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 assumptions based solely upon the content of their expressed opinions. But on sober reconsideration I recalled that we are all blessed in this country with the guaranteed right to speak our minds and make our individual views public, and it would not be in keeping with the ultimate intent of the free exchange of ideas to deny anyone the exercise of that right – so a level of contrition made itself manifest, and I must apologize for such a quick and unkind reaction. However - there are many “howevers” – adequately covering all of these expressions would require writing a book, so I will respect brevity, which Shakespeare has called “the soul of wit,” and hope to do better than Polonius with my remarks.

So now I need to deal with the dilemma in which I found myself, facing the expressions of ideas and opinions with which I fundamentally disagree. First to Sara Lee in Pleasanton: Sara please take your passion to India and to China, the two worst polluters on the planet. Secondly, the United States was well ahead of the requirements of the Paris Climate Accord, having achieved the stated goal for the United States carbon emissions before the turn of the millennia. All the Paris Accord sought was funds from the American tax payer. Your blood pressure would likely benefit greatly from some basic research on the subject and if you ignore the climate doomsayers.

Rion Causey, there are large central parks in Moscow, Paris, London, adjoining “Dorchester Square” and “Canada Place” parks in Montreal; downtown Santa Barbara; a 22.5 acre park in Lompoc, a 16 acre “Centennial Park” in Paso Robles, the three-quarter acre “Devendorf Park” (“A central gathering place” – 4th of July Fireworks – “A lovely little park in downtown Carmel”); adjoining “Wayside” and “Delucchi” Parks in central Pleasanton; “Mape Park” in Dublin, and “Depot Park” in Chico. I hope the information will lead to you reconsider the value of downtown parks. People like parks, especially if they are cool, green, and centrally located in town, and through which people can stroll on a balmy afternoon or evening, or gather for conversation with neighbors. They are civilizing phenomena.

Patrick Wiedhass, your characterization and comparison of “Trump’s Salute to America” and critical comments regarding Carla Biermann’s remarks of July 11 were disappointing as well as disjointed. It is clearly apparent that you disapprove of President Trump, but that doesn’t justify your sweeping generalizations. It is apparent that you are uninformed regarding how the government is supposed to function and how it is functioning. The President is the chief executive and is charged with implementing the law. The laws are first generated by the Congress as a bill and, when supported by a majority in both the Senate and House of Representatives, is forwarded to the President for final approval or rejection (veto). If the Congress does not present a bill supported by both houses, it cannot be placed on the President’s desk for approval or rejection; in effect, it doesn’t exist. The House has virtually complete control of the money; the current House is dominated by the democrats and they have refused to work with the Senate to write legislation to solve the problems to which you pointed – that is the reason these problems are not being adequately addressed. Finally, your characterization of Trump’s Salute to America as a “Soviet-style military parade was ludicrous. I have seen films of Soviet military parades, and the same kinds of parades in China, North Korea, and others, and Trump’s Salute to America came nowhere near the size, length, and nationalistic fervor typical of the nations mentioned. I am a proud veteran and in no way find fault with a person who has a medical deferment for serving in the military – recall your Democrat President Clinton.

John Lawrence, please reread your column in the July 18 Independent then take a long penetrating look in the nearest mirror. The petition to give the residents another opportunity to make their choices regarding a Livermore Central Park Plan known is not frivolous – if the council had not been deceitful early in the process, this petition would not have been necessary. I participated in the so-called outreach program and the council’s announced conclusions were not in accord with the majority of the wishes expressed by the participants; the process was rendered a farce and was waste of a half-million dollars!

I must take issue with ex-councilmember Spedowfski’s comments because the very presence of his “Letters to the Editor” belie his claim of present and past council members not having adequate access to the public forum to express their views and “follow-up quotes.” Mr. Spedowfski has, in fact, availed himself of this avenue of communication on multiple occasions and the same route is available to any councilmember, and the Mayor. As I said in a letter back in November 2017, “…the town belongs to its residents, not to its leaders and most certainly not to the prospective contractors bent on obtaining lucrative contracts for the design and construction of whatever changes are finally decided upon.” Locally elected leaders are in place to bring the expressed wishes of the residents to fruition as best they can, not to force the population to accept the offerings they have devised in camera; i.e., in the backrooms.

Finally, a successful councilmember receiving “more votes” is based on a general approval of the totality of his or her campaign rhetoric and cannot be interpreted as a blanket approval of whatever that particular councilmember may propose in the future.

Eugenia Reuschel, I recommend to you the very same recommendation I made to John Lawrence; reread your column then look deeply into a mirror. It appears to me that you are far more concerned with the potential impact of Joan Seppala’s influence on the acceptance of a plan than with the quality of the plan itself and whether the plan is supported by a majority of Livermore residents. You will be constrained, if the quality of the plan is your overriding consideration, to accept the process if the plan receives majority support of the residents.

If it isn’t clear where I stand, let me be explicit: I am in agreement with Elizabeth Judge’s analysis as written in the July 18 letter to the editor, and Richard Langlois’ very clear warning example of Half Moon Bay.