San Leandro Creek needs good water flow

This fall, the East Bay Municipal Utility District will begin its earthquake retrofit work on the Chabot Dam.

Since the dam was built in the 1870s, EBMUD has had control of how much water is released and when. Sometimes this means no flow, at other times a torrential-like flood.

Friends of San Leandro Creek certainly support the dam retrofit for strength and safety. However, while EBMUD works on the dam, we request it releases water to San Leandro Creek in a more natural flow.

Friends of San Leandro Creek is a nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to charitable, scientific and educational purposes. In San Leandro since the 1990s, "The Friends" work to restore and enhance San Leandro Creek.

Without the water flow, our group can continue to do creek cleanups, projects and education on a static and barely alive waterway. With flow, every project would be purposeful. We can restore the creek to allow runs of rainbow/steelhead trout from the bay, our creek can become one of the most biologically important creeks in the Bay Area, and urban wildlife restored against the odds.

It takes no monetary output from EBMUD to recreate that flow. Its directors are our elected officials. Our creek needs water and should get it.

Sign the petition at the public meeting with EBMUD at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 20, at Chabot Park, on Estudillo Avenue and Sylvan Circle, San Leandro. See a sample letter and get more information on the Friends' website: www.fslc.org.


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San Leandro Creek has a wonderful opportunity. Our effort must continue until we reach our goal. It cannot happen without your help.

Susan Levenson

Watershed Awareness Coordinator Friends of San Leandro Creek

Better questions than NSA seeking metadata

The question of whether the National Security Agency's seeking of metadata has prevented terrorist attacks suggests that the end justifies the means.

Better questions: If we think security trumps privacy and freedom in our country, why did we attempt to establish democracy in now turbulent Iraq? How much are we spending on the NSA program? How much are we spending on preventing people from becoming terrorists? Which is a more effective use of our tax dollars?

More than 30,000 people die from traffic accidents in the U.S. every year and a similar number are killed by guns. There were 3,000 Americans killed in 9/11, three in the Boston Marathon bombing.

Do families grieve more over the death of loved ones due to terrorism? Why are we obsessed with how Americans are killed, but not how many? Is it national pride rather than concern for human life? Should it be?

Eloise Hamann

Dublin

Guns for civilians is not the answer

I have lived in Crocker Highlands since 1974. My children attended, and my grandchildren are attending, Oakland public schools. To the June 14 letter writer who was mugged, I extend my sympathy for an awful experience.

If her answers to Oakland's crime problems are to move to Lafayette or form an armed militia, I implore her to move to Lafayette. More guns in civilian hands is not the solution to our violence-plagued city.

Sally Beles

Oakland

Schedule another vote on high-speed rail

I'm a consulting civil engineer with more than 30 years of experience in management, engineering and construction of large energy projects.

Recent articles in the Times have discussed the pending award by the California High-Speed Rail Authority for the first construction contract for the HSR project. The urgency of awarding a contract is driven by the offer of a $3 billion federal subsidy, which is about to expire.

This is a poor reason to proceed with a potentially uneconomical project that could prove to be a very costly "gift" for the residents of our state. Californians did not vote for a $65 billion project that was shrunk from the original to cut costs, but still far exceeds original estimates.

To legitimately proceed, a new detailed benefit/cost analysis by independent economists should be prepared and then the public allowed to vote. If the benefits cannot be shown to exceed costs, the project must be canceled. That's standard in the private business world.

The Legislature must act now to stop any premature construction expenditures, order a new benefit/cost study, and put this matter on the November ballot.

Larry L. Harrison

Antioch