Image by Jason Dean via Flickr Creative Commons

Letters to the Editor – Oct. 2012

The Importance of Voting Yes on Measure B

As voters peruse their ballots for the Nov. 6 election, it is really important to scan to the end of the ballot and vote Yes to renew Measure B. This measure will extend the current sales tax of 1/8 of one cent that goes toward funding Fresno County libraries. This is not a new tax or a tax increase. It was first approved by voters in 1998 to improve library services throughout Fresno County. It was renewed by voters in 2004 and expires in March 2013.

The funds from Measure B allow our libraries to play their most vital role in helping foster and supplement the education of our children. It allows libraries to continue to service seniors and the blind across the county. It also helps libraries maintain qualified librarians who administer literacy programs throughout the county.

Measure B allows libraries to offer after-school and weekend programs to young people as a viable alternative to gang activity. The funding from Measure B also gives libraries the buffer needed from volatile county and state budgets.

Measure B has helped to prevent the closure of neighborhood libraries and to maintain operating hours. It has enabled libraries to play a key role in offering countywide job search programs for our residents needing those services during these hard economic times. The funding allows libraries to level the playing field, offering Internet access and other computer services to families in our community who could not otherwise access them.

Measure B currently provides more than 54% of the annual library budget. Without this continued funding source, libraries will close and communities will lose their most precious free resource—their library. Please vote Yes to Renew Measure B.

Laurel C. Prysiazny
Fresno

Community Grassroots Radio

Do you have you any interest in Public Access Radio? The FCC [Federal Communications Commission] is releasing 1,000 FM radio slots for Public Access Radio. The 93700 series zip codes will be allotted one. A drawing will be done from the local applicants. Do a search on “Prometheus Radio” for more information.

Are you interested in the support, backing, encouragement, funding, sponsorship or co-support for any kind of association along this line? I am open to starting a conversation about this.

Rachel Joy Bowman
Fresno
559-255-4075

Occupy Fresno, the Homeless and WILPF

The Occupy Fresno vigil/festival was held on Sept. 15. I had to choose between going to it or going to the Fresno Center for Nonviolence’s Art on the Edge fund-raiser. It was a hard choice. I have been so energized by the Occupy movement. If we can continue the energy and the focus on the structural problems in our government and society enough to make a real difference, I will give Occupy a lot of credit. On the other hand, the energy and focus locally seems to be seriously waning, while the peace community, with the Center at the center, is going strong. So I chose the Center, after checking in at Occupy. It seems strange to be thinking of such a recent powerful movement as being “the past,” but it does seem to be.

So now I have a house and land that will be used as a homeless resource, a safe and legal campground with the bonus of the house for support services. Occupy provided me with the feeling of urgency to actually get this thing started.

Here’s an update: The name has morphed into Dakota EcoGarden because Art Dyson and the EcoVillage group, with 501(c)3 tax status, are going to participate. That’s great news. The house was in bad shape under the new carpet and paint. It is getting fixed, and soon I will invite people to come and work on the living and garden space layouts. Please stay tuned.

The evictions continue. We must get at least this small project under way. It’s not much by itself, but my belief is that it can lead to other projects that will help many more. I will have a pickup in a few weeks, so we will be able to transport bulky items and loads of compost. In the meantime, if you have a washer to donate, or lumber, tools, etc., just let me know. If you aren’t getting e-mails about the property and wish to, contact me at nancywaidtlow@yahoo.com or 559-224 1738.

On another subject, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) Crafts Faire is on Saturday, Dec. 1, this year. Look for more information in next month’s Community Alliance, or call or e-mail me.

Nancy Waidtlow
Fresno

Response to Article on Population/Global Warming

In the September Community Alliance, finally someone of international repute, fellow Fresnan George B. Kauffman, addressed, global overpopulation in two articles, “Can We Predict the Global Future, Part 1,” and global warming, “Background to ‘Can We Predict the Global Future.’”

It has been a near miracle that the established press cannot connect the two concepts of overpopulation and global warming, which have the potential application of eliminating the human race. Certainly, the global droughts, especially noticeable in the United States, would prompt some journalists of importance to address the combined issues in one article, considering their mutual importance and the ease of composing concepts and their solutions.

Mass contraception would address the cause, and wind and solar renewable energies replacing coal and petroleum would address the symptoms. I recommend addressing the overpopulation cause of the problem if we wish numerous vegetable and animal species including our own to continue to exist.

Considering the absence of journalistic coverage of the crisis, it is almost as if we are living in a science fiction motion picture of the last days of the human race. This would feed the needs of specific fundamentalist religions, but I do not find their fantasies to be desirable. Of course, after the elimination of 99% of all biological species global climate disruption may subside, and the earth will continue on evolving species as if starting over. Somehow since I have offspring, this does not console me.

Even though our federal legislators seem to be bought and paid for by those with vested interests in overpopulation, business, Wall Street, and the coal and oil industries, I would think that the rogue propagandists like the Koch brothers may have grandchildren they would like to see survive. Perhaps their greed supersedes their need to reproduce. After all, it was the great American intellectual Rodney Dangerfield who commented about the rich, “They eat their young.”

Mike Starry
Fresno

Report from the Democratic National Convention

On Sept. 2, I was on my way to Charlotte, N.C., to attend the DNC [Democratic National Convention]. I also attended the Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) event. I got to hear several speakers, but they all had one major message overall. We need to keep Barack Obama for another four years and build “a movement” with a progressive agenda. We stand a better chance with President Obama than we do with Mitt. Romney when it comes to building a movement.

We heard this message time and time again from the more than 30 PDA presenters including Rev. Jesse Jackson, Jim Hightower, John Conyers, Alan Grayson, Medea Benjamin and Raul Grijalva. I agree. My vote is with “the devil I know versus the devil I don’t know.” My vote is with President Barack Obama He needs another four years to complete his tasks.

On Sept. 4, I put on my KFCF 88.1 t-shirt and armed myself with my Keeping It Real microphone and my press badge, and hit the street to ask three questions: 1) What did you think of Bill Clinton’s speech? 2) Why should we vote for Barack Obama for another four years? and 3) What will you do to help in getting the vote out for President Obama? Go to my Website (www.keepingitrealwithdrjeankennedy.org)to view videos of my DNC pictures and live recordings of the individuals I met.

Sept. 4 and 5, I got to hang out with Davey D (KPFA, Hard Knock Radio) and exchanged thoughts about how African-American radio shows struggle to stay on free speech radio stations. Also, what role will Black media play in the upcoming elections?

Dr. Jean Kennedy
Atlanta

  • The Community Alliance is a monthly newspaper that has been published in Fresno, California, since 1996. The purpose of the newspaper is to help build a progressive movement for social and economic justice.

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