Readers sound off the reshaping of Lake Merritt, the city's recycling contract, and the real causes of gentrification.
In my view, this project [“Lake Merritt Reborn,” May] has been a model for good management by the city and the Measure DD Coalition who have worked in partnership since 2003 to ensure the public’s money is spent to accomplish the Measure DD promises. So often we do not provide sufficient oversight for city projects and avenues for ongoing community involvement, but in this case a standing ovation for the city of Oakland and the Measure DD Coalition. And of course I love the new and improved Lake Merritt!
Robert Archibald, Oakland
Oakland has contracts with two overpaid “waste management” corporations [“A Waste of Money,” May], but the solution to our “dumping” issue is a fine-generating snitch hotline?
I can see both sides of this debate [“The Real Cause of Gentrification,” May]. My own observation, however, is that putting small apartment buildings in predominately single-family residential neighborhoods often drags down those neighborhoods with parking problems and other undesirable side effects. Often, these small multifamily properties become run down and create ugly eyesores over time. This is because they attract small-time investor-absentee owners that are primarily interested in collecting rents, not maintaining their properties or good relationships with their neighbors. Add rent control to that mix and the incentive—even the financial ability—for the owners to maintain these properties approaches zero. We called the triplexes in our predominately neighborhood “the uglies” because, well, they were. It will be interesting to see how the multistory apartment buildings going in to San Francisco and Oakland fare over the coming decades. In any event, the idea of keeping apartment buildings in transit hub areas along the busiest streets makes the most sense for harmonizing the interests of SFR neighborhood property owners and the millennial car-free types.
LR Jensen, Oakland
Our Best of Oakland and the East Bay issue [June] misstated the category for which Oakland Technical High School won first place, Best Public High School. Due to a technical error in our balloting process, there was no Best Public Middle School winner this year.