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Amy L. Keyishian, Richmond
It's Not a Bug, It's a Feature
The story stated: "Fear can really drive the application of bias." Or the app of bias. Nextdoor needs slick banner ads: "Prejudice isn't a bug, it's a feature."
But seriously, putting this awful stuff in writing can be an opportunity for people to see their own bias. It's harder to say, "Oh, I didn't mean it like that." That is, if somebody bothers to call them out.
Christopher Fallis, Alameda
"Coal Attorneys Investigate Oakland Councilmembers," News, 10/7
Come On, Oakland Council
I would hope that the other councilmembers who have not expressed opposition to this scheme will now take a stand against it. The least they can do is speak up against this attempt by Big Coal to harass opponents. It is shocking that only three have spoken in opposition to shipping coal through Oakland to China and would put the promise of a few hundred temporary jobs over the health of Oaklanders and the planet.
What the hell is wrong with the other councilmembers? Are they ignorant or in the pocket of [Phil] Tagami and Big Coal? Perhaps they see a future in the private sector and can slip through the revolving door like Jerry Bridges and use their insider status to set up their own logistics firms, or opposition research agencies.
Paul Burton, Oakland
Darwin BondGraham's incisive investigative reporting on the insidious attempts of coal industry hired guns to manipulate Oakland's political process was an excellent piece of journalism. We should be proud and grateful to have such a talented and dedicated reporter in our midst. We should also relentlessly dissect Big Coal's claim that coal trains will bring "jobs." How many? How much will those jobs pay? Who will get the jobs? How long will the jobs last? I say, Coltrane, not coal trains.
Jessea Greenman, Oakland
"Can Legal Weed Save the Music Industry?" Legalization Nation, 10/7
Amoeba's Problems Are Its Own
As a Bay Area native and lifelong music collector, I've never read a more inaccurate article about local music sales.
Please believe me when I say any problems Amoeba Music is having are not totally the fault of the music industry being in the dumps; the primary problem is its business practices.
Its stock sucks, its prices are high, and worse of all, its buyers alienate potential sellers by engaging in infuriating cherry-picking. The Berkeley Rasputin Music [store] has stock and prices that are about ten times as good as Amoeba's. The Berkeley Rasputin is the number-one choice for local sellers. Amoeba's problems are all its own.
Hopefully selling legal weed may help, but I'd guess it will only work if they sell weed far, far differently than they sell music.
Ken Hensley, Alameda
"Oakland Favors Bank Over Bus Riders," News, 9/30
I certainly hope folks will boycott this bank [Summit Bank] until they change their minds.
Naomi Schiff, Oakland
Other Banks Have Bus Stops Out Front
The Dimond district has a Wells Fargo and a Bank of America on opposite corners, both with bus stops in front. This is a major intersection with hundreds of people getting on and off each day and no problems. Perhaps AC Transit should do a survey of all the bus stops it has that are close to banks to see if there have been any instances of robbery that support Summit Bank's fear.
Leslie Ann Jones, Oakland
We Don't Need Another City Department
Mayor Libby Schaaf's new Department of Transportation wouldn't have changed this outcome and instead would mean less money to fix the potholes and rough pavement Line 51 travels over every day.
Scott Mace, Alameda
I don't think this is a matter of staff incompetence as much as it is bowing to political pressure with money behind it all. It's more a matter of corruption. There are three stops in Berkeley that I can think of in front of banks. One, in fact, is the major AC Transit hub downtown with tons of people and buses. The corruption extends to so much of city business, including any matter coming up before the Planning Commission. Money-laden developers always get their variances with total disregard for zoning regulations.
Judi Sierra, Oakland
"The Gentle Thich Nhat Hanh," Raising the Bar, 9/30
A wonderful, thoughtful essay about a man who elevates humanity.
Lonnie Powers, Newton, Massachusetts
"Defending Sanctuary," News, 9/23
Thank You, Berkeley!
Berkeley has chosen to take an incredibly decisive leadership stand in the immigration debate, and I am proud that our city council got something very right. Our immigration system amounts to nothing more than global apartheid. No human being is illegal, and the clowns who are whining about "illegal" immigration should ask the Native Americans what they think about the immigrants who have been terrorizing and occupying since 1776. Look at yourself first, before pointing the finger of blame at others. That whining is not just immoral, but fundamentally un-American.
Let us not forget that America is a nation of immigrants, and it is the immigrants who are a key driver of our economy and the weavers of our basic social fabric. Enough of this racism and xenophobia. Thank you, Berkeley City Council, for taking such a clear moral stand for the basic values that make America great, and getting something very right for once.