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.

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The critical BART Board vote on BART to Isabel rejected the grossly deficient Environmental Impact Report, not the project itself. For example, it included $191 million for cars even while BART talks of decommissioning usable cars in its existing fleet; and of an unneeded rat tail track, yar…

Livermore’s City Council will spend $170K to conduct an outreach process (that’s right, another one!) to determine how citizens wish to maintain the city’s tangible assets. Infrastructure assets like roads, sewers, and buildings, etc. need better maintenance than the $10M currently being spent.

Since I began using a ResMed CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) device to combat my sleep apnea, I have found to my dismay that I started suffering the side effect known as Aerophagia. This condition is caused by swallowing too much air. Everyone swallows small amounts of air when ea…

You have the opportunity to think of others who are in need, in and around Livermore, as you do your shopping this holiday season.

“Don’t try to drive the homeless into places we find suitable. Help them survive in places they find suitable.” (Daniel Quinn, famous for authoring the “Ishmael” novel trilogy). Citizens of the Tri-Valley do not worry about homelessness: Homelessness is not a priority in the Tri-Valleys. Wor…

I have been dismayed the past few years since BART voted to not expand their transit system into Livermore, but I have a couple of questions that haven't been adequately answered. When will BART stop assessing my property in Livermore for their transit system, and when will they give me my m…

“Liberty is a great and wonderful thing!” As a matter of fact, it is the fuel upon which “Our Magnificent Nation” has been successfully run for over the past two-hundred and forty-three years. For without the blessing of liberty, generously laced with countless gallons of American blood, swe…

In 1993, Tri-Valley citizens brought a public health concern to their respective city councils. And that fall each community put into place a local ordinance that banned smoking in restaurants. These local actions were the first step toward action in other localities and also in state law. T…

As I continue to learn more about what's going on with our downtown, I was happy to see that the current construction on Livermore Avenue for the new Stockmen's Park. It took a little bit of digging on the internet to find out the history of the park, and why it was named after the Stockmen.

Our family was saddened enough when Thomas Coyne died several years ago; the winemaking world lost a good man and a vinicultural genius. But when I read in The Independent last week that Emilie Coyne had passed away, my husband and I were absolutely heartbroken. The earth lost a beautiful, k…

I enjoy an eat-out, always have. When a friend tells me of a dining experience, I'm apt to at least give it a try. And, that's how I became aware of Americano Grill and Italian Cuisine. From the first, I was struck by the crew's friendly, upbeat, positive way of dealing with their customers …

A recent letter to this venerable newspaper by Tamara Reus neglects to mention her affiliation with the “Park Group,” and her groveling to obscenely wealthy non-residential donors is both understandable and deplorable. She makes a laughable distinction between good obscenely wealthy interlop…

“Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.” – H.L. Mencken

I was surprised a couple of months ago to learn from City Council members that the plans for our new downtown hotel have changed so that there will now be no on-site parking, except for a few handicap parking spaces. This is because the planned underground parking of about 100 spaces for pat…

To truly inform the citizens of Livermore on this topic, why not bring the people representing the approved downtown plan and those representing their desires for the downtown together to state their piece and answer questions from the public? A debate with a structured format and a mediator…

Both ends of California have had an unpleasant welcome to the holiday season. Northern California dealt with the wind-whipped Kincade Fire in Sonoma County, while blowtorch-like winds in Southern California fueled the Maria Fire in Ventura County. I thank all First Responders, like Livermore…

A lot of noise is being made about the amount of the contributions from some of the donors to the Central Park Plan initiative campaign. As a person who does not have the means to contribute financially to every cause I support, I appreciate that these people are in a position to do so. Thes…

Friday, Nov. 15, was an unusual evening for us. At the last minute, we decided to go to the Bothwell Arts Center in Livermore for the opening night of Annie Baker’s “Circle Mirror Transformation.” And were we surprised!

There are strong disagreements over which downtown development plan is the best one for Livermore. Before making decisions, residents should look into the various claims and counter-claims, and ask themselves why each group is saying and behaving the way that they are.

Livermore Parks informs me that there will be a usurious 50% increase in the cost of a Senior Parking Pass for Sycamore Grove for 2020, bringing the price comparable to this year’s fee for the East Bay Regional Parks, which offers over 75 locations from Redwoods to Bayshore.

Not sure why conspiracy theorist Robert Gage insists on picking a fight with the LVPAC board or Scott Kenison.

“Hope” is the thing with feathers – That perches in the soul – And sings the tune without the words – And never stops – at all” (Out of a poem by Emily Dickinson).

One of the greatest problems incurred during the 2016 Presidential Election was the lack of trust by the populace in either candidate. Another, of course, the preponderance of falsehoods, slanders and misconceptions spread everywhere by social media via the INTERNET. My opinions on people th…

Imagine, if you will, not having a place – a place to be or exist. What would you do? Would you learn to be in a dimension beyond the dimensions of space-time and/or would you learn to exist in a parallel universe? Somehow I do not think our understanding of the cosmic web is quite there yet…

If you are tired of hearing about the downtown plan, I’m sorry. This issue is very important to me, my business, and my favorite city. I’m going to be pretty vocal about it until the next election and I can imagine FOL/Citizens for a Central Park/Vibrant Livermore/Better Livermore or whateve…

I want to sincerely apologize to Ms. Weight and all the volunteers and the rest of the hardworking team at the Bankhead Theater. I never meant to have my letter cast a negative opinion toward them. I appreciate their hard work involved in making a trip to the Bankhead pleasant from the time …

We should forget the twin or single tunnel and the high speed rail to and from nowhere, and buy at least one more of the 747 firefighting jets to help fight California's yearly fires. As someone said on Nextdoor.com, about California, “Half the state is burning and the other half has no power.”

John Marchand’s Nov. 7 letter contains the inaccurate statement that “over 90% of the funding for that [Central Park] initiative came from members of the LVPAC Board.” That is an extremely inaccurate statement and I need to set the record straight. In fact, of the 71 individuals who funded t…

Last June I was diagnosed with the senior malady known as Sleep Apnea. MedicineNet defines it as the temporary stoppage of breathing during sleep, often resulting in daytime sleepiness. Apnea is a Greek word that means "want of breath." The results of this condition are usually loud snoring …

To provide clarification of the 2014 agreements that paid off the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center (LVPAC) debt described in Mayor John Marchand’s letter last week, I have turned to Ed Willig, the attorney who was involved in the drafting of the agreements.

After attending two downtown planning workshops, a handful of council meetings, and most recently a community gathering at a restaurant, I really can't fault the passion of the Central Park Plan supporters. However, passion alone for a plan does not make it real or even viable.

Americans have two favorite words for Evil: “Socialism” and “Taxes.” Also, Americans are bad at math! As long as Americans are hung up on these two words, and maintain their math ignorance, a universal, affordable health insurance system like in other countries seems doomed.

As we approach Thanksgiving, I fondly remember the wonderful Livermore Community Thanksgiving Dinner and its dedicated volunteers. They provided a festive atmosphere and delicious food for those who were able to dine at their designated site, delivered food to shut-ins, and even allowed peop…

Mayor Marchand, in his November 7 letter, has obscured facts in the name of clarifying them. The fact is that the Central Park Plan does not mandate a 30,000 square foot theater. It allows for a Black Box Theater that can have a MAXIMUM of 30,000 square feet. The reason for that size limit w…

Recently a friend in his eighties sent me a letter expressing his deep pessimism about our present predicament. I replied as follows.

Your lead story on Nov. 7 concerning the hunger strike and work stoppage at Santa Rita Jail lists some alarming conditions that the inmates say they're encountering, including lice, bedbugs, and serious infections.

Using the smoke screen of a "park," the “Build an Ostentatious Luxury Hotel Group” wants to create a palace for unworthy wealthy strangers, costing hard-working Livermore families the opportunity for affordable housing that the City is mandated to build on that site. Their plan reduces the n…

If you still (huh?) believe anything that Dumald Trump says, feel free to refrain from reading this article. I believe that this column provides everyone the opportunity to either offer advice to our society or to denigrate any clearly disingenuous non-sentient pile of falsehoods and moronic…

Hang on! Don’t for a minute think the Downtown Plan is a done deal. The posters around town call the city’s proposal the “Approved Plan,” but nothing is approved until we get to cast our ballots.

Mueller, Mueller, Russia, Russia, Ukraine, Ukraine, etc., etc. and now impeachment while Joe and Hunter Biden’s Ukraine and China ‘innocuous’ intrigues linger ever so undamagingly as major media minds report ‘nothing to see here folks!’

Remember when BART was supposed to come to Livermore, but county officials used the 580 median to build FasTrak (FT) express lanes instead? Now the proposed rail system (Valley Link) from the Central Valley to Dublin BART needs that space.

In a recent Mailbox letter it was a surprise to read that Scott Kenison, the Executive Director of the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center (LVPAC) questioned the City’s commitment to the arts and LVPAC. To keep the Bankhead Theater from closing its doors, the City of Livermore bought the…

If Mr. Gage had a point to make in his response (published 10/31/19) to Scott Kenison’s letter, it was lost in his vitriolic rhetoric. Those of us who volunteer at the Bankhead do so because the atmosphere there is kind and respectful, a management and communication style employed by Mr. Ken…

PG&E has neglected power line maintenance for years. To read about this, Google: “PG&E Neglected Maintenance for Years Despite Known.”

This week being election week in many parts of the country, I am reminded that, thanks to the Central Park Plan Initiative, Livermore voters will have the opportunity to decide the fate of their downtown center, rather than have the decisions imposed from the top down.

The Book of Proverbs in the Bible lists four things that are never satisfied: the grave, the barren womb, the earth that is not filled with water, and the fire that never says, “It is enough.” I would suggest a fifth thing that is never satisfied: the Dublin Unified School District.

“The trouble [with injustice] is that once you see it, you can’t unsee it. And once you’ve seen it, keeping quiet, saying nothing, becomes as political an act as speaking out. There is no innocence. Either way you’re accountable.” (Arundhati Roy – Indian writer and activist).

I was disturbed by last week’s headline, “Dublin OKs Five-Star Hotel.” It brought out all my latent pride in Livermore. Why should Dublin be the destination center for the Tri-Valley? Not that I am against Dublin, but shouldn’t it be Livermore? We are no longer just a rail stop, a cow town, …

Does it make sense to build an iconic three and half story building on the old SpeeDee Oil Change site…and retain the small parking lot?

In and of the affairs of humans currently there is no “balance” – not in culture, nor in lifestyle. Are around 200 unsheltered homeless in Livermore some kind of “balance”? The unsheltered here without adequate sanitation is “balance”? The Housing Crisis is a “balance”? Is the accelerating ‘…

It is readily apparent to anyone (if they are interested enough) who reads my biography, that I have been, if not a perpetual student then at least an over achiever in our country’s educational system. One of the tenets of my personal philosophy in my younger years has always been, “If you s…

In my view, hate is a huge impediment to governance. Hate consumes clear thought. Hate gets in the way of fair play and equality.

I am so sorry to see poor Scott Kenison leave the Bankhead. From his letter, it must have been a terrible thing to not have the support of the Livermore City Council while the rest of this amazing community made him feel welcome. That's over 80,000 city residents for Scott, versus 5 city cou…

During his televised report this week, Livermore’s Mayor announced that the city has received the 2019 Award of Merit from the American Planning Association (APA) for its Downtown Outreach Process. Mayor Marchand said, “The downtown Livermore facilitation project was given an award of merit …

Time to stand up for our neighborhoods…Los Olivos, The Corners and Twin Oaks.

In last week's The Independent, I read Scott Kenison's letter. He explained the unfortunate reasons that led him to resign from his position as executive director of the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center (LVPAC) — that the city leadership has demonstrated lack of interest and support f…

Once upon a time I used to enjoy reading letters to Mailbox. That is, I used to enjoy reading them until they turned into full-blown essays that make my eyes bleed (you know, like Joe Biden’s).

Regarding the terrible California fires, Lawrence Livermore National Lab should get their chemists and scientists to produce better, stronger flame retardants for the planes and helicopters to use for fighting the fires.

I am both sad and infuriated by the news of Scott Kenison’s resignation as executive director of LVPAC (Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center).

Being born under the zodiac sign of Libra, my natural inclination has always been directed towards a balanced lifestyle in attitude and behavior. Even more, it is a fact that extreme actions or verbiage have repulsed me. In my humble opinion, any fanatical belief or activity is a pure detrim…

The veto of AB 1086 – Alameda Tesla Expansion Area by Governor Newsom was extremely disappointing on many levels. The Governor’s apparent support for the plan to expand Carnegie SVRA and open Tesla to damaging OHV recreation betrays the environmental protection principals he ran on. One only…

We do not ‑ as individuals, a community, a society, a country, a species - seem to be addressing certain problems very effectively. One of these problems is homelessness; there is human-induced climate change; economic instability; and yet another is justice for some of the activities of the…

While everyone knows PG&E has a hand in the power outages, I hope you also think about the environmentalists groups that have stopped the ability of clearing of dead trees in our forests − wanting them to naturally decompose, which takes many years, while they are a match stick waiting f…

I'm looking at a pie-graph offered by Tri-Valley CAREs as I write. It was printed back in April and represents the requested budget for LLNL for this fiscal year. The total requested was $1,482,374,000. That's an awful lot of money, especially when we have a crumbling infrastructure, have do…

Funding for Valley Link, the proposed rail system from Dublin BART to San Joaquin County’s North Lathrop, may wind up in the hands of those who caused the jobs, housing, and transportation crisis in the first place!

Our Governor is driving out of control and on the wrong side of the road with our gas tax dollars. Like has been done in the past, Governor Newsom is unethically diverting tax money intended for one specific purpose (in this case roadway improvements) to another (rail improvements). When vot…

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

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.

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.

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).

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…

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…

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 …

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.