Zoo measure on ballot is not what it seems

Measure A1, sponsored by the executives of the Oakland Zoo, is not what it pretends to be: A way to fund caring for cute animals. It's a way to fund development of a $72 million, three-story office, restaurant, gift shop, visitor center and theme park on a sensitive ridgeline.

It is an irrevocable 25-year tax that would allow zoo executives to pave over rich habitat on public land in Oakland's largest park: Knowland Park. It gives taxing authority to a private company with no elected representatives or public accountability.

The zoo currently gets millions of dollars in public funding, including Oakland city funds, hotel taxes, East Bay Regional Park District funds, other bonds and a multimillion-dollar state parks grant.

Yet they refuse the audits they agreed to.

The deception in this bill I find appalling, and you will, too, if you take the time to read the whole thing. What the zoo execs are counting on is that you won't.

Visit www.saveknowland.org for the full story.

Tyler Yarbrough

San Leandro

Zoo plan will provide educational outreach

I am a 43-year Oakland resident and docent at the zoo since 2006. I proudly support the zoo's efforts to extend its educational programs. Therefore, I support Measure A1 on the November ballot.


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A1 is focused on humane animal care and increasing the zoo's educational outreach programs throughout Alameda County. The measure draws support from Rep. Barbara Lee, all members of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, the Humane Society of the United States, local education and animal rights advocates, more than 700 Bay Area residents, the East Bay Regional Park District, Alameda County Superintendent of Schools Sheila Jordan and school superintendents in every city of the county.

It will provide critically needed environmental education for Alameda County children. Animal care organizations, including the Ventana Wildlife Society, the Bay Area Puma Project and leading veterinarians support A1's goal to provide humane animal care. These supporters understand A1, how the funds will be used and that all money will be subject to annual independent outside audit.

David C. Lee

Oakland

Natarajan excellent choice for Fremont

As a regular observer of the Fremont City Council meetings, both in person and on television, one council member has always impressed me. Anu Natarajan, during her council tenure, has always proved to be very well prepared for all issues the council addresses.

Besides her training as an urban planner, both academically and professionally, she is always ready and willing to take a stand, both traits needed to steer the city to an even greater future.

Natarajan has the dedication, work ethic, knowledge and vision to take us forward. She knows the importance of a connected community, working to create a Fremont that is a great place to live for young adults, parents with kids and seniors.

These qualities are the reason I am supporting Natarajan to be Fremont's next mayor. Before casting your vote Nov. 6, I ask that you please consider Natarajan for our future, and vote with me to create an even better Fremont with Anu Natarajan as our mayor.

Bob Creveling

Chairman Senior Citizens Commission Fremont

Bacon is best choice for Fremont council

The Oct. 9 editorial endorsements for Fremont mayor and City Council seats were appalling: unmotivated, vague and seemingly unfamiliar with any real issues.

In fact, the whole editorial was a diatribe on the virtues of austerity. Nothing mentioned about blighted social services, school and library underfunding or other important issues.

Large developers historically have played an outsize role in Fremont politics and its skewed economic priorities. Yet the paper endorses the pro-development bloc of Sue Chan and John Dutra. (Dutra postures as a small-business owner, but is in fact the CEO of Dutra Enterprise, a multimillion-dollar corporation.)

I am supporting Vinnie Bacon for City Council and encourage others to do the same. He is opposed to the power and influence of developers and has pledged not to take any contributions from them.

Real endorsements matter. Bacon's campaign is endorsed by the Alameda County Democratic Party, state Sen. Ellen Corbett, Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski and the Sierra Club.

These are people Bacon can and will work with.

David H. Cunningham

Fremont