Sympathy for the executed is misplaced

Responding to the Jan. 17 article "Killer's execution takes almost 25 minutes," I don't see the problem with that timeline.

How long did the woman he raped have to endure his actions? I would imagine his victim was also made to suffer "agony and terror" probably longer than 25 minutes. I also think the family of the victim would have said, "Oh, my God" if they watched her final moments with him.

Joe Wilder

Livermore

Pro athletes' contracts are disgusting

Having been in education for 33 years I was able to teach, coach and set examples for probably thousands of students. Every teacher has that goal to reach out, educate and guide the lives of many youngsters.

Compare the salary of a teacher now at around $60,000 to the overpaid, greedy pro athletes who are earning millions for only four to six months each year. Don't you feel sorry for the L.A. Dodger pitcher who will earn $30 million per year for seven years? This is 500 times the salary of a beleaguered teacher.

What about the Oakland Athletic who wants higher than the $2 million offered? That is 33 times a teacher's salary. He is asking for 3.5 million. Poor guy.

Anytime there is an outcry that teachers are overpaid, just ask yourself -- who has a lasting impact on your children, the teacher or the pro athlete?

Dale Berven

Livermore

On the many meanings of congress

Looking up the word, "congress" in Webster's dictionary, I found it to be very interesting.

It states that it is, "An association or society, an assembly or conference for discussion and action on some questions." America's legislature is comprised of the Senate and House of Representatives of Democrats and Republicans.

It also states the definition as "sexual intercourse." Now I understand what Congress is all about. Hope you can read between the lines what they are more interested in concerning one another. Maybe that's why they can't manage to get anything done right -- too busy!

Chuck Walters

Dublin

No, abortion not backed by the Bible

Regarding the Dec. 19 letter entitled, "Believe it or not, Scripture backs abortion," I'm not sure what accepted translation of the Bible the letter writer was using to draw the above conclusion, but looking at a bright blue sky and claiming imminent rain would make more sense than the claim presented.

Since Jesus is the son of God and cannot lie, then His story and claims are consistent. The world celebrated Jesus' birth last month and in doing so gave credibility to His birth to an unmarried virgin woman who, in the society of His day and ours, would be a perfect candidate for an abortion. She was, in fact, a death target of the ruling authorities (Matthew 2:13) yet in fact was given life. Later in Jesus' ministry, in speaking about little children, He elevated them to be the example of the kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 18:1-7). He concluded the teaching about anyone who prevents a little child from coming to Jesus with "Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin!" Abortion does exactly that.

The letter writer's reference in Romans 9:11-12 has no merit to her claim of Jesus backing abortion. In the claim that Jesus was an abortion provider because He cast out devils from the woman (no reference given), is the author suggesting that the child in the womb is a devil?

This blatant misquoting of Holy Scripture in order to support a position on abortion that is so against our creator God, Jesus, is so ridiculous that it should not even warrant a response. However in this day and age that a lie spoken often enough will become the truth, it demands a truthful response. Please read your Bibles and these and many other references in order to learn God's truth and plan for His creation.

Bob Ferro

Livermore

Late mayor's skills helped to end strike

Former Pleasanton Mayor Ken Mercer's obituary aptly summed up much of the man, but I think it omitted one of his best moments when he used his personal charm and powers of persuasion to help bring an end to a long and fractious school strike. I don't have access to your archives to recall which year, but it was, by my reckoning, in the mid- to late 1990s, when Ken was still on the council as mayor.

An evening negotiating session had been called, and a large and emotional crowd of parents were attending. Negotiations broke down between teachers and administrators. Both sides were actually walking out of the buildings, dodging angry parents who were ready to grab them and march them back in to continue. They (teachers and administrators) were trying to get away. It had been a long session and to them an unproductive one.

Ken intervened personally, pleading with the negotiators to heed the crowd, go back to the table and try once more to find a consensus. He told them to think of the parents and the students who wanted something accomplished that night. I was covering that meeting for the Valley Times. I was well aware of and recall the crowd tensions and feared a walkout by negotiators might spark violence. Ken used his considerable persuasion skills, his charisma and his mayoral status to keep the talks alive and end a nasty strike. He followed the negotiators outside and urged them to return. It worked and both sides returned, agreeing to give it another try. Later that night, a tentative agreement was announced.

Ken Mercer, mayor and plain citizen, spoke for the people who elected him that night.

John L. VanLandingham

Concord

UC faculty article racist

I can't believe it took two pages and eight pie graphs to whine about the fact that there's a student-faculty mismatch in the UC system. I find the article extremely racist. I would like to think that teachers, as well as doctors or any employees for that matter, are hired for their competence, not for the color of their skin.

It would make just as much sense as for me to say that the majority of students who play basketball for UC Berkeley, according to the roster I looked up on the net, are black (8 out of 13), and this is a mismatch and unfair to whites.

"Shocking and definitely concerning" (a quote by an African-American, i.e., black, campus activist)? The only thing shocking and concerning is how much ink and paper you wasted on this racist, rabble-rousing bellyache.

Kim Crow

Danville