Danville Express

Perspective - May 18, 2007

Letters to the editor

Shopping center being held hostage

Dear Editor:

I was distressed today after reading the article last week titled, "Old supermarket site may stay vacant for awhile." It explained a lawsuit between the property owner of the now closed Albertsons supermarket and Cerberus, the giant corporation holding the lease. It is a sad world when a huge corporation can hold hostage an entire retail center.

Eleven businesses now feel the impact of reduced foot traffic due to the closure last June of Albertsons, which was the main draw for the complex. Excluding Taco Bell, those establishments are small businesses, some family owned, and they are being hurt badly as time drags on. I work at the Hospice Thrift Shoppe, a nonprofit store that is part of the foundation for Hospice of the East Bay. Hardly a day goes by that we are not asked, "What's going in next door?" and "Will there ever be another market?"

This Green Valley Center was a wonderful place to shop. It was convenient; many neighbors would walk there. Since it is near the freeway ramp, you don't have to deal with downtown traffic and there was always ample parking. The entire community misses the large grocery store. We heard rumors about Trader Joe's and Bristol Farms wanting to lease the space. But now this article explains it all: It is a money issue and Cerberus doesn't care that, one by one, the shops may close.

Cerberus is a huge New York-based corporation with $60 billion annual revenue. Can't it even relinquish a lease in Danville, Calif.? Does it even know the effect it is having on our little Green Valley Center?

Mary Lou Baratta, Danville

Alamo opposes YMCA facilities near Hemme

Dear Editor:

Your article picturing happy faces ready to impose a YMCA commercial facility deep into the Hemme neighborhood illustrates the selfishness of a few YMCA supporters in Alamo. The Mt. Diablo Region YMCA site, www.mdrymca.org, has previously published that only 7 percent of Alamo residents support the construction and operations of YMCA commercial facilities in the Hemme neighborhood. In polling over the past three years, 76 percent of Alamo residents will actively support opposition efforts to such commercial construction and more than 83 percent would vote against the construction if it were a matter for election.

This is a selfish and abusive effort by the county, Danville, Mt. Diablo Region YMCA and a handful in Alamo. The Mt. Diablo Region YMCA and its handful of Alamo supporters even want Alamo parcel tax appropriations to support this neighborhood abuse.

Alamo neighborhoods have focused on this abuse in proposing formation of the City of Alamo so appropriate and thorough review, even elections, can be pursued. No incorporation by any group should avoid Alamo's majority opposition to San Ramon Valley YMCA commercial facilities in the Hemme neighborhood.

pstyle:infotext>Hal Bailey, Alamo

Bribes for Iraqi oil

Dear Editor:

Chevron and Exxon set modern corporate profit records. The effects of a $25 million fine have a worse public relations impact than the fine has on Chevron's bottom line. Both companies and several others paid bribes for Iraqi oil to Saddam's Regime before the U.S. invasion, violating U.S. law and UN sanctions.

If one of us inadvertently gave money or aid to enemies of our country we would be arrested and possibly tortured. The same treatment should be extended to the executives who approved the deals. The Justice Department prosecutes would-be terrorists, while letting the financiers of Saddam's Regime off with a tax deductible slap on the wrist. The Bush Justice Department decided to ignore the treasonous nature of these offenses possibly because Condoleezza Rice was on Chevron's board where she was responsible for overseeing the activities that Chevron is being fined for. The fact that she never discussed the bribes on the record (not in the minutes) at company meetings should not surprise anyone who is familiar with her lack of response to 911 warnings.

This story should have been a headline and mentioned frequently on the news, but Chevron and Exxon are big advertisers and probably make sizable campaign contributions. The Feds are close to an agreement with Chevron so it is almost a done deal. If one of the Justice Department's Federal Prosecutors had the guts to investigate these treasonous corporate criminals, Alberto Gonzalez would probably fire the prosecutor.

Ellis Goldberg, Danville


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