccentric’ Pete Stark for Congress


Why I am Voting For Pete Stark.

Say what you will about the sometimes-eccentric Pete Stark, but I will tell you why we should vote him back into Congress one last time.

Representative Stark for 40 years has been a champion for families and middle class workers right here in our own district. He was a key architect of the Affordable Care Act, proponent of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and has been a strong advocate for strengthening Medicare and Social Security. I don’t think his young opponent can say any of that.

You say Pete Stark is old, I say he is old and wise. He has a long and

proven track record of resistance to what may be the most important issue in government today, the rampant graft and corruption by corporate lobbyists in Washington.

Will his inexperienced opponent be able to resist? At a time like this, faced with an extremist and radical House, can we afford to not have someone who will stand up to the corporate wolves?

Besides, after 40 years of selfless public service, Representative Stark deserves to retire on his own terms. He should be able to personally select someone who will carry on his noble and good ideas for us in his district.

He only wants what you and I would want after a long and illustrious career. I recommend a vote for Pete Stark on Nov. 6.

David Siegel, Castro Valley



Won’t Support Zoo’s Measure A1 Because of

Admission Charges, Lack of Species


No on A1, because of the $12.50 for adults, $8.50 for kids, $7 for parking with a $500,000 profit last year.

Since the Zoo cannot clean up its own house, it wants the taxpayers to contribute for it!


Besides there are no elephants, camels, alligators and many other species to see. The petting zoo is a joke. There were so few animals and the goats were bigger than most of the children.

Besides all of that, they charged for the rides. They have enough money, just bad management.

Jack Gayle, Castro Valley



Says ‘Lies and Misinformation’ Being Used

Against Zoo Measure A1



I am a resident of Castro Valley, a member of the Oakland Zoo, and I have seen first-hand the amazing dedication of the zoo staff.

My children participate in Zoo Camp and attend Zoo School classes while on field trips.

The Oakland Zoo has helped to foster respect and appreciation for conservation and wildlife.


The zoo has given them a sense of compassion that they will carry with them forever.

Measure A1 is simple. It provides funding for education programming, animal care, and it will ensure that the Oakland Zoo can continue to keep its admission fees affordable. It includes an expenditure plan and an independent Citizen’s Oversight Committee.

Don’t get caught up in the lies and misinformation.  Read your voter information and vote Yes on Measure A1.

Kevin O’Dwyer, Castro Valley



Hopes Voters Don’t Buy ‘Deceptive, Scary and

Slanderous Propaganda of ‘No on 37’ Campaign



The recent “No on Prop. 37” mailer is really showing how desperate the pesticide companies are to kill this measure. The mailer’s headline reads: “Prop. 37 promoters have one thing on their mind” and then shows a photo of a wad of money on a bald guy’s head.


If we are going to point fingers at who really stands to profit the most, the biggest winners financially would be the pesticide companies if Prop. 37 fails to pass.

Genetically engineered foods are a very profitable business model for those that control the seeds as well as the pesticides used to spray on them. Monsanto’s third-quarter profits for 2011 were $680-million. They are also the biggest funders of the No on Prop. 37 campaign, donating over $7-million to defeat it.

I hope people are smart enough to not buy the deceptive, scary and slanderous propaganda of the No on Prop 37 campaign. It’s simple. We should have right to know what is in our food.

Camille Sauvé, Castro Valley




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