New leaders should rise to save Oakland

Every Oakland resident who cares about our city should be desperately seeking new leadership.

I cannot begin to pinpoint the exact places where our city got so far off track, but there is plenty of blame to go around.

Jean Quan divided Oakland from the beginning of her term in office. As residents we can all only hope for new and better leadership.

Who can rise above the dysfunctional politics of Oakland? Who truly can bring about change? Who cares enough about increasing crime, gun violence, homelessness, prostitution and graffiti to do something about it?

Who is going to take active solution-based policy to approach these issues? How many more homeless camps are going to spring up under 580 or how many times do we as residents have to wake up to news of another senseless murder so close to our homes that we actually feel lucky not to have been out last night?

How much longer can we live in a void and eventually move somewhere else because it's just too difficult living year after year in Oakland?

Joanne Devereaux

Oakland

Writer is wrong about law on waste fee

This is in response to the Jan. 29 letter "Newspaper should expose tax scam."

The writer's claim that our agency is in violation of the 14th Amendment is false. The Supreme Court case cited said that a charge of $1.50 per person as a precondition of being able to vote in Virginia was unconstitutional.

That case is unrelated to the notification and public engagement process in the California Constitution for adopting fees such as the one in question ($9.55 per year for 10 years for improved service for the Alameda Countywide Household Hazardous Waste program).

California's process requires mailing notifications to persons subject to the potential fee about their opportunities to protest: at public meetings or in writing that is hand delivered or sent by mail. Our governing board must consider any protests before acting on the fee proposal.

More information about the services that will be provided or lost, depending on the outcome of this decision process, is available at www.stopwaste.org/proposedhhwfee.

Richard Taylor

General Counsel Alameda County Waste Management Authority

All must do part to help prevent fires

I applaud those who recently helped with the cleanup in and around Montclair Park.

The area looks much better and it reduces the fire danger. Let's look at our own properties and see if there is similar work that needs to be done there.

My main concern is fire. There is a lot more accumulated debris on our slopes and in the gutters than usual.

Part of the reason is because we have had less rain and, therefore, less compaction and decomposition of the material.

Increasing the fire hazard, of course, is that all of the accumulated material is very dry.

My second concern regards pedestrian safety. Most residents drive to and from the village and other places rather than walk. Some of us (including students), however, walk when we can and that's when we notice that many homes have vegetation that has gradually covered more and more of the sidewalks.

Homeowners and other residents should take a look at their property from the perspective of those on foot, and trim back.

I have emailed the city about street sweeping, but even if they come up here, they are not designed to deal with the mounds of leaves.

We are, however, and we can all do our part by filling our green carts and those yard-waste paper bags.

Susan Alcorn

Oakland

Propagating lies in letters is pathetic

The Feb. 4 letter, "Writer's facts on Israel are twisted," shows either a consummate ignorance of history or a hatred of Israel/Jews so great that the author willingly spouts propaganda known to be false, singularly to further her hatred.

The aggressor of the June 1967 Six-Day war was Egypt. In May, Egypt ordered all U.N. peacekeepers out of Sinai, massed troops along that border, and closed the international waters of the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping -- a declaration of war by international standards.

Israel's victorious, defensive war followed; it urged Jordan not to enter. Yet Jordan chose to enter the fray and lost.

Israel then controlled areas of Judea (hence the word "Jew") and Samaria that Jordan had illegally occupied since 1949 -- areas to have been allocated to independent Jewish Palestinian and Arab Palestinian states.

Israel, always willing to trade land for peace, returned all of the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt, after their 1979 peace treaty.

Using freedom of the press to foment hatred with lies is pathetic. Imagine this author's report of the 2014 Super Bowl victory by the Denver Broncos.

Fred Korr

Oakland

Accusing writer also short on vital facts

The author of a Feb. 4 letter accuses a fellow letter-writer of factual errors regarding Israel, but she seems to be short on the facts herself.

Her complaints about Israel's so-called occupation of the West Bank and Gaza sound hollow when one considers that it was the Palestinians themselves, together with an array of Arab armies, who invaded and attempted to destroy Israel in 1948, 1967, and 1973.

When Jordan annexed the West Bank and Egypt took Gaza in 1949 nobody complained about Palestinian rights.

It was only in the aftermath of the 1967 war, when Israel took control of the land (but did not annex it) that people started to whine.

And why did Israel take control of the land? Because it was convinced that Jordan and Egypt would make peace in exchange for returning the land, an offer that was refused.

Israel did not begin settlement activity in those areas until after the Arab invasion of 1973 convinced it that the Arabs were not interested in peace at that time.

Israel withdrew from Sinai in exchange for peace with Egypt. It withdrew unilaterally from Gaza, and was greeted with more terror, not less. And since Israel built its security fence/wall, there have been very few suicide attacks. And the letter writer wonders why Israel maintains it's power over the Palestinian Territories.

Stephen Fisher

Atherton