Area deserves much better leadership

The July 22 guest commentary, "Perfectly good solution for both the Raiders and the A's," outlines a wise and efficient solution for improving the football Coliseum and building a baseball stadium.

It's so disappointing that the Oakland City Council and Alameda County Board of Supervisors have not examined this solution, even though detailed plans were sent to them.

Our local politicians seem interested only in contributions to their next campaign. We live in an extraordinaril wonderful area; we deserve better elected officers. And we can elect some if we give attention to this intention.

Bruce Joffe

Piedmont

Story demonstrates priorities muddled

It is distressing to find cute stories about people who are actually designing special suites for pets while so many folks in this country are unable to afford even basic shelter.

This is totally contrary to the American dream and must have poor Thomas Paine turning in his grave. Communities and designers at all levels should be turning their creativity to sustainable housing on a large scale for a desperate and growing U.S. and world population rather than wasting time and resources on the shallow pleasures of a self-indulgent few.

Red Wetherill

Alameda


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Must work to ensure hungry are fed here

When most people think of childhood hunger and food insecurity, they imagine a child in a Third World country. Unfortunately, childhood hunger is a real problem in our own backyard.

According to the Food Research and Action Center, an astonishing 5.7 percent of households in California are considered extremely food insecure, which means they routinely forgo meals because of a lack of funds.

There are many factors that contribute to this dire situation, but one thing we can do right now to help families in need is end the stigma surrounding food stamp benefits.

Only 57 percent of SNAP -- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, otherwise known as the food stamp program -- eligible households in California receive benefits.

Hungry kids are more likely to get sick, be disruptive in class and generally perform worse in the classroom.

We need to stop shaming those households that are in a time of need because childhood food insecurity has negative externalities for our entire society.

Daniel Killian

Berkeley

Senior not honored by aquatic center

How fortunate we are to have the Silliman Aquatic Center in Newark. It is helping so many of us keep in good health.

In summer, there are four lanes for early morning workouts (6 to 9 a.m.), three for swimming, and one for aerobic exercise and walking.

In that lane, there are as many as 20 people, mostly women, who come every day.

At 8 a.m., our lane is turned over to lap swimmers. We are shunted to the "drop" pool under the slides, which is too shallow for aerobic exercise, at least for those of us with knee and hip issues.

It just does not work for seniors. We have numerous discussions with the recreation supervisor, but to no avail.

It is unfair to move us since we all pay the same price as lap swimmers. This is a bad policy decision. Silliman should be encouraging the health of its senior citizens, not driving us away. We want Silliman Aquatic Center to honor its seniors and allow us to keep our lane until 9 a.m., just like everyone else.

Kathy Troll

Newark

Reject additional conditions to EIR

The Richmond Planning Commission was partly right when it passed the Environmental Impact Report for the Chevron modernization.

Its next step, however, was to allow Commissioner Marilyn Langlois to propose additional conditions to the already approved EIR. Langlois was parroting the desires of some environmental group that she and probably Mayor Gayle McLaughlin front for.

Chevron has lost money because of all the delays. But that's all right with the environmentalists and community do-gooders: Chevron can afford it. They owe us and should pay for most, if not all, the local communities' needs.

The majority of Richmond's residents and its business community want only the original EIR approved. Wake up, Richmond! If the City Council, led by the mayor, insists on retaining these ridiculous amendments and the EIR is passed, it will be a sad day.

Chevron will reason that Richmond doesn't want the company -- only its money. If Chevron leaves, Richmond will have unemployment, little support for nonprofits and, most important, less money to run the city.

Erle Brown

El Cerrito Brown has been a businessman and contractor in Richmond for 30 years.