Miffed Over Marcus Books

Feedback from December Issue


I am writing in reference to the article, “A Booklover’s Guide to East Bay Bookstores,” in the November issue of Oakland Magazine. I eagerly turned to page 38 anticipating seeing my favorite bookstore, Marcus Book Store. To my surprise and shock, it was not there. I sat there stunned for a few minutes wondering why an Oakland landmark, the oldest Black-owned bookstore in the United States, a respected mainstay on Martin Luther King for decades was omitted from a list of notable independent bookstores in the East Bay.

How did Oakland Magazine miss this? Marcus Book Store was founded by the former chair of Black Studies at San Francisco State, Dr. Raye Richardson and her husband Julian Richardson, who owned his own printing press.

Not knowing about or of Marcus cannot be used as an excuse. You have missed the mark, and as such Oakland Magazine should right this wrong in a future edition.

Dera R. Williams, Oakland 


Forgotten Park

The voters of Oakland spent years negotiating a general plan that included converting Brooklyn Basin to a grand park for all the city. The park would have been a catalyst for development in the neighborhoods along its full length. Signature Development’s middle-class ghetto takes the park our voters wanted and turns it into money—until the seas rise and flood it.

Don Perata made the taking possible by creating an exception for it in state law, which requires waterfront development to be only recreational or waterfront-commercial, forbidding projects that sequester it for residents. Voters were so angry about him that they voted anyone-but-Perata when he ran for mayor. So we got Quan, who’s also ignoring the voters’ general plan. 

When the Sierra Club mounted a petition drive to take the Perata-Quan-Signature plan to the voters, it was misled by the city into making a trivial technical error in the petition that invalidated it. When the club asked the court to make an allowance because of the city’s miscreance, the court refused. So now we’re stuck with another waterfront development that will never quite succeed, like so many of the projects that already litter the estuary.

Mike Bradley, Oakland

Looking the Other Way

Oakland Magazine painted an accurate picture of the apparent good times happening each Sunday weekend at our recently beautified park at Lake Merritt. The casual disregard for city ordinances dating back 50 years is all too much the rule. In fact, I think an excellent motto for our city could be: Oakland, the city that looks the other way. We don’t have enforcement. We have enfarcement.

It’s all too easy for one person’s idea of fun to turn into someone else’s tragedy. The simple ordinances on our books to protect our lake are reasonable. The lake and surrounding land is vulnerable to the natural problems of drought and to the very unnatural abuse that is being piled upon it by a largely uneducated population.

Despite the accuracy of your September story, I was deeply saddened that no one at City Hall seemed to have read it or not cared to make a commitment re: the importance of respecting the municipal ordinances in place to protect our lake, land, air, and water.

Bev Rice, Oakland

Corrections & Clarifications

We identified one of the proprietors of Wine & Waffle in November’s “More Wine, Less Whine” by her maiden name, when her name is now Vicke Monize. The travel piece “The Trouble With Truffles Is That They’re Hard to Find” should have mentioned the photo was of truffle-hunting with dogs in Europe, not Oregon, as in the story.

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