Find good solutions to unemployment
A recent newscast featured a man being interviewed about the status of his unemployment benefits, which had run out because extensions were no longer being honored.
He was back living with his parents because he could no longer afford to live on his own. He appeared to feel ashamed that he could not find a job, and had no money.
This scenario seems quite common and disturbing. If people can no longer take care of themselves due to a decision made by local, state or federal government, will the government provide housing, food and clothing? Probably not.
Where does this money go if not to the recipients who were cut off? My guess: All the money goes to the government to support whatever they choose to fund.
In the meantime, more people will go homeless and hungry -- and it may even lead to more crime. Good people will not turn to crime, but desperate times lead to desperate measures.
It would be great to get answers, but even better to find viable solutions.
Be considerate when donating clothing
Perhaps you have started collecting for next year's White Elephant Sale. As one of the 1,000 volunteers who sorts through these donations, I would like to offer some guidelines. Disclaimer first: These are my personal comments, not those of the WES board, they are much too nice.
Please show some respect for the clothes you donate. A tangled mess from the dryer tells us that you don't think they are worth folding, so perhaps they are not worth donating.
We may agree with the sentiments and envy the travels you sport on your T-shirts -- but our shoppers want to make their own dreams. These shirts are soft and make great cleaning and polishing cloths.
Jeans sell well. The worn look of hard labor is in, clothing with house paint is not.
Please think about what I have said when you collect things for next year. And we can always use new volunteers -- and you don't have to be a gray-haired lady to join.
Ruby is a ray of hope in Oakland snake pit
Good government proponents in Oakland ought to be happy that City Auditor Courtney Ruby is willing to enter the fray and run for mayor.
Ruby clearly understands the snake pit that is Oakland municipal politics having endured vicious, orchestrated and fictitious slanders when her professional competency and ethical standards were challenged by a carefully selected mob of self-serving fools whose belligerence and aggressiveness set Oakland back a decade or two in the eyes of those who prefer civil, coherent, intelligent and intelligible discourse.
Her willingness to engage within the parameters of Oakland politics is admirable. The Oakland City Council is a world-class embarrassment replete with every sort of charlatan and fraud long on personal agenda and short on competency, professional experience and financial acuity.
This town hemorrhages money. Oakland government was long ago hijacked by the mobs who have succeeded in alienating the segment of the population who produce the wealth that supports the government.
Oakland needs radical change and absent intelligent, accomplished citizens willing to engage this cabal, nothing will change except the name plates on the office doors.
Jonathan C. Breault
Oil companies not conserving water
While we are discussing Gov. Jerry Brown's water reduction plans and worrying how reducing consumption affects us even further, our oil producers are going 90 mph opening up new fracking sites in California.
Were you aware that each well uses in excess of 1 million gallons of water? More gas is being sold offshore at higher prices than we are importing, so why is this fracking even necessary?
It just galls me that Brown is asking me to conserve, but Chevron, Shell and others get to use as much water as they need to make a profit. To add insult to injury, just inquire about the incidence of pollution to the surrounding water tables.
Is this good governance? I think not. Our California water policies need some new eyes, not new tunnels, pollution and most of the water restrictions aimed at Joe Citizen.