Letters
Letters • 01-22-15 PDF  | Print |  E-mail

An Open Letter to the SL City Council on Those Escalating Garbage Rates

Editor:

My ACI invoice of April 2012 was $56.53

My ACI invoice as of July 2012 increased to $59.64

My ACI invoice as of July 2013 increased to $62.18

And notice was recently mailed that the City has agreed to increase the fee yet again by 4.01%.

In less than 6 months in 2012 it was increased by approximately 5.02 percent. In less than a year it was increased approximately 4.5 percent. And now it is being increased  another 4.01 percent.

Total: In three years the ACI bill has increased between 13 and 14 percent.

The City Council has done the citizens of San Leandro a disservice with these preposterous prices.

I, as a single person, only put my garbage out for collection every other week and then I only fill them half way.  At work 12 hours a day, I do not generate much waste. There is no reduced waste plan for me and others with minimal use.

The waste contracts should go out for a truly competitive request for proposal and a public, transparent bidding process. As a City Council you have a fiduciary obligation to manage the public purse prudently, represent your citizens, and keep their rates low.

As managers of the public purse you have made San Leandro one of the most taxed and expensive cities in the nation to live in, according to many statistics.

Why has the Public Utilities Commission allowed these expensive rates to increase so drastically? It seems as though there is no government oversight of the San Leandro City Hall spendaholics.

The ACI increases are out of control. I’m truly flabbergasted.

— Theresa Gibbons, San Leandro



A Correlation Between BART Parking Rates and Ticketing?

Editor:

I think it’s not a coincidence that, as BART almost doubles the parking rate, BART Police begin nit-picking while issuing many more parking tickets around the BART Station.

My rear bumper was maybe 6 inches over the red curb ... maybe.  A word of warning.

— Roy W. Daniels, San Leandro



Says New Council Shows Little Support for Diversity

Editor:

Monday evening, Jan. 5, our new  mayor and city council members had their first opportunity to let their

constituents know their position on embracing the diversity of our great city as they voted for our next vice mayor.

I believe that all of them took a positive position on embracing the diversity of the city in their campaigns, and this  was the time for them to start building that reality. Every council member is qualified to be vice mayor and there is great diversity amongst them to choose from.

Along with diversity, they might have considered other things before they

decided who they felt could best represent our city as vice mayor, such as working well with others and availability to attend functions.

I would be surprised if any one of them would not work well with each other and I am confident that there are several, if not all of them, that would have extensive availability to attend functions. Though I am sure that our new mayor, who has committed to being a full-time mayor, should be able to attend most all functions and events.

Unfortunately for our diverse city, there was little support to embrace diversity on the council; so unfortunately, I anticipate little genuine  support to embrace the diversity of our city. In addition, I  hope that this simple vote is not the first  sign that  demonstrates they may be more concerned with their political career than what is best for our great city.

— Diana Souza, San Leandro



A Good Word for San Leandro Department of Public Works

Editor:

Kudos to the City of San Leandro’s Department of Public Works. Debbie Pollart and her department are very responsible to reports of areas needing cleaning up, burned out street light replacement and sports facility repair.

Great job. Thank you.

— Chuck Young, San Leandro



PETA: No Need to Shell Out Extra Money for Eggs

Editor:

With the price of eggs going up, some people are concerned about having to shell out extra money. But there’s no need: You can make great-tasting brownies, cookies, and cake, and even breakfast scrambles and “egg” salad, without cracking open a single egg.

Commercial egg replacers like Ener-G Egg Replacer and Beyond Eggs can easily be used in baked goods, or you can use one banana or 1/4 cup of applesauce in place of each egg in a recipe. You can also use flaxseeds — which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids — when making baked goods. One tablespoon of ground flaxseeds whisked in 3 tablespoons of water equals one egg.

Tofu is great for custardy dishes like quiches, puddings, and mousses. To replace one egg in a recipe, purée 1/4 cup of soft tofu. Tofu can also be used in eggless egg salad and breakfast scrambles.

Egg replacers are typically inexpensive, and foods made with egg replacers taste just like those made with chicken eggs—but they’re healthier and humane. And since vegan foods are cholesterol-free and generally low in fat, you also won’t have to shell out money for statins or blood pressure pills down the road. For more information and free egg-free recipes, visit www.PETA.org.

— Heather Moore, PETA Foundation, Norfolk, Virginia



Questions Electors’ Choice for Oro Loma Board

Editor:

After reading about Oro Loma

Sanitary District Boardmember Layton Landis’ latest brain lock I couldn’t help but wonder, who are the folks who keep voting for this bigot?

Why any sane voter would choose to keep voting for someone who is clearly living in some long passed era is a mystery.

— Vernon S. Burton, San Leandro


 
Letters • 01-15-15 PDF  | Print |  E-mail

An Open Letter to the SL City Council on Those Escalating Garbage Rates

Editor:

My ACI invoice of April 2012 was $56.53.

My ACI invoice as of July 2012 increased to $59.64.

My ACI invoice as of July 2013 increased to $62.18.

And notice was recently mailed that the City has agreed to increase the fee yet again by 4.01 percent.

In less than 6 months in 2012 it was increased by approximately 5.02 percent. In less than a year it was increased approximately 4.5 percent. And now it is being increased  another 4.01 percent.

Total: In three years the ACI bill has increased between 13 and 14 percent.

The City Council has done the citizens of San Leandro a disservice with these preposterous prices.

I, as a single person, only put my garbage out for collection every other week and then I only fill them half way.  At work 12 hours a day, I do not generate much waste. There is no reduced waste plan for me and others with minimal use.

The waste contracts should go out for a truly competitive request for proposal and a public, transparent bidding process. As a City Council you have a fiduciary obligation to manage the public purse prudently, represent your citizens, and keep their rates low.

As managers of the public purse you have made San Leandro one of the most taxed and expensive cities in the nation to live in, according to many statistics.

Why has the Public Utilities Commission allowed these expensive rates to increase so drastically? It seems as though there is no government oversight of the San Leandro City Hall spendaholics.

The ACI increases are out of control. I’m truly flabbergasted.

— Theresa Gibbons, San Leandro



 

A Correlation Between BART Parking Rates and Ticketing?

Editor:

I think it’s not a coincidence that, as BART almost doubles the parking rate, BART Police begin nit-picking while issuing many more parking tickets around the BART Station.

My rear bumper was maybe 6 inches over the red curb ... maybe.  A word of warning.

— Roy W. Daniels, San Leandro



 

Says New Council Shows Little Support for Diversity

Editor:

Monday evening, Jan. 5, our new  mayor and city council members had their first opportunity to let their constituents know their position on embracing the diversity of our great city as they voted for our next vice mayor.

I believe that all of them took a positive position on embracing the diversity of the city in their campaigns, and this  was the time for them to start building that reality. Every council member is qualified to be vice mayor and there is great diversity amongst them to choose from.

Along with diversity, they might have considered other things before they decided who they felt could best represent our city as vice mayor, such as working well with others and availability to attend functions.

I would be surprised if any one of them would not work well with each other and I am confident that there are several, if not all of them, that would have extensive availability to attend functions. Though I am sure that our new mayor, who has committed to being a full-time mayor, should be able to attend most all functions and events.

Unfortunately for our diverse city, there was little support to embrace diversity on the council; so unfortunately, I anticipate little genuine  support to embrace the diversity of our city. In addition, I  hope that this simple vote is not the first  sign that  demonstrates they may be more concerned with their political career than what is best for our great city.

— Diana Souza, San Leandro



 

A Good Word for San Leandro Department of Public Works

Editor:

Kudos to the City of San Leandro’s Department of Public Works. Debbie Pollart and her department are very responsible to reports of areas needing cleaning up, burned out street light replacement and sports facility repair.

Great job. Thank you.

— Chuck Young, San Leandro



PETA: No Need to Shell Out Extra Money for Eggs

Editor:

With the price of eggs going up, some people are concerned about having to shell out extra money. But there’s no need: You can make great-tasting brownies, cookies, and cake, and even breakfast scrambles and “egg” salad, without cracking open a single egg.

Commercial egg replacers like Ener-G Egg Replacer and Beyond Eggs can easily be used in baked goods, or you can use one banana or 1/4 cup of applesauce in place of each egg in a recipe. You can also use flaxseeds — which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids — when making baked goods. One tablespoon of ground flaxseeds whisked in 3 tablespoons of water equals one egg.

Tofu is great for custardy dishes like quiches, puddings, and mousses. To replace one egg in a recipe, purée 1/4 cup of soft tofu. Tofu can also be used in eggless egg salad and breakfast scrambles.

Egg replacers are typically inexpensive, and foods made with egg replacers taste just like those made with chicken eggs—but they’re healthier and humane. And since vegan foods are cholesterol-free and generally low in fat, you also won’t have to shell out money for statins or blood pressure pills down the road. For more information and free egg-free recipes, visit www.PETA.org.

— Heather Moore, PETA Foundation, Norfolk, Virginia



Questions Electors’ Choice for Oro Loma Board

Editor:

After reading about Oro Loma Sanitary District Boardmember Layton Landis’ latest brain lock I couldn’t help but wonder, who are the folks who keep voting for this bigot?

Why any sane voter would choose to keep voting for someone who is clearly living in some long passed era is a mystery.

— Vernon S. Burton, San Leandro


 
Letters • 01-08-15 PDF  | Print |  E-mail

A Thank-You Message from Mayor Stephen Cassidy

Thank you for providing me the privilege and honor to serve as your mayor. With your support, as well as the

incredible support of my wife Amy and children Fiona and Maeve, I dedicated myself to making our richly diverse city a more prosperous, tolerant, safe, and sustainable community for all San Leandrans.

In December 2010, shortly before I took office as mayor, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman wrote that for America “to thrive in the 21st Century” we must invest in education, infrastructure, and innovation, yet we could not lose sight of fiscal accountability. We need, Friedman advocated, “what I’d call ‘pay-as-you-go progressives’ — those who combine fiscal prudence with growth initiatives.”

I took Friedman’s commentary to heart and this is what the City Council, in coordination with the city manager and city staff, sought to achieve.

We balanced the budget each year and negotiated in good faith with city employees to curb rising pension costs which left unchecked threatened San Leandro’s long-term fiscal solvency.

With a balanced budget and a growing local economy, we restored the Cherry Festival, re-opened the Art and History Museum, began classes and programs at the Senior Community Center, and kept our libraries and community pools open.

We contributed funds to save San Leandro Hospital from closing and assisted the school district in purchasing property across from San Leandro High School for a new student health center.

We boosted funding for nonprofits like Davis Street and Building Futures that provide vital services to those in need in our community.

At the same time, we set the audacious goal of San Leandro becoming a new center of innovation in the San Francisco Bay Area, and made remarkable progress. Our high-speed fiber optic network, called Lit San Leandro, is bringing advanced manufacturing and other high tech businesses to San Leandro, creating quality jobs and generating revenue for the city to invest back into the community.

We wanted San Leandro to not only come strongly out of the Great Recession, but to achieve greater economic progress than neighboring cities.

Nearly five thousand new jobs have been created and

unemployment has dropped by more than half since the peak of the recession. Moreover, assessed property values have risen in San Leandro at a greater rate than all other cities in Alameda County, except for one city, since 2011.

Our economic progress has been noted by the news media. “This small town between Oakland and Hayward is coming out of the downturn like few places around, attracting tech startups, artists and brewers to a one-time traditional industrial hub,” the Mercury News reported.

We worked to enrich our city artistically by creating an Arts Commission, allocating funds for murals and “art wraps” on utility boxes, and requiring that public art be incorporated into new development projects.

Finally, we embraced and promoted San Leandro’s rich diversity in numerous ways, including celebrating major events of the members of our community to ensuring equal

opportunity in the hiring and promotion of all persons in city positions.

I see a bright future for San Leandro. The best days for our city are ahead of us. I look forward to supporting Mayor Pauline Cutter and the new City Council, as well as the trustees of the San Leandro and San Lorenzo Unified School Districts, in seeing our city continue to thrive.

I love San Leandro. It’s been the greatest honor of my professional life to serve as your mayor. Thank you again for providing me this honor.

Stephen Cassidy, Mayor of San Leandro, 2011-2014

 


An Invitation to Democrats to Vote on Saturday

Editor:

There is an important election taking place this Saturday. Local residents who are registered voters and members of the Democratic Party will be choosing our delegates to the state party. This election is taking place on January 10th at the Teamsters Local 70 office, 400 Roland Way, Oakland. Registration and voting begin at 11:00 am, and party members must arrive by 1:00 p.m..

I’m honored to be on the slate of seven women and seven men who are supported by our Assemblymember, Rob Bonta. Many good things have happened during our last delegate term. The state budget has been stabilized, which has restored funding to our schools and many other priorities while paying down our long-term debt.

Our local and state economy has improved substantially, with reduced unemployment and increased hiring. San Leandro and Alameda Hospitals have been saved as providers of emergency and other acute care hospital services at the same time that Kaiser has established a brand new hospital and clinics for its members. And, the Affordable Care Act had its largest implementation, with millions of Californians gaining health care access by gaining health insurance.

These took place with a state legislature which had Democratic caucus supermajorities helping restore a sane budget process.

All state constitutional offices are now held by Democrats, and our county and local officeholders are almost entirely Democrats.

There are still many challenges faced by our district, state and nation, however, and the next Democratic Party nominee for president will be selected during the term of these California Democratic Party delegates.

I ask all registered voters in our party to join us on Saturday and vote for

Assemblymember Bonta’s slate.

Thanks for participating and for working to create a healthier democracy!

— Doug Jones, San Leandro


 
Letters • 01-01-15 PDF  | Print |  E-mail

Times’ Headline Left Out an Important Word

Editor:

The headline of an article on page 2 of the December 18 Times reads

“Thousands March in Oakland to End Police Brutality.”  This comes across as if the police have been convicted of being brutal.

A better title would have been “Thousands March in Oakland to End Perceived Police Brutality,” or “Alleged Police Brutality.”

As the father of an Oakland policeman risking his life each day to keep Oakland safe, I would hope that the San Leandro Times is not anti-police!

— Ed Hubbard, San Leandro



A Resolution of Support for Law Enforcement

Editor:

New Year’s resolution: Support your local police department.

— Larry Arnold, San Leandro



A Resolution to Avoid Meat and Dairy Products

Editor:

It’s time for New Year’s resolutions, particularly those about our health. Although gun violence remains the leading cause of death among young people, our most dangerous weapon is still our fork. Forty-five times as many die of chronic diseases linked to a diet containing animal products, sugar, and salt.

Hardly a month goes by without another study linking consumption of animal products with obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers. No reputable study has ever shown an opposite result.

But times are changing. Hundreds of schools, colleges, hospitals, and corporate cafeterias, have embraced Meatless Monday. According to a Gallup poll, 22% of American consumers are avoiding meat and 12% are avoiding dairy products. Harris Interactive claims that 47% of American consumers are reducing consumption of animal products.

Accordingly, plant-based alternatives to meat and dairy products are growing explosively, propelled by investments from Microsoft, Paypal, and Twitter founders. Fast-food chains like Chipotle, Subway, and Taco Bell are rolling out vegan options.

Let this New Year’s resolution be about exploring the rich variety of plant-based entrees, lunch meats, cheeses, ice creams, and milks in our supermarket. The internet offers tons of recipes and transition tips.

— Dennis Roth, San Leandro


 
Letters • 12-25-14 PDF  | Print |  E-mail

122514let1

SEPTEMBER 21, 1897

We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:

122514let2Dear Editor —

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.” Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia O’Hanlon

115 West Ninety Fifth Street

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence.

We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! He lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

“Is There a Santa Claus?” reprinted from the September 21, 1897, number of The New York Sun.


 
Letters • 12-18-14 PDF  | Print |  E-mail

Honored to Serve the San Lorenzo School District

Editor:

I’d like to extend my gratitude to the voters for supporting and placing faith in me.

I took office on Tuesday, December 16th and was honored to be sworn into office by my close friend and newly- elected State Assemblyman, the Honorable Tony Thurmond (AD15).

I am excited, humbled, and honored to serve the community of the San Lorenzo Unified School District, and represent the needs of our families and children/students.

While I know that the hard work of getting elected is over for now, the “real” work began on Tuesday, December 16th at 4:30 p.m. when I took my oath for office.

As a mother of three children in our school district (Corvallis Elementary, Washington Manor Middle School, and Arroyo High School), I bring a much needed, new perspective to our school board. The perspective and “voice” it was lacking – that of a current family with students in our schools! I am most excited and honored to serve as the voice of families, the voice of our Latino families, and a direct connection to what’s happening in our schools.

And to Isabel PoIvorosa, thank you for your 12 years of service as a Trustee on the SLZUSD board!

— Janet Zamudio, San Leandro



Blames Administration for ‘Siding with Criminals’

Editor:

The advocates for the criminals of color are back, just when a 16-year-old girl from Oakland runs over a cop with a stolen car in San Leandro. During the 16 years that I lived in Oakland some 3,000 were killed, mostly by blacks. I never heard of a demonstration about these killings.

Cops aren’t armed to engage in fist fights with criminals in the streets, least of all with one that’d just committed a crime.

Actually, any person, whether cop or civilian who’s armed, can’t allow anybody with aggressive intentions to come closer than 10 feet for then he or she would be the victim of their own gun. On top of that, the referents for these demonstrations were resisting arrest.

I’m not against using violence against some targets during political demonstrations; the difference here is that these are riots to show solidarity with criminals. The vandalism, the looting of liquor stores and shoe stores show their true character. Their targets are anybody who crosses their way or drives on the freeways or any car that’s parked on the streets. Even a guy who tried to stop the looting was hit with a hammer in the head in Berkeley.

Barack Obama is the man responsible for inciting these kind of actions by siding with criminals when he sends Eric Holder to Missouri to tip the scale on their side. And it’s not only in Ferguson, but also in Florida, Oakland, Chicago, that this administration has come out overtly on the side of criminals; including illegals. Criminals feel encouraged to go on.

— Leo T. West, San Leandro



 
Letters • 12-11-14 PDF  | Print |  E-mail

Adult Day Care a ‘Necessity That Cannot Be Ignored’

Editor:

Since the Adult Day Care Center at St. Peter’s was closed down three years back, the Senior Commission has been looking for any organization to restart the Center.

Our City of San Leandro has amenities that  are needed for its residents – we have restaurants, churches, a spanking new hospital, a senior center, community center, malls, a shelter for the homeless, a beautiful marina, even a wonderful doggie park which our family dog Tikka enjoys, but no adult care center for its 13 percent senior residents.

Some of our residents suffer from alzheimers/dementia, strokes, diabetes and other debilitating illnesses. They are isolated and family members/caregivers are overwhelmed with their care. There is no respite for them.

An Adult Day Care is a necessity that cannot be ignored. Our neighboring city of Oakland has four Adult Care Centers (now called DayBreak Centers).

Organization like the Alzheimers Association of East Bay have shown interest in starting the Center if they could get a facility with reasonable rent. The facility should be around 5,000 square feet, have two bathrooms, a kitchen and will have to be ADA compliant. If anyone knows of such a facility, please email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Thanks.

— Bella Comelo, San Leandro



Calls for Police to Get Rid of ‘Trigger-Happy Cops’

Editor:

 Those folks calling for the end or suppression of protests and demonstrations, seem to forget what triggers these incidents. We  keep hearing about how tough and dangerous it is for the police. We also keep hearing how the protesters need to control the criminal element among their numbers.

Well how about the police ridding themselves of the racists and trigger-happy cops that hide among their ranks?

The last time I checked there was no draft for cops. If the job is too dangerous or stressful for you there is always barber college.

— Vernon Burton, San Leandro



Protests: Time to Try a Different Strategy

Editor:

Recently I was invited to participate in a march to protest the shooting of Michael Brown a Black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri by a police officer. Previously I was also invited to do the same for other shootings like Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida and Oscar Grant in Oakland.

Although we have taken to the streets shooting after shooting, these marches don’t seem to be doing much good since the shootings have not stopped.

I think we need a different strategy. Instead of marching in the streets, we should march to the schools and libraries and learn English, math and science and earn a high school diploma and a college degree. Then start businesses, create jobs and end poverty.

Since most of the people being shot are poor, once we end poverty we will probably be able to declare Ferguson Shooting Never Again.

— Elie Parker, San Leandro



Body Cameras Lead to Corrective Actions

Editor:

The massive public reaction to the tragic deaths of three black teens at the hands of white police officers has led to a national call for use of body cameras to record and prevent any future mistreatment of suspects.

There is ample precedent. Animal protection activists have used body cameras to document egregious atrocities and safety violations by workers in the meat, dairy, and egg industries. The resulting videos have led to a number of corrective actions, as well as felony convictions, meat recalls, and even a $500 million civil settlement.

How ironic then that agribusiness interests in seven states (Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, and Utah) have now enacted “ag-gag” laws imposing severe penalties for using body cameras in their agricultural facilities. The language is typically drafted by the anti-consumer American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

Let’s hope that other vested interests do not impose similar restrictions on the use of body cameras by law enforcement officers.

— Kurt Champler, San Leandro

 


SLz Schools Slow to Adopt Much Need Technology

Editor:

Recent Letters to the Editor have lauded the accomplishments of the SLZUSD Board, touting its ability to achieve its goals while maintaining a “rainy day” reserve in excess of what is required under state law and district charter.

While the SLZUSD has accomplished some notable capital and facilities improvements, other arguably more critical areas have been allowed to languish.

While Proposition O brought an infusion of much needed technology into our schools, the adoption of this technology has been slow and arduous, and many teachers are still unsure of how to best use these tools in the classroom.

SLZUSD’s arts, music and sports programs are left under- or un-funded, and only exist through the dedication of parents, teachers and students willing to devote the time and resources needed to keep these programs going. Since 2008, the district has consistently shortchanged the intellectual needs of its brightest students by refusing to devote resources to a Gifted and Talented (GATE) program.

The SLZUSD has been developing its Local Control Accountability Plan, part of the state’s plan to have school districts assume more local decision-making authority. Throughout the first phase of the LCAP process, SLZUSD parents and students consistently rated enrichment programs such as the arts and music, science and technology, foreign languages, and GATE programs, along with culturally and linguistically responsive services, as the highest priorities of the district.

The high priority placed on these services has not been adequately synthesized into SLZUSD’s LCAP as it currently stands.

Effective leadership and good governance is a delicate balancing act that requires more than simply an unwavering commitment to a particular vision of conservative fiscal stewardship. The SLZUSD board and administration are public servants, and they must be open to listening and responding to the needs and wishes of the community they serve.

— Stacy Sterling, San Leandro


 
Letters • 12-04-14 PDF  | Print |  E-mail

BearCat Vehicle Money Could Be Used More Productively

Editor:

I think San Leandro citizens should take a look at the BearCat Medevac truck before the decision is made to authorize its purchase.

It is my understanding that East Bay Regional Parks has a similar vehicle, which is located at the Park headquarters above Lake Chabot Marina, and that this vehicle could be used by San Leandro first responders in an emergency situation.

My thought is that this area only needs one such armored truck and that the grant money could be used in a much more productive way.

— Judith McGough, San Leandro



Purchase of BearCat Vehicle Needs More Study

Editor:

While it will be nice to see a Lenco BearCat MedEvac, it is better to “study up” on this equipment. The city council and mayor will be voting on the acquisition. Preparation should help them avoid a “Gee, I didn’t know it could do this” moment, like what happened with the security cameras. A 15-minute Google  search is sufficient.

Pro side, go to www.lencoarmor.com for plenty of “news” articles on the advantages of BearCats. Note: The Home Page has a Build Your Own BearCat menu. The MedEvac’s page states that it meets the combined requirements of SWAT and Tactical EMS teams. Among the features are a roof hatch, a gunner’s stand and gun ports.

Will the next procurement be for something to stick out the gun ports?

Con side, below are a few of the sites:

www.mydailynews.com (a mixed pro & con article) “Leftover armored trucks from Iraq coming to local police agencies.”  Note: Military surplus sales exist, but it appears that BearCats are purchased new.

www.motherjones.com  “The Making of the Warrior Cop” by Shane Bauer. In the 10/29/14 broadcast of Democracy Now! (www.democracynow.org) Bauer discusses the Urban Shield [military/police] convention in Oakland (www.urbanshield.org).

www.cato.org  “Police Militarization in Ferguson – and Your Town.”

www.whowhatwhy.com  “Police State Gears Up” States “... Ohio Sate University police got ... one, saying it would provide a ‘police presence’ at the football stadium.”

When did a firefight occur in San Leandro? How many of the “usual” crimes in San Leandro, e.g. murders,  robberies, home invasions, etc., would a BearCat prevent or solve?

Is gang, ethnic, racial, or class war on the horizon? If so, the time to act is now, before we need an armored truck to deal with the situation. Militarizing the San Leandro police isn’t answer. There are better uses of $200,000.

— Jeff Sturm, San Leandro

 


SL Schools Don’t Need Extra Police Officers

Editor:

The San Leandro school board has heard dissenting public comment at the last two November 2014 meetings concerning a proposal to add two police officers called “SROs” to SLUSD staff for the next 4 years. There is an upcoming vote whether the school board (not the City) should pay the $1.7 million total cost.

The two existing officers at schools currently budgeted by the city are sufficient for the district’s needs. Apparently, the federal government offered a temporary incentive regarding additional officers as a carrot, but if accepted, the city will need to pay the salaries of the SRO’s at $133,000 per year each (times) 4 years.

San Leandro schools are institutions for greater learning. Police presence often invites problems and is not a positive model. The real budget issue is below-average academic performance. We should fund programs that help students succeed (and avoid crime) like music (which was recently cut for a while).

Our schools need qualified counselors, and they need to retain and attract valuable teachers. I went to Bancroft and SLHS in the 1970s (and got my Presidential Physical Fitness Award from Nixon), and I don’t recall any militarization at school.

The school board is not the entity to budget security. The school board and city must decline this proposal. It is not within the scope of education and not affirming to students or the future of the community.

— Lorie Beall, San Leandro

 


The Rain’s a Blessing, but the Need to Save Water Continues

Editor:

It is a blessing to finally have some rain during this California drought, but we must keep it mind that this shower won’t simply wash away our problems. No, it will take more than Mother Nature alone to recover from this drought.

It’s at times like these when we need to be the most aware of our water consumption, and where we can cut corners in water usage. I have some simple ideas that can help reduce water usage if many people employ them.

First, taking shorter showers can lower tons of water consumption. If everyone cut back on their shower time by simply 5 minutes, imagine how many gallons of water is saved between 5, 10, or even 100 people!

Second, plenty of water can be saved during lawn care. Watering plants at night when it is cool avoids the water from being evaporated. Furthermore, instead of using wasteful sprinklers, manually watering plants and grass will more efficiently spread water into the roots of grass and plants. Sprinklers tend to use more water than necessary, do not always reach every part of the lawn, and anyone who has walked past a soaked sidewalk knows how much water isn’t hitting the lawn. If one waters grass manually, it can be ensured that every drop reaches its destination!

Finally, if one is willing to make the investment, home improvements such as dual flush toilets, solar water heaters, and greywater systems will save money by reducing water usage in the long run. In general, investing in environmentally friendly infrastructure benefits one’s economic interest because by reducing energy usage, it reduces the money spent on energy.

If everyone pitches in just a little bit, recovering from this drought will be no sweat!

— Randy Fraters Jr., San Leandro



Proud of Her 12 Years on San Lorenzo School Board

Editor:

Twelve years ago, the San Lorenzo Unified School District Board of Education, with Arnie Glassberg as superintendent, established eight Small Learning Communities. The voters passed the Measure E school bond. It established a partnership with Dell computers that put 5,000 laptop computers in our classrooms, built a new science lab at the high schools, new gymnasiums, and music rooms, much needed library improvements at all the schools and added technology infrastructure at each school.

After Mr. Glassberg retired, Dr. Dennis Byas led us in passing the Measure O school bond, where we renovated the fields at the middle and high schools, made traffic and parking improvements and upgraded safety conditions.

Science labs were built in the middle schools, the digital arts lab was built at San Lorenzo High School and a library was built at Hillside School. Solar panels installed at all sites saved the district a tremendous amount of money.

After Dr. Byas retired, Dr. Fred Brill, after only a year on the job, has continued with renovation and modernization of all schools and hired more personnel for the district.

I would like to thank the voters of San Lorenzo and San Leandro for allowing me to serve you for the last twelve years. I enjoyed working with all the school board members and my three superintendents. I am most proud that we, as a board, were able to keep our school district fiscally sound, and still be able to give raises to our personnel, small raises, but still a raise.

I loved being chair of the Eden Area ROP board, the program that gives our students great career choices. Working with Irene Fuji and Linda Granger has been as wonderful as the program itself. And to Janet Zamudio, congratulations on winning your race. You are going to be a fine asset to the board.

Thanks for a great ride, we did a lot of good things.

— Isabel Polvorosa, San Leandro



Suggest Use of National Guard to End Destructive Protest Demonstrations

Editor:

Any family that loses a member naturally is heart broken, especially parents.

Those who represent and preach civil rights should try to preach peaceful means of solving problems, not add fuel to the fire. Destroying people’s businesses and setting fires definitely is not the answer.

Why not use the National Guard, along with the police force to protect people’s businesses? As we’ve seen, when the National Guard move in, things calm down and arrests are made.

— Earl Cava, San Leandro



PG&E Safety Tips for Stringing Those Holiday Lights

Editor:

Many families will be lighting their homes and businesses for the holiday season over the next few days. PG&E recommends that customers follow these safety tips:

•Avoid electric hazards. Before climbing ladders to string outdoor lights, check for overhead power lines nearby, especially in trees. Contact can be fatal.

•Prevent fire hazards. Avoid overloading extension cords and wall sockets by limiting the number of light strings you connect. Inspect holiday lights for frayed wires, broken sockets or other signs of wear. Don’t place cords under rugs or furniture where they can overheat. Turn off decorative lights, indoors and outdoors, when leaving home or going to bed.

•Go LED. Light-emitting diodes are shatterproof and produce almost no heat, making them safe to touch and greatly reducing the risk of fire. As an added bonus, they consume 75 percent less energy and last up to 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs, helping you save money this holiday season.

Have a happy and safe holiday season!

— Laura Wetmore, Pacific Gas and Electric Company


 
Letters • 11-13-14 PDF  | Print |  E-mail

SL High Failing to Showcase Work of Shop Students

Editor:

Having spoken to high school students at our high school, at the 7-11, and on the street, I can tell you that we have students today who don’t know shop classes are even offered.

Back in 1970, I started at San Leandro High, walked in the front door and looked into a showcase that held shop projects that were made by students, things I would be able to make.

Wow, I get to do that, make things. Fast forward to 2014, we now graduate students with no skills, and then the parents will pay upwards of $18,000 to send them to a technical school to learn things they could have learned in high school.

You walk into the same school today and there is no showcase. Why? No one knows. It’s filled with plywood and sheet rock.

Students who take shop classes today don’t have a place to showcase their work so other students can see what’s available – what they too can create. It’s unsettling and tragic. Industrial art should be a prerequisite, not an elective.

Maker fairs are very popular right now and there’s a reason for that. Robotics is popular too. Even the Boy Scouts will teach you how to re-screen a door.

The California Teachers Association, and anyone else who is influential in the education in this country, should be taken to task for not seeing this as a No. 1 priority. But it won’t happen, because we are not creating opportunities for shop teachers to be fast tracked into the shop programs.

Shame on us.

— Larry Arnold, San Leandro



Souza Congratulates San Leandro’s Election Winners

Editor:

When one makes the decision to enter a political race, there is a passion and excitement for San Leandro, a vision of what we see for San Leandro and how we want to be a part of making that happen.

The decision is made with eyes wide open, knowing that in the end there will only be one person on top with the most votes.

January 1, 2015 brings new passion, excitement and vision to City Hall.

I would like to congratulate Pauline Cutter, Mayor elect. Along with all the Councilmembers elect – Deborah Cox, District No. 1; Lee Thomas, District No. 3; and Corina Lopez, District No. 5.

I would also like to acknowledge the many candidates that stepped up and ran for office in San Leandro; Dan Dillman, Gregg Daly, Ken Pon, Mike Katz-Lacabe, David Anderson, Victor Aguilar, Allen Schoenfeld, Leah Hall, and Mia Ousley. We are a City of engaged residents! The diversity of positions, culture and vision become the strength of San Leandro.

I would like to thank all those who supported me and invested in my campaign. While we did not win the race, we know that we ran a race we could be  proud of,  with integrity  and commitment for all San Leandrans. Our voice will continue.

Thank you for the opportunity and the experience of having served as your District No. 3 Councilmember for the past 8 years. It has been a grand journey. I look forward to the next journey that these experiences lead me on, as my passion and excitement for San Leandro continues.

— Diana Souza, San Leandro



Lopez Thanks Supporters for Her Council-Seat Victory

Editor:

No words can really describe the immense gratitude I have for all the effort and countless hours that people have contributed toward my election to the San Leandro City Council.

This historic victory represents many years of loyal support by so many people who have given me so much. To my supporters, volunteers, endorsers, and financial contributors, I thank you very much for enabling me to share my message with the voters. San Leandro is a wonderful community, and I am grateful to you for giving me the confidence of your vote.

I cherish the time I have served as your trustee on the San Leandro Unified school board. I am committed to serving as your councilmember to the best of my ability. Thank you for believing in me.

— Corina Lopez, San Leandro



Sheridan ‘Humbled’ by Support at the Ballot Box

Editor:

I am humbled by the overwhelming show of support at the ballot box. Thank you San Leandro for choosing me as the candidate to help create better schools for our children.

I first want to thank my family for their support through this campaign, especially my daughter for being my inspiration to run. I also want to thank Hermy Almonte for putting me on the right path, my manager Jose Perez for his support and hard work, and all of the volunteers that helped with my campaign.

Thank you to the SLTA, CSEA, Alameda Labor Council, Alameda Democratic Party, the Hayward Demos and the supporters from City Hall, Mayor Cassidy, Jim Prola and Michael Gregory.

A thank you is also in order for Lance James, Ron Carey, Vince Rosato, Diana Prola and Corina Lopez of the SLUSD School Board for their support as well. I would also like to thank all my contributors that believed in me, Ruth, Betsy and Jeanne at San Leandro Color for their flexibility and contribution, and everyone from San Leandro Unified who took the time to meet with me.

Finally, I would like to thank everyone at James Monroe for their support. We have such an awesome community there and I want to do my part in making it even better.

In just a few short weeks, it will be time to roll up my sleeves and get to work. I look forward to serving you and our community. Thank you again.

— Leo Sheridan, San Leandro



Inquiring Reporter Lambasted for Freeway Question

Editor:

Last week’s question:  Do the freeways ever worry you?

What does that mean? Does the freeway jump up and bite cars on a random basis? Does the freeway leak oil? What could a freeway do that would worry me? The San Leandro Times for lack of a better word is a newspaper. So tell me, how is it the “journalist” (visualize air quotes please) who works at the newspaper, can ask this particular question with zero regard for grammar, syntax, or context?

Please do better... there are people reading!

— Diana Cohn, San Leandro


 
Letters • 11-06-14 PDF  | Print |  E-mail

Asks: What Planet has John Jermanis Been Living On?

Editor:

Former city manager, John Jermanis, bemoaning that the city does not have the resources for the streets, etc., is rich! What planet has he been living on or is he that consumed in his own avarice?

CALPERS does not make enough on their investment port-folio to cover the city’s pension obligations to him and the other retirees. The city is responsible for the shortfall each year. The shortfalls have been massive. Resources for these wonderful projects have to be reallocated to cover this open ended  pension liability. It is only going to get worse as others retire. Your readers should know how extravagant and excessive these pensions are to the city and taxpayers.

According to the CALPERS $100K club website, the top 27 city retirees, receive  combined pension payments of $3,560,545.68 per year.

Mr. Jermanis has the distinction of receiving the largest city pension of $19,020 per month or $634 per day.

In his letter, does he not advocate that those on fixed incomes or low wage earners should pay just a little more? For what reason? To insure the city has resources for worthwhile projects or that the city has enough to cover their pension shortfall obligation to him and others? I’ll go with the latter.

— Mary Josephs, San Leandro

 


 

Upset Over Big ‘Gun Show’ Billboards In Unincorporated Alameda County

 

Editor:

Our Bay Area contains some little unincorporated areas called Cherryland, Ashland (sometimes called Eden Area), some parts of Hayward, and even Castro Valley.

These communities have enormous billboards looming over them. Lately, these billboards have had neon yellow-green (the same yellow-green used on school crossing signs) with the enormous words “GUN SHOW” emblazoned upon them.  These billboards are mostly in areas that have not seen their share of community upgrades.

Maybe we who live in these places are mostly low income, so we won’t object, or maybe we are just a better market for guns...

We have not seen these signs in Fremont or Piedmont or Pleasanton, but hey – they don’t have ugly billboards do they?

These things are in our faces every time we take our kids to school.  They are just a few blocks away from the new Ashland Youth Center, and they are just across Mission from several churches.

We have talked to county supervisors, school superintendents – even sheriffs’ deputies and police – they all expressed concern, but are flaccid in their ability to do anything: “It’s a free speech issue, you know ...”

Free speech? What about our children’s right to life? What about our right to life free of intimidation from gun violence? What about our right to a safe community where – when we look up – we don’t see that we are in the cross-hairs of some enormous billboard gun site.

Is this whole beautiful county just existing under the oppression of the N.R.A.? Are we so unimaginative that we can only think of guns as the way to protect ourselves and solve our problems?

We can live in communities where we are not afraid, and where we take care of each other. We don’t need guns – or the billboards that advertise them. (Somehow, they are not allowed to advertise alcohol or tobacco near schools – but guns are fine? There is a sick irony here.)

So shoot me. It would be the expected and cowardly response toward someone who questions this culture of violence. But I do believe we can find a better way, and that most of us do want to live in peaceful communities.

— Rebecca Wiebe, Hayward

 


 

The Need for Career Technical Education in High Schools

 

Editor:

National educational policy is keeping poor people poor. Sociologists study poverty and provide all kinds of data citing teenage pregnancy, crime, prostitution and domestic abuse as representations of poverty, but doesn’t discuss how educational policy causes poverty in the first place. Poverty must be resolved at its root cause.

The fundamental root cause was the establishment of well-meaning college prep curriculum in our high schools with the general elimination of career technical education, i.e., physical skills development such as wood, metal, auto and home economics shops. College prep courses crowded out high school shops and when youngsters failed college prep courses they were and are left with no job preparation whatsoever.

Thirty percent of high school students, almost a million a year, drop out of high school. Seventy percent will not graduate from college. Only 23 percent of the jobs in America require a college degree. All true.

For a healthier society, perhaps career technical education should be the default high school curriculum, not the college prep curriculum. Community colleges cannot take on this responsibility. Job preparation not college prep education must be required for young people when we have them in a captive setting – high school.

We must help prevent poverty by providing job preparation for our youth. We are the only civilized country that does not require career technical education at the high school level. Your child may be a natural genius at using his or her hands to make things. Their future may be in cabinetry and furniture-making, metal fabrication, building/repairing cars, designing clothing, etc. How do we know? Would we rather see our children fail college only to take a minimum wage job or two?

Insist on giving each child the choice and opportunity he or she deserves.

— Peggy A. Heubel, San Leandro


 
Letters • 10-30-14 PDF  | Print |  E-mail

CORRECTION:

A mistake in the headline of a letter last week erroneously gave the impression that City Council candidate Leah Hall supported the armored vehicle for the police department. But Hall, in fact, opposes the armored vehicle, as her letter below points out. The Times regrets the error.

 

Use of Military Equipment Creates a Divide, Not Trust

Editor:

The people of San Leandro deserve to know the truth about candidates wanting to serve them.

Unfortunately, there was an error in a letter written by a reader and published on Oct. 23 regarding my views on police militarization. This has created an irrevocable impression in the minds of readers that is opposite to the truth of my strong support of community policing.

I am opposed to the action of our city acquiring military-grade equipment, including the armored personnel carrier currently under consideration. This proposal goes against the grain of everything organizers are striving to accomplish in the Durant Neighborhood – building trust, community and meaningful social connection.

We are working with our city officials and local businesses on both sides of the municipal border to make our neighborhoods livable and improve public safety for everyone.

As your councilmember, I will listen to all sides of the issue and push for a vigorous public debate on the question; and, in the end, make decisions that reflect the priorities of residents. I understand that there is a high burden of proof on the part of police departments and city officials to demonstrate the need for this type of equipment in our neighborhoods as well as providing full disclosure of its actual cost to taxpayers. In addition, I ask that our city council work collaboratively to urge our neighboring city officials to weigh the negative impacts or perceived positive outcomes at our shared border areas. Though defensive equipment designed for military use may be seen as useful in suburban and urban environments by some, it creates a divide and our shared goal needs to be building community trust.

— Leah Hall, San Leandro, Candidate, City Council District 5



Supports Hall: Energy, Ideas

 

Editor:

I have lived In San Leandro for 45-plus years. I went to San Leandro schools, Roosevelt, Bancroft Middle School and San Leandro High. I am now a proud retiree of Teamsters local 70, a truck driver for 37 years, and a proud member of the Durant Avenue Task force.

Leah Hall has an untiring devotion to our community. I watched her organize the national night out for Durant Avenue Leah got Oakland and San Leandro to close Durant Avenue for this event, which I thought was impossible. 

She is always thinking of ways to help Durant Ave Task force. She is full of energy and good ideas. Leah Hall would be a great city council member. She is always thinking of ways to improve our community. Most of all she loves San Leandro as we all do.

— John Davis, San Leandro



 

City’s ‘Omissions’ in HH Mailer an ‘Attempt to Circumvent Democracy’

 

Editor:

I would like to thank you for the article “City Mailer: Information or campaign literature?” (Page One, The Times, Oct. 23).

You point out the differences between the two, and the questionable nature of the funding that produced the mailers.

I would also like to take this opportunity to second the concerns expressed by Justin Jelinic in the “Opinion” section of the same edition. Mr. Jelincic points out the deliberate omissions made by the writers of what City Attorney Richard Pio Roda calls an “absolutely informational” mailer.

Thomas Jefferson is credited with saying “An informed citizenry is indispensable to democracy,”

The deliberate omissions by the writers of the pro HH mailers are a blatant attempt to circumvent that democracy. Lies of omission are lies nonetheless. By their attempts to deceive the citizenry, our city’s leaders have betrayed us and have effectively destroyed any remaining trust the citizens might have held in them. I can only hope that the partial “regime change” about to take place will allow the lost feeling of trust in our leaders to return.

— Stephen Carbonaro, San Leandro



 

Supports HH: Funds Essential Services, Provides for Maintaining Infrastructure

 

Editor:

San Leandro residents and businesses cannot rely on federal and state financial assistance to maintain City services. We need to take care of ourselves to protect the quality of life in San Leandro that we value and enjoy.

The City has no source of revenue to pay for the repair and replacement of aging facilities and deteriorating streets. That is why the City Council placed Measure HH on the ballot for the November 4 election. Measure HH will continue the 1/4% sales tax used to pay

for current City services and provide an additional 1/4% that can be used to restore lost services and pay for the repair and renovation of facilities and infrastructure.  The funds raised by Measure HH cannot be taken away by the State.

Measure HH accomplishes two vital City needs. First, it continues the current level of funding for essential City services. Second, it provides a new long-term resource that can be used to finance the cost of maintaining and updating City facilities and infrastructure.

The City has a pressing need to invest in major capital improvement projects for libraries, parks and streets. Everyone recognizes residential streets have to be repaired and resurfaced.

Protect our quality of life in San Leandro by continuing the financial support needed for Police, Fire, Library, Recreation and other City services. Vote “YES” on Measure HH.

— John J. Jermanis, San Leandro, City Manager (Ret.)



 

Some Alternatives to Tax Increases

 

Editor:

Do our taxes have to go up again, and for 30 years, if we hope to continue providing basic city services? No, because an alternate revenue stream is available if we get the bloated payrolls and pensions enjoyed by City Hall employees under control.

Call it the program of the three PRs:

Pension Reform: unpaid overtime, vacation time, and time off don’t count. All are capped at 160 hours each, payable in one lump sum on retirement day. Retirement benefits themselves are calculated at 80% of the average of the last five year’s salary paid by the city. If you come here from somewhere else and retire after two years, those other three years count as zero for benefits calculation.

Performance Reviews: with more than one third of City Hall employees taking in more than $100,000 a year, it’s time we make sure we are getting our money’s worth. Performance reviews – corporate style – from top to bottom will tell us if an employee’s duties and performance warrant the salary we’re paying them. If they aren’t measuring up, salary is cut to a level commensurate with performance, not years on the job.

Payroll Realignment: No matter what the salary level, an honest effort must be made to ensure that salaries are also in line with other cities in the state. Not just the Bay Area cities, or the most populous, but each positions’ wages are based on the average of what every city in the state pays for that same position, including Coalinga and Gonzales.

These three programs, if implemented effectively and immediately, will free up an untold amount of taxpayer revenues that can be applied to basic city services and restore our finances without having to squeeze the taxpayers yet again - this time for thirty years.

— Allan Lindsay-O’Neal, San Leandro



What and Who the Sierra Club Endorses

 

Editor:

As the Chair of the Northern Alameda County Group of the Sierra Club, I write to address some confusion that may have arisen as a result of a “Green Slate” mailer with which we are not affiliated.

The sole endorsements that the Club has made in San Leandro this year are:  Alameda County Measure BB, Pauline Cutter for Mayor, and Corina Lopez for San Leandro City Council, District 5.

The Sierra Club supports Measure BB because of the amount of funding that is allocated to bicycle, pedestrian, and public transit improvements that will incentivize greener modes of transportation within and around Alameda County.

We also support  Measure BB because it will fund enhanced paratransit services, provide funds to restore some of the AC Transit bus routes and stops that have been previously cut due to the recession, and a much needed free youth bus pass for working Bay Area families.

We are also impressed with the overall environmental commitment of both Pauline Cutter and Corina Lopez – especially their commitment to affordable housing for a variety of income levels and family sizes that is built close to the public transit.

Should Measure BB pass, both of these candidates recognize the importance of including a complete streets approach and investing in sidewalk and bicycle path expansion alongside of road repair and maintenance.

For a more walkable, bikeable, and transit-accessible San Leandro, the Sierra Club urges you to vote for Measure BB, Pauline Cutter for Mayor, and Corina Lopez for Council, District 5.

— Olga A. Bolotina, SF Chapter, Northern Alameda County Sierra Club



 

Cox Called ‘Absolute Asset’ as District 1 Councilmember

 

Editor:

Deborah Cox will be an absolute asset to the San Leandro City Council District 1. Her many years of service to San Leandro include Chair of San Leandro Human Services Commission, President of Political Action Committee for Excellence (PACE), Co-founder and President of San Leandro Education Foundation (SLED), President of Estudillo Estates Homeowners Association, and many other committees.

Also, I strongly recommend Isobel Dvorsky for Chabot-Las Positas Community College Board of Trustees, Dan Walters and Howard Kerr for Oro Loma Sanitary District, Evelyn Gonzalez for San Leandro School Board, and either Diana Souza or Pauline Cutter for Mayor of San Leandro – both are well qualified.

— Al Frates, San Leandro



 

Vote for Schoenfeld ‘to Get Things Accomplished’

 

Editor:

As election time is less than one week away, San Leandro has to make a lot of important decisions.

We have to elect not only a new mayor but three new city council members, as I am running for one of those positions. I would like to make sure everyone gets out to vote on November 4th and express how you feel about the issues in San Leandro.

Having lived in San Leandro for over 40 years, I feel San Leandro is at the crossroads for new leadership that will lead us in the right direction. San Leandro has issues such as Public Safety, Street Repair, and what to finally decide what to do with the San Leandro Marina.

I promise that a vote for Allen Schoenfeld for San Leandro City Council District 3 will be a vote you can count on to get things accomplished.

— Allen Schoenfeld, San Leandro, Candidate City Council District 3



 

Lopez: ‘Track Record, Broad Range of Endorsements’

 

Editor:

I’m running for San Leandro City Council because I’m committed to making San Leandro into a vibrant and thriving community.

On the Council, I will provide a strong voice, pushing to make public safety a top priority; promote economic opportunity and job creation; and improve roads, parks, libraries and senior services.

I am committed to working collaboratively with our school districts to promote student achievement. My aim is to make San Leandro a better place for all.

To do this, I think the City Council needs to stay focused on the big picture prioritizing the day-to-day issues that affect all San Leandrans. It is important not to be caught up in the issue of the day but to instead focus on the wide range of issues that impact our entire community.

As an elected official, I know that to be successful in implementing plans, one must work with a broad group of stakeholders, listening to concerns, and then implementing policy for the good of all. By working together, my colleagues and I on the School Board have lowered the computer-to-student ratio from 40:1 to 2:1 in just two years. I’m very proud of the strides we’ve taken towards transforming San Leandro’s schools into a model for 21st-century learning.

Because of my proven track record, I’m proud to have a broad range of endorsers throughout the community.

I’ve earned the sole endorsements of Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett, Senator Loni Hancock, Assemblymember Rob Bonta, Supervisor Wilma Chan, the Alameda County Democratic Party, the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce PAC, San Leandro’s teachers and firefighters, the Sierra Club, and many others.

You can read more about my campaign at www.corinalopez.com.  You may also contact me directly at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . I would be honored to have your vote.

— Corina Lopez, San Leandro, Candidate for City Council District 5



 

Retiring Oro Loma Director Recommends Walters

 

Editor:

I wish to express my thanks to the voters for giving me the privilege of serving the past 20 years on the board of directors of the Oro Loma Sanitary District. It has been a pleasure, and our board has served you well in creating and maintaining a most efficient public agency.

I will be leaving Oro Loma in December this year, and I strongly recommend voters to mark their ballots for Dan Walters to be a new board member at Oro Loma.

Mr. Walters knows Oro Loma and has demonstrated a great interest in all phases of its operations and facilities, and possesses great knowledge of the industry. Dan’s the man for Oro Loma.

 

Dan Walters is a successful business owner and operator in San Leandro, is active in local and regional affairs, is past president of the Chamber of Commerce, and currently is an active member of the board of directors of the California Small Business Association, a statewide organization representing business owners.

 

I recommend Oro Loma customers to give Dan Walters your vote, and to also vote for the two incumbents Becker and Kerr to be retained on the board for continuity.

— Frank V. Sidari, San Leandro



 

Supports Cutter for Mayor: ‘Untiring Dedication, Always Accessible’

 

Editor:

I am proud to support Pauline Cutter in her candidacy for Mayor of San Leandro.

As District 5 Councilmember, she has served the residents and the City with untiring dedication and is always accessible to the public. She cares about San Leandro’s future, our neighborhoods, our quality of life issues, and researches the facts before she makes a decision.

While she won’t always tell us what we want to hear, her decisions are fair and unswayed by politics, special interests or a personal agenda.

— Gayle Hudson, San Leandro


 
Letters • 10-23-14 PDF  | Print |  E-mail

Pauline Cutter ‘The Only Intelligent Choice for Mayor’

Editor:

As the owner of a longtime family small business in San Leandro, I am acutely aware of the importance of having a City government that supports and encourages business with actions as well as words.

That is precisely why I am supporting Pauline Cutter for Mayor of San Leandro. She values and respects the efforts and the role that all businesses play in crafting the success filled future of San Leandro.

San Leandro has made great economic progress in four years due to Pauline Cutter’s leadership on the City Council. Thanks to her support on key issues such as the business license fee holiday and expansion of the free LINKS shuttle to the new Kaiser hospital and the industrial area of the City, we have a climate where new, well paying jobs and our local economy can thrive.

Pauline is supported in her campaign for Mayor by a huge number of business leaders, property owners, and community activists, She is an active listener, a consensus builder, a fiscal conservative, and has pledged to be a full-time Mayor.

It takes a unique candidate to unite the Chamber of Commerce, Building Construction & Trades Council and the Alameda Labor Council in support of her candidacy. Like many of us, they have concluded that Pauline best represents San Leandro’s business and working families.

I have known Pauline for over 30 years. We met when our children attended Broadmoor Preschool together. The way you campaign for office is a strong indication of how you’ll govern in office. I know that honesty and integrity are an important part of her core values, and I also know that her campaign reflects those values.

I believe that Pauline Cutter is the only intelligent choice for Mayor.

— Lawrence Allphin, Owner Allphin Jewelers, San Leandro



Souza for Mayor, or ‘History Will Repeat Itself’

Editor:

I recently received an interesting mailer from Mayor Cassidy endorsing Pauline Cutter for mayor. They have the same mind, having cast their votes for the marijuana dispensary, while claiming to have the best interests for the good of San Leandro.

It seems they are quite taken with themselves, Mayor Cassidy’s constant use of “I did this, I did that” speaks volumes.

Why not vote for Diana Souza? She has the best interests and love for San Leandro. The police endorse Diana Souza. We have enough crime. A church in San Leandro has become a dumping ground for local pot growers – 12 cases of butane so far and the pot club isn’t even open yet.

Please vote and remember, history will repeat itself without positive change. Vote for Diana Souza who truly cares for a better San Leandro. Otherwise we may have marijuana dispensaries by the time Pauline Cutter leaves office. Maybe her Southern California contributions will help fund it.

— Pat Eisfeld, San Leandro



Souza’s ‘Accomplishment’ on Restaurants Questioned

Editor:

Diana Souza lists an accomplishment on her flier, “Brought New Shopping and Dining Opportunities to town” that I seriously question.

Dining to me means Paradiso and Horatios’.  Our city has zero new dining options in this category in 8 years. What we do have is a new chain-store wings place and pending chain-burrito, coffee, and burger places coming to downtown.

In my opinion, this is not really something to boast about. These offerings, except for the wings place maybe, just compete with local’s like Los Pericos, Englander, and Cafe Sorriso in the downtown core. That’s not a growth model. It is dividing the pie not making it bigger.

I also don’t see any new shopping opportunities in the downtown core. There are storefronts years empty on one side of E. 14th while the Lucky’s land deal was meant to bring new options across the street.

After the Grocery Outlet (a victory claimed by Souza) was pushed out the core we get a new (surprise!) CVS, two pending large vacant spaces, and a huge loss of cash on the deal. Perhaps instead of the NIMBY driven “Blocked” crematorium the city could have offered the East Bay at least this new shopping option, collected the sales taxes and be one step closer to not needing HH.

I am sure Diana and other city representative work hard and maybe she will make a great mayor. As for eating out and shopping, our city’s options did not get significantly better over the last 8 years. The new mayor and council should really recognize that revenue comes from increasing the variety and volume of commerce not dividing it up and moving it around.

— John Clouston, San Leandro



Souza, Hall Scored for Support of ‘Police Militarization’

Editor:

At the Oct. 16 candidate forum I asked all candidates for Mayor and City Council the same question: “Will you vote against the City acquiring an armored personnel carrier?”

Only five candidates said they would vote against the armored vehicle:  Mike Katz-Lacabe (running for District 1), Victor Aguilar and Allen Schoenfeld (D3), Mia Ousley (D5) and Dan Dillman (Mayor).

Diana Souza (running for Mayor) and Corina Lopez (D5) support the SLPD acquiring the armored vehicle. The rest of the candidates dodged the question.

At least on this one matter, voters’ choices are clear. If you favor police militarization, Souza and Lopez are your gals. If you oppose it, then vote for Katz-Lacabe, Aguilar or Schoenfeld, Ousley and Dillman. If you want candidates who are unwilling to say what they really stand for, vote for any of the others.

As a final reminder, all San Leandro voters are able to vote for all City Council races.

— Margarita Lacabe, San Leandro



Supports Lopez for Council: ‘Dedicated, Knowledgeable’

Editor:

Since we are all inundated with campaign literature right now, I’d like to share a thought about one candidate for City Council.

I have served on the San Leandro School Board with Corina Lopez this last term. I have found her to be dedicated, knowledgeable, and a hard worker. Corina has made it a point to visit schools, meet principals and teachers, talk with parents and show up at most school events.

Her background in finances has been invaluable in decision-making, and she has taken her responsibilities on the Facilities Committee seriously, making decisions that have helped to bring our buildings and technology into exceptional shape. She cares deeply about our community, and for this reason I strongly support Corina Lopez for City Council.

— Diana Prola, San Leandro



Cutter: ‘The Glue That Keeps the Community Together’

Editor:

My mailbox has been inundated with flyers from local candidates, all of them spouting the same cliché, “promotes safe, strong neighborhoods.”

However, there is one candidate for mayor whose claim is a description of her life history in San Leandro. Thirty years ago, Pauline Cutter was my next-door neighbor. Because of Pauline, everyone on our street knew each other’s names, something I had not experienced before then and have not since. Pauline is what the author Malcolm Gladwell would describe as a “connector,” a person who serves as the glue that keeps a community together.

Pauline was the person who started a petition to a landlord whose tenant owned a vicious dog that sometimes ran loose near the local schoolyard.  She was the neighbor who checked out anything suspicious she saw going on around your house.  When I was recovering from a surgery, she brought me meals and did my shopping for me.  She offered assistance to a neighbor who was a victim of domestic abuse. And in the early ’80s when people were so terrified of AIDS that there was talk of quarantining patients, Pauline offered her care to two of our neighbors who fell ill and then died.  This was long before she ever dreamed of running for public office.

This was just Pauline being herself. She didn’t ignore the troubles of others — she got involved.

It has been two decades since I’ve lived in that neighborhood, but when I saw that Pauline Cutter is running for mayor, I was delighted, because Pauline began her career in public service long before she ran for any office. She began it as a good neighbor.

— Sterling Kinnell, San Leandro



Supports Leah Hall ‘for a More Livable City’

Editor:

I am writing to say that I am supporting Leah Hall’s candidacy for City Council for District 5.

My reasons are very simple as to why I am choosing to vote for Leah. She has innovative ideas for our city and has completely taken on the role of being a “grass roots” candidate as well as being a  down to earth person. Leah’s campaign base is from residents of San Leandro and stands on her own with her forward thinking for our City.

Leah has the vision that I have been waiting for since I moved to San Leandro in 2005. She is young and well educated and has a degree from Yale in “architecture.” She will add her creative ideas and her education to the mix to move us forward with becoming a more livable City.

Leah cares about every neighborhood in San Leandro and its complexities because she understands that it takes all of our neighborhoods to make a better San Leandro. Leah does not stop there; she cares about education, teens, crime, responsible development and most importantly about the economics of running a City.

Leah understands when it is not prudent to waste money on certain projects and from her board experience she understands how important it is to work with people. She worked with the City of Oakland regarding the Durant traffic issues and actually was able to communicate with the Oakland officials.

Leah was able to get Oakland to participate in the neighborhood night out on Durant. It was a wonderful event on Durant to see families from Oakland and San Leandro enjoying their neighborhood again. I hope you will join me and vote for Leah Hall for City Council/District 5.

— Johanne Dictor, San Leandro



Ousley: Mayor Cassidy’s Endorsement, in his Words

Editor:

I’d like to offer a correction to a letter in the Oct. 2 Times. Mayor Cassidy has endorsed only one candidate in the District 5 City Council race, and that candidate is myself – Mia Ousley.

In his own words:

“One could not ask for a harder working Council member committed to improving our neighborhoods than Mia. ‘If you don’t like the news, make some of your own’ is a saying Mia believes in. When Sutter Health was threatening to close San Leandro Hospital, Mia helped organize the community and succeeded in keeping the hospital open. Mia possesses a deep empathy for the less fortunate in our society and has made raising the minimum wage a key element of her agenda to improve the quality of life for all San Leandrans.”

— Mia Ousley, San Leandro, Candidate, City Council District 5



Only Ousley Addresses the Issues of Wages, Rents

Editor:

All the candidates running for office in San Leandro are promising the same things. They’re all going to reduce crime, make our schools better, and help small businesses thrive.

Only one candidate, Mia Ousley, has actually stuck her neck out to bring two important issues into the fray: a living wage and rent regulation. The other candidates are not addressing these issues because they don’t speak to the middle and upper classes who already own their own homes, have good jobs, and have a decent education.

These two issues matter to people who don’t earn a living wage and struggle to meet the ever-rising costs of rent in this city. These are people who make very little money, don’t have advanced education, and will never be able to afford the American dream home. Oh, and who also happen to demographically be the least likely to be registered to vote.

I see no other candidates remotely championing the types of causes desperately needed by this group of people.  What it proves to me is that elections in this city are very classist.

The other candidates don’t want to rock the boat for their apartment house association contributors or homeowners’ groups, or upset the businesses paying the lowest wages in this city.

It’s very sad that all the other candidates are paying political lip service to the already-established middle and upper classes, and none of them

except Ms. Ousley are actually willing to deal with the fact that there is a lot of inequality in this city which the other candidates simply ignore as if it didn’t exist.

The other candidates like to tout how well they can be inclusive and build dialogue with diverse groups.  But I guess what they really mean is being inclusive with those who they hope will vote for them.

— K. Lee-Figueroa, San Leandro



City’s Glossy Mailer on HH Shows Why Citizens Don’t Trust Government Agencies

Editor:

I assume that We the citizens of San Leandro paid for the Measure HH  four-page color glossy mailer asking for us to approve the sales tax extension.

The lack of integrity shown in the word selection chosen by the City Manager, and whoever read and edited the drafts prior to publication, make it obvious why citizens no longer trust their government agencies.

“Measure HH extends San Leandro’s local voter-approved sales tax”  sounds good, “at the half cent rate” makes it sound like that is the existing rate.

Integrity by government would have said “Measure HH will extend and double San Leandro’s local voter-

approved sales tax from one quarter to one half percentage rate.”

Vote as you will, but understand that integrity is not on display by those in the City Hall who want more of your hard earned money put into their pockets.

— Justin Jelincic, San Leandro


 

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