Letters: Oakland Zoo tax | Vote for Kaplan | Make up mind | No on gambling | Renewable energy

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No on property tax
for Oakland Zoo

I am writing to oppose the imposition of a new property tax on Oakland residents. Oakland Zoo is proposing a new tax, in spite of the fact that they are reducing the number of interpretive volunteers, in favor of paid employees. This unnecessarily increases their cost of doing business and contributes to their fiscal shortfalls.

The Zoo restricts the number of volunteers who can interpret on California Trail because they believe their insurance requires them to track the location of volunteers at all times – so they must have a radio anchor on the Trail. This is very unlikely; almost all insurance for commercial establishments differentiates between employees and non-employees; insurance is likely to treat volunteers (non-employees) the same way they treat guests at the zoo, who can visit California Trail anytime.

Please oppose the new property tax to support the Oakland Zoo.

Louise Hayes-Booth

Vote for Kaplan for
Alameda County board

Voters in Alameda County should elect Oakland Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan for supervisor to replace the Honorable Wilma Chan.

Rebecca has the knowledge and skill set necessary to be an effective and creative leader at a time when residents of Alameda are facing critical issues impacting their quality of life: The rise in homelessness, the rise in criminal activity, the lack of affordable housing and the unaccountability of direction at the Santa Rita Jail facility as well as the inadequate oversight in the Department of Social Services.

Rebecca has demonstrated her ability to hold public servants accountable for failures to be safeguards of taxpayers’ money while demanding that they perform at the highest level. She has brought together state and federal officials to tackle these issues with both resources and innovative solutions.

A vote for Rebecca Kaplan is a vote for effective governance.

Eddie Dillard

Make up your own
mind on gambling

We are all currently being inundated with TV commercials both for and against Propositions 26 and 27. We are urged to help California tribes, cure homelessness, provide mental health and drug treatment services, etc.

Both of these propositions are about gambling, pure and simple. Proposition 26 is about allowing sports betting to be done at local tribal casinos and some other locations. Proposition 27 is about allowing all sports betting to become legal in California and available on computer devices (computers, phones, iPads, etc).
Please do not be fooled into believing Proposition 27 will magically solve homelessness, drug addiction, mental illness or anything else. It is about gambling — that is all.

Personally, I am very tired of being misled about the purpose of a proposition to become law. Both are about legalizing gambling. Please read them and make your own decision about gambling.

Moira Fry
San Leandro

Vote no on bringing
sports betting to state

Thomas Elias’ commentary “Big-time sports betting a safe bet to hit California” (Sept. 13) includes this comment; “The healthiest response from voters would be to reject both measures, but given the pent-up demand for sports betting in California and voters’ prior approval of things long considered vices, that’s not likely to happen.”

The big bucks being spent on advocacy of both propositions should be a clear sign to voters that big money stands to be made regardless of which proposition wins more yes votes. The advocates of both 26 and 27 would have you believe the other side are crooks and their proposition will do good for all involved.

Fellow voters, I strongly advocate a resounding no vote on both Propositions 26 and 27 this November.

Bill Hansen

State must invest more
in renewable energy

I agree with Denise Kalm in her Letter to the Editor on Sept. 15 (“Time is now to build up water, energy supplies,” Page A6), that we need to drastically increase water and energy supplies in California. However, I strongly disagree as to the solutions.

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Water storage will not solve the much greater issue of drought and depleted aquifers, but mitigating global temperature rise while investing in smarter agriculture and domestic water use will help greatly. Electric cars alone may not solve water and energy shortfalls, but they will greatly contribute to lowering carbon emissions and therefore to reducing the likelihood and severity of droughts.

Thanks to U.S. Sens. Padilla and Feinstein, as well as all our members of the House from the Bay Area, for passing the Inflation Reduction Act which is a good start in tackling these issues. The deep investment we still need is in cutting further rises in temperature and greatly increasing our supply of renewable sources of energy.

Susan Wright