Commentary right about the homeless

A recent, excellent guest commentary clearly stated the gross neglect and victimization of the mentally ill homeless population -- a very high percentage of said population.

It is hard enough getting through day-to-day life with what is regarded as a healthy or normal mind. I can't imagine trying to assess right from wrong or staying safe, living with a mind that plays tricks on me, often drastically or dramatically altering the perception of reality.

Former Gov. Ronald Reagan closed some budget shortfalls with what has become known as compassionate conservatism -- only I can't find the compassion. Defenseless people thrust into impossible dynamics beyond their every control. And has this really saved any money? Studies show great social costs to this ill-advised treatment of all homeless -- especially the mentally ill.

I thank the commentary's author for her clear observation of the crime we all have allowed to be perpetrated on our neediest brothers and sisters.

The Rev. Gary L. Wilson

Retired Berkeley

Go outside the ranks for Oakland's mayor

I have followed Byron Williams' columns interviewing potential Oakland mayoral candidates, and the recent column on Joe Tuman is spot on. The only way that we Oaklanders have any chance of change is from outside the local incumbent political establishment.

The paper's editorial on Jean Quan asking for her resignation should wake up the local voters.


Advertisement

Within the past few weeks, the city agreed to shell out $1.5 million for a lawsuit, gave $140,000 to Sandre Swanson so he could give the port workers all they asked for, and gave local workers a 3.5 percent pay raise with no money in the budget to pay for it or their future pension obligations.

How many police chiefs have we had under Quan and Schaaf? With Libby Schaaf, who was chief of staff to Ignacio de La Fuente, we will get more of the same. Will Libby sign the pre-endorsement pledges of the SEIU? The Democrats pillage the Republicans for signing Grover Norquest's "no tax" pledge. Why no outrage as the local Democrats sign the union pledge?

In Oakland, it appears that if you are in the municipal establishment, you get your turn. Quan, Schaaf, Courtney Ruby: If any of them get elected, it will be more of the same, business as usual. Tuman is the only electable candidate that will offer change and hope. All the rest are reruns.

Dennis Duffy

Oakland

Valuable clerks not often acknowledged

They are among the most visible people in the world but often are not really acknowledged for all that they do. They are the courtesy clerks in grocery stores, and they are super.

Where I used to be able to do everything myself, as I get older, I do need help. Recent surgeries required that I would often have to use an electric shopping cart to get around.

These young men and women often come with me and get items off the shelves or out of the freezer. After checking out, they take my keys and load the groceries into the car. Often, we talk about life and their dreams.

I am very proud to know them. They are indeed superheroes and deserve recognition.

Jerry Wrenn

Hayward

Students should be expelled for bullying

This is regarding the recent incident of racial bullying at San Jose State University. The suitemate bullies should be summarily expelled for good with no delays whatever. No questions, no delays.

Emily Sparks

Oakland

Bike lanes claim is hollow victory

One of the "touted" accomplishments of the Richmond Progressive Alliance is the creation of bike lanes.

Oh boy, the streets are strewed with potholes and rough, irregular paving that a large percentage of Richmond's taxpaying residents enjoy every day.

The bike lanes I've seen are generally on the side of unswept roadways, where rocks and debris make riding a bike so dangerous that the vehicle lane is the preferred path of travel for bicyclists -- that infinitesimal percentage of the residents.

Kudos to the alliance for a job well done!

John English

Richmond