Mailbox Guidelines

Opinions voiced in letters published in Mailbox are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Independent. The Independent will not publish anonymous letters. All letters are required to have the names of the persons submitting them and city of residence. Abusive letters may be rejected or edited. Frequent letter writers may have publication of their letters delayed.

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

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Thank you for publishing the well-written article on the recent crash of the B-17 (“909”) World War II vintage bomber.

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In mid-September, employees at Sandia National Laboratory who use the ACE (Altamont Corridor Express) train to commute from the San Joaquin area to Livermore, were informed that Sandia would no longer support the LLNL ACE shuttle.

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Dear Mr. Trump…I will not honor you with the title of President.

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I want to thank Sally Brown for her Oct. 10 Mailbox letter about the many free programs that are presented in the Bankhead Theater lobby and plaza. Sally wrote that there was not enough room to list them all, but I would like to mention the ones for this weekend, October 19 and 20: Saturday,…

Tomorrow my wife, Jan, and I are headed to South Carolina to attend a reunion of an old WWII Army Air Force B-29 Superfortress bomber group. As WWII bombers go, the B-29 was the king of the heap; it was powered by four Duplex-Cyclone radial engines each developing 2,200 horsepower and, unlik…

Controversy over the late night release of inmates from the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin surfaced with the death of one at the Dublin BART station a few hours after such a release last year.

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I read, “We think of Hitler as history’s greatest villain, but he has long since been surpassed by all of us in our greedy appropriation of a lifestyle that increases carbon dioxide in the atmosphere,” in Tom O’Neill’s Mailbox letter (“Beware the Triple Whammy,” The Independent, Oct. 10).

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Modern science is entering a new but ancient threshold — a spiritual awakening. Over the past two centuries science has institutionally, officially resisted the recognition of spiritual impulse to the advancement of scientific insights. This resistance appears to be drawing to a close in a c…

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Just a few questions/concerns regarding the PG&E power shutoff: Could boxes on telephone/PG&E poles be put in fireproof boxes? Why don’t they make all PG&E underground?

Last Monday my wife and I were driving east on I-580 at Pleasanton after 9 a.m. West-bound traffic was stationary. An hour later, it was still barely moving. This is not unusual, and it meant that cars and diesel trucks were idling for at least an hour between Dublin and Pleasanton. Anyone s…

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Livermore wants more parking! That has been crystal clear since the City’s outreach project during the summer of 2017. An enhanced parking structure next to the centrally located Bankhead Theater would greatly help to accommodate the service, retail, entertainment and restaurant businesses o…

Previously, I submitted a letter concerning the woes and consequences of the American Electoral College system. (Thanks to The Independent for publishing same.) Soon afterwards, the fact that two states used a process for tallying their electoral votes that was different from the normal one …

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Scott, my family and many friends are going to miss you, and all your talents are going to be missed more than you can know. We have many, many fine memories of evenings where you introduced us to performers and performances that were far beyond our expectations.

My husband and I attended the opera at the Bankhead Theater yesterday afternoon. As we went in, there was a fun dance and music program happening on the square in front of the theater, with an appreciative crowd watching it. Inside there was art displayed on the walls in each room, as well a…

On October 1, we received a copy of "The Book of Gutsy Women" by Hillary and Chelsea Clinton. Two days later, The Independent carried a picture of Savannah Skinner, aged 10, holding her "School Strike for Climate" poster at City Hall.

The Bankhead Theater has flourished and prospered these last five years under the leadership of Scott Kenison, executive director. Since his arrival, LVPAC has shown a wider variety of shows to all age groups; has increased attendance, memberships and donations; has an educational outreach t…

Back in the mists of the past I attended the Barstow Unified High School in southern California. This was in the late sixties when the only research facilities available were the high school library, the local library and a complete set of the World Book Encyclopedia (thoughtfully provided b…

A few days ago a friend sent me a reprint of an article SPIN first published in 1988.

I’ve heard that Scott Kenison is planning to step down as executive director of LVPAC, and I’m extremely sorry. He’s been very effective over his five-year tenure at making the Bankhead a vibrant, attractive venue and delivering outstanding performances that draw from the entire surrounding area.

Simply listing the titles of the nine or more Livermore groups which annually attract families of varied cultural, ethnic, economic, religious, artistic, etc., backgrounds to the Bankhead's lobby and plaza each year would exhaust the word limit of the Mailbox column.

If you have ever been in Livermore between 5 and 7:30 p.m. on any day of the week, you must have noticed the predatory parade of vehicles trolling for parking. Of course, parking is not the most glamorous of subjects, but it is super important in a society where transportation independence v…

Our American two-party political system doesn’t work. My previous letter advocated the creation of a new political part based on ancient Roman Stoicism. However, a major deficiency in the system still exists.

In 2014, City staff worked with the consulting firm of Nelson Nygaard to develop a Downtown Parking Management Study to evaluate strategies and actions that can be undertaken to ensure convenient, available parking continues to be provided Downtown.

Working Toward a Cure Les Mahler, Livermore The idea behind (my) books is to place them in the hospital's gift shops, where they can set their own prices and keep the money to help families or fund the cure for cancer research. With the book signing (on Oct. 5 at Mozart, Einstein & Me in Livermore), all the money made goes to UC Davis. I know most people think that as a cancer patient myself, there's nothing more I can do; the books are just a small part of my continuing effort to help pediatric cancer patients. I've organized grape stomps, and donated $20,000 to $30,000 to pediatric cancer research through stompoutkidscancer. I've also helped pediatric cancer patients get more out of life other than treatment. A young Oakland Children's Hospital patient fighting brain cancer, Andrew is a big fan of Thomas the train, so found Thomas Train at Roaring Camp in Santa Cruz and got four tickets for the family to enjoy the day. A little girl in Colorado, an illustrator's granddaughter who was struggling with leukemia, couldn't walk. She loved dancing, so I bought four tickets to Denver Opera so family could see "The Nutcracker" for Christmas. Now 37 years as a journalist forced into retirement on disability (lung, brain, spinal cord lacrimal gland cancer, blind in the right eye, emphysema, and a stroke) I'm writing children's books to fund cancer research for a cure. I'm hoping to organize a grape stomp in Lodi (with the Sacramento Kings) and Livermore (with East Bay firefighters) and hoping to organize a stomp between CAL and Stanford (the BIG STOMP next year). So, my cancer journey has not reached its end in my efforts in helping the youngest of cancer patients. Oh, and as a last act of giving, I donated my body to UCSF's whole-body donations, adenoid cystic carcinoma is a rare cancer, only 1,200 patients per year; it's considered rare, incurable and fatal. Chemo doesn't do anything.

The idea behind (my) books is to place them in the hospital's gift shops, where they can set their own prices and keep the money to help families or fund the cure for cancer research. With the book signing (on Oct. 5 at Mozart, Einstein & Me in Livermore), all the money made goes to UC Davis.

I would like to thank Jan Brovont for the letter “Things to Think About” (The Independent, Sept. 26, 2019). Much appreciation for at least expressing something in regard to the homeless situation. Not that I really care to be dissecting, but I am going to be dissecting anyway.

You, dear reader, have, in all likelihood, very little or no knowledge and/or understanding of homelessness. You discount me on this? All right, how about a one-week ‘vacation’ in Livermore with no roof, no private bathroom and no what we would normally call a “bed”? For a fuller experience …

First, I'd like to thank Phil and Kimberly Pierpont of Sunrise Mountain Sports, all other volunteers and support staff for leading the creek clean-up last Saturday, Sept. 21. Thank you for being so generous of your time, effort and energy to give back to your commUNITY.

Did you know? 47% of the homeless in the USA live in California. 19% of homeless in the USA live in Los Angeles.

It was open season on The Independent again this week at the Livermore City Council meeting. The Mayor began by claiming The Independent was campaigning to make people angry, as though the actions of the Council in allowing the United Livermore to highjack the results of the Public Outreach …

What would you think if you saw lawn chairs and blankets spread across a city park lawn? Well, if you live in Pleasanton, I guess you would think there was going to be a band concert that night.

Granted, it takes mankind a long time to learn from its mistakes. Take for example how long the 30 years war lasted, or amount of time required to give women the right to vote. However, if we have learned anything from the 2016 Presidential Election, it is that the electoral college does not…

When my local college community social activists take on what they coin as "Islamophobia," the first truth of peacemaking is violated. Using the term Islamophobia infers and projects a disrespect, where instead love is intended.

I bought a Meritage Home in Livermore 13 years ago. Since day one there have been issues related to quality control, warranties and customer service. The have over 25 items requiring my family to move out once, and the microwave exploding! Service has been slow to no response! Recently tryin…

What a great accomplishment to get AB 1086 (Bauer-Kahan) Alameda-Tesla Expansion Area passed by the Legislature. It is a necessary step toward permanent protection of Tesla. The next step is to work to get the Governor to sign the bill into law.

Many years ago, I would help neighbors gather cattle on what is now the Alameda-Tesla Expansion Area or “Tesla Park.” I also trained my long-distance endurance horses over most of that beautiful, isolated and rugged landscape every week. That firsthand experience of silence and wonder taught…

The House and Senate each passed its version of the National Defense Authorization Act, with stark differences between the two bills.

I came to this country from West-Berlin, W-Germany in 1964. One of the first things I found out was that Germany's dark history had not been forgotten in America. Every so often I would be reminded of the Nazi atrocities through movies, TV, books, comments and jokes from people. I must have …

Even though it was more than 45 years ago, I easily recall my last year of high school and the terrible anxiety that arose from the realization that I would soon be thrust into the outside world as an adult. I had little money for college and no ready job prospects at the time. I also lived …

On behalf of the 96 youths from Pleasanton, Livermore and Dublin who attended the first "Youth Environmental Action Summit of the Tri-Valley" on September 7, at Amador Valley High School, I would like to extend a warm thank you to all of our volunteers, speakers, and sponsors who helped to m…

I am prompted to write my thoughts regarding the Downtown Livermore east/west hotel controversy by Rick Nordyke's very insightful letter, which touches upon issues that have neither been mentioned often enough nor clearly enough.

When people spew nasty vitriol and mistruths, I tend to turn off. Where were these folks during the outreach meetings? I attended all the special meetings concerning the downtown development. What I heard over and over was, “Let’s have something that we can be proud of that will benefit us a…

Cities on the peninsula from San Francisco to San Jose (Silicon Valley) made a mistake some years back. They welcomed the tech industry with open arms but failed to balance housing with job development.

We are 22 trillion in debt with no way to pay it back. We are over-spending by a trillion a year and can't seem to stop.

America seems on the brink of a sea change regarding public attitudes about the use/abuse of animals in so-called "entertainment."

Livermore Park is finished. Why are there continued arguments and requests for installing green grass and trees along with parking garages? Heck, the City proved it doesn’t like trees. It killed a bunch of them along L Street.

Livermore is fighting over downtown development, but my opinions on this do not really matter. Livermore People have already made up their minds, or are clueless of the ramifications on the outcome. However, I feel that we are overlooking an elephant within our midst – Livermore homeless peo…

I don't understand the argument in favor of having a central park in downtown Livermore. The argument seems to be that people will come downtown to be at the park. But in Livermore, thankfully, pretty much everyone has a park near their home. No one will drive downtown to sit in a park. Peop…

Having recently moved to Livermore, I am not knowledgeable with the various community groups and business and civic interests in the city, so I look through a different lens at the downtown park/development.

Open the door, 10-R; open the door and let us on. You have to stop, anyway, for the cross-walk at BART's Dublin-Pleasanton station. It's right by the fare gates as people leave the station.

Now that the Livermore City Council has voted to place the citizens' Central Park Initiative on the November 2020 ballot, the responsible role for the council is to await the vote of the people and not to place any more impediments in the way of the democratic process. This means no more dev…

Wow, what a year the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce is having! In 2019, we are on track to have the largest growth of new business members in over a decade. Special thanks to Board of Directors Vice Chair Ken Norvell and Chamber Membership Relationship Manager Dawn Wilson for leading the “hi…

Some thoughts I’ve had recently about the downtown: The regional theater has been coming up in conversations and articles and whatnot recently, and I’m not sure why. First of all, it’s been referred to as the proposed theater when it was the approved regional theater as of the 4-1 vote here.…

I would like to thank all of the concerned citizens in Livermore who would like to see our downtown be something really beautiful and special, for signing and supporting the Central Park Initiative. We want our citizens to have a vote.

Reading that Towne Center Books of Pleasanton was coming to Livermore opened a score of memories from there. There was a book club, lectures, lunches and book signings. Did I mention meeting several famous authors? Livermore has been book store "dry" for 14 years and welcomes Judy Wheeler an…

Well, kudos should go out to Joan Seppala and her minions. They have successfully delayed the downtown development of Livermore by a minimum of one year, and possibly many more. So much for the concept of representative democracy where we elect officials such as city council members to make …

About 14 years ago when Bob Baltzer and Tom Reitter were on TV defending our urban-growth boundary against Pardee Homes, I became a fan of Bob and Tom. I remembered how sprawl had nearly destroyed Los Angeles right after the Second World War. Now as I watched TV, a very well dressed and arti…

Could Livermore please deal with the facts rather than fiction? Is this all theater or just delusional? There is no doubt that the Livermore City Council’s adopted downtown plan came from a consortium of seven groups, the so-called United Livermore. It was announced through their press relea…

A letter in last week’s edition criticized me for making a point by using repetition, which according to the writer isn’t effective. Of course he conveniently ignores the weekly barrage of organized ads, fake news articles and support letters in The Independent by his special interest group.…

It is not just a small number of citizens who support the Central Park Plan. We have no financial interest, and our “special” interest is that we care about the future of our special city. We have attended the downtown outreach workshops, written letters and attended meetings. Our volunteers…

For many years I have had the pleasure to meet with Janet Armantrout, the unassuming editor of The Independent newspaper. Early on, Janet interviewed me as I campaigned for Pleasanton’s Hillside Protections, fighting against developments that would scar our scenic ridgelines forever. Later w…

I was saddened to read about the death of Janet Armantrout, longtime editor of The Independent. As the owner of Goodenough Books in Livermore 1980-2003, I often contacted Janet concerning events at the bookstore. If we had a noted author such as P.D. James giving a talk, or Patricia Polacco …

When is a downtown plan a plan, and when is a drawing just a drawing?

The people of Livermore deserve an inspiring park in the heart of our city — a gathering place where we can celebrate in open space with our families.

What’s really frustrating for me is in reading the Mailbox of The Independent from this week, Jan Brovont wrote about people being “impatient to get the downtown built out.”

This letter to the editor and the people of Livermore is in support of the Central Park plan. Did you know that studies show that parks have many positive attributes? Attributes, such as improving health outcomes and protection of water quality, decrease violence and alleviate stress and anxiety.

Just how gullible do the supporters of an alternative downtown development plan think Livermore residents are? Their hypocritical and unwarranted attacks on our elected officials, while at the same time criticizing those who dare comment on their leader, is just one of their techniques to de…

Joan Seppala, publisher of The Independent, is being attacked again, this time for giving the voters of Livermore a chance to make the final decision on the city’s Downtown Plan. Joan’s and her allies’ plan differs substantially from the city council’s plan so it is not unreasonable to let t…

I understand the frustration of having traveled some distance along a path only to have to stop and turn back because you took the wrong path.

I believe the council did not honor the wishes and priorities of the voters, and also attempted to please too many interests with their plan – crowding too many diverse needs into too little acreage.

Several weeks ago, there was a terrible tragedy on East Avenue. I won’t speak for the specifics, and I won’t speak for the family, though I have messaged with them. I encourage you to sign the family’s petition for street safety at www.thepetitionsite.com/951/089/648/petition-for-enhanced-pu…

I want to thank the Mayor and Livermore City Council for their thorough deep dive into the Central Park Plan (CPP) referendum and review at the Aug 26th meeting. What I learned once again is that the pushers of this referendum have lied to the community about absolutely everything. This was …

Ralph Moir and I have been asking ourselves why the Livermore City Council have consistently voted 5 to 0, as a lock-step unit, against a plan that so many of us strongly prefer for downtown. Livermore’s diverse residents are approaching 100,000 in number. A consistent five to zero vote is v…

The “Save Downtown” posters that have been appearing around town are a misnomer as far as I’m concerned. They’re for saving the city’s plan—not downtown—and it’s a plan that doesn’t reflect the priorities people decided on during the outreach process—priorities that are supposed to be drivin…

Where there's a will there's a way. Except when it's explicitly against the law.

Once again, my letter to the Mailbox was followed by a rebuttal in the form of an editor’s note. As The Independent clearly wants to press the issue, I offer the following as my response.

I spoke at the Livermore City Council meeting last night for the first time about the controversy surrounding the downtown development.

Citizens for a Livermore Central Park has received this information from Barry Fadem, Initiative attorney of Fadem & Associates, who authorized the following statement:

Livermore Council’s report on the Central Park Initiative (the "9212 Report") was released forecasting plague and destruction of biblical proportions, and works hard to predict worse than the worst possible scenario. As examples, it says that if adopted, the Initiative would make it "necessa…

The leaders and supporters of an alternative downtown development plan are purposefully exploiting and manipulating public-input processes and initiative and referendum procedures to force their special interest demands and political agenda on the Livermore community.

Our most fundamental rights? The right to vote and the right to voice our opinions.

Livermore’s City Council will not admit it made a mistake with the way it arrived at its downtown plan. To save face, it energizes its base to focus on accusing the opposition personally in order to distract from the plan itself.

Direct democracy, in an effort to wrest California from control by the railroad Big Four, was brought to California in 1911 – along with Hiram Johnson as Governor. The form by which direct democracy came included the adoption of initiative, referendum and recall as instruments by which to co…

How about a break from the Livermore Central Park plan controversy!

Don’t be fooled again! A small group of wealthy people with seemingly limitless funds, is trying to take control of the development in our downtown.

For those of you who are impatient to get the downtown built out, or who are tired of sitting through endless city council meetings where we are told the east side hotel is the best location and everything will be wonderful with it there, but not told why – even though parking for residents …

We were overwhelmed, delightfully surprised, and very honored with the wonderful editorial in the August 15 Independent! The Thoreau quote is one of my very favorites.

When I moved to Livermore over 30 years ago, downtown Livermore was not a sought-after destination. We had Highway 84 running through the middle of town, and there were few desirable shops and restaurants. Parking was not a problem because no one wanted to come downtown. Pleasanton was where…

As a citizen of Livermore we have a right to vote on a better Downtown Central Park Plan. The City Council has purposely denied the citizen’s choice for a better Downtown Central Park Plan and has forced a referendum petition to put this on a ballot. There are two plans to be considered. The…

The Citizens for a Livermore Central Park collected 30% more than the required valid signatures of Livermore voters to qualify a ballot measure so there could be a vote to approve the Central Park Plan instead of the City’s Plan for the Downtown. The Central Park plan has a 3-acre park, incl…

On July 29, I submitted a letter to the editor in which I stated that Joan Seppala lied to a Senior Executive at the Marriot. On the evening of July 31, I was informed that the letter would not be printed as it was not factual. I will be the first to recognize that I was mistaken. It was not…

Contrary to Mayor Marchand's recent public statements regarding the Central Park Initiative, the main idea motivating the initiative is actually a park in the center of our downtown hub, hence the name: Central Park Initiative. It's not Central Theater Initiative, or Central Dirt Lot Initiat…

I don't usually write a letter to the editor. I am compelled to write now because I am so tired of reading ongoing arguments, ugliness and personal attacks concerning the future of downtown Livermore.

The Department of Energy is now considering plans for the production of 80 new plutonium bomb cores every year, despite the redundancy and high cost that such a project would entail. The plan is in accordance to Donald Trump's 2018 nuclear posture review, which in addition to demanding new p…

Livermore schools open on Monday, August 19. Be sure to leave some extra travel time as traffic will increase significantly. If you live near a high school, many students will park on your street. To ensure you’ll have a parking spot in front of your home – one you will be needing during the…

The Mayor has chosen to make some comments concerning the Sierra Club on NextDoor that have been inaccurate and or confusing.

For the third time in just two weeks, a "Central Park" signature gatherer blocked my access to either a store or my vehicle. Another friend of mine, also in a wheelchair, has had at least two such experiences.

I attended several recent Livermore City Council meetings regarding downtown redevelopment of the core of the City, now vacant land. The Council recently approved a Development Agreement with a hotel developer that, unless blocked, would negate the qualified Citizens’ Initiative for a larger…

Last weekend, a concerned resident and I had a productive exchange of ideas about the downtown Livermore development. We agreed on most of the details, including the overwhelming conclusion about the hotel location as determined by the outreach process. Participants clearly wanted the hotel …