Must face fact that global warming is real
After reading your article, "Global warming already having dramatic impacts in California, new report says," I'm scared and almost overwhelmed with the evidence that so much harm has already been done right here in our own state.
I think most so-called "climate deniers" are resisting scientific evidence because they are afraid -- afraid that it is too complicated, too big to face, and because they are afraid of change. It can be immobilizing.
I started small: changing to LED bulbs, emphasizing local and sustainably raised foods, and educating myself. It's getting easier to face head-on.
I was stunned when my 92-year-old, religiously Republican father not only watched the DVD "An Inconvenient Truth" that I'd sent him (knowing he'd dig in his heels if I confronted him again about his denial), he actually said, "I guess Al Gore's right."
We learn there are meaningful actions we can take; stubborn people do change their minds; and it's urgent we do something more -- now!
We can pressure Congress to pass a clean renewable energy policy, elect those who will, and help our leaders enact progressive plans locally in the Bay Area.
SB1 endangers private property
When Gov. Jerry Brown dissolved redevelopment agencies in 2011, I suspected they would be replaced by something more ominous. Given Brown's liberal use of redevelopment while mayor of Oakland, I perceived he had little respect for private property rights.
Enter Brown's powerful political ally, Sen. Darrell Steinberg, who introduced SB1 in December 2012. I suspect this legislation -- a virtual replacement of redevelopment -- was being crafted for some time.
SB1 creates a new regional government framework separated from pesky voters, much as the California Forward strategy put forth in Proposition 31, which was defeated by the voters. SB1 provides financing mechanisms for Steinberg's controversial SB375 that requires the state's regional government entities to develop "sustainable communities strategies."
SB1 allows local government to set up Sustainable Communities Investment Authorities that will have the power to take any private property via eminent domain, create debt and project area boundaries without voter approval.
Under previous California redevelopment law, at least a show of public participation was allowed in redevelopment areas. If SB1 is passed, redevelopment can proceed with no public input, and no private property will be safe from government confiscation.
SB1 should be rejected by our elected state representatives.
Marilynne L. Mellander
East Bay's test scores appalling
I was astounded to read that only 27 percent of students in Liberty Union High School District are proficient in math, according to an article in the Times. That means that 73 percent aren't proficient.
I suggest the school district, the unions and the teachers stop worrying about having the right computers, and stop with all the "social justice," environmental and feel-good subjects and just teach.
All a good teacher needs is a blackboard, a book and a piece of chalk. If this sounds overly simplified and old school, it is. Because the "new schools" way sure isn't working, is it?
We don't want another war
The sight of all those political "yes men" around President Obama's table agreeing we should punish Assad by attacking Syria is sickening.
Americans do not want another fruitless war in the Middle East. America's wealth does not give us the right to attack another country for crimes it commits against its own citizens on its own territory.
Yes, use of chemical weapons of war is a terrible sin -- but so is international aggression. And that's what Obama wants to do.
Why not just tweet Assad?
If President Barack Obama wants to send a message to Assad, why not just tweet him?
"Dear Bashar: It's not nice to gas your own people. Please don't do it again. Barack Obama." It comes in way under Twitter's 140-character limit and will save America millions of dollars in missiles, bombs, etc., to say nothing of saving the lives of innocent civilians who will almost certainly perish as "collateral damage" if the president uses military power.