Threat of BART strike is upon us yet again

The biennial dance between BART and its employee unions -- their contract expires midnight Sunday -- is being played out again.

First, the unions make their demands, then the employer counters. "Chances of a strike are slim" then "imminent" and soon the battle is joined.

Next, the governor declares a "cooling off period," timed so the pending strike will occur at a more vulnerable time -- as summer vacation is over and people return to work, making a strike more painful to more people.

Seniors like me wonder if they'll be able get anywhere. Commuters make contingency plans. How is it legally possible for unions, capable of paralyzing the entire Bay Area, to go on strike anyway? The union members have so much power they must really feel smug, knowing eventually they will get their way.

They're well paid and have benefit and pension packages those in the private sector can only dream of. They must sneer at pensions calculated on base salaries, exclusive of overtime, saved vacation time and any other padding. They don't contribute to these pensions and very little toward health care for themselves and their families.

We live through this every two years.

Sigrid Snider


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Pleasant Hill

Corruption not being prosecuted

I was deeply saddened upon reading that the Contra Costa County district attorney had decided not to file charges in the case of a Richmond official, Leslie Knight, accused of misuse of public funds.

I make no judgment here as to the guilt or innocence of Knight, but rather am deeply concerned that the public is being denied the opportunity to have all of the facts exposed to the light of day.

I cannot find anyone in our county who has any recollection of the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office prosecuting a case of public corruption, save cops who sell drugs, etc.

Something is very wrong here.

Bill Kelly

Hercules Kelly is a member of the Hercules City Council.

IRS staff weredoing their job with tea party

The IRS was investigating applications for tax-exempt status because that's its job.

Of the 300 groups investigated, 98 were tea parties. None of them were audited and none had their applications denied. The IRS was then under the control of a Republican appointed by President George W. Bush.

Recently, a federal court in Texas ruled the King Street Patriots, a tea party group in Houston, should have its tax exemption revoked because they weren't doing any of the required social welfare activities. They were just raising money and organizing rallies for Republican candidates and, thus, were a political action committee.

In 2009, Republicans set up modern tea parties to oppose President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act. They packed into local town-hall meetings and shouted down anyone trying to ask about the new law.

They want the 501(c)4 exemption so their secret donors don't have to take any responsibility. They want to ignore the laws they don't like, but when someone checks to see if they're honest about their intentions, they start crying like babies.

T.K. O'Keefe

Walnut Creek

Move released inmates near federal judges

Three federal judges have decided that because of overcrowding, 10,000 inmates now in California prisons have to be released into the public by the end of this year.

I have also made a decision about this issue, and here it is: All 10,000 of those released inmates should be required to live within five blocks of the homes of those three federal judges.

Dan A. Robertson

Crockett