Letters to the Editor

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Isn’t it curious how silent the advocates of ranked choice voting have become recently. Somehow the mess ranked choice caused in Oakland has sent people scurrying into their hidey-holes. “It’s so simple.” “It will save money.” “It will improve democracy.” These were some of the siren cries we heard before the recent screw-up.

For those who don’t know, the Oakland schoolboard race in which Nick Resnick was certified as the winner, is now in limbo, as the Registrar of Voters, Tim Dupuis, announced on Dec. 28 that due to an error in how the ranked choice voting was tabulated, candidate Michael Hutchinson should have been the winner. The Alameda County Board of Supervisors on Jan. 10 unanimously voted in favor of recommendations from President Carson calling for a recount of not only the Resnick/Hutchinson race, but also the Oakland mayoral race, which was very close, and two very close races in San Leandro.

A look at the San Leandro ballot shows why there was confusion among voters. Even a race where there were only one or two candidates running had five possible ranking levels which could be filled in. What was the reason for that? I’m not convinced that the current efforts directed by the Board of Supervisors will correct for the voter confusion, but at least a spotlight is being put on the problem. A number of organizations have weighed in on the importance of getting this right, including the Oakland NAACP and Election Integrity Team of Alameda County.

I think Governor Gavin Newsom was on the mark in 2019 when he vetoed a bill to promote more use of ranked choice voting state-wide. He commented that, “it has often led to voter confusion and that the promise that ranked choice voting leads to greater democracy is not necessarily fulfilled.”

— Hunter Cobb

Many thanks to the individuals and groups who have contributed to Midway Shelter for abused women and their children. A number of the listed donors have contributed several times in January.

First, I want to send thanks to Christopher Buckley, Ketos Rowing Club, Carmen Minch, Carolyn Queener & John Platt and Jordan Hagaman. We also want to send thanks to Gabrielle Dolphin & Alan Pryor, Judith & Thomas Johnasing, Darron Dessling, Home of Truth of Alameda, Suzanne Bryant, Renee & William Sheehan.

The Midway Shelter is also thankful for the donation from Virginia Krutilek, Marilyn Ezzy & Howard Ashcraft, Janice Cantu, Jay Dawson, Tomorr Haximali, Annie Kersting and six anonymous donors.

Lastly, we want thank Jim & Sero Hager, Ann Louise Champion, Gabrielle Dolphin & Alan Pryor, and Jon Demeter & Ann Walker.
Send donations to Alameda Homeless Network P.O. Box 951, Alameda, CA 94501. For more information see www.midwayshelter.org.

— Ginny Krutilek

A visual acuity of 20/40 vision is required for a California driver’s license. It is therefore astonishing at the number of drivers who turn right on red when a blind pedestrian has right-of-way.

After my guide dog and I were nearly run over by a supposedly sighted driver yet another time this morning, I thought I would refresh the memories of Alameda motorists by citing the following from the California Driver’s Handbook:

“Before entering an intersection, check for … pedestrians. Be prepared to slow down and stop if necessary. Pedestrians always have the right-of-way.”
When turning right, “Look both ways and turn when it is safe.” and “Always check for pedestrians crossing the street…”

Pedestrians using guide dogs or white canes have the right-of-way at all times.”

Since California will be selling only EVs (hard for the blind to hear) after 2030, it’s even more important that drivers pay attention to folks like me when we cross the street. It would behoove the Alameda Police Department to install cameras at major intersections to catch offenders in the act.

I don’t know how many of these supposedly sighted drivers read the Sun. If their eyesight is so poor as not to yield to a blind person with a guide dog in a crosswalk, perhaps they should have this letter read to them or transcribed into braille. After all, that’s what I have to do, and I’m legally blind.

— Alysa Chadow