Freedom of choice is best for all

I'm a senior moderate thinker. My belief is that freedom of choice is best for everyone.

Who am I to tell a couple they can't be married? Who are they who want to eliminate God in our daily lives?

My question is this: Are you as tired of the thinking and selfish prattle of the far right and the far left as I? We must all come together or there can never be solutions to cure this world's severe problems.

The media try to slant our thinking rather than to just report the news. Are we all mindless dolts who can't make intelligent decisions? I think not.

We complain about selfish politicians but still vote for them. They want to tax us to cover their overspending and waste. Budget ... are you kidding? How can we find those who want to truly help?

Add in those companies that care for the almighty buck more than employees who create profits. Selfish!

Let's push together positively. I want my grandchildren to live in a happy, productive world. Am I wrong to care?

Robert Stoddard

San Ramon

Local media's role in soda tax

In the March 26 Times article, "Report highlights influence of soda industry in beating back anti-obesity measures in Richmond, elsewhere," reporter Robert Rogers wrote, "Much was made of divisions along class and racial lines over the failed ballot measure that would have imposed a penny-per-ounce tax on local businesses that sell sugar-sweetened beverages."

I wonder if this report by the Center for Science in the Public Interest makes any mention of the role of local media (such as the Times) fueling "the divisions along class and racial lines" with pro-corporate bias.

Anyone with interest in how this was done can review the Times' coverage and editorials about the soda tax campaign in Richmond. Big Soda had a friend in the Times.

Juan Reardon

Richmond

Supports off-road vehicles letter

I wish to add my support to Brian Grigsby's March 25 letter regarding the Times article on the Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area.

It should be reiterated: The Tesla property was purchased with money from the Off-Highway Vehicle Trust Fund, not taxpayers or the Friends of Tesla Park!

When we ride our dirt bikes in any of the state parks, the rangers at the entrance will check that we have a current registration sticker, or we don't ride.

And even though we have paid for the land through our registration fees, we still pay a day-use fee as well.

Renee Anderson

Brentwood

Raise legislative pay? No, fund our colleges

The California Citizens Compensation Commission has its head in the sand to even think about raising the salaries of overpaid and over-perked legislators. It seemingly even tolerated a California Assembly member who is a convicted thief, Mary Hayashi.

Raising those salaries when our students are struggling to get an education is disgraceful and unthinkable.

On the community college level, students are unable to get classes they need for their careers due to fewer instructors and classes offered. On the university level, students are charged exorbitant tuitions that leave them with a biting, sometimes lifelong, debt.

We need to focus on the education of our students so they can attain their respective careers. We need trained workers and professionals, not more pay going down the drain for state legislators.

Evelyn Botti

El Sobrante

Defended family with firearm

In a recent letter, Norma Harrison asked if readers knew of anyone who has protected themselves, or their family, at home with a gun.

I'm 71 years old and I keep a safely-stored home-defense firearm. I'm well acquainted with gun safety and marksmanship.

One evening in 2011, an adult prowler or would-be burglar appeared at our rear patio sliding door. My wife immediately called 911. I turned off the interior lights.

Finding the door was locked, he began pounding on the glass. Fearing for our safety if the glass were to shatter, I made my gun ready, approached the door and turned on the rear porch light.

Pointing the gun at his head, I yelled through the glass for him to leave the property immediately. He saw the gun and took off like a rabbit.

The police arrived about five minutes later and apprehended him in a neighbor's front yard. I don't know if he was armed, but he was wearing outer clothing that could have concealed a weapon.

I feel safer protecting my family with a gun than relying on "gun-free zone" signs. Most criminals don't bother to read them.

Doug Jacks

Danville