Youths' walk to library will provide closure

I teach at New Highland Academy in East Oakland. For the past year and a half, our third-grade classes have enjoyed the wonderful opportunity to visit and use the new Oakland public library on 81st Street. Librarian Derrick DeMay taught our students to love reading as well as how to use the library.

Recently, we were preparing for our regular library visit when shots rang out. This caused an all-school lockdown and canceled our library trip. We later learned that more than 60 shots had been fired outside the library.

Everyone in our community has been affected by the rise in violent crime, but it was particularly difficult to witness the damage that unsafe streets can do to young children. As teachers and responsible adults, we cannot continue to walk our students through the streets to our local library.

With the help of psychologists from Lincoln Child Center, we've talked to our students about their fears and feel, as teachers, that it is extremely important our students reach some closure by returning to the library at least once more. To this end, we will walk alongside parents and members of the City Council, with a police escort, from New Highland Academy to the library.

Donald Carter


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Second- and third-grade teacher New Highland Academy Oakland

Political cartoon was shameful slap to GOP

I was appalled at the cartoon by Bob Englehart in the Feb. 19 edition that was about the ship that was stuck out at sea.

It said "adrift at sea, a floating sewer" with "Republicans" written on the side of the ship. I thought it was in poor taste, immature, childish, cruel and way over the top.

I realize that most newspapers today are liberal, but that would never have been printed if it said liberal on the side of the ship. It's shameful and it should have never been put in the paper.

Cathy Ledbetter

Newark

Let city manager, not mayor, lead Oakland

Yet another home-invasion robbery in Oakland. The homeowner escaped after being shot in the leg.

We have a mayor and council member at-large who were photographed during an Occupy protest, linking arms with rioters and interfering with police. I'd have been arrested.

During a recent City Council meeting, the vote was 7-1 in favor of continuing to contract with the CHP and Alameda Sheriff's office to help bolster our understaffed police department. Councilwoman Desley Brooks astoundingly voted no while offering no solutions of her own to stem the violent crime besieging Oakland.

Two changes are needed immediately if we stand any chance:

First, the city charter needs amending relegating the mayor to a ceremonial position. Cut all the grand-opening ribbons and hand out all the keys to the city you want. Otherwise, stay out of the way. Our city manager can professionally execute the business of the city rather than the touchy-feely social experiment currently coming out of the mayor's office.

Second, Oakland voters need to elect our police chief, as we do our county sheriff, so that he or she can successfully police the city without regard to politics. So long as our police chief is appointed by and serves at the political whim of an ineffectual mayor, the city and its citizens will continue to be in danger.

Donald J. Mitchell

Oakland

Leave both cartoon strips on the page

I, also, have been reading the opinions regarding the cartoon "Millard Fillmore."

I find it just as funny as "Doonesbury," which has been syndicated for decades. The primary difference is that it is slanted toward the right of centrist political viewpoints, rather than toward the left.

I note that the majority of writers are apparently unhappy with the cartoon because it is slanted right, which is contrary to the majority political viewpoint of those in the Bay Area, indeed, in all of California, in general.

These writers are seemingly voicing their intolerance of any viewpoint that is anathema to theirs. I'm not surprised.

Personally, as one who considers himself a centrist, seeing pluses and minuses in virtually all political viewpoints, I enjoy both cartoons and applaud the Bay Area News Group for their inclusion. I hope the paper won't be intimidated to the point of canceling due to pressure from the self-styled, tolerant liberal majority.

David Mangan

Oakland