Police and city must protect its residents

Oakland is quickly losing control of the city to punks, thugs and thieves.

I own two multiunit apartment buildings in the South Lake Merritt area. In the last year, my tenants have had six car break-ins, one strong-arm robbery, one apartment break-in and one stolen car.

There was a murder one year ago, and a few weeks ago, a naked woman was assaulted at 2 a.m. by multiple males. In the case of the assault and the stolen car, the police never came even though they were called.

Two of my tenants are asking to break their leases early because they feel unsafe -- and I agree with them. The one with the stolen car told me clearly: It's like the Wild West out there.

The people who are preying on and victimizing the innocents know that no police and certainly no citizen will do anything to stop them. They are free to steal and terrorize anyone they please.

I add my voice to the citizens calling on our mayor, police and communities to protect our citizens. I can't think of anything more important to a civilized community than to provide protection to its citizens.

David Kirk

Orinda

Time to fight back on mailbox thefts

Once again, the Fremont Ardenwood Housing Area has been struck by mailbox vandalism, specifically, Lennox Court/Donalbain Circle. The mail carrier rear access panels of two cluster mailboxes were ripped open, and all outgoing and incoming mail was taken.

This was the second incident on these streets within 12 months involving two different cluster boxes.

Upon notification, the Fremont postmaster responded in a timely manner in ordering and installing replacement cluster boxes with larger and sturdier units.

I also thank them for moving the Lennox Court cluster box from a near-hidden position back to near its original 1984 position, which offers more visibility and, hopefully, deters future vandalism and tagging by local gangs.

Homeowners, if you have a cluster mailbox that is in desperate need of repair, call the local post office and voice your concerns.

I also suggest that the post offices initiate a systematic review and a proactive replacement of all the original cluster boxes as a deterrent to future mail thefts.

For those who have tagged mailboxes, cars or windows, a graffiti-dissolving spray is available from your local hardware store. Homeowners, let's fight back.

Howard Braden

Fremont

Parents insist on healthy lunches

With the new school year upon us, parents' attention is turning to school clothes, supplies and lunches. Yes, school lunches.

Traditionally, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has used the National School Lunch Program as a dumping ground for surplus meat and dairy commodities. Not surprisingly, its own surveys indicate that children consume excessive amounts of animal fat and sugary drinks, to the point where one-third have become overweight or obese. Their early dietary flaws become lifelong addictions, raising their risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Gradually, the tide is turning. The new USDA school lunch guidelines, mandated by President Barack Obama's Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, require doubling the servings of fruits and vegetables, more whole grains, less sodium and fat, and no meat for breakfast. Still, food lobbyists have prevailed on Congress to count pizza and french fries as vegetables, and fatty mystery meats and sugary dairy drinks abound.

Parents and students should consider a healthy school lunch as a work in progress and insist on healthful plant-based school meals, snacks and vending machine items. Guidance is available at www.fns.usda.gov/cnd, www.healthyschoollunches.org, and www.vrg.org/family.

Milton Connley

Oakland

More facts needed to understand area

An Aug. 15 letter makes a number of statements directed against Israel.

The following facts may be helpful to provide greater understanding of the area:

The terrorist government of Gaza, in its charter, calls for the destruction of Israel and the killing of all Jews.

Most Israeli children live close to bomb shelters for protection from daily terrorist missiles fired from Gaza, the West Bank and Lebanon.

Thousands of Israeli innocent men, women and children have been killed by terrorist men, women and children suicide bombers in buses, restaurants, schools, hotels and homes.

After these acts of terror, the terrorist killers are celebrated in Gaza and the West Bank with naming streets and monuments after them.

How civilized are these actions?

Bill Schwartz

Hillsborough