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Expand reward for
fireworks informants

A June 9 article in your paper said, “Officials in Richmond are getting so tired of illegal fireworks use that they’re ready to pay to put a stop to it: $2,500 for every report that leads to an arrest or fine.

” (“City offering reward for tips on illegal fireworks,” Page B3)

I’d like to see this in Alameda County. Fireworks are illegal here, and much of the area is heavily wooded. Every summer, before, during and after July 4, we hear illegal fireworks going off. Not only is this a major fire hazard, but our pets are also terrorized, people with PTSD are reactivated, and we can’t get a decent night’s sleep.

Let’s offer a reward to people who report the offenders that result in them being caught.

Susan Paulson
Castro Valley

Privacy sacrifice fair
trade for public health

I am baffled by the kerfuffle regarding COVID vaccination “privacy concerns.” Personal medical history should indeed be protected from dissemination, as most of our medical concerns do not have broader consequences.

But there is a long, established history of guarding public health by requiring proof of protection. When I first traveled abroad in 1966, the infamous yellow vaccination book was mandatory for certain destinations. Schools require proof of vaccination, and there have been unfortunate consequences when some fail to comply.

If one puts others at risk by baselessly opting out of something designed to benefit society, those at risk are entitled to that information. If that results in some limitations for the naysayers, they need to accept the results of their decision — a situation that can be altered at any time. Decisions, good and bad, have consequences, and society gets to determine the rules when others are involved.

Ron Kuhlmann
Danville

Can we get ‘red flag’
law for drunken driving?

California should enact a “red flag” law for DUI, too. If you think a friend or relative is going to drink and drive, you could call the police to tow away their car for 21 days.

As with guns, the lives we’d save would be worth any inconvenience to the owner.

Randall Spangler
San Jose

‘Liar’ accusation
further divides us

During the Barack Obama years, my father barked, “Liar!” at the television whenever the president gave a speech. Now, our public discourse broadly employs this childlike outburst when we don’t agree.

Now, progressives and news organizations participate in a playground name-calling mentality. It’s one thing to say “misleading statement,” as Kyle Ritchie did in his letter of June 7 regarding a Victor Davis Hanson column; it’s quite another for this newspaper to place a headline over that same letter: “Columnist trucks in discord and lies.”

To use the word “lies” is to accuse someone of being a liar. But most people are not liars. If they believe politicians, many of whom actually do lie, does this make them liars?  It may be that reflexively calling the other side “liars” is the first step on the road to invalidating a lost election.

Kathe Jordan
Berkeley

Congress must act
to thwart ransomware

We were watching the “60 Minutes” TV program Sunday night and they were discussing ransomware. Unfortunately, the city of Leeds, Alabama (population of 12,000), and Atlanta’s computer systems were locked down, and they had to pay to get their files, etc. unlocked. The same thing happened to the Hancock Regional Hospital (a real disaster for their patients).

It was a disaster for these cities since everything including the police computers, emails, computers and everything else was locked down until they paid the ransom fees in Bitcoin.

Obviously, it’s very serious when a city, business, hospital, utility company, etc. gets attacked like this. Congress needs to act today to help solve this problem.

Howard Geifman
Walnut Creek

Assault rifles common —
and should be banned

Re. “In rush to criticize, judge’s point missed,” Page A6, June 9:

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I think most people understood exactly what the judge was saying: That an AR-15 and other such assault weapons are as ubiquitous and easy to use in America as a Swiss army knife.

As I and others who have had the experience of firing one of these weapons know, compared to other more conventional firearms, they are light, extremely easy to load and reload, and fire with no recoil. Yes, even a child could use one, and have, with ease (google it).

These weapons, large magazines, bump stocks, etc. have no place in a civilized nation except by a well-regulated militia. (Gun advocates conveniently forget that part of the Second Amendment.)

Jon Barrilleaux
Oakland

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Video shows pickup truck moments after deadly Florida Pride parade crash

More On: pride Truck runs over two people, killing one, at Florida Pride parade What the brave new wave of gay male pop stars means for music Burger King revives Chick-fil-A sandwich war with LGBTQ donation ‘Blue’s Clues’ teams up with drag queen Nina West for Pride Month

Dramatic new video shows a driver crashing to a halt seconds after fatally plowing through a Florida Pride parade — as the FBI on Sunday helped investigate whether it was a hate attack or tragic accident.

The white pickup — flying a rainbow-colored Pride flag on the back — had hit two members of a local Gay Men’s Chorus at the Fort Lauderdale event around 7 p.m. Saturday, killing one and leaving another hospitalized.

The driver then crashed it through the fence of a nearby garden center, captured in surveillance footage obtained Sunday by WPLG.

After mowing over rows of plants, it finally came to a halt — with an officer running in after it seconds later, the footage shows.

The mustachioed bald driver — wearing a white T-shirt with the gay chorus group’s logo — was then seen handcuffed as several officers marched him back out of the garden center to a waiting squad car.

While he was taken into custody, local law enforcement nor the FBI joined in to assist the investigation had identified him nor revealed if there had been charges. “We ask for patience as we work to conduct a thorough and complete investigation,” Fort Lauderdale police tweeted.

The driver crashed his truck through the fence of a nearby garden center.WPLG

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis insisted the driver was “screaming vulgarities” and came within inches of hitting the convertible carrying Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who was seen crying at the scene.

“This was a terrorist attack against the LGBT community,” Trantalis told WPLG.

“This is exactly what it is. Hardly an accident. It was deliberate, it was premeditated, and it was targeted against a specific person,” he said.

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis says the incident was “a terrorist attack against the LGBT community.”WPLG

However, the driver told police that his foot was stuck between the gas pedal and the brake causing him to lose control, CBS said.

“To my knowledge, it was an accident. This was not an attack on the LGBTQ community,” the chorus’ president Justin Knight said in a statement, confirming the driver “was a part of the chorus family.”

The group reiterated the message Sunday, calling it an “unfortunate accident” in a Facebook message about the “tragic death and injuries.”

The driver claims that his foot was stuck between the gas pedal and the brake, causing him to lose control.WPLG

In a series of posts, Chris Caputo, the city commissioner for Wilton Manors, where the parade was taking place, also insisted it “seems increasingly probable it was an accident.”

“Not speaking on behalf of the city — but expressing my own personal opinion … tonight’s tragic, heartbreaking incident at the Stonewall Parade was an accident and NOT a terrorist attack,” he insisted.

“While I didn’t witness it, I heard many first-hand witness statements which led me to believe it was a heartbreaking, unfortunate accident,” he said, saying that “our hearts are filled with sadness.”

One person has died and the other remains hospitalized.

This tragedy took place within feet of me and my BSO team, and we are devastated having witnessed this horrific incident.

— Broward Sheriff (@browardsheriff) June 20, 2021

Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony also said the “tragedy took place within feet” of him and his officers, while not speculating on whether it was an accident or not because “authorities are still gathering information.”

“Our prayers are with the victims and their families. Be sure to hug the ones you love tonight,” he tweeted.

The chorus confirmed that both victims and the driver were all members, but have yet to identify any of them.

Filed under car accidents ,  florida ,  gay pride ,  pride ,  videos ,  6/20/21

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