Public left out of cemetery planning

In fact, cemetery expansion plans are not moving slowly. ("Cemetery expansion plans going slowly," Aug. 9)

What's moving slowly is the disclosure of the plan to the public. The plan is actually moving forward steadily, establishing facts on the ground. Per Mr. Lindeman, this massive and costly project is all about an urgent need for more grave sites. Absent from any apparent consideration is the impact on a wetland area and an aquatic habitat that has been on the site since the 1870s.

Also interesting is Lindeman's comment that he has had no "official" talks with the Piedmont Recreational Facility Organization, whose outlandish proposal for a facility in Moraga Canyon collapsed in the face of lawsuits, and which left an unpaid debt to Piedmont of more than $200,000.

Meanwhile, Piedmont City Council Member Garrett Keating, in a letter to the Piedmont Civic Association, is pushing a proposal to convert a portion of this now-destroyed area within the Mountain View Cemetery to a sports facility. One may reasonably wonder what "unofficial" talks are underway among Lindeman, the PRFO and the City Council.

David Cohen

Oakland

Here's proof that Brooks is innocent

The 2012-2013 Alameda grand jury report assailing Councilmember Desley Brooks for violating the Oakland City Charter section 218 (noninterference) left out a key fact.

On Jan. 18, 2011, the Oakland City Council, by a vote of 8-0, approved Resolution 83165. The resolution states:


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"Waiving advertising and bidding requirements and awarding a contract for the construction of the Rainbow teen center at 5818 International Boulevard to Pulte Homes in an amount not to exceed $121,000, and accepting a donation of $204,000 in labor and materials from Pulte Homes for the Rainbow Teen Center Project.

"RESOLVED: That pursuant to the Oakland Municipal Code Section 2.04.050.1.5 and the reasons stated in the City Administrator's report accompanying this item and above, the City Council finds that it is in the city's best interests to waive the advertising and bidding requirements of the Oakland Municipal Code for this contract; and be it

"FURTHER RESOLVED: That the contract for installation of the Rainbow Teen Center interior and exterior improvements is hereby awarded to Pulte Homes in an amount not to exceed $121,000; and be it

"FURTHER RESOLVED; That the City Council hereby accepts the donation of $204,000 in labor and materials for the Rainbow Teen Center from Pulte Homes as part of the Rebuilding Together Oakland community project; and be it

"FURTHER RESOLVED: That the contract shall be reviewed and approved for form and legality by the City Attorney's Office and filed in the office of the City Clerk."

These are the facts. Where is the violation of city charter 218? City Administrator Deana Santana, Mayor Jean Quan, City Auditor Courtney Ruby, Councilmember Pat Kernighan, Councilmember Libby Schaaf, Council Dan Kalb, Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan, and Councilmember Lynette McClehanny, City Attorney Barbara Parker, Bob Gammon (East Bay Express), Chip Johnson, Barbara Newcome and all others who supported this salacious witch hunt owe Councilmember Desley Brooks a public apology.

Gene Hazzard

Oakland

Animals shouldn't be raised for meat

Thank you to the author of the Aug. 2 letter, "State Fair must stop abuse of animals," for his letter revealing animal abuse and its normalization put forth at the state fair. Two pages later, Mimi Rohr's article "Montclair 4-H Club excels at the Alameda County Fair," demonstrated the sadness that children feel who raise pigs who are then sold to slaughter -- for cheap, it should be noted.

Those kids have been indoctrinated to think that is normal and that it is the only option. No, we don't have to eat our animal friends.

Not only is pork extremely unhealthy for us, it is not necessary for us to consume animal products to sustain ourselves. This is the message kids need: have compassion to all living things.

Mary Cranley

Oakland

You don't know if you weren't there

How remarkable that the author of the Aug. 9 letter, "Ask why Martin threw first punch," knows that Trayvon Martin threw the first punch and then said that Zimmerman was "going to die" etc.

I doubt that she was there, but she clearly chooses to believe the word of the man who instigated the whole tragic episode by profiling a young black man wearing a hoodie.

Andrea Faber

Oakland

Art & Soul festival coverage vacuous

The coverage of the Aug. 3-4 Art + Soul Festival in the Aug. 9 paper was merely phoned-in reporting. The cutline was generic, as were the pics. It seemed there was a story (or several) this year.

Our nonprofit had a food booth and an info booth, and the attendance was way down from previous years. Why? Was it the early August start date or unseasonably cool weather? Were there internal political contradictions? We were impacted, and I'm sure the entire festival was too.

It would have been nice if the cutline or even a couple of paragraphs could be written about the actual events and news of the 2013 Art + Soul festival that we attended.

We appreciate the mission of your newspaper as a source of local items of interest to Oakland hills residents. I believe it would serve everyone to nurture a sense of journalistic curiosity among your staff and editors.

Joel Hamburger

Oakland