Letters to the Editor
Ever see an Alameda whipsnake? Well, you might never get to if the Trump Administration enforces its new regulations gutting the landmark Endangered Species Act. For 40 years the act has saved at least 227 species from extinction and today protects more than 1,700 species (with a 99 percent success rate.) Iconic species including the bald eagle, grizzly bear and humpback whale have been saved along with an impressive array of birds, fish, flowers, butterflies and mollusks.
Industrial interests have gotten everything on their wish lists. For example, financial costs will now be factored into whether any species should be listed. Developers will be allowed to bulldoze, mine, drill and log in critical habitats. And delays for new listings — while the number of any respective species dwindles — will become the norm.
Finally, wildlife merely deemed as “threatened” will now no longer receive any protection at all, such as that Alameda whipsnake.
This is the single-most devastating attack ever seen on the act. I dare you to go look at species that have been saved over the years and not be moved by the profound importance of this law. This is all happening despite the act’s longstanding popularity and the increasing threat of climate change.
That is why I am joining groups such as the Center for Biological Diversity and others, urging Alamedans to call their representatives and senators. Urge them to pass laws to strike down these proposed changes so that we can continue to live in a world of natural beauty and wonder. The time to act is now.
As Simon Cameron, U.S. financier and politician, (1799-1889) once cynically observed, “An honest politician is one who, when he is bought, will stay bought.” The sentiment was most recently echoed by Willie Brown.
As David Howard alleges (“A quick reminder,” Sept. 12), the loyalty and support of some Alameda locals may have been purchased for as little as a paltry $5,000.
Not claiming the moral high ground here, but as an uncompromising person of flex-time integrity, I would have held out for $6,000 and not a penny less. In a sense, Jamestown might have scored a real bargain: a two-for-one sale.
Admittedly, never having experienced the horrors of an evaporating trust fund, I am not in position to judge anyone. No one should begrudge an elected official for being incentivized by special interests, who else is going to pay?
And, as my Uncle Cusper was fond of saying, “What is the point of going through all the trouble of earning the public’s trust, if you don’t plan to misuse it?”
When you walk or drive down Mecartney Road on Bay Farm Island you’d better be alert. The cars are going 40 to 50 miles an hour and don’t stop for anyone. We have crossing lights at Leydecker Park but need them at Fontana and Verdemar drives too. I have called City Hall to request this. Drivers just look straight ahead and don’t look for walkers or bikers.
I have waited to cross with the blinking crossing lights and cars just race past. Heaven forbid someone is looking at a cell phone and not paying attention.
Then there are the bikers who ride on the sidewalks, even though there are three bike lanes on Mecartney. Two in the street and one next to the sidewalk.
I have stopped riders and asked them to ride on the bike paths a number of times. We have people out walking, running, walking dogs and the cyclists just expect us to get out of the way by walking on the lawns. We have people using canes and walker; it seems the cyclists just don’t care.
For example, today I was walking to the shopping center and passed a women who is blind and has a white and red cane. A dad with three children all on bikes and riding on the sidewalk went right by her with no regard for her safety or mine. I had to move to the lawn to make room.
The other morning I stopped a dad taking his son to school who were riding their bikes on the sidewalk. I stopped him and asked him to ride on the safe bike lane across the street. He thanked me, that was a pleasant shock!
Commute times are the worst. Mornings and afternoons, the police really need to be out there controlling the speeders.
Thank you for reading this, if you are a walker, biker or driver, please start being more considerate of your surroundings.