Zoo should live up to its philosophy

I respect Oakland Zoo docents and the educational programs it facilitates. But that is not what Measure A1 is about.

The zoo's educational programs should mesh with the conservation philosophy it espouses for those programs. Destroying native habitat to build a wildlife theme park with faux native habitat exhibits is not conservation education, and Measure A1 would give the zoo carte blanche to do just that.

The zoo has a choice: Build the native wildlife exhibits alongside its existing facilities and preserving Knowland Park's undeveloped open space, so families can continue to experience real native wildlife habitat firsthand, or fence off and pave over acres of open space up on the ridge in the park to build exhibits, a restaurant, gift shop and office buildings with a panoramic bay view.

Zoo management seems to have chosen offices with a view over real conservation education. With those priorities, it is unconscionable to ask Alameda County taxpayers for open-ended funding for the next 25 years.

Karen Smith

Berkeley

Prop. 32 just another attack on our unions

An Oct. 15 My Word promoting Prop. 32 is a masterpiece of specious logic, inaccuracy and distortion of facts.

For example, the author claims unions spend far more money on political agendas than corporations. Yet, in the piece, the number cited for unions is a total of expenses by all unions; the numbers cited for corporations are for each one individually.


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If the numbers were combined, as with the amount for the unions, it would be clear that corporations far outspent unions.

The author also complains that unions use their members' dues to influence government. But corporations collect no dues; they have profits that they can use for exactly the same purpose. And what is the purpose of a union, and collecting dues, if not to advocate for members' best interests, which again, is exactly what corporations do, except they advocate more for the corporation itself than for the workers?

In short, Proposition 32 is just part of a nationwide attempt to weaken unions and, thus, the middle class of America. Vote no on Proposition 32.

Bruce Roberts

Hayward

Should use vacation or you should lose it

Hats off to this paper for tackling many key and tough issues affecting all citizens and taxpayers.

I was dumbfounded to learn how state employees bank their vacation and other time off. When my husband was employed in the corporate world and earned 30 days off, it had to be used in one year or lost.

What a poor excuse, "they give you grief for not doing your job if you go on vacation." Vacations are a must so employees come back with a fresh and new perspective after a short renewal.

I feel these employees would be much more productive if they were not allowed to bank vacations. When will our elected officials right this wrong?

Susan O. Elliott

Oakland

Ricco puts her words into action

This is in response to Tom Lochner's Oct. 16 article regarding the Pinole City Council candidates.

It is unfortunate allegations were made at the debate suggesting Ivette Ricco took credit for other people's work and ideas.

I have worked with and next to Ricco on the Save the Pinole Swim Center Committee for the past year. As well, I have seen her participate in many of the community efforts and events before her candidacy for City Council.

Ricco is a hardworking, dedicated individual who has the best interest of Pinole at heart. She is a defender of our community and would be a welcome change to our City Council. She will be a fresh set of eyes on a system that has its challenges.

Ricco puts per words into action by showing up and working at community events.

I am voting for Ivette Ricco and urge Pinole voters to do likewise.

Marina Rossi

Pinole

election day LETTERS
Our deadline for receiving Election Day-related letters is Friday. The last day Election Day-related letters will be published is Nov. 2. We will only publish letters that support candidates.