Laws needed on chemical threat
As one of those chemically sensitive/allergic people, I was moved to tears by this paper's recent coverage of Dr. Tracey Woodruff's talk before the Piedmont League of Women Voters about chemical impacts on our health.
Flame retardants, scented personal and laundry products, new carpeting, air fresheners cleaning products -- all are poisoning us. I left Sunset House's demonstration house because of the chemicals wafting from the new construction. Last November, I found that former hotel occupants' perfumes scented the mattress, pillows and closet.
As Dr. Woodruff mentioned, we require testing for our drugs to see if they are safe. However, other producers such as Johnson & Johnson or Monsanto do not have to prove their products are safe. Citizens have to prove harm before they are removed from the marketplace. During a walk along San Francisco Bay by a water treatment plant, our birding group was assailed by perfumes. What do these products do to life in the bay? I shall check out the safe chemicals legislation introduced by recently deceased U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg.
I urge others to ask their members of Congress to take leadership and support this legislation and to thank Sens. Feinstein and Boxer who have co-sponsored.
On A's, city needs to get it together
The City of Oakland has been given every possible opportunity to make it happen with Major League Baseball stalling the city of San Jose. Now San Jose has tried to raise the stakes with the antitrust lawsuit -- however most bets are that it won't succeed.
Oakland already owns suitable land for a stadium. We say we have backing from East Bay corporations; then go and build it on the north lot of the shovel-ready land the city already owns, has planned and EIR'd.
Use eminent domain to relocate those businesses on San Leandro and 66th and develop those lots with the likes of a sports museum/Bay Sports Hall of Fame and casual restaurants that could serve not only folks attending Raiders and A's games, but also travelers coming from and going to the airport.
The Coliseum sits on a BART station and an Amtrak station, next to one major freeway with four access points, a mile-and-a-half from another major freeway, a soon-to-be terminus for an airport tram, a major gateway boulevard (Hegenberger), a half-mile from East 14th (International, if you must) and next to another semi-major street (San Leandro). Most cities would die for that kind of access.
Oakland, if we want to be a major player, then it's time to stop acting like the dysfunctional small backwater town people accuse us of being and act like one of the most exciting cities in America that we want to be. Major and exciting cities simply make it happen.
We have become a nation that is adrift
I am an immigrant, and if someone asked me whether to come to the U.S. or not, I would tell them to go to China or India.
We have become a nation that produces scapegoating, not products or services. We turn against ourselves and divide ourselves, instead of seeing that we are in a terrible worldwide depression, much of which was caused by the depression in the U.S. created during the George W. Bush years.
No one is gathering us together or focusing on the problems and solving them. The Republican Party has become a party of shameless racists, a national disgrace that has produced the mess that we are in, and yet many of the best minds are among the Republicans. Yet, with their present leadership, who can follow them? Look at poor Marco Rubio. Look at the horrible reception the Republicans are giving him.
The Democrats are not much better. President Barack Obama, instead of providing leadership, has become a weak lame-duck president. Everywhere I go, I see the terrible results of a downturned and depressed economy and the total change in people's mindsets.
We used to be a nation of avid doers and problem-solvers, we are now a nation of complainers and dumpers. Let us get together and solve our problems sensibly, compassionately and cheerfully and show ourselves to be the great nation we should be. Let's start, Bay Area.
Kirsten A. Fraser