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 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 …

Just one of the many awards Joan Kinney Seppala has received is the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy award for the theme “From Dreams to Action.” This theme defines Ms. Seppala’s dedication to our city. We had a dream for growth control … Joan took action. We had a dream for a performing a…

For the most part homelessness is a long-term death sentence. It is death by detrimental health effects accumulated by continually being unsheltered, such as my friend Carl Feighner who lived in his truck for ten years and died a year ago last May here in Livermore. Suicide is another avenue…

We are disturbed by recent social media attacks on the Central Park Committee, in which committee members are vilified as devious, selfish liars whose goal is “a big dirt patch in the middle of downtown.” To call these attacks misleading is being too kind.

Our President and our Mayor seem to be operating out of the same playbook. Donald Trump is damaging the morale of the United States and John Marchand is damaging the morale of Livermore. Over a year ago I warned the Mayor at a council meeting that if he misrepresented the findings of the Pla…

Signing the referendum against the City’s Ordinance #2089 (Development Agreement 19-002 for the Wine County Hotel at 2205 Railroad Avenue) does not preclude the city from working with its selected partners: Presidio, Eden Housing, Red Bear, Livermore Shakespeare Festival, or the Science and …

Residents should look at the makeup of the two groups and their motivations regarding our downtown development. One group consists of elected officials, local business people and housing advocates, working to implement a community-based comprehensive plan created by Livermore’s professional …

Considering the huge need for affordable housing, I feel I must refute the Central Park Plan’s Independent ad, “Five Reasons to Sign the New Petition!” in order of listing (though not importance).

The Livermore City Council is supposed to be operating on behalf of the people, for the people, and by the people.

Why does the City Council not give a “good” reason for the hotel to be on the east side?

Lots of panic and confusion at the Unify camp ― trying to stop you from signing the referendum. Unify wants to preserve City Council’s move to annul your vote on the Central Park Plan initiative. Yes, City Council has passed an ordinance that would block the effect of an initiative that you …

I have watched the downtown plan come together for two years now as my husband was a member of the steering committee in 2017. I have participated in City Council Meetings and researched the details of the City’s downtown plan. I was impressed with the outreach process and the amount of comp…

My name is Nancy Bankhead and my family gave the money for the naming rights to the Bankhead Theater. It was a gift to my mother, Evelyn Bankhead, who has since passed. She loved the arts. I went to many concerts as a child at Livermore High School. It was the only place in Livermore with an…

People may not understand why a referendum is circulating right now to stop the Council's development agreement with Presidio to develop a hotel on the east side of Livermore Avenue.

Our American two-party political system no longer works. Each party has become so hateful and adversarial that nothing gets accomplished. The main goals of all politicians have degenerated into the following: 1) Maintain their individual position (i.e. stay in office), and 2) Block (by any m…

No gerrymandering following the 2020 census. Over 90% of the house and state districts can be competitive plus or minus 3% Republican or Democrat voters but less than 10% currently are. Rigged elections for safe seats are the root cause of inadequate governments.

The Livermore City Council just (7/29/2019) approved signing on to the expenditure of $1,131,666 of HEAP (Homeless Emergency Act Program) funding where $608,505 is for Livermore only; additionally, Livermore has part of the Pleasanton, Dublin, Livermore regional pool of $494,870; and $28,291…

There has been interest in the results of the Livermore downtown outreach process as to whether the west side or the east side hotel was favored. Not everyone expressed a preference for the location of the hotel or included a hotel in a downtown plan.

Livermore City Council’s current plan for downtown includes a hotel (next to the Bankhead) on Livermore Avenue at Railroad. It used to have underground parking for patrons of its 133 rooms (now 125-135), plus staff of 60 and room for public parking. Remember? The city was to lease back the g…

While canvassing for signatures for either the initiative or referendum at the Farmers Market, I have encountered a few folks who have remarked, “I don’t want that rich lady to get her way” — or replies of that ilk. I have never met this “rich lady,” however I choose to stay on point and sti…

Enough with the petty name calling and misinformed arguments about square footage and who said what many years ago! Enough with attacking the paid signature gatherers as mercenary liars! I’ve talked to a number of them, and yes, they might offer some inaccuracies, but I think they’re doing a…

I was deeply disappointed to see that The Independent’s story on last week’s City Council meeting. While I'd like to think that the failure to list the title of the proposed ordinance — The Wine Country Hotel at the Bankhead — wasn’t an attempt to conceal the public benefits of having Liverm…

There have been many comments on the editorial page criticizing the Affordable Care Act but offering no alternative. I am offering an alternative that mirrors our current state and federal programs; State Unemployment Insurance and Federal Unemployment Insurance.

I moved to Livermore 6+ years ago and feel very pleased with our decision. My husband and I got involved in our community by volunteering. We decided to also get involved in the city’s request to attend workshops for the downtown plan and the Isabel Plan.

Another week has passed and more misleading information about the Downtown Plan is being spread by The Independent newspaper and signature gatherers.

I am concerned by Mayor Marchand’s statements on the downtown referendum process noted on a NextDoor posting entitled “Save our Downtown.” The highlight of the referendum plan is a Central Park for the people of Livermore and more open space for generations to come vs. more housing, more car…

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

When is this special interest group that is trying to derail the downtown development project going to drop their other well-polished shoe on the unsuspecting Livermore community? All their efforts to move development away from the Bankhead Theater and to preserve more open space, is only pa…

The August 1 article on Jamie Metzl's genetic engineering talk was excellent, but it did not mention that it was sponsored by the Livermore Science and Society Center. Here is why we did.

We residents of the Tri-Valley are fortunate to be served by The Independent, a local newspaper which keeps us informed about issues and events impacting the quality of life in our communities.

Lately, opponents of the Central Park Plan have been promulgating some falsehoods about the plan and its supporters that cannot be allowed to go unchallenged.

Regarding the data about the preference of the hotel on the east side or west side, the City's workshops were flawed.

I am sure that all of us in Livermore are looking forward to the downtown renovations moving forward. The dedication of Veterans Way this past weekend shows us that progress is being made. The foolishness of the Central Park Plan is the only thing that could send us back to step zero. Adopti…

Enough is enough. I have attended several city council meetings in the last few weeks relating to the downtown plan. Rather than staying focused on the issues, the mayor and several councilmembers are using the power of their positions to viciously attack Joan Seppala and this newspaper. The…

Council members and the public have made comments about my contributions to political campaigns.

On July 22, I attended the very long City Council meeting; it was sometimes heated, but punctuated with a few chuckles. After sitting more than an hour during the Citizens Forum, we started listening to 63 individual speakers in the public hearings on item 5.04 — whether or not to authorize …

I am writing this letter to thank the Livermore City Council, Mayor and City of Livermore staff for all of their tireless efforts on the downtown plan. While I haven’t always agreed with all of their decisions all of the time, I am steadfast in my support of the downtown plan and the Council…

As a proud Pleasanton resident and Board Member of the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce, I would like to ask the residents of this great city to support and champion the Chamber’s member businesses. The business directory of all the members can be found on the Chamber’s website (www.pleasanton…

The issue of what to do with the old Lucky site in downtown Livermore has unfortunately devolved into a war of words and personal attacks. In that environment it is likely that the ultimate goal of the "best thing we can do for Livermore" gets distorted and will eventually lose out to a less…

If you only watch the show Fox and Friends, you get a very opinionated, biased and one-sided picture of just about everything. Unfortunately, when you read The Independent, you also get a very opinionated, biased and one-sided picture of the downtown development issues. And just like on Fox …

SIMPLIFY: Downtown Central Park. The City Council held many public outreach meetings for the public to give input for the downtown park design. Citizens’ lowest priority for the park were a hotel and residential development…because it is a PARK. Council determined, on their own regard, that …

Council is forcing the public to collect signatures yet again! Just how many hoops must the public jump through to get what it wants from the Livermore City Council?

Once again I followed last night’s City Council meeting via Twitter and watching online. I have a few observations that are greatly disturbing to me.

At Monday’s city council meeting, statements were made by representatives of the Chamber of Commerce and Livermore Downtown, Inc., that Livermore’s downtown “belongs” to the merchants who own businesses there, and that these merchants should be the ones to determine the fate of the 8-acre pa…

Livermore residents want to vote on the downtown plan without city council interference. The Livermore Central Park Initiative guarantees our right to vote on this issue. However, the city council voted Monday to sign development agreements before the election, and thereby compromised our ri…

Why do special interests keep calling for a vote on the downtown plan simply to block the boutique hotel? The hotel’s location was the single issue in last November’s Council election. The only council candidate who favored an alternative location for the Bankhead Hotel came in dead last in …

Suburban California cities are now having to learn to deal with district elections. Everyone assumes four councilmembers plus a mayor is just the right size because that’s the way it’s always been. But it’s not working. We seem to need more councilmembers. The point is to help government con…

The Central Park Initiative violates the discretionary powers of the City Council and will almost certainly be invalidated by the Courts before the next general election. Although citizens have a constitutional right to place any development agreement on the ballot for public affirmation, th…

I keep asking myself, "What is the Livermore City council afraid of?" The initiative to allow the citizens of Livermore to decide the fate of downtown has been certified with over 8000 signatures. Yet, the Livermore City council has now taken multiple actions to frustrate the ability of Live…

If the City Council is insisting on an eastside hotel to support the winegrowers’ desire for recognition from important wine publications, they do not have to settle for a shoehorn hotel. Our City Council is clever enough to execute a better plan without causing delay and without spending ex…

The Livermore Central Park/Stockmen's Park plan is a decision that will last for 100 to 150 years. Cities do not change their central parks once they are built, e.g., Golden Gate Park and Central Park, NYC.

Seventy-four years ago, on August 6, 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the unsuspecting civilian population of Hiroshima, and three days later we unleashed a second atomic bomb on the residents of Nagasaki.

In response to Mr. Daryl Carlson’s Mailbox letter appearing in The Independent’s July 4 edition, it seems he needs to be reminded of a couple of things. One is that just because someone doesn’t agree with his viewpoints doesn’t mean he has license to start name-calling them, e.g., locusts an…

“If we are going to have a functioning and healthy society, we need to be open to civil discourse. We have to be able to disagree without being disagreeable.” (Dr. Glenn Antizzo)

The mayor and council can argue that the Central Park Plan is unrealistic or impractical. They can also argue that the large number of signatures on the petition is due to full page ads in The Independent and money and volunteer time spent on gathering signatures.

I would like to thank Patrick Weldhass of Dublin for taking the time to write a letter replying to the letter posted July 11, 2019, concerning “Trump’s Salute to America.” The points were excellent, short and to the point.

I am saddened by the vitriolic attacks on Joan Seppala and The Independent that have been prompted by the citizens' efforts for a more visionary approach to downtown development.

They’re back! Petition signature gatherers are trying to grab us (sometimes literally) at stores and events around Livermore - at Walmart, the Farmers' Market, the library, and elsewhere. They call out to us as we walk past, or follow us trying to engage us. We may be preoccupied with our er…

Over 8,000 residents of Livermore have spoken. By signing the initiative, they have said “YES,” they want the opportunity to vote on the downtown plan they prefer. So lets put a stop to all the personal attacks, the truth twisting and the bickering, and let democracy work. The people have sp…

What could be more democratic than an initiative? 8,000+ signatures in five boxes submitted to the power that be - if anything, the city leaders should be proud to know that their constituents took the time and made the effort to get involved in the development of this Central Park.

It is a big concern that the City Council is ignoring the input of the citizens of Livermore and all the work done in various workshops. The public participated in several workshops. The City Council appears to be in bed with the developers without consideration for a better Central Park Pla…

Monday night I stayed up way, way past my bedtime to watch on TV the Livermore City Council deal with the downtown Livermore issue, particularly the going forward with plans for a new hotel. Though I don't have a dog in this hunt (I live in Dublin) and I don't pretend to know which plans are…

As I read the first three or four letters to the editor in the July 18 edition of The Independent, I was momentarily overcome by a sense of futility, almost hopelessness regarding the impact of abysmal ignorance and short-sighted stupidity of some of our residents. These were unavoidable ass…

I am pleased that this second petition met with approval from so many persons, who were ready to sign, but I am dismayed to learn that the persons providing the opportunity to sign it met with harassment and intimidation. There have been differences of opinion in the past but I do not rememb…

It is apparent that a small, dedicated group is using Trump-like tactics to smear The Independent, its publisher and those who are campaigning for a Livermore Central Park Plan…in this case smearing a superior plan for the 8+ acres at the former Lucky site.

The City of Dublin and Valley Christian Center (VCC) were unsuccessful in their attempt to dismiss residents’ lawsuit. The judge chided them for trying to “game” CEQA.

My husband and I have lived in Livermore for 40 years. We have looked forward every Thursday to receiving this delightful paper. We each read every word of the good, sad and bad news from our community and beyond. Without this informative paper, our Thursdays would have a large void and I kn…

Last night at their regularly-scheduled meeting, the City Council orchestrated a personal attack on Joan Seppala. To be sure, the last developable space in Livermore's downtown is causing stress. It was disheartening and interesting to witness such hostile behavior from the City.

As a resident of Livermore, with two kids in the Livermore school district, I want to thank the Livermore City Council for adopting the ordinance regarding the sale of flavored tobacco products and e-cigarettes.

Over 7,000 signatures were validated for the Livermore Central Park Plan Initiative, guaranteeing your right to vote on the downtown plan. Unfortunately, the city council circumvented your right to vote on this issue by entering into a development agreement which puts the hotel on the east s…

The Livermore Central Park Plan Initiative, signed by over 8,000 voters, has been validated by Alameda County. This means that there will be a mandatory election to determine which downtown plan is implemented. It also shows that thousands of voters want, and expect, this to be an open and f…

A marvelous letter by Sarah Lee appeared in the Mailbox on July 18. It envisions a response to climate crisis that would be a stimulus package for jobs across America. FEMA is at best re-active. A new jobs program centered on infra-structure could be pro-active and anticipatory.

All residents surely want the best for Livermore while differing in ideas about how the downtown development should be configured.

Eight years ago, facing BART's costly 2B plan for a Livermore station by Junction Avenue K-8 School, some 8,400 Livermore voters petitioned the City to amend its General Plan and favor BART instead along I-580, initially to Isabel and ultimately to Greenville near ACE. The freeway median was…

In the digital age of much inflammatory and less than accurate news, we are grateful for the integrity of our local newspaper, The Independent. We are very fortunate to have reporters and editors who cover the Tri-Valley’s city council meetings, local board meetings, school board meetings, c…

Every once in a while the elected representatives must stand aside and allow the will of the people/common folk to have the right to vote on this major piece of development. It is unique; it will stand out as a testament to nature and the free spirit of the people of Livermore. It will give …