'Going purple' for good cause

On Sept. 21 -- Alzheimer's Action Day -- I'll be "going purple" to show support for individuals and families affected by Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.

I'll also be honoring the memory of my mother, Edythe Stevenson, who recently died of Alzheimer's. She was an award-winning advertising copywriter -- best known for the iconic commercial "Mikey likes it!"

Alzheimer's is currently an unpreventable, irreversible and fatal disease.

Worldwide, 36 million people have dementia, and more than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer's, the most common form of dementia. Please join the global fight against Alzheimer's and spread awareness by wearing purple on Sept. 21.

If you or someone you know needs support, please contact the Alzheimer's Association at 800-272-3900 or visit www.alz.org. It was a great resource for my family in caring for our mother.

Karen Stevenson

Alzheimer's Association Advocacy volunteer Berkeley

GOP convention was content free

The Republican Convention struck a new low when Clint Eastwood put an empty chair next to him and said, "I've got Mr. Obama sitting here and I was just going to ask him a couple of questions." Then he continued, "I'm not going to shut up. It's my turn."


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Let us recall that this was neither a stand-up comedian nor a Hollywood movie. As a viewer of a national convention, I first cringed and was then outraged. Whatever happened to habeas corpus (England, 1679), which was adopted by the Founding Fathers, and by many countries all over the world. Even prisoners have the right to be present in person.

When thousands of Republicans thought it fit to laugh at this scene, I knew the Republican Party had lost all respect for itself, and all moral decency.

As for the rest of the Republican Convention, Mark Shields summed it up brilliantly, in two words. It was "content free."

Silloo Tarapore

Lafayette

My Word on fracking was wrong, misleading

The is regarding the My Word, "Fracking is a bad and dangerous idea for California," Sept. 4.

Washington, D.C.-based Food and Water Watch repeats many untruths about hydraulic fracturing in California that have come to characterize its campaign against safe energy production.

This organization regularly offers a collection of confused information to attack hydraulic fracturing in California, some of it more emotional than factual and much of it entirely irrelevant. Here are the facts:

No one has ever identified a single incident in which hydraulic fracturing has contaminated water in California, nor does its relatively limited use here create air pollution.

Hydraulic fracturing and earthquakes have never been linked in California. Moreover, the respected National Research Council has concluded hydraulic fracturing poses very low seismic risk.

Further, there is no evidence that hydraulic fracturing poses any threat whatsoever to California's agriculture industry or food supply.

Hydraulic fracturing in California is neither new nor risky and has been used for more than 60 years here without any reported harm to the environment or public health.

Rather, it is a safe, effective tool for producing crude oil to supply our state's need for transportation energy.

Catherine Reheis-Boyd

President, Western States Petroleum Association Sacramento

Reality Check appears to need reality check

I was excited when I read that the paper would be running a feature called "Reality Check" to help us sort out the facts behind the wording that we hear in speeches and read in propositions.

After reading "Is compromise in the eye of the beholder?" my heart sank. In trying to show that Democrats as well as Republicans are unwilling to compromise, the authors left out an extremely important element of this problem: That is Sen. Mitch McConnell's statement to the National Review in October 2010 that "The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president." Where is the room for compromise in that statement?

I am a devoted reader, but this time I can only say, nice try.

Pamela Dernham

Oakland