Letters to the Editor

Unacceptable Treatment from a Professional Business Owner
    I had an appointment with one of the businesses located at 99 Brookwood Rd., and I was told that I could park in spaces labeled ATMA/ALMA. My dad parked in one of those spaces while he waited for me.
    As we were leaving in our car, a driver waved my dad down in the middle of the street. The man got out of his car, walked up to us, took a photo, then yelled that we can’t park there and that we were disturbing the businesses.
    My dad doesn’t speak fluent English, so I explained to the man I was here for an appointment and was given permission to park there. He did not stop yelling to hear my explanation.
    I later found out this man is Dr. James Fiatarone, known as Dr. Jim, the building’s landlord and music teacher at the Academy of Language & Music Arts (ALMA).
    He received a complaint from his tenant, SaraBella Flower Shoppe, who described my dad as a creepy man walking around.
    My dad was stretching and admiring the scenery outside of his car, nowhere near the florist.
    Instead of introducing himself as the landlord and seeking to understand, Dr. Jim chose to block traffic and cause a scene to exercise his own judgment and bias.
    I want to get my message out and let him know that the way he conducted himself was not okay, especially in a place of business.
    – Mimi Liao

Kristin Braun Connelly is the Best Candidate for Clerk-Recorder
    With so much concern about election integrity, Contra Costa County voters should pay close attention to this year’s election for Contra Costa County Clerk-Recorder Registrar, the county’s top election official. It is critically important that we elect an ethical, capable leader to run this department. I believe that Kristin Connelly is that candidate.
    Kristin has been interested in election integrity since she was a law student and served as a non-partisan poll monitor helping people experiencing problems voting. Kristin believes that transparency about the elections process and battling misinformation about how to vote will be critically important to maintaining confidence in the integrity of our elections – and our democracy. She also takes seriously the responsibilities of the clerk-recorder to maintain Contra Costa County residents’ vital records.
    Kristin is an East Bay native, who returned from a prestigious career on the East Coast to raise her family in Lamorinda. She is the CEO of the East Bay Leadership Council, the Executive Director of the Contra Costa Economic Partnership and a Trustee on the Acalanes Union High School District Governing Board.
    I urge Orindans to take the time to learn more about this important office and to vote for Kristin Connelly for Contra Costa County Clerk-Recorder Registrar in the June 7 primary election.
    – Sandi Balonick

Dead Tree Abatement
    On March 25, KCBS 740AM reported that EBMUD was halting the removal of dead Monterey Pine trees on their watershed around Briones Reservoir due to sightings of a bald eagle near the reservoir.
    They stated that tree removal would resume in September.
    The logic for the halt was that eagles may be nesting at the reservoir and tree removal may disturb them. Note, California bald eagles generally start nesting in January. The news report indicated no nest had been identified.
    Also note eagles are off the endangered species list, as their population has grown at a 10% rate in the last several decades, per a recent Wall Street Journal story.
    We all enjoy having eagles near our watersheds and they have been here for years. However, the possibility that eagles may nest at the reservoir and may be disturbed by tree removal – when no nests have been sighted – indicates that our fire safety is being compromised with little logic.
    In Orinda and Moraga, we live down valley from this watershed. If you haven’t taken the San Pablo Dam Road, you should. There are hundreds of standing dead Monterey Pines along this valley. Additionally, the brush in the watershed is heavily overgrown.
    My question is whether our lives and homes should be placed at risk during the bulk of the 2022 fire season (which starts in California in June)? Shouldn’t there at least be a public discussion so we can all discuss risks.
    – Randy Roberts