Hep C-free Oakland is the ultimate goal

Thanks to the paper for printing Dr. Diana Sylvestre's guest commentary on Hepatitis C Awareness Week. The Oasis Clinic is truly an Oakland gem.

Here in the Bay Area we hear so much about HIV and AIDS, but hepatitis C? Not so much. The facts are that there are more than four times as many people infected with hepatitis C virus than HIV. Hep C is the most common blood-borne virus in America. Why the lack of focus? Is it the stigma that keeps politicians from caring? One of the most common misconceptions about the disease is that only IV drug users get it. Do we need to find our own Ryan White?

In Oakland we have an epidemic -- a public health issue that needs every bit of help as any public health issue needs. And it's an exciting time for hep C advocates. We're seeing treatments that are easier and more effective than ever before. I'm one of those people whose treatment was long and difficult, but I'm cured and grateful and I have a new passion -- a hep C-free Oakland.

Zoe Romanoff

Oakland

Outrageous package for fired short-timer

In a recent article, we see that Deanna Santana, city of Oakland administrator, is getting a huge payout for just three years' worth of work. We also see that she says the city is forecasting a $28 million shortfall for 2015.


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How generous the city of Oakland is to someone who only worked there three years, yet it can afford such a huge payout for some who was fired.

If I was an Oakland resident, I would be outraged by such generous pay packages when the city is going to the taxpayers for bond measures for pension bailouts. Who gets such a package after only working for three years? I'm sure long-term Oakland employees would be delighted to see such generosity for a short-termer.

Louise R. Turner

Hayward

Nation must choose reason over theory

If there is one thing we all can agree upon it is that something is seriously wrong. The only question then is: Will we embrace the issue of reform with the spirit of revitalizing our nation for the benefit of all, or will we continue to allow government to be used as a tool to achieve the social goals of one group at the expense of another, which historically hurts only the majority?

This is our final hour to decide the very fabric of our nation. Let us choose reason rather than theory.

Richard Ahern

Fremont

Children of all races need nation's help

Is My Brother's Keeper initiative just for all?

I believe that all underprivileged children should have the opportunity to be helped. If it be that 25, 50 or 99 percent are all in one certain race, then so be it.

It should not matter to our government or our representatives what someone's look is, if they are in great need.

If Rep. Barbara Lee and the president truly understand how terrible it is to be abandoned by one's government solely based on race, then I ask why would they exclude any child for the very same reason?

Since My Brother's Keeper initiative is using a biblical phase, then do you think Jesus would only help certain people? Oh, wait a minute, he did. They were people most in need of his help.

It would be nice if more politicians would practice the concepts in the Bible instead of just using and quoting them.

Michael Austin

Castro Valley

Applauds faculty for strong stand

It's time to applaud the no-confidence vote given to Hercules Middle High School Principal Jennifer Bender by high school faculty in February. Consensus sends a mighty message.

I helped open the school in 2000 and saw it make strong strides in academics and promotion of worthy programs while earning the respect of the community. West Contra Costa schools Superintendent Bruce Harter hailed the campus as "the jewel of the district."

Unfortunately, during Bender's tenure, Hercules High has become a troubled, embarrassing site. When teachers cannot receive the required support, cooperation and trust, problems will multiply.

An especially vexing point in the Times' Feb. 28 no-confidence article was the highly suspect transfer of English teacher Janet Headington. This extraordinary educator ran the most popular elective in the curriculum -- Teacher Cadet -- a lauded program warmly received by participating Hercules elementary schools. So what are the machinations behind this transfer hoax?

Thanks to the faculty for their strong-valued stand illuminating the public to the egregious matters at Hercules High.

John Brown

Martinez Brown is a retired journalism and English teacher.