Castro Valley Was First

Readers sound off on the 100 Most Influential East Bay Residents of All Time.


About Those 100

Thank you for an important reminder “[The 100 Most Influential East Bay Residents of All Time,” July] of our rich history in all areas of human endeavor.

—Jerry Rothstein, former coordinator, Oakland Peace and Freedom Center, 1965-68.


A few of the well-known people who have lived in Berkeley: Ben Affleck, Fritjof Capra, Francis Ford Coppola, Jay DeFeo, Elmer Bischoff, David Park, R. Crumb.

—Davivid Rose


No Bruce Lee in Oakland’s most influential? Oakland’s own who influenced the martial arts genre in film and TV? Also a modern most influential: Oakland’s homegrown acting fire chief Mark Hoffmann.

—Mike Santos


Great story about the 100 Oaklanders. However, you need to add at least some of the great retail merchants who helped to build our city. Kahn’s department store, Capwells, Smiths, Grodins, J Magnin, I Magnin, Gray Shop, Sherwood Swans, Capwell Sullivan & Furth, California Furniture, 10th street store, and many more.

—Mike Levy


An excellent list, and I’m sure you’re hearing from some names who should’ve been included. Joseph “Pepper” Gomez lived most of his entire life in Alameda on Central and was a true trailblazer in sports entertainment. While he was a global multiple world champion singles and tag-team pro wrestling champion after graduating from L.A. City College, double-majoring in sports and economics, he was the first Hispanic-American superstar in that genre. … He was a real and decorated amateur athlete first and foremost.

The East Bay’s equally honored Amy Trask was the longtime CEO of our Oakland Raiders, working in nearly every department there under owner Al Davis and known as his unofficial right hand.

—Michael Lano


Castro Valley Was First

The first joint-development project located on BART-owned land [“Building Around BART,” July] in the history of the agency is located in the unincorporated Alameda County community of Castro Valley and was completed in the fall of 1997. In addition to BART-required parking, it includes a 96-unit, multi-jurisdictional apartment complex, and BART police station as well as the rehabilitation of the historic Strobridge House as part of the effort to integrate the new development into the existing fabric of the surrounding neighborhood.

—Jay W. Claiborne

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