City's new street lights are just fine
As a regular evening walker (with dog), and property owner in Oakland, I applaud the city for installing new lights. They are much more effective in lighting the sidewalks and streets for those of us who walk in the evenings.
The dim lights were basically useless as far as safety was concerned. Even driving in the evening, it was difficult to see pedestrians crossing the streets. I am hopeful the remaining dim lights will be replaced.
Santana would be fine Oakland mayor
Regarding the mayoral race, Deanna Santana has my vote for mayor of Oakland. She'd make a great mayor. With her experience and guts, she will make necessary changes. Oakland needs someone like her and hope she considers running.
Society becoming too overprotective
Recently, a representative of my son's Little League threatened to sanction our team's coaches for allowing our youngsters to take warm-up swings in the on-deck circle (with a parent assisting no less). Apparently, Little League International seriously frowns on warm-up swings.
Do we not realize that when we sue our city or our parks department or our Little League, we are really suing ourselves -- in fact, suing our own children?
The next time you think about suing after an accident, do not telephone the guy on the personal injury billboard; instead, telephone me, a volunteer Little League coach, who wants his son and other youngsters to be able to take a few warm-up swings -- as I did when I played Little League. For should we continue suing over every little thing that is a regular part of life, soon trees and lakes will be fenced off, Little Leagues will be shut down for want of insurance, and fear of liability will rule the roost.
Not taking protest letter was an insult
As a writer, I stand with Cecile Pineda, author of "Devil's Tango," and her anti-nuclear power readers. Pineda wrote a message to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, representing the members of No Nukes Action at the third anniversary of Fukushima disaster rally.
During this rally, no one came from the Japanese Consulate to accept the letter, though it always has happened before. Pineda says of the Japanese secrecy law, passed Dec. 7, 2013, "The law provides for up to 10 year's imprisonment for anyone who either inquires or reports anything about the status of your three meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi."
At each of the last 19 rallies in front of the Japanese Consulate, a person has come out to accept our message. This time, it didn't happen. We at the rally were furious about the indignity to the Fukushima victims.
Don't allow Ukraine to devolve into war
Economist Paul Romer, speaking of economic matters, is credited with coining the phrase, "A crisis is a terrible thing to waste," meaning there is profit to be made in crisis solutions. A crisis is in the making in the Ukraine; the profit potential comes from military hardware provided to the combatants. So we are now hearing saber-rattling from John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Rudy Giuliani.
They will probably receive support from others because the clever military complex has tactically installed production in almost every state. How do legislators vote against such jobs in their states? And if providing arms fails to resolve the Ukrainian dispute, what is the next step?
Another crisis strategy available for the Republicans is to label President Barack Obama weak in defending the country. That tactic had been in play even before the Ukraine situation. Should Obama be swayed by that Republican strategy? Are you ready for another military adventure with a questionable outcome?
Might there be another type of crisis: When the populace is ignored in opposition to perpetual war?
Stemming obesity is a problem for us all
The focus on teen obesity is a recurring topic, and one that should hit home not only with many in Oakland but all over the country.
According to the CDC, "Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years." These statistics should sadden the average American, but many times they don't, and with the topic being shadowed by hopes of change and talk of action, our society is spiraling into a terrifying future.
With no action being taken, the obese teens of this generation will turn into the obese adults of the next, raising children with the same unhealthy lifestyles. It starts at home and diffuses into the society. Everyone needs to play a bigger role in staying aware and being an advocate of healthier lifestyles. Everyone needs to stand up and be a leading force in creating a healthier country.
"A dream doesn't become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work," Colin Powell said.