Mayor: Thanks for passing Measure Y

I want to personally thank our community for renewing the Municipal Parcel Tax on Nov. 6.

I also want to acknowledge and thank our campaign co-chairs and each of our committee members for all their hard work. Also, many thanks to our: campaign contributors; phone bank volunteers -- nine former mayors, high school students and community volunteers; community members writing letters of support and spreading the word; and for the endorsements by more than 800 community leaders and citizens, community groups and newspaper publications to help us obtain the required two-thirds majority vote for renewal of the city's parcel tax.

I am truly proud of this great community team effort. It's now time for the community and City Council to redirect their energy on the city's present and future challenges and engage in productive discussions.

John Chiang

Mayor of Piedmont

Get checked this month for COPD

Aging is never easy, but if frequent shortness of breath, wheezing and excessive phlegm are becoming consistent problems, you may be facing a much more serious problem.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD, affects more than 24 million Americans, and yet half go about their daily lives unaware of the condition. The ailment's pervasive nature, combined with an alarming lack of awareness, has made COPD and other chronic respiratory diseases the third-leading cause of death in the United States.


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Luckily, with early diagnosis and treatment, people suffering from COPD can improve their symptoms and regain a sense of normalcy in their lives.

This November is COPD Awareness Month, and partners such as the California Medical Association Foundation and National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute are asking citizens to take the first steps in fighting this disease by learning more about COPD.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, talk to your physician and ask for a simple breathing test called spirometry.

This November, don't let a serious condition such as COPD slide by unnoticed. Visit the CMA Foundation website, to see how you can help spread awareness of this terrible disease.

Jeffrey Klingman, M.D.

president Alameda-Contra Costa Medical Association

Remember Indians at Thanksgiving

On Nov. 22, the majority of Americans will celebrate Thanksgiving Day. They will be with other families at home.

Many people believe that the first Thanksgiving started several centuries ago in New England between American Indians and white settlers. Some said that there was harmony between both of these people and that they sat down together for a feast.

Here is the real truth: When the white settlers arrived on these shores, many of them were suffering from starvation and some suffered fatally from illnesses.

American Indians, such as Tisquantum and Samoset, fed and nourished them back to health. Massasoit taught the settlers how to plant corn in the fields.

What was the reward that American Indians get from the white settlers for healing them? A combination of both colonization and genocide, as well as the taking of the land. These tragic incidents explain what the first Thanksgiving was really about.

Billy Trice Jr.

Oakland

Paint after road work, not before

Kudos to the city of Oakland and its planning departments. It has newly paved and striped Fifth Avenue a few months before PG&E will come along to dig it up to do pipeline testing.

It does this every time and everywhere I have seen it pave our roads. I can't wait to see what work needs to be done on my street after it approves my request to pave and paint the lines.

Jengiz Haas

Oakland

Save the planet -- cut back on meat

"Frankenstorm" Sandy is one more dramatic demonstration that climate change and its extreme weather patterns are now part of our future.

Although we're unlikely to reverse climate change, we can still mitigate its effects by reducing our driving, energy use and meat consumption.

Yes, meat consumption.

A 2006 U.N. report estimated that meat consumption accounts for 18 percent of manmade greenhouse gases. A 2009 article in the respected World Watch magazine suggested that it may be closer to 50 percent.

Carbon dioxide, the principal greenhouse gas, is emitted by burning forests to create animal pastures and by combustion of fossil fuels to confine, feed, transport and slaughter animals and to refrigerate their carcasses.

The much more damaging methane and nitrous oxide are discharged from digestive tracts of cattle and from animal waste cesspools, respectively.

We have the power of reducing the devastating effects of climate change every time we eat. Supermarkets offer a rich variety of soy- and nut-based products and an ample selection of traditional vegetables, fruits, grains and nuts. Product lists, easy recipes and transition tips are available at www.livevegan.org.

Samuel Bentino

Oakland

GOP Tea Partiers alienated the center

The election results suggest that for the second consecutive election cycle, national Republicans' hopes for political dominance were dashed in large part by their own far-right candidates.

In 2010 and 2012, the very conservative Republican primary electorate was determined to sweep out the party's centrists. The Tea Party wave that began in 2010 kept rolling early this year, again threatening the Republicans' chances for a Capitol Hill majority.

In 2010, primary voters in Colorado, Missouri and Indiana selected Tea Party-backed conservatives, including many who have alienated the party's moderate members, especially women.

James R. Knight

Berkeley