Letters to the Editor
In 1832, English writer Samuel Taylor Coleridge published a prescient tale, The Rime (sic) of the Ancient Mariner. Most schoolchildren at some point either encounter the most famous short quote from this poem, or perhaps read the whole thing. The line is: “Water, water, everywhere, Yet not a drop to drink.”
The mariner was stranded aboard a ghost ship, an albatross tied about his neck. Fellow crewmen on the vessel did that because the mariner had shot the bird, invoking superstitious fear of bad luck.
Now Californians face even worse luck. What if the state ran out of water for drinking, bathing, cooking, cleaning, filling auto radiators, washing windows, making snow, manufacturing, and the countless other ways people use water? That would be not merely bad luck, but disaster.
Fortunately, although the historic California drought has not yet been fully broken, recent weather has poured rain onto parched soil, piled up beautiful fresh powder at Heavenly Valley, and perhaps begun long-needed relief.
In fact, forecasts claim a monster El Niño may cause flooding, mudslides and other disasters in the West Coast states. Seems it never rains, but it pours. Maybe Coleridge was not too gloomy, after all.
I would like to know what “American System” Councilmember Tony Daysog was referring to last week in his commentary on the rent’s issue in Alameda (“Councilman Pens ‘Tale of Two Alamedans’ on Rent,” Nov. 12). As far as US history is concerned, the American System is a set of ideas developed in the 1820s to improve the economy via improved transportation, protective tariffs on manufacturing and a national bank.
Would someone care to explain how this in any way relates to unfair rent increases?
Although it is understandable that a politician who thinks office hours are applicable to his provision may not know much about the finer points of American history, I would hope that the politicians we elect actually have a clue what they are saying.
That such a prominent one has made such a glaring display of ignorance in his own speech, at both a public meeting and in a published commentary, speaks volumes about the state of politics in this town.
I was at the city council meeting this past Wednesday and many of the landlords stated that they do not charge market rate for their units. This may be true of the landlords that were in attendance but it is false to say that many apartments aren't very expensive. A cursory search of Craigslist or local real estate offices shows that options for working class individuals and families is limited, perhaps even non-existent. I'm not suggesting a solution but I am suggesting that we, as a community, face reality.