BART should create cars for bikes only

There is only one way that bikes should be on BART during commute time -- and that is if they have their own dedicated BART car. Riders have enough to contend with and should not be subjected to getting bumped around by bikes.

I believe it would be appropriate to designate one car to bikes at all times, not just at commute hours. Remove some of the seats to provide room, but leave a few seats along the sides in the event that a non-biker would want to ride in that car when other cars are too crowded.

That option would alleviate complaints if someone gets injured by a bike because they chose to ride in that designated car. A "Bikes only allowed in last (or first) car" sign could be posted; this new requirement would have to be monitored for a while to ensure compliance. But the end result would be that the bikers will only be bumping into, running over the feet and scratching ankles of other bikers and not the general public.

In my opinion, this is a no-brainer.

Ann Carrick

Concord

Don't punish riders who help the environment

Environmentalists tell us to get out of our cars and use public transportation.

Yes, bicycles should be allowed on BART at all times.

Why discriminate against commuters who are doing good for the environment? Also, for some poor people it may be their only means of transportation.

Mary McMahon

Livermore

Ban adds to crowded freeways in Bay Area

If the main purpose of BART is to get as many commuters out of their vehicles to ease traffic on our freeways, and if a bike is the alternative transportation for some riders to and from BART, then, yes, cyclists should be allowed on BART during all hours of service.

Denying cyclists' access to BART during rush hour might just add to the traffic congestion on our already overcrowded freeways during these hours.

Morris Soublet

Hayward

MORE LETTERS

One-sided Middle East policy keeps up conflict

The U.S. defense industry receives $3 billion of taxpayer money each year in the name of aid to Israel and another $1.5 billion as Egyptian aid. This business is multiplied by sales to friendly neighboring countries.

The U.S. oil and gas industry benefits from the status quo, as well.

The monarchies of the Arabian Peninsula are loyal business partners, partly because they choose not to share the wealth with their own people. These totalitarian states gain respectability among Arabs by supporting the Palestinians.

The defense and oil and gas industries lobby the U.S. government to maintain the present one-sided Middle East policy. This promotes their financial interests by prolonging the conflict.

Gregory Kalkanis

El Cerrito

'Wasteful spending' is partly used in schools

In his Feb. 22 letter, Mark Fernwood castigates California for supposedly high taxes and wasteful spending.

I'm wondering just where all those wasteful dollars are all going. Fernwood failed to tell us.

My 5-year-old son goes to one of those places where California has been cutting on "wasteful spending," thanks to the efforts of people like Fernwood: It's called school.

Years ago, his kindergarten class would have had 25 students, but all that wasted money has now been cut, so his class, I'm proud to report, has 30. No doubt, if Fernwood and others who feel as he does have their way, soon it will be 40 to 50 children in classrooms.

Why waste all those dollars on our children and teachers? Instead, let's cut Fernwood's taxes so he will not move to Texas.

Istvan Simon

Pleasanton

Much more damage done to U.S. from within

I am 81, and a Navy veteran of the Korean War. I have many friends, a few still surviving from World War II, many from the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

We never thought we would see more damage to our country's economy, military and security done by our own representatives in Washington than any foreign enemy could ever do. They must be dancing in the street.

Remember who they are when you vote next time.

Marty Strauss

Hayward

Sacrificing life skill to teach kids tech savvy

There's been a growing trend of schools using online communication boards as part of their classroom. Such boards like Schoolloop are used for teachers to post every detail/instructions of assignments for students.

While this seems like a helpful tool, there is a huge negative effect being overlooked. The social skills that are taught in school are what prepare students for reality after graduation. Students learn the crucial concepts of responsibility, self sufficiency and accountability by taking their role as a student into their own hands.

Kids are expected to listen and be attentive and assertive about determining due dates, homework assignments, etc. However, with all of it now posted online, the requirement of having these skills is now diminished.

Parents also have access to these boards and can now easily micromanage their child outside of the home, often leaving the child dependent and waiting for instruction rather than taking responsibility for their own work.

Yes, it's important for our youth to be tech savvy, but not when it's costing them critical life skills.

Alexia Laines

Castro Valley

Hoover should retire cranky geezer Sowell

Thomas Sowell reinvents history again.

In one of his recent columns, he said that President Franklin D. Roosevelt cut back on military spending before World War II to fund social programs. In reality, the isolationists, who were mostly Republicans, resisted preparing for war.

In 1940, William Taft, Thomas Dewey and Wendell Willkie -- all isolationists -- ran for the Republican presidential nomination. The more practical dark horse, Willkie, won and seemed to oppose FDR on every matter, including trying to appeal to his Republican base.

FDR did get the Draft Act passed in 1940 and started us on our preparation for national defense. There were still plenty of German sympathizers who didn't want us to help the British, mostly in conservative Midwestern states.

Sowell always seems to twist things to his ultra right-wing thinking. He used to be a Marxist and probably twisted things the opposite way then, too.

He is 82 years old and a cranky geezer. The Hoover Institution should retire him; the Democrats got rid of their geezer, Pete Stark.

H. Tom Nelson

Danville