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Letters for March 23

Readers sound off on grow houses, Kitty's, and OPD overtime.


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Ms. Feria could really take advantage of this change to turn her place into a bar that the police wouldn't hate and the locals would support. She could host beer tastings and draw in the young professionals living and working in Emeryville. Maybe have a few drink specials for the shot-and-a-beer crowd. It couldn't hurt to cater to the ready population, who currently go out of their way to patronize other, more friendly bars. I hope she does.

Christina Thompson, Emeryville

"Cops Make Bank on Overtime," Full Disclosure, 3/9

Better Oversight Needed

Regardless of whether or not Officers Morse and Thomas are padding their bank accounts with overtime, I find it deeply troubling that (to paraphrase Geoffrey Pete) they issue the permit, set the criteria, give you the number of cops, and also tell you the price. There needs to be a set of rules governing this process, and if such rules already exist, they need to be communicated to the public. At the moment they seem to be entirely arbitrary. Considering OPD's history of police corruption, this is not a good development.

John Seal, Oakland

Cheaper Than New Hires

I only want to address the issue of police overtime. The police department is short-staffed and now there are complaints about overtime. If you follow the money, it is cheaper to pay overtime than to hire more police. By going the overtime route, the city does not pay benefits or other attendant costs of another police officer.

Richard Bowser

Retired officer, Oakland Police Department

Rocklin, CA

Racist Assumptions

I appreciate the fact that the Express has started to cover some of the ongoing issues of racial discrimination that persist in Oakland. Robert Gammon's recent article on police overtime and the actions of police in regard to the business of Geoffrey Pete and other African-American entertainment venues is an excellent example. Overtime pay to some officers is larger than their regular yearly pay! Oakland residents cannot afford these payments.

Furthermore, the argument for much of this overtime is the racist assumption that those who attend black clubs are so difficult to manage that large numbers of extra police are warranted. Yet I have personally witnessed large numbers of white revelers unsupervised by any police at all.

Geoffrey Pete has been a conscientious business owner and courageous community activist for several decades. If we want the kind of "diverse" city most of us talk about, we are going to need to defend the rights of black business in their dealings with everything from police overtime to contracting opportunities.

Kitty Kelly Epstein, Oakland

"40th Street," Insider's Guide, 2/23

Post-Racial Bullshit

I wish the Express would openly admit its disinterest in the brown and black people of Oakland, who have not only lived and built and dealt with the city as home and refuge, spanning multiple generations, but who also stand to lose all sense of recognizing their home by the recent migrants who build, push, and ignore the community which stood before it — me and my family included.I am all for Oakland becoming revitalized but there is no sense of critical thought of how the revitalization process leaves out huge aspects of the population. This "post-racial" ideology is BS and continues the tradition of white supremacy by erasing persons who do not fit into societal "progress." Oakland has no room for those who argue for the active, vocal, and prominent inclusion of people of color.

Essence Harden, Oakland

"Hate Man," Feature, 3/2

A Winner

Sandeep Abraham and Kathleen Richards have collaborated on a real winner of an article here — amazingly thorough. This article is not only accurate as far as I can tell, but also sincerely respectful of Hate's experiences, lifestyle choices, and philosophy. Thank you so much for your careful and caring reporting on a person whom I have always believed to be an eye-opening, mind-broadening example for the rest of us.

Prudence Hawthorne, Missoula, MT

Lessons to Learn

Great article. He's taken it to the extreme, where I wouldn't want or be able to go, but he's got a point. We're not honest with each other about our negativity, and that poisons our relationships.

Jane Farrell, Peoria, Arizona

Hateful Memories

I've had two encounters with "Hate" that I always found very memorable and humorous. Around '69 or '70 I was talking with a friend on Durant Avenue, just east of Telegraph. I think Hate was acquainted with him. Hate came over and uttered the phrase, "Tom Terrific's Magical Mystery Underwear." Another time, after returning from San Leandro on the infamous 40 line and witnessing a potentially violent confrontation on the bus involving the driver and most of the passengers, Hate boarded the bus on Telegraph near Broadway with a woman who had some young children with her. They all had "punk rock" haircuts. Hate had his beard and dress. Some teenagers at the back of the bus started yelling "FAGGOT!" to which Hate replied "STRAIGHT!" These two words were thrown back and forth in a verbal shoving match-volleyball game until Hate won through unshaken perseverance, wearing the teenagers down into silence and resignation. Rock on, Hate Man!

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