Mailbox Guidelines

Opinions voiced in letters published in Mailbox are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Independent. Anonymous letters will not be published. All letters are required to have the name(s) of the person(s) submitting them, city of residence and phone number, for verification purposes. Abusive letters may be rejected or edited. Letters are subject to verification and may be edited for clarity at the discretion of the editor. We reserve the right to decide whether or not the letter will be published. Headings for all letters may be edited at the discretion of the editor to properly reflect their content.

A headline will be added to letters received without one. Frequent letter writers may have publication of their letters delayed. Letters should be limited to 400 words or less and should be sent by email to letters@independentnews.com or submitted using the form below. To be considered, letters must be received by 10 a.m. on the Tuesday before publication.

Express your views in The Independent! Click below to send us your letter to the editor.

I support the Black Lives Matter movement working to undo systemic racism in our country. Martin Luther King, Jr., in his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, said “one day this nation will rise up, and live out the true meaning of its creed…that all men are created equal” and should be treated a…

A broad public outreach is essential to the success of forming an effective racial justice committee. I’d like to see a website set up to facilitate an ongoing dialogue between the public, our police officers, public health workers, and panel members, where the public can present questions a…

We read your front-page story on July 2 about Rep. Eric Swalwell with interest, because it broke new ground.

A June 14 online forum on Racial Inequity in City Governance and Policing provided an opportunity for an important community debate. The event, organized by Unify Livermore and moderated by Shana Peete from the Tri-Valley Non-Profit Alliance, was intended to encompass all of the Tri-Valley a…

This is not my usual style of writing, but is in tribute to someone who submits to The Independent frequently. I read Owen Brovont’s over-weening letter assiduously, and have concluded that it is nothing more than a pedantic and illiberal screed in favor of white supremacy. Perhaps Mr. Brovo…

We would like to clear up some misinformation in a recent letter by Jason Bezis regarding the importance of backflow prevention.

I read with total disgust that a statue of Christopher Columbus was torn down in Baltimore. The alleged reason is his responsibility for the injustices inflicted upon Native Americans.

In these dark, secluded and troubling times, it’s great to know we have a wonderful community that is willing to step in and fill a void. Instead of finding a way to have a fireworks show from another location, shot higher into the sky so that all could see the show from anywhere in the city…

I was intrigued by the exchange of letters between Owen Brovont and John Cameron on “White Privilege” and “Moral Structure” in The Independent issues of June 25 and July 2.

I have lived in an eight-plex in Livermore since 2016. When I called for the trash pick-up rate, I was told 70-something. When the housing authority learned I had not started service, I was penalized and lost my utility allowance. I went to the sanitation company to start service and was aga…

Recently, a young retired couple was examining the "famous" Livermore totem pole in Centennial Park, near my home. The woman had read about its history and was interested in actually seeing it. Our conversation produced a question that our city might choose to address. What is our plan to pr…

In submitting comments for inclusion in the newspaper, I try to avoid engaging in verbal fencing with people who disagree with something I have written. But I felt the need to react to being branded last week as having written an “ignorant letter to the editor.” 

Police forces are asked to make up for years of neglect, limited opportunities and prejudice. 

In the mornings when I walk in Sycamore Grove, I frequently see high school runners who fail to show basic courtesy to other park users.

An Alameda County grand jury report found that high school educators in Oakland misused a grading system in order to pass students who didn’t qualify and misled the public about it.

Warning to Livermore residents: Your water bill could increase exorbitantly this year. California Water Service soon will send letters demanding that you spend thousands of dollars to install and maintain unnecessary “backflow prevention devices.”

I was glad to see the articles in The Independent on Rep. Swalwell's (D-CA) efforts on police reform at the federal level and the article about the march in Pleasanton for unity on social justice. Congratulations to Julie Testa, Pleasanton City Council, for her effective efforts working with…

I am not a historian and lack the scope and depth of many scholars examining the changes confronting our nation today, Still, I reflect on the Civil Rights movement of the ‘50s and ‘60s and the subsequent periods following those dramatic periods. I also remember the law and order campaigns a…

Dublin has a city councilman, Shawn Kumagai, who wants to take your gun rights away and kill the Second Amendment. This council member works for California 16th District Assemblywomen Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, and uses his position with the city to promote her agendas.

Just prior to the California gubernatorial election in November 2018, I warned readers of The Independent against electing Gavin Newsom, a failed former mayor and lieutenant governor, to our state's highest elected office.

I’m dumbfounded why there were no letters last week in response to Owen Brovont’s letter on June 11, ripe with privilege and ignorance.

The Tri-Cities asked Alameda County to open up businesses faster, but to no avail.

I just finished watching testimony before the House Judiciary Committee on the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020, and I wanted to make mention of the perspective put forth by Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA). In my opinion, the clarity and focus of Swalwell’s statement highlight the need…

I read with considerable dismay Aly Brown’s comprehensive and excellent article on the closure of the Stanford Health Care – ValleyCare skilled nursing facility in Livermore. As a former board member of the Valley Health Care System before its acquisition by Stanford Health Care, I am aware …

It is well past time for the American people to understand what is really happening in America today.

President Trump has requested an increase in the federal budget for the nuclear weapons stockpile. Further, his budget request would reduce funds for science, environmental cleanup and other programs that meet human needs.

It was recently said in this newspaper that for years there has not been a homicide in Pleasanton. This baffles me. Perhaps Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley thinks some lives are unimportant. She suggests that some deaths are merely a consequence of policing. The deaths I am r…

Like many of us, I am heartsick at the death of George Floyd and the subsequent violence some police used against those who have taken to the streets in nonviolent protest. I send a hearty thank you to the Livermore folks who marched by my house on Monday. You give me hope and courage. I wou…

I read with interest Shawn Larson’s letter of June 11 explaining that George Floyd’s true problem was not racial injustice but sex-based. Mr. Larson makes the argument that he was a man and men have long been discriminated against in the criminal justice system. Men have been oppressed for s…

We applaud the mayors of Livermore, Dublin, and Pleasanton for petitioning Alameda County to treat the Tri-Valley as a sub-region of Alameda County with regard to COVID-19 virus restrictions. Our socioeconomic and geographic base is worlds apart from the East Bay and needs to be treated as s…

Who do the people calling for defunding or abolishing police departments think will respond when they call 911? Do they actually want response times changed from minutes to never? Do they really want society patrolled by vigilantes and warlords? Hopefully it’s just their emotional reaction a…

It is with great sadness that I am writing this letter, particularly during this time of greater awareness of people's behavior toward our fellow man.

On May 28, 24 non-governmental organizations, including Livermore’s Tri-Valley CAREs, signed onto a letter that was delivered to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer. The letter was in response to recent reports that senior White House officials had di…

The Second Great Depression – highest unemployment since the 1930s, worst stock market loss since Oct. 29, 1929 – is the product of insanity, incompetence, and indifference.

Lifesaving treatment withheld for Livermore amyloidosis patients. Gene silencing infusions for a rare systemic disease called hereditary amyloidosis were withheld. The infusion cancellations were the lone decision of the provider and no alternatives were offered to patients. Even with passag…

For about 3 months, we have been sheltering in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus. I shop during “senior only” hours, don my mask and gloves to pick up takeout dinners, and slowly watch my thinning hair becoming longer than it was during the 70s. I keep my distance during my walks i…

The NFL’s admission that it was wrong for not listening to its players’ concerns about racism is welcome, but not enough. It did not even mention Colin Kaepernick; the NFL owes him an apology and more. The league blackballed him for calling attention to police brutality against people of col…

The Dublin City Council will consider a proposal from Shea Properties for a mixed high-density housing and commercial development on Tassajara Road, to be called At Dublin, at its meeting on June 16.  This project is projected to include up to 566 residential units and 240,000 square-feet of…

Our nation is being ripped apart. How can there be peace when there is no justice? A nation with over 100,000 dead, and no end in sight, from a pandemic that disproportionately strikes people of color and the poor. A nation with 40 million unemployed in the Second Great Depression, even as t…

In a statement regarding the death of George Floyd, Livermore Mayor John Marchand writes, "Racism and bigotry are not acceptable." It's hard to argue with the mayor's statement. Studies and data indicate that, per capita, blacks are about 2.4 times more likely than whites to die at the hands…

For a person raised in a quieter, more accomplished, more intelligent, more civil age, to watch this once vibrant society charging into insanity and civil disorder is deeply disturbing and disheartening. As a person who has raised a mixed-race family where each child has achieved professiona…

While we applaud [Alameda County District Attorney] Nancy O’Malley for her condemnation of George Floyd’s death, O’Malley has done very little to address police brutality in Alameda County. Mr. Floyd’s death, like countless others at the hands of police forces around the country, is criminal…

Wow, what a difference a week or so can make. After the protest in downtown Livermore to re-open the local businesses, your mailbox was filled with letters about how unsafe the protesters were by ignoring social distancing and how dumb these people must be. This was played out over and over …

Congratulations to the young people of Pleasanton for organizing the amazing protests last week in response to racial violence by police. They have resoundingly pierced the Pleasanton bubble of willful indifference to important national and global issues. It holds great hope for our future a…

A couple days ago, you ran an article saying it is now not allowed for minors to buy this new “candy” that contains nicotine and other addictive drugs. I agree with Pleasanton, but I am thinking further and have all our schools in the Tri-Valley follow Pleasanton’s example. Then I thought wo…

Yes, the budget needs to be cut to protect the investment that teachers put into teaching. Start with Kelly Bowers.

We have another national health crisis in America besides COVID-19. It is one that has been with us for a long time and kills a hundred Americans a day. It can happen to anyone, just as COVID-19 can affect anyone. It happens in schools, churches, on our streets, and in our homes. I am talkin…

California has scores of outlying counties and towns with trivial to no COVID-19 viral impacts. Most counties and municipalities at this late juncture should be setting their own parameters. Sacramento is bureaucratically out of touch with most communities. Our brilliant politicians and “exp…

I have been asked by several citizens of Livermore regarding the city’s downtown plan to build housing on the old Lucky site. However, no matter which downtown plan they supported, I believe the consensus was that housing should not necessarily be in our downtown core, but moved offsite and …

Do you enjoy seeing birds and butterflies? Populations of both are plummeting. Monarch butterfly numbers have dropped by 99%. The same thing is happening to all species of butterflies. Songbird numbers are also declining at an alarming rate.

Here is a simple solution to the power-mad governors in California, Michigan, New Jersey, Colorado, New Mexico, New York, etc. who refuse to reopen their states and let us out of our homes: Take away their pay and benefits, lavish taxpayer-funded lifestyles, and generous per diems – and conf…

I was not surprised that Mayor Marchand didn’t appear at the Save Our Town rally on Saturday. To appear would have been politically incorrect. I was also not surprised that he said rallies like this make no difference, because they don’t, to him. I was also not surprised when he told the pre…

How dare Paul Stone (Mailbox, May 7) question Herr Newsom. We are too stupid to know how to take care of ourselves, our families, our businesses. We should be forever grateful that we have such an intelligent, compassionate and well coiffured person in charge of our lives.

I have sympathy for local businesses protesting the county’s continuing shelter-in-place order. This pandemic has turned our lives upside down in a short time, and while everyone has been impacted, the magnitude of the impact certainly has not been shared equally.

This Sunday, I took a walk downtown. To my dissatisfaction, First Street is a neglected mess. Shops and restaurants are closed, however, that is no excuse for the shabby appearance! Plants are drying up in front of the businesses and city areas.

The editorial in the May 14 issue of The Independent (Benefits That Will Remain Once the Storm Passes) fails to include the hoped-for life-sustaining benefits for current employees and future occupants of congregate spaces, such as long-term rehab accommodations, involuntary confinements, etc.

The protesters who rallied last Saturday in Livermore blatantly disrespected the rules of social distancing and wearing face masks when less than six feet apart, according to multiple social media and news reports. If any of them are unknowingly asymptomatic carriers of the coronavirus that …

On the east side of Livermore Avenue will be a large 3- or 4-story hotel with minimal to no onsite parking. It is likely to be four stories, as that is what the city and builder originally wanted. If so, it will be approximately the height of the Bankhead Theater and reach practically to the…

Prisoners are being released early. People trying to earn a living are being fined and jailed. Dictators declare that some people are essential and other people are not essential and can’t work to support their families. The dictators continue to collect their paychecks. Civil law cannot be …

Hats off to The Independent for taking the time to support the community and local businesses by printing a list of businesses that are open for service, complete with addresses, web links, personal contacts, phone numbers, and delivery options. This was done free of charge to those businesses. 

The economy grounded to a halt in many towns across our country including Livermore once shelter-in-place orders went into effect because of the Coronavirus. Congress has authorized trillions of dollars in deficit spending to stave off a recession by sending checks to Americans to spend. Any…

On first reading of the press release by Bill Dunlop published Sunday and in today's Independent my reaction was, "Hooray", finally the two groups, supporters of the City and the Central Park Plan, that have been vociferously fighting, sat down together to bridge their differences. The plan …

I was mystified by Rich Buckley's appeal last week to "pray for POTUS." What good is prayer when the emperor has no soul?

Congratulations to the Citizens for a Livermore Park in working toward a win-win proposal that is in the best interest of all Livermore residents. We can now look toward a solution that provides both more housing and more green space. What could be better than a city that comes together to h…

With all the coverage of COVID-19, people are keenly aware of the need to "flatten the curve" to avoid stressing our resources in response to the crisis and limit its consequences. However, there is another rapidly increasing trend that needs flattening as well: the upward trend in the produ…

After a very contentious past several months, it is great to hear there is a basis of compromise for the downtown development plan. As is normally the case in good faith negotiations, each side does not get everything it wants. However, in this time of much needed unity in our country, it is…

As the COVID-19 epidemic plays out across our healthcare system, many nurses and healthcare providers such as myself are beginning to look at ways we can improve our preparedness for these types of events. One way is by is enacting SB 1053, the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact, introduced by…

During this strange period of self-isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is both important and necessary that people maintain their connection to others. I might even make the case that everyone should increase their interactions with the outside world. One such connection available (at…

Citizens, ask your city managers and the governor to forgive your gas taxes, property taxes, and sales taxes while the state is shut down. If you are one of those who lost his or her job because the state said close down, then you should not have to pay taxes during that time.

I am watching Rachel Maddow on MSNB C and learning how President Trump, by executive order, is requiring meat plants to reopen and remain open regardless of COVID-19 outbreaks.

Massive slaughterhouse closures are driving U.S. consumers to plant-based meat products, as sick workers pay the price.

Daryl R. Carlson is not unreasonable in criticizing me for lack of proof. I've recently grown impatient with long proof-filled letters to the editor.

The editorial “Looking for the Silver Lining” was a great start on assessing changes due to shelter-in-place that we may want to make our “new normal.”

Would that Gov. Gavin Newsom would redouble his efforts to reopen California rather than redoubling his efforts to keep it locked down. Governor, you're not going to have much left to govern if we keep going like this.

I just received the May 2020 issue of the Livermore Heritage Guild newsletter with a story about my love affair with my adopted hometown of Livermore.

We agree with those who think that lawn and garden maintenance work should be allowed to continue, provided common sense social distancing rules are followed. Many older people are unable to do lawn and garden maintenance themselves. A hired worker mowing a lawn, trimming a hedge, or pruning…

Renters and homeowners in Pleasanton are experiencing reduced, and even entirely eliminated paychecks during the shelter-in-place order. Many residents are currently hoping that their savings, one-time stimulus checks and/or unemployment insurance will allow them to cover rent or mortgage pa…

Rich Buckley’s letters to The Independent have the depth and viscosity of a mud puddle. His most recent—a parroting of a ludicrous internet rumor that the coronavirus originated in a Chinese biolab—serves only to embolden racists and deflect attention from the Trump bungling of his pandemic …

Yesterday and today I witnessed our new sheriff's helicopter hovering about 200 feet above neighborhoods near my residence for several hours. While they may have been "testing" its capabilities, it looked more like they were snooping around people's backyards. They were not being the least b…

During what I consider a normal American male’s youth, I gravitated to the belief of the existence of a soulmate. A "soulmate" usually refers to a romantic or platonic partner, with the implication of an exclusive lifelong bond. The term first appeared in the English language in a letter wri…

No president, governor or mayor has the legal authority to shutdown schools, churches, businesses, or parks because they think they know best. Where does that authority come from? These elected officials usurped power because we the taxpayers were asleep at the wheel.

Today the counties in the Bay Area decided to keep business shut and force all of us to stay at home for another month. Meanwhile, city officials in Dublin, Pleasanton and Livermore are not suffering at all. They all are getting full pay checks and giving all of us the alligator tears.

Why is COVID-19 not being treated as a bioweapon when our top generals and admirals know differently, as well as Nobel Prize-winning biologists, intelligence analysts, authoritative academics, and practicing medical doctors speaking out by the dozens? A political calculation is being made by…

My cousin, who lives in Arkansas, has been ill since early March. Initially she was treated with a Z pack (azithromycin), but she got worse. Then the doctor prescribed doxycycline for both her and her husband, although he felt fine. Since my cousin was not hospitalized, the doctor could not …

It’s time to make the switch from oil, tar and coal-based energy sources to renewable energy sources like wind and solar. Dredging the San Francisco Bay in order to accommodate more oil tankers is nothing more than a ticking time bomb for an environmental disaster in our fragile, already str…

Like most sentient human beings, I have noticed the changes in weather and the world environment during the past decade. (Of course, President Dump fails to acknowledge the validity of the problem and, in fact, has prevented the U.S. from participating in any corrective measures.) Global war…

Our community often acknowledges its dependence on small businesses. Usually what comes to mind are restaurants and those who sell refreshments. But one of the most numerous of our local small businesses are the salons with their hairdressers, manicurists and aestheticians. We have a great m…

In honor of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, a series of online events will be hosted by Tri-Valley Citizens’ Climate Education on the popular meeting platform, Zoom. We welcome all ages to learn, meet community climate leaders, and connect with a rising global movement for climate solutions.

I would like to thank all the first responders, Livermore Police, Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department, and all medical staff for their extra help and dedication during this difficult time.

With the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, we are already reducing our carbon footprint during the pandemic by curtailing travel. But we can do so much more by cutting our consumption of animal meat and milk products. Yes, that.

Jesus’ ordeal commenced in the Garden of Gethsemane. The New Testament records that Jesus sweated blood. Dr. Alexander Metherell, an expert on crucifixion, identifies this as hematidrosis, which is caused by extreme psychological distress triggering a discharge of bodily chemicals breaking d…

I noticed a half-page advertisement in the newspaper last week from the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center asking for donations from the public during these trying times. What an absolute shame so much money was spent by the LVPAC chair and president fighting the city over the downtown …

I am particularly offended that the Livermore City Council still plans to adopt a significant sewer tax increase during a shelter-in-place public health emergency that makes it illegal for Livermore residents to attend the meeting in person. It appears this city council values an increase in…