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I live in the East Bay and sometimes take BART to work in San Francisco. Recently, my family joined me in the City for dinner, then drove me to the West Oakland BART station where I had parked that morning. There is a public recreational facility in my parking lot, which hosts youth events some evenings. As soon as my wife dropped me off, I heard what sounded like fireworks exploding. Suddenly, hundreds of kids rushed out of the facility, visibly terrified. I was already walking toward my parked car, so I made my way through the stampede, and called my wife on my cell phone. She and my three daughters were still parked nearby, wondering what to do. I told her to get out of the area immediately. Of course, there was a massive jam at the parking lot exit, as cars and kids struggled to leave. Fist fights broke out. While backed up in the traffic jam, waiting, hoping there would be no more firework explosion sounds, I wondered where the Oakland Police were. Now I think I know. They were about a mile away. They were protecting me, my family, and the local citizenry from lonely 76-year-old widowers seeking pleasure for pay. Lawrence J. Siskind San Francisco

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