Community opens its heart once again

Once again, the community opened up its heart and made Thanksgiving a very special day for so many people.

It would not have been possible without the generous donations of food, equipment, the use of the Pavilion and monetary support by so many caring individuals and businesses.

It was a beautiful day, thanks to more than 400 volunteers who cooked, carved, served, delivered meals to the homebound, picked up dinner guests, distributed bags of food, worked in the kids area, set tables, decorated, entertained, stayed to clean up and helped on the day after to unload and inventory.

We are blessed to live in a community that can pull together and give to those less fortunate.

We provided 4,116 meals, including those delivered to the homebound; a total of 286 turkeys, 74 hams and 377 pies were consumed, along with all the trimmings. We also gave out 575 bags of groceries to the guests who came to the Pavilion.

Our heartfelt thanks to all who made this a special holiday for so many. There is no way we can individually thank so many personally -- as much as we would like to.

Shirley D. Sisk

Executive director League of Volunteers Newark

City must reconsider dangerous circle

Within three weeks in October of this year, five pedestrians were struck by cars in the intersection of California and Allston in Berkeley -- a two-way stop around an irregularly shaped traffic circle.

All accidents necessitated ambulances. A sixth, earlier accident claimed the lives of a young UC Berkeley graduate and her infant son in May 2012. The traffic circle is overgrown, difficult to see, and treacherous to drive around due to Allston's incline and the irregular angle of the intersection.

Analyses of the fatal accident showed that the traffic circle was a major contributor.

Residents of this neighborhood have been requesting a four-way stop and removal of the traffic circle for several years. Our request was recently turned down because the city of Berkeley Transportation Division (CBTD) decided that the intersection does not meet criteria for a four-way stop. However, the data the CBTD collected are deeply flawed.

The most obvious mistake is that the CBTD counted traffic during the week between UC Berkeley's regular academic semester and summer school -- when significantly fewer cars and pedestrians pass through the intersection compared to the average week.

I urge the CBTD to re-evaluate its data before more lives are lost.

Meenakshi Subbaraman

Berkeley

Tea party has defiled majority-rule ideal

I am a 58-year-old African-American male who has lived through many presidential elections. I voted for presidents who didn't look like me; every one of them was my president of these United States of America.

Even when I did not vote for them, the majority ruled.

Then, something happened that I thought I would never live to see: America elected an African-American president. God bless America, the majority ruled.

Tea party Republicans said: This can't be right, this is unacceptable, he's not even a citizen. How dare America vote for a black man. America must be punished.

Americans want to rebuild our infrastructure (jobs that would put Americans to work that cannot be exported). The Republicans said: No, we don't want to Americans to work. Americans want affordable health care. Republicans said: No, Americans can't have that. Americans want immigration reform, and the Republicans said: Wait. We don't want to make them citizens.

Americans, regardless of race, are being punished for electing an African-American president. The tea party has broken the majority rule.

Benjamin May

Alameda

Heckler of president should be deported

I was incensed and outraged by the insolence of Ju Hong, an illegal immigrant from Korea who heckled President Barack Obama during his speech.

It is obvious that he does not get the idea that the United States is a country of law and that lawbreakers are supposed to be punished and not rewarded for their deeds. He should be deported.

Balazs Rozsnyai

Livermore