News & Opinion » Letters & Guest Essays

Letters for December 15

Readers sound off on Jean Quan's Twitter activity, overfishing, and vegan Filipino food.


"Jean Quan and Twitter Spam," News, 12/1

This Article Is Whack

I think this article is ridiculous. Can you get someone that knows anything about Twitter to write for you please? Obviously, as a mayoral candidate and now mayor, Jean Quan has a staff member writing her tweets. If Jean Quan were actually tweeting herself this article would be about how Jean is wasting her time on Twitter instead of governing the City of Oakland, or preparing to govern it as the case may be.

So what is the problem? Twitter is a conversation, a HUGE conversation that is full of tons of what most would consider chatter. Jean has always had a strong voice; can you blame her staff for trying to emulate that voice with Twitter, and use Twitter as the TOOL that it actually is. A tool to connect with communities of people, like the City of #Oakland.

Very few of her tweets are unrelated to Oakland, and the ones that are are for human rights movements and other hot topics which are relevant in Oakland. So I find this article inaccurate completely.

And on the subject of FakeJeanQuan, that account has less than 75 followers last I checked, the owner's real account probably follows as many people, and is simply annoyed that 90 percent of his or her front page is filled with Jean Quan's tweets. This is a common issue on Twitter and there are many accounts that get unfollowed because of this common issue.

Obviously thirty-plus tweets is a lot, I'm not arguing that, but part of it is Twitter's problem because they allow accounts to do this but they don't allow users to prevent seeing it except through unfollowing. And none of it is spam or unrelated to Oakland. This article is whack.

Jonathan Norton, Oakland

There's More to Life Than Twitter

Who cares? This sounds like something off some gossip rag. First the press loves you and then they find anything to make fodder out of you when you're the winner. There's more important things to report on than this silly Twitter stuff.

Kit Vaq, Oakland

Sweet Tweets

It's pretty sweet to see a politician using Twitter like an actual Twitter user, instead of getting an account during an election, tweeting out a few press releases or fund-raising pleas, and dumping it after the campaign. Also, was very easy to figure out who is helping her manage the account if you actually understand Twitter. Big fan of what they're doing.

Adriel Hampton, Dublin

"Is San Francisco Bay Fished Out?," Feature, 12/1

Save the Sharks

After a well-researched article I'm a little disappointed with the conclusion. What do you think will happen to the sharks as party boats like the one mentioned at the introduction shift their focus to sharks? The article discusses impacts on commercial or commercial party boats, but does not analyze the impacts from the recreational fishery.

Sharks are more vulnerable to overfishing. The large sharks like sevengill sharks are poorly managed with no size limit and a year-round quota.

As a biologist tagging and studying local sharks I'm concerned that articles like this will promote shark fishing. Sharks are slow growing, late to reproduce (over ten years for sevengills), have relatively very few young, and can only pup every other year. We know that San Francisco Bay is an important shark nursery.

Sharks are essential for a balanced bay ecosystem, one as the article implies is increasingly out of whack. Moreover, large sharks are loaded with Mercury and there are advisories against eating large sharks.

The proper management of sharks must be considered before the last domino falls.

Unless we follow Belov's lead and limit our consumption, and fish sustainably, we will lose our entire fish resources including sharks. As Anfinson says, "Some people are starting to fish for sharks, but who knows how long that fishery will last."

Will the next article we read be titled "San Francisco Bay's Sharks Fished Out?"It is the mission of Sea Stewards and other organizations that include fishermen to avoid that.

David McGuire

Fairfax, CA

Far-Fetched Idea

I am a veteran of the quota-based commercial (not "party boat") halibut fishery in Bering Sea waters of Alaska. The impending rationalization of commercial groundfish management off the West Coast is critical to rebuilding depleted species, and it will end the immoral practice of shoveling unwanted bycatch overboard — a practice that professional fishermen find abhorrent. Also, to respond directly to one claim of the opponents of rationalized management, the idea that Wal-Mart and McDonald's will "own the resource" is ludicrous. It never happened in Alaska (a far richer "target") and it won't happen here.

Scott CoughlinSeattle, WA

"No Pork, No Worries," Food, 12/1

Meat's Not Crucial

I disagree that meat has to be crucial to still be traditional. Filipinos have been known to assimilate and make do with the ingredients available to them. Many of our dishes are influenced by other countries through trade and all its occupants (Spain, China, India, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, and America) which we then take and make them our own. One does not need to use meat (and yes, fish is meat) to still stay true to a dish — so long as you use the same preparation, flavors, textures, and care. By not using meat, a Filipino dish can be elevated into something more vibrant, colorful, healthful, and flavorful than it was originally. It can even make the dish more representative of the tropical islands that the Philippines really are composed of. I'm often asked why there are not more Filipino restaurants out there. My theory has always been that we (as Filipinos) are partly to blame for why we're grossly underrepresented. That's because of what I previously stated, our ability to assimilate ... but also that our own cuisine varies regionally and also down to how our very own family makes a particular dish. If it's not what we're used to, then it's "not right," and we tend to reject it. Girlonbus falls into this category, and perpetuates why we will continue to be underrepresented if we're not open and supportive of each other. All of our taste buds are comforted by familiarity, but our survival instincts need to kick in. In order to continue to make ourselves and this planet viable, we need to cut back on meat consumption.I commend Jay-Ar Isagani Pugao for taking our Filipino cuisine, making it more healthful to support his mother, and then to make it available to the masses. He at least provides a gateway for those that are uninitiated and intimidated to try Filipino cuisine. Because I no longer want to partake in the suffering of other beings, I, too, am vegan. Although I do not particularly like the term "foodie," I am very much involved in and understand the cultural importance of cooking and sharing the meals I prepare with my family and friends. I am also making the dishes I grew up with plant-based, which actually keeps me firmly rooted in my culture, helps my family become healthier (with cancer affecting my family, surely the acidity of meat does not help in healing), and keeps me close to my Lola who originally taught me how to cook. I'm sure she would be proud.