Chevron takes safety at refinery seriously

I wish to commend the Chevron Richmond Refinery for taking comprehensive corrective actions to prevent another fire.

Since the Aug. 6 accident, Chevron has been open and transparent with our community, acknowledging its weaknesses and pledging to make improvements to ensure that what happened then does not happen again.

Chevron has listened to our statements, concerns and suggestions and is behaving responsibly to get things right.

I am glad the refinery has already started making important changes to strengthen safe operations. From inspecting every pipe in its crude unit to enhancing procedures to detect possible problems more quickly, Chevron is working hard to keep safety a top priority for its employees and neighbors.

This is good news because Chevron is an important member of our community, putting our families to work and providing significant contributions to our local economy.

We all want to feel safe in our homes. I am encouraged by Chevron's response to the fire and its earnest commitment to do what's right to make certain we can.

Tom Waller

Hercules

Paper failed to cover Walk for Life in S.F.

More than 50,000 people walked down San Francisco's Market Street on Jan. 26 in the annual Walk for Life. However, the Times did not write a single word about it, though it routinely covers many tiny events.


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Small groups of people with causes favored by the Times generate numerous stories in the paper. One example was the Times story and photo last summer of the protest at the opening of a Walnut Creek restaurant. That protest consisted of eight people.

But 50,000 people coming together in support of human life are not newsworthy in the paper's judgment.

It is clear that different news standards are applied to events based largely on whether their viewpoints agree with the Times' views. That is not objective journalism; it is advocacy in Times' news coverage.

If the Times is not willing to report on major news events that involve thousands of readers, longtime subscribers may begin to question the value of the newspaper in their lives.

Al Donner

Orinda

Oakland, Richmond show gun control fails

The Times is so proud of California's gun control law that an article about its virtues is found above the fold on the Jan. 31 front page.

Are you kidding me? The next article should be about extolling the virtues of how well it works, citing Oakland and Richmond as the poster children for this fine law. They have proved that it does not work.

If you outlaw all guns, only law-abiding citizens will give up their guns. Hitler and Stalin did it, and you saw how well that turned out.

For the record, I have no affiliation to any gun or anti-gun organizations.

Leo Ohanesian

Brentwood

Flu vaccination mandate is right

In its Jan. 28 article, "Mandate improves hospital workers' vaccination rates," the Times indicated Contra Costa, Alameda and Santa Clara counties have passed a mandate requiring county health care workers to get vaccinated against the flu.

The public health officers of these counties should be congratulated for being so forward thinking, especially as the nation endures a grueling flu season. Although it seems common sense for health care workers to be vaccinated to keep from spreading a deadly infection, the fact is only 13 counties in the state have such a mandate.

Your readers should remember that people who are infected with influenza often don't show symptoms for 24 to 48 hours; those infected can unknowingly pass along influenza to others.

Alameda, Contra Costa and Santa Clara counties have taken steps to ensure their licensed health care workers aren't part of the flu epidemic problem, yet other counties seem wary of mandating flu vaccines for health care workers. We are optimistic the successes achieved in your tri-county area will convince other county public health officers to join the fight against influenza by mandating flu vaccines for health care workers.

Carmella Gutierrez

Sacramento Gutierrez is the president of Californians for Patient Care, a nonprofit based in Sacramento.