Pay more attention to East Oakland

In the Nov. 5 article, "Oakland rises to 7th in nation in bicycling rate with 7,000 biking commuters," readers learn that Oakland has seen the result of its investment in making the city safer and accessible for cyclists.

While this is great for the city as a whole, it's important to be honest about the disproportionate amount of resources invested in specific areas of Oakland. According to Bikemap.net, there are close to 100 bike routes in the Lake Merritt area and about 10 in East Oakland.

To add to the dichotomy, there are many streets in East Oakland that are in need of repair. Some streets have roadwork that has only been partially completed and appear to have not been touched in months, such as Hegenberger Road off International Boulevard. These poor conditions contribute to an unwelcoming environment for cyclist.

As an Oakland resident, I'm glad that the city is taking on a healthier and environmentally-friendly method of transportation -- however, the city needs to bring more bike routes and safer conditions to East Oakland.

Catherine Chavez

Oakland

Qualified cannabis patients need help

Thanks to this newspaper for the Nov. 8 informative article about Berkeley's complicated medical cannabis situation. Reporter Dylan Tokar correctly stated facts and quoted pertinent sources.

As a longtime activist and Berkeley medical cannabis commissioner, I have only one exception: The commission has worked diligently to craft dispensary permitting recommendations for the mayor and City Council. Unfortunately, 13 months of federal activity local and statewide against the distribution of medical cannabis have hindered our efforts and speed with various legal considerations.

I can truthfully assert that I and fellow commissioners are trying our best to make sure qualified patients in Berkeley and locally will have safe, secure access to needed medicine while community and citizens' needs are not overlooked.

Charles Pappas

Berkeley

Romney didn't connect with middle class

President Barack Obama's convincing re-election has left the Republican Party in shambles. Mitt Romney was so sure he had this in the bag, he didn't even prepare a concession speech.

Romney lost this race on the campaign trail because he did not connect with middle-class Americans, especially women. He had to have set some kind of record for gaffes made by a presidential candidate in the heat of a campaign.

As long as the GOP is influenced by the extreme right tea party and are represented by fanatics such as Karl Rove and Rush Limbaugh, their candidates will not get elected.

Don Crotts

San Leandro

Lincoln told it like it is today

"You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time," said Abraham Lincoln.

In the recent election, his party seemed to embrace an amendment: "... but you can fool enough of the people, enough of the time."

The result once again proves the truth of Lincoln's original aphorism, and restores my confidence in the American electorate. Let's hope the party of Lincoln somehow finds its way back to honest respect for the facts.

Jim Gasperini

Kensington

We are all Americans worthy of respect

So, President Barack Obama won fairly and squarely.

Some upset readers, as especially evident in the Nov. 10 Talk Back, seem to assume half of the nation is sick, foolish, deluded, lack all intelligence, won't work for a living, believe in government Santa Claus, and want to steal the wealth and guns of those who do work, think, and produce absolutely everything.

If this thinking wasn't so pathetic, it would be painful.

Some of your readers believe those who disagree with them aren't simply mistaken, but mentally ill traitors and children.

William F. Buckley, Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan would be ashamed of this philosophy. And if you don't know who they are, you should be ashamed.

We are either all Americans and worthy of respect, or we are nothing. I fear for my country.

Michael Steinberg

Berkeley