End HSR boondoggle

Unless your name is Jerry Brown, it is not at all surprising that Judge Kenny found that high-speed rail in its current (and ever-evolving) form exceeds what voters narrowly approved in 2008.

The text of Prop 1A is very clear: $9 billion of the $9.95B in bond funds "may be used to provide only up to one-half of the total cost of construction of each corridor (SF to Fresno or Fresno to LA) or segment of a corridor. The measure requires the Authority to seek private and other public funds to cover the remaining costs."

Judge Kenny found that the HSR Authority violated Prop 1A by not identifying all of the funds needed to construct the initial operating segment, not just the 130-mile initial construction segment from Madera to Bakersfield. Besides the bond money and $3.2B in federal funding, there are NO other identified public or private sources to fund HSR. Nor will there be with the Republican-controlled House and its reluctance to support boondoggles like HSR.

This project in no way, shape or form resembles what was approved in 2008. But Jerry Brown refuses to acknowledge this fact. As Dan Walters of the Sacramento Bee wrote recently, "Something more than the fate of a dubious public works project is at stake. If officials can ignore laws that protect the governed, then the underpinnings of a free society are destroyed."

Let's hope that this ruling is the first step to terminating this ridiculous project once and for all.

Mark Zuercher

Orinda

Empathy for transsexuals

I read Marezell Harris' Sept. 4 letter to the Times, "Don't let Brown raise your kids." It seemed to me by the tone of your letter that you are very much concerned about our children's welfare. I greatly appreciate that and thank you for it.

You said, in effect, that boys are boys and girls are girls, "It's that simple.".I must confess that I too have been confused in relation to this issue for most of my 60 years.

I believe that being the compassionate person I am convinced you are, you should consider doing a little research into transsexual issues. You will find that 2 and 5 percent of the population of the US is born transsexual. Transgender folks may be born with ambiguous genitalia from a chromosomal arrangement other than the typical XY or XX that makes us typical "females" or "males." Many people are born with three chromosomes, or a brain configured in a way that presents them with no choice but to identify with the sex that does not reflect their physical makeup.

Is it reasonable for the state to require all schools have a third restroom for individuals that have both sets of sex organs? These transgender individuals will not expose their vulnerabilities to their peers unless forced; that would expose them to cruel ridicule.

Thirty minutes with Wikipedia should clear up a great deal of confusion regarding this issue. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transgender

David L Thompson

Orinda