Let's re-examine leash regulation in dog parks
We are dog owners and use East Avenue Park in the Fairview area of Hayward as our means of exercise for our dogs. It is the closest park to where we live and pay property taxes.
Over the past few years, park rangers have become very aggressive handing out tickets to dog owners who have their dogs off leash.
They drive up the hill on a grassy area to track people down, leaving large tire marks on the hillside. They also hide behind trees to catch these dog owner criminals.
It would behoove them to get to know the local neighbors, rather than alienate them.
I am not sure when this rule was made for no off-leash dogs, but it is quite a large park and big enough for everyone. Usually, when we are running our dogs, the park is not busy.
Other parks in the area let you take your dog off leash. This park is large enough to designate an area for dog owners without turning it into a fenced dog park.
I think if the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District board is willing to relook at the rules for this park, there can be some compromise reached so everyone can enjoy one of the most beautiful parks in our area.
Emeryville cameras are really just a trap
As a resident of Oakland, I frequently go to Emeryville to shop.
The busy and complex intersection of Powell Street and Christie Avenue is one of those infamous camera-designated intersections to catch red-light violators. What it truly represents is a trap.
When exiting east on Powell, making a left onto Christie is tricky. There is a gas station located on the southeast corner that is patronized by many customers. Individuals turning left into this station result in an unpredictable backup in the intersection.
In 2011, there were more than 500 red-light citations issued to raise revenue for the city of Emeryville, some of which were successfully contested and others were not. Even worse, there are risks for accidents and even fatalities at this intersection.
There are three solutions: First, remove the cameras. Second, re-educate the city's engineering department on practical intersection design. Third, send a message to the mayor and the City Council to stop being greedy.
Going over 'milk cliff' wouldn't hurt at all
A frequent bugaboo of the "fiscal cliff" debacle was the "milk cliff," the threat of milk prices doubling, if Congress failed to extend dairy subsidies.
Consumption of dairy products, laden with saturated fats, cholesterol, hormones and drugs, elevates the risk of diabetes, heart disease and cancer. This is particularly critical during childhood years, when dietary flaws become lifelong addictions.
A study of 12,829 children by Harvard Medical School found that drinking cow's milk leads to weight gain. Several proteins in cow's milk can thicken mucus secretions leading to respiratory problems in children. Most African-Americans and Asian-Americans suffer from cramping and diarrhea because they lack the enzyme to digest lactose in cow's milk.
The good news is that green leafy vegetables and legumes supply all the calcium and proteins touted in cow's milk, without the excess calories and other yucky factors noted. Every supermarket offers a huge line of dairy-free milks, cheeses and ice creams made from healthy nuts and grains.
This is why USDA's current Dietary Guidelines for Americans, shunt dairy (and meat) off the recommended plate of vegetables, fruits and grains.
Cow's milk is produced for bovine -- not human -- babies. Let's give our kids a healthy start.
Hiring Bratton just another PR move
Call me a cynic, but I doubt that the decision to engage the services of William Bratton to advise Oakland on how to stem the tide of violence and crime has much to do with a sincere change of heart on the part of Mayor Jean Quan.
This is more window dressing designed to give the public the impression that Quan is committed to real reform. In typical fashion, this is a hire long on public relations value and short on specific, long-term strategy.
Why do we have a highly paid chief of police when we then hire what is in essence a duplicate chief for huge dollars? This is just more pie-in-the-sky nonsense designed to ingratiate Quan with the electorate with an eye on re-election and the renewal of the fraud commonly known as Measure Y.
There are plenty of intelligent, prudent recommendations about how to stem the flow of thugs and pimps and assorted swine who have the freedom to operate with impunity in Oakland that ought to be implemented, but until we stop squandering resources on half measures, boondoggles and poorly vetted programs, we will never do the one thing that is certain to stem the tide: Hire a sufficient number of police officers to do the job.
Jonathan C. Breault