The Mercury News

Reader offers to help pay for slain Safeway worker's memorial

- – Lisa Johnson – Shelley D. – Jim Wissick

QI'm sending you the response I wish I could have sent directly to Robert Flanagan (featured in Roadshow on March 17). I lived in the Bay Area for over 50 years. This made me SO sad. I would pay for the memorial outside Safeway on Hamilton Avenue.

A Q– Lisa Johnson, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

And her follow-up …

Dear Robert: What an inconvenie­nce to you and neighbors for what you think is an unsightly memorial. You didn't elaborate on why the site is problemati­c, just that neighbors are tired of it. I'm pretty sure the parents, family and friends of 24-year-old Manny Huizar, whose precious life was cut short trying to stop a shoplifter at the store, are not.

What about a kind gesture from you and your neighbors, offering to work with Safeway to establish a plaque, plant or something that honors Manny's life in his community, in place of the site? If you and your Silicon Valley neighbors can't

Here is what Colin-a-San Jose-spokesman said: “We're looking into options. There's no precedent or policy for a permanent memorial. The family is asking if there's a way they can place a tree, bench or some other plaque-bearing object near that site. We're sensitive to their grief and the extraordin­ary circumstan­ces of Manuel's death. We're talking among ourselves and with other department­s to see what would be feasible in terms of both policy and resources. I'll let our deputy director know there's someone offering to chip in and follow up with you if we find a path forward. Please share our thanks with the willing reader.”

Qafford it, I'll pay for it.

APlease know that not all the “surroundin­g neighbors” were tired of the memorial at that Safeway. The essential workers there helped many of us get through the pandemic. If Manny's friends and family needed that memorial to process his loss, we need to respect that.

– David Pollak, San Jose


QI shop at that Safeway and the Rite Aid next to it. I found the memorial touching, especially since I have a son the same age as the young man who was killed. If it irritates you to see a cultural remembranc­e of his life and of how much his family loved him, stop and ask yourself why.

Roadside memorials are a distractio­n to drivers. They're unsightly, and worse, they are an appropriat­ion of public property for private use. This property belongs to the public, not to those who are grieving.

I so disagree. It's a reminder of the tragedy there and, in this case, one caused by someone using a gun.

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