Violence will harm kids trying to thrive

I am increasingly concerned about the violent crimes, particularly gun violence, that is happening in East Oakland.

I fear that if East Oakland continues to gain this violent momentum, the youths trying to thrive will be thwarted by the violence that surrounds them.

I have recently read two articles concerning violent acts in my community: "Standoff in Oakland ends with shooting suspect not found" and "Police identify fatal shooting victim found in East Oakland."

I want to praise the police for their presence in my community and being so persistent in their pursuit of a shooter. However, their persistence did not pay off in this instance.

I believe that preventive measures should be enacted to end gun violence by removing weapons from the streets. The Oakland Police Department needs to start a continuous campaign to buy back weapons and increase patrol and presence in particularly gun violent neighborhoods, such as East Oakland.

This increased effort to make East Oakland a safer neighborhood could empower youths to pick up a book instead of a gun.

Denise Kennedy

Oakland

Must take health into own hands

We applaud the recent editorial, "American teens eating their way to heart disease."


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This sad state of affairs has driven the American Heart Association's goals to maintain physical education courses, offer heart healthy school meals and support efforts to discourage smoking, especially among teens.

Heart disease is largely preventable, yet the incidence of cardiovascular disease and all its consequences -- diabetes, stroke, surgery -- continues to climb.

Astoundingly, more than 30 percent of all Americans believe they are in ideal heart health. Sadly, when their weight, cholesterol and blood levels are checked, less than 1 percent of all Americans meet the criteria for cardiovascular health.

If you are one of the millions of Americans in the 99 percent bracket, you can do something about it: Stop eating fast food every night; stop smoking; start walking; lose weight.

Your health and the health of your family is in your hands.

Dr. Michael Lee

Member East Bay American Heart Association Board of Directors Orinda

It was adult crime, deserves adult trial

The thugs who killed the paramedic in Oakland committed an adult crime. Their age should not matter. They should be tried as adults. No if, ands or buts about it.

Barbara Alice

Oakland

PUC regulations hardly enforced

Why am I not surprised by Steve Harmon's April 18 article on the California Public Utilities Commission?

As an advocate for senior issues, I attended PUC public hearings in San Francisco where some commissioners would nod off during public comments. We taxpayers were merely considered fools. While the room was awash with company lobbyists in three-piece suits and wingtips, the unpaid ratepayers were practically shunned.

When is the Times going to put the articles about the PUC mess in the front section of the paper, spend some cash to get live reporters where they need to be (not just in Sacramento), and keep these bureaucrats accountable?

If the state regulators tasked with assuring employee and ratepayer safety are taking paychecks for not doing their jobs, who's going to shine the spotlight where the mess is getting worse?

People died in San Bruno and Sacramento due to poor enforcement of PUC regulations. Utilities flaunt pathetic record-keeping, allow staff to ignore violations, and get fined seldom and too little to cause pain and compliance. The tax dollar gets us nothing.

Jan Howe

San Ramon

Senators must be removed for vote

We will lock down an entire city for hours to protect people. Why wouldn't we ask law-abiding citizens to take five minutes for a background check to help protect people?

The 45 senators who voted against the bipartisan expanded background check bill called "the Manchin-Toomey bill" ignored the will of the American people. These legislators voted in favor of special interests instead of the best interests of Americans.

They had their vote. Soon the American people will exercise their right to vote -- and vote them out of office.

Eileen Soffer

National director of chapters Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America Mountain View