Letters to the Editor

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I have concerns about the California voter registration system and the upcoming primaries.

The irregularities in Arizona, the recent hack of a 191-million- large voter database, the almost daily reports of irregularities in other states’ voting, along with California’s transitioning its database to a new platform — taken together this raises a red flag. 

I was on the ground in Iowa, Nevada and Utah and bore witness to concerning irregularities perpetrated at a number of caucus sites. The crisis in confidence the American people are experiencing in our democratic institutions is real and it is serious.

On a personal note, my voter registration is current however my husband (who has voted for 30 years with no complication or changes in status) checked his registration only to find his name had been dropped off the rolls. His is not the only case being documented. 

I choose to think this is a simple administrative error. However, the climate during this election cycle makes it unacceptable. In my opinion, the California voting apparatus must be squeaky clean to avoid perpetuating a perception that the election process is in some way being “tweaked.”

I’ve come to value my voter registration as much as I do my Social Security number. I encourage all to check their voter registration status at www.sos.ca.gov/elections/registration-status.

As a concerned citizen, I’ve stepped up to be a poll worker. But the nature of this problem requires state-wide pro-active vigilance.


Gabrielle Dolphin

I just got a notification that the City of Alameda, using West Coast Arborists, will be doing “tree maintenance” within the next few days in our neighborhood. Why in the world is the city having tree trimmers cut back street trees in April, or for that matter anytime in spring, when virtually every local bird is nesting and raising young in those same trees? Every nursery and naturalist I know recommends waiting until late July or August to prune trees in our gardens so that young birds will have time to be fledged and gone.

The motto of these arborists is “Tree care professionals serving communities who care about their trees.” Apparently caring for trees doesn’t include caring for our Island City wildlife!


Lisa Haderlie Baker

I have been following with interest the letters regarding the Friends of the Library book sales, and I have a couple of suggestions:

To Joseph Lewis, who pointed out that by the time the public gets a crack at the books (“Concerned about dishonesty at book sale,” March 31), they have been pretty well picked over, which was not disputed in the response by Roberta Wright (“Setting the record straight on book sale,” April 7). Volunteer! That way you can be one of the people who get first crack at the primo books.

To the Friends of the Library I have two suggestions. 

1. You might want to rethink the practice of allowing each volunteer to buy two boxes of books before the public gets a shot at them (including the public who pay extra for the “preview” 
opportunity). A half dozen I could see, or maybe a book per volunteer hour, but two boxes? Roberta Wright confirmed that there are book scouts and dealers in the volunteer ranks, and I’m sure it’s well worth their time when they get to pick out two boxes of what they know to be the most 
valuable books. 

2. If you don’t have procedures in place to ensure that volunteers are actually working on the book sale rather than spending their volunteer time looking over the books to see what they want to buy, you might want to consider doing so — particularly now that everyone knows about volunteers getting to cherry-pick the books, which may increase your number of volunteers.

Thank you, Mr. Lewis and Ms. Wright, for enlightening us about how the Friends of the Library book sales actually work.


Jill Staten