BART workers' income needs more exposure
Regarding your editorial in the recent edition of the Tri Valley Times titled "BART strike unwarranted, sadly likely," please print the job titles of the union employees along with their top salaries on the front page. Most workers are at the top of their scale and I think it might help if the public understood what a 20 percent pay increase would look like to those employees. Please help the commuters!
Thanks for great Little League series
Livermore was put on the international stage again recently, as our Little League District 57 hosted teams from around the world with the inaugural and international Little League World Series for the newly established intermediate division.
On behalf of the Livermore Area Recreation and Park District board of directors, the LARPD staff and the entire District, I wish to thank Little League District 57 for a spectacular first Little League Intermediate Division World Series and congratulate the Japanese team for a well-deserved championship.
A very special thanks goes to Bill Aboumrad, who championed the idea of a Little League World Series here in Livermore from the very beginning. Bill's never-wavering belief, enthusiasm and endless energy truly made dreams come true. The Little League World Series gave our community, our guests and the world a fantastic look at hometown Americana.
Dave Wetmore and the District 57 organizing committee showed outstanding old-fashioned grass roots support for America's favorite pastime. LARPD was thrilled to prepare and provide Max Baer Park for this spectacular event that was a joy for Livermore area residents and those watching the finals on ESPN all over the world.
general manager Livermore Area Recreation and Park District
Nuclear budget a great place to look for cuts
The development of nuclear warheads at Livermore Lab does not necessarily make me feel safer. In fact, Livermore is subject to many dangers associated with nuclear weapons, such as radiation, health issues and environmental contamination.
I also feel nuclear weapons programs are very outdated. This month marks 68 years since the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and it's been nearly a quarter-century since the Berlin Wall came down.
Therefore, I call on Congress to trim the fat from the nuclear weapons budget. In this regard, I thank the Senate, especially my Sen. Dianne Feinstein, as the Senate Appropriations bill cut 30 percent of the $537 million requested for Fiscal Year 2014 to upgrade the B61 nuclear bomb.
The United States should not massively change the design of this bomb, which is deployed in Europe. Nor can taxpayers afford the project's overall $11 billion price tag for the Energy Department and the Pentagon to do so. Instead of billions more for new bombs, I ask Congress to work for a world free of nuclear weapons.
Bridge span design flawed, too expensive
While reporting on the sheared bolts in the new Bay Bridge span, a major -- and I believe the most important -- fact has been left out: these bolts hold together critical parts of the bridge during a significant earthquake.
These bolts were ordered with very exact specifications. Any small variation from these specifications would lead to failure, as has been demonstrated. Also, after the sizable stresses of an earthquake, why were none of them expected to fail? My question, one that any qualified engineer could easily answer, is why didn't the bridge design allow for these bolts to be replaced as needed over the life span of the bridge? Now, we have an expensive "workaround" to hold the pieces together.
We could have had an earthquake-resistant causeway from Oakland to Yerba Buena Island years ago at a fraction of the current cost if the then-mayor of Oakland, Jerry Brown, hadn't insisted that "his" side of the bridge had to be as attractive as the San Francisco side.
IRS should be rebuked, purge bad leadership
I almost fell out of my chair when I read the header to Joseph Peddecord's letter to the editor (Aug. 2), "IRS Office Should Be Commended."
The head of the IRS wasn't booted out of office for no reason. The IRS' deliberate and determined blocking of groups applying for tax-exempt or tax-limited status before the 2012 national election took place -- groups that the very leaders of the IRS (and above?) decided might politically threaten President Obama's re-election by their very existence -- is a very real scandal that deserves more heat, not less. To rid ourselves of this type of nasty, unscrupulous "leadership" is a worthy goal.
Public has no sympathy with BART unions
In the beginning, BART union demands met little opposition. This empowered union leaders to inevitably step over the line. In one contract year, a demand for free pet insurance was placed on the table.
The press picked up on this, and it created great public outcry. At the same time, BART employees' outrageous pay and benefits package was exposed. Since then, they have never been in the public favor. In the current contract negotiations, the union tried a public relations ploy by introducing the word, "safety" into the mix, thinking that their excessive wage demands would be mitigated.
When union leaders realized that tactic was not working and the public was not fooled, they returned to their inner beings by attacking BART negotiators and screeching threats that if their monetary demands were not met, they would bring on a strike, safety be damned, that would end the world. So, BART employees, when you get what you really want, which is more and more money (the local Lexus dealers are anxiously awaiting you), think whether it has been worth it to have your riders continue to look upon you as greedy, public punishing scoundrels.