Pleasant Hill priorities need re-evaluation

Is it just me, or has Pleasant Hill been finding itself surrounded by controversy lately?

First, its city council passes a poorly drafted, unnecessary zoning ordinance that targets firearms retailers and essentially outlaws expansion for these businesses.

Step two of that ordinance process predictably got the city sued by the firearms retailers' trade association, potentially costing the city thousands of dollars.

Then, the city clerk resigns after calls for her to step down grew loud enough for her to actually listen. She fires off a completely bizarre "farewell" email to city staff, and presumably she'll disappear into the sunset.

Maybe the City of Pleasant Hill should take a step back and re-evaluate some priorities. Things seem to be getting out of hand.

Kyle Young

Orinda

HSR funding should go to better uses

I could not help but notice two recent headlines that sum up the state of our Legislature in Sacramento. First, the engineering firm URS in San Francisco has informed the High Speed Rail Authority that its 114-mile segment between Fresno and Bakersfield will now cost an extra $1 billion. We're now up to $69 billion, but who's counting? Certainly not the legislators.

Second, a recent Sunday Times headline, "UC embraces out-of-staters" outlined that, in the four-year period from 2009-2013, the UC system has been accepting over three times as many out-of-state students as California residents (16.6 percent to 5.2 percent). UC Berkeley has increased from 10.2 percent to 28.6 percent.

I have a simple question: Why does Jerry Brown continue to ignore the funding issues associated with the UC system which have resulted in this travesty? Instead, he continues to push the ridiculous "Train to Nowhere" for which funding might partially come from cap-and-trade. Has Sacramento considered scrapping this project and using the valuable cap-and-trade funds for something that is really meaningful to our future, such as California residents' education? Think of all the pollution credits we will gain by not having all of those out-of-state students transporting themselves to and from our schools.

Mark Zuercher

Orinda