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 Anonymous letters will not be published.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 6 pm on the Monday before publication. Changes to them can be made until 4 pm Tuesday.

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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…

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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 …

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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…

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I am finding it very difficult to understand why gardening/landscaping providers are not being allowed to work. Can someone please give me a reasonable explanation? This makes no sense. These businesses and their workers depend on their jobs for their livelihood and they work very hard, and …

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As I watch President Trump speak to the country on his daily Covid-19 update, I also see Vice President Mike Pence standing very close by. Too close!

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We need to recognize that extreme weather events, massive extinction of species, destruction of our soils and food webs, pollution of our water and air, and pandemics are natural consequences of our collective actions against nature. Humans are not separate from nature, rather we are a part …

No one could predict the immeasurable fear,

An article in The Independent on March 26, “County Has First Coronavirus Death; Livermore Reports an Active Case,” focused on an Open Heart Kitchen volunteer. On Wednesday, March 18, the Alameda County Department of Public Health confirmed a positive test for COVID-19 in an Open Heart Kitche…

Across the nation, local newspapers are closing as a result of financial losses due to COVID 19 and the loss of ad revenue.

Fact, noun, the quality of being actual, the truth.

Travel and tourism are an integral part of the Tri-Valley economy, encompassing hundreds of hospitality businesses and a workforce of 6,300 people.

COVID-19 is a public health crisis, but as it has unfolded, it has rippled out into an economic crisis, too. The stock market has been volatile, businesses have closed their doors, and millions are staying home to limit the spread of the virus. In our community, we’ve seen our school distric…

I have heard that thousands of Americans have contracted the novel coronavirus without realizing it because they are asymptomatic. These people are a separate group from those known survivors who must wait two weeks before re-entering society. Presumably both groups have antibodies that coul…

I am chair of the board of directors for the Livermore Area Recreation and Park District this year. Since the shelter-in-place order, I have been attending the general manager’s daily remote meeting with senior staff to assess the rapidly changing conditions and our responses to them.

I’d like to recount two recent disparate experiences under shelter-in-place. Like all of you, I am struggling to maintain a sense of normalcy under the current conditions. I am fortunate enough to be able to work from home, and have basically only left the house last week to walk the dog. Th…

Hilton Hotels is currently reporting 15% occupancy on average. Perhaps I heard this statistic in error, but I know I heard it twice on cable news CNBC.

We are Livermore and we are resilient. Make no mistake, these are unprecedented times and we all must recognize our own responsibilities to slow the spread of the coronavirus for the good of our community and country.

In the article “Similarities Seen in Climate Research and Covid-19 Spread,” scientist Ben Santer dumps all guilt on our government and especially President Trump regarding the immediate response to the Covid-19 pandemic in the U.S. This tactic is typical of individuals who refuse to take res…

Our overpaid, unresponsive Livermore City Council is at it again, raising the rates on sewer service well above the rates charged by neighboring communities.

The irony of the coronavirus is that we are forced into isolation at the very time we most need each other. Now is the time to look beyond our immediate situation to find strength in something greater than ourselves.

Livermore is not congested; once you're in town, traffic is very manageable. Drive around San Leandro for instance; that’s congested.

We have a doctor in the family and also an employee at Merck Pharmaceuticals. Both recommend the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center (https://coronavirus.jhu.edu) as a source of information. Johns Hopkins University is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and th…

To cite the Altamont Beer Works’ easy-going IPA, “How We Feeling?” The world may be a big bag of crazy right now, but I’d like to say a few words of encouragement and gratitude (and about the Great Pumpkin, if time and space allow).

Thank you, Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District Board of Trustees, for your unanimous decision in accepting Superintendent Bowers recommendation to close Livermore due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. It was the right answer in these uncertain times. We trust in your decision, as e…

School closings, cancellations of sports events, food hoarding. We live in a new coronavirus-induced world. Yet some personal health facts remain unchanged.

Over the last several years, Livermore has been experiencing one of its most heated political conversations in decades – a conversation to decide the best path forward for Livermore's downtown. The question was, do residents prefer the city's approved downtown plan, or do Livermore citizens …

Like everyone else, my life has been disrupted by this virus. I've been laid off indefinitely.

Closing the Saturday farmers market in Pleasanton due to COVID-19 makes no sense. Many of us depend on the farmers market for fruits and vegetables. Would you close the grocery store?

I was curious how you pick pet of the week? I have the best, most perfect kitty ever. Although she is 7 years old, she is smart, speaks English, and rules my street. The entire block drives around her; she won’t move for anyone. But everyone knows this cat’s demeanor and they honor her prese…

Can you believe this situation? I stand both amazed and dismayed at the behavior of our elected officials.

We need to begin a campaign that assures the largest turnout of voters in all future elections, including primaries and the national election, in light of the threat of Covid-19 contagion.

Some Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory employees who retired from the University of California are now learning that they are not entitled to the benefits of the pending settlement to a class action lawsuit.

For most of my adult life, I have enjoyed (?) a daily commute of 30-40 minutes from my home to my workplace. It has been a mixed blessing, and after more than 40 years of experience, I thought it a worthwhile topic to discuss and provide others with what I have learned.

Thank you to everyone who supported our downtown and voted “yes” on Measure P. This was a true grassroots campaign; neighbors talking to neighbors was how we won. It was awesome to see so many people and groups come together and support our city’s future. I am honored to have had the opportu…

What a pleasure it was reading today’s Independent to no longer see full-page political ads taking up a good third of the newspaper. This election hopefully put to rest the civil war dividing our fine city for the past year or so.

We'd like to thank the Howards and all the employees of the former Livermore Cyclery for being the best bike shop around. For decades we have purchased bikes, bike equipment, supplies, and clothing from the shop on First Street, and had our bikes serviced there, as well. We will certainly mi…

We have world leaders in climate change research and solutions right here in Livermore, but the average citizen would know little about them and their work without the reporting in The Independent. Your article, “Roger Aines Aims for Zero CO2 Emissions by 2045,” on March 5 was a great summar…

The World Health Organization has greatly underestimated the incompetence of advanced nations to deal with the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the novel coronavirus disease – 2019 (COVID19) epidemic that is on its way to being a global pandemic. Control is possible; however, we have been deficient in o…

I love living in Livermore! When our family moved here in 1963, it was a sleepy town of about 23,000 people. I’ve observed its growth to over 90,000, and have been impressed by the lively community spirit of my hometown.

It has been more than two months since the beginning of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, and it is nearly impossible to go five minutes without hearing about it on the news. At the same time, climate change has been an imminent problem for decades, but is rarely addressed by the mainstre…

After reading last week’s letter concerning relief of student loan debt, I felt compelled to respond.

We never received our “permanent absentee voting ballots” for the March 3 primary. As we were out of state at the time, we couldn’t go to a local polling place to vote. Our right to vote, after 49 years in California, was taken away.

Thank you, Pleasanton voters who decisively rejected another tax by voting “No” on Proposition M.

The primary issue in the 2018 Livermore City Council election was adoption of the city's downtown plan. Nearly $500,000 was spent by Friends of Livermore to oust Bob Woerner, casting him as the central figure behind the plan. Vice Mayor Woerner won in a landslide victory.

Many drivers use a cellphone now. Eyes to road, then to phone, phone to road, road to phone. Voila, the Human Bobblehead!

By the time this letter is printed, the primary election will have passed. Whichever way you voted on any measure or candidate, be sure to vote again in November!

I have been hearing a great deal of talk of late about the elimination of student loan debt. And although I totally agree that many of those who were hobbled with student debt found themselves in this situation through no fault of their own, or were merely taking the word of those in power t…

About 20 years ago, my son brought home a school project involving research into a historical incident known as the Bisbee Deportation. I happened to glance at his source material and was appalled by the description. It turned out to be another case of Big Business misconduct and the resulta…

If we don’t do something about the federal deficit and the resulting, perhaps inflationary money printing, the stock market and so on might crash to 20% of its current value for a decade or more. If we double the tax rate on the wealthiest 20%, it will raise $1.5 trillion a year. This would …

On behalf of the Protect the Central Park Vote, No on P committee, I want to thank all those who supported our campaign. I especially want to thank our volunteers for their hard work and dedication. Our democratic process depends on people standing up for their values and beliefs. Those who …

In last week’s Independent, mailbox contributor Vaughn Wolffe presented myths about Valley Link that are detrimental and, quite honestly, offensive to many of the Tri-Valley residents and employers I represent, as well as an estimated 98,500 Bay Area workers now living in northern San Joaqui…

I am thoroughly exasperated by recent efforts to vilify the publisher of this newspaper, Joan Seppala, her family and supporters (the Friends of Livermore), who have supported the Central Park Plan as a more thoughtful alternative to the City Plan.

The novel coronavirus and its disease (COVID-19) was first identified in Wuhan, a municipality the size of New York City or London 600 miles up the Yangtze River and the People’s Republic of China’s largest inland water port. It is thought to have originated from bats and mutated to infect h…

Thanks to all the Livermore residents who voted “No” on Measure P to protect the Central Park Plan with its larger park, from the Bankhead Plaza to Livermore Avenue, for all to enjoy, as well as more parking near Livermore Avenue and less housing.

This is an interesting letter to write, since I'm sending it before we head to the polls, but you'll be reading it long after results are known. However the election turns out, I first want to thank each of you who voted regardless of your choices. Our ability to do so is only important if y…

In order for BART to come to Livermore, BART required a huge development around the lsabel Avenue/I-580 interchange to guarantee ridership. The Livermore Planning Division created a plan, but BART failed to come. Now, Valley Link Rail, the planned commuter rail from Dublin BART to Lathrop, w…

The Independent wrote an editorial supporting its candidate for Alameda County Supervisor. It is an extremely important position and I'm wondering why our hometown guy, Dave Haubert's accomplishments as mayor of Dublin were left out. I'm surprised that a newspaper, with readers who are depen…

The National Recreation and Park Association encourages cities to build parks for three reasons: economic value, health and environmental benefits, and social advantages.

Thousands of Livermore residents have repeatedly signed petitions for a central park. Approval of the eastside hotel would eliminate the central park forever. I am voting “No” on Measure P to preserve the possibility of having the central park that Livermore residents want and deserve.

Paris has two “green lungs” – le bois de Boulogne and le bois de Vincennes. Livermore will only have one park. Let’s make it the best possible one! Let's make it three acres instead of one! Vote “No” on Measure P to give our downtown a chance to have a beautiful, bigger, and better park!

Due to a technicality in the case, Moen v. Regents of the University of California, a small number of UC retirees were not included in the class action. Those employees separated from Lawrence Livermore prior to Oct. 1, 2007, when management and operation of the laboratory was assumed by Law…

The “No on P” campaign’s initiative is illegal on several grounds. Under the California Constitution, initiatives must be single subject; their initiative is not. It also violates several state laws. My guess is they’ve kept this under wraps until after the March election in order to support…

I’ve been a high school coach and teacher for 40-plus years, most here in Livermore. As many of you know, sports programs are expensive – uniforms, transportation, officials, etc. As the years have gone by, coaches have had to add fundraising to their duties. This would not be possible witho…

Livermore needs a high-end hotel downtown. It will help bring recognition to our Livermore wine country. Livermore makes some of the best wines, we win multiple awards and beat Napa Valley in many competitions, but we don’t get the recognition because we don’t have enough high-end accommodat…

The time has come for us to all state our positions on the plan for a downtown central park in Livermore. Numerous articles have been published on this issue in the last few years. But I still feel that the plan put forward by the Citizens of Livermore for a Central Park Plan, which provides…

Seems to me that with the parking Uncle Yu’s owns, the surface parking, and the proposed parking structure Livermore’s Measure P would result in the southern one-third grid of the plan devoted to parking, accessed down that (measly, my gut reaction) little street.

I support a “No” vote on Measure P. Livermore has become a destination city because of the quaintness of our downtown. The Central Park Plan will be more supportive of this concept with more parking and a better park. There is still housing for downtown and a hotel, too. Please help us achie…

Imagine a destination, wine-country hotel, 160 rooms, with an upscale restaurant, located on the west side of Livermore Avenue, and enhanced by an expansive community park. Wouldn't that be a hotel worthy of our excellent Livermore wineries? Wouldn't that be a hotel worthy of our beautiful d…

As the founder of Citizens for Sensible Water Rates, I believe strongly that the residential, business and agricultural customers of the Tri-Valley deserve both transparency and thoughtful decision making from our local water agencies.

There is an old saying that the only thing sure in life is death and taxes. I would like to add one that is related to the latter. That is every election in the Bay Area there will be at least one measure which, if approved, will result in an increase in our taxes. Measure C would do just that.

Why did we waste our time going to all of those public outreach meetings for the downtown plan only to be ignored by our public officials? I feel as though they already knew what they wanted, had already committed to it, and were just going through the motions. Their plan for our downtown is…

Recently a doctor in Oakland prescribed for her patients, who happened to be children, a visit to a park. She gathered the children and their parents, often single moms, on a Saturday and took them out into nature, a park. There they could detox from the video screens, which invade their pre…

Some rhetoric will tell you, incorrectly, that Livermore’s Measure P is only about a hotel. If that were the case, there would not be so much riding on the decision voters will make between now and March 3.

You are really excited. You are going to have a great evening at a wonderful restaurant in Livermore with a highly rated show at the Bankhead Theater afterwards. Then, an overnight stay and wine tasting the next day! What could be better? And you didn't have to drive very far for all of this.

Presidio, the hotel developer, is paying for all the “Yes on P” mailers, advertisements and signs. Why? Because Presidio will make millions with the City Plan.

With the election only days away, it’s time to review the facts surrounding Measure P.

We have lived in Livermore since 1964. It is a great place to live, but we have been waiting for some development in our lovely downtown for a longtime.

Size matters, but bigger is not always better. At several meetings I attended, the hotelier indicated that 130 rooms were about the optimum size for a hotel in downtown Livermore. Anything larger or smaller is apt to not be viable. I think that a large hotel on the west side of Livermore Ave…

Let’s recap: A “No” vote on Measure P vote, rejecting the city’s hotel development agreement, still allows a hotel to be built on either side of Livermore Avenue. It does not stop any hotel. What it also does is make your vote in November, on the citizen initiative, meaningful. If you allow …

Over 100 citizens in Livermore have signed a community letter in support of Measure P. You can read the letter and see who signed here: bit.ly/LivLetter.

Great cities have great public spaces in their downtowns. A central park can serve to further community and interaction between residents and visitors alike; a space where all can relax, gather, or play. It’s been well studied that “outstanding common spaces spur economic vitality,” becoming…

The anti-Measure P people have conducted extensive efforts to misinform, manipulate and trick voters into supporting their special-interest views. They are not the mom-and-pop grassroots effort they claim to be. They have existed as an active and well-funded special-interest political-action…

The $2 billion Valley Link is a political way to spend tax money in the Tri-Valley, not a transportation project. Daily trips over the Altamont are at 86,000 and expected to grow by 60,000 by 2040. Tri-Valley I-580 trips are expected to grow by 150,000 to 350,000, up from the BART to Livermo…

At 85, I have lived in 12 different communities, large and small. Never have I experienced the bitterness and rancor now on display in Livermore over the downtown plans. Has the national scene somehow infected our community?

When I was 14 years old, I was hired on at Livermore Cyclery for the summer to help assemble a fleet of bikes for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. I mostly assembled the racks that were attached to the bikes, but I had a blast. Somehow, I convinced the owners, Steve and Melinda Howard…

First, I’d like to say that Dr. Steven Faith and the other doctors at Livermore Optometry Group expressed themselves quite well in their collective letter to The Independent. I greatly appreciate and agree with their perspective in doing their “due diligence on Measure P,” and by asking exce…

Thank you, Joan Seppala, for publishing a quality local newspaper, with fair reporting, especially when so many newspapers are going out of business. Also, thank you for concisely explaining in your Feb. 20 editorial, entitled “For a Meaningful Vote on the Central Park Plan in November, Vote…

At every turn, the Livermore City Council and mayor have ignored the requests of voters for a better hotel, a better park, and a better future for our downtown. They have responded time and again by ignoring the concerns of Livermore voters who want a more beautiful downtown and a central pa…

If you believe in democracy, vote “no” on Measure P. The future of our town is in peril. Week after week, I’ve read hateful letters to the editor from misinformed residents ranting and raving about non-issues and slamming the “No on P” campaign with tactless lies. These people will stop at n…

(This review focuses on item 6.01 of the Livermore City Council Staff Report, dated November 27, 2017, submitted by Community Developer Director Paul Spence, summarizing a report on City’s consultant, PlaceWorks, based on the feedback it received from the community. Could not include all as …

Do you have any friends or relatives who would like to live or work in Livermore, but can’t afford to rent or buy a home here? With constantly rising rents, do you ever wonder whether your children or grandchildren will be forced to leave the area to find a decent place to live?

Surely, we have all noticed the many signs in support of Measure P at downtown businesses. These businesses are members of the Downtown Association who participated in the development of the city’s downtown plan and fully support Measure P. Hence the “Save Our Downtown” and “Vote Yes on Meas…

Protect your right to vote and be heard. Voting “no” on Measure P simply means that voters in November will have the last word about whether to select the Central Park Plan or the City Plan. You already know all the arguments for and against each of the plans. You probably have even decided …

Melissia Hernandez brings a fresh, committed and proven presence to local politics. She has worked hard to lift students, minorities and the disadvantaged. I believe her most compelling attributes are her honesty and dedication to serve all people regardless of status or background. Clearly …

Another misleading mailer from Yes on P sponsored and paid for by PresidioCo Dev LLC, east side hotel developer, arrived at my house Monday.