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Letters: Housing rules | Oakland gem


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State is tightening
grip on housing rules

Re: “Area leaders frustrated with housing rules” (Page A1, May 22)

Kudos to reporter Ethan Varian for finally touching on the truth behind the myth that California suburbs are trying to evade state housing law by not submitting required housing elements to the Department of Housing and Community Development.

Despite reservations regarding the wisdom of the state dictating zoning policy to cities, suburban cities have made good-faith efforts to comply. Lafayette, for example, at great expense, is finalizing the fourth iteration of its housing element and hired a consultant to advise on all submissions. But, as Varian states, HCD approval has been a “moving target” for suburbs, and continued non-approval exposes cities to the dreaded “builder’s remedy.”

Hayward had five housing element submissions dinged by the HCD, and was approved only after threatening to sue the HCD. The response? A state senator introduced a bill strengthening the state’s enforcement powers. Authoritarian YIMBYism trumping due process of law? You call it.

William Gilbert

Revived Junior Center
should be Oakland gem

Two hundred families will soon be participating in classes and activities at the newly rebuilt and renamed Oakland Creative Lab, formerly (for over 70 years) known as the Junior Center.

This, thanks to the tireless work of Executive Director Cybele Gerachis. Gerachis has made literally hundreds of calls to numerous departments of Oakland, including parks and fire, and each City Council member. She has coordinated with electricians, plumbers, painters, gardeners, principals of dozens of schools, artists and teachers. The center has been held together through the loss of the space by arson and the devastation of ordinary classes by COVID by Gerachis and two other full-time persons.

The Oakland Creative Lab has been and needs to continue to be a precious jewel of Oakland, a resource for our children.

Carla Elizabeth Haimowitz

Media should report
on more than Trump

Re: “Media is giving Trump too much coverage” (Page A12, May 26).

I couldn’t agree with Zafar Yousufzai more. I thought the exact same thing when I saw Page A3 in the newspaper on May 22.

Donald Trump is getting way too much free publicity, which feels unbalanced. Can’t you limit the coverage of him? There are plenty of other stories to publish, I’m sure.

Priscilla Wolfram

Reporting on Trump
is far too much

Re: “Media is giving Trump too much coverage” (Page A12, May 26).

I agree with Zafar Yousufzai. Donald Trump’s name was on two facing pages five or six times. At the gym, his face is on the screen constantly.

I think enough is enough. There must be other news that is of more interest to your readers.

Carey Jackson

Let’s fix humanity
before fixing AI

Books, articles, and editorials abound that are concerned that current rapid and continuous growth in artificial intelligence may lead to the slavery or destruction of humanity. And it could. But our salvation will not come from learning how to build better software. Rather, we first must understand and improve ourselves, individually, nationally and globally.

We humans live hierarchically. We follow leaders. Hierarchy enables our complex societies, allowing some 8 billion of us to live with each other. But hierarchy is also a problem.

Since humans are individually diverse, each person having their own strengths, weaknesses, motivations and beliefs, leaders are also diverse, causing conflicting nation-to-nation actions and philosophies. So, before we can create AI in harmony with humanity, we must bring humanity into harmony with humanity by implementing a globally common purpose.

It is not obvious we can, but let’s try.

Wallace Clark

Restore balance of
private and public good

Re: “The authoritarians have the momentum” (Page A7, May 22).

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