Gender pay gap likely just Democrat lie

It bothers me no end -- this repeated complaint that women are being paid less than men for doing the same job. The amount of the discrepancy is usually cited as 77 cents per hour, but also as much as 88 cents per hour.

Just what are the complainants saying? They must know that gender pay discrimination is illegal, and has been since Congress enacted the Equal Pay Act in 1963. So where is the beef? They seem to be implying that "there ought to be a law." But there already is a law, although it is rarely, if ever, cited. Are they saying that the (uncited) law is not being enforced with sufficient vigor? That could be true, but we don't hear them specifying that as their complaint.

I hate to be cynical, but I believe this issue is nothing but an unethical ploy by Democratic leaders to garner the support of working women.

Donald F. King

Livermore

Walmart has benefited state and Livermore

As the store manager for the Livermore Walmart, I would like to respond to a recent (April 3) letter entitled, "Walmart's bad record a long one."

At Walmart, we are proud of our jobs. Our wages and benefits typically meet or exceed those offered by a majority of our competitors and our average, hourly full-time wage in California is $13.03. Our company is dedicated to creating opportunities for associates that lead to upwardly mobile careers. I began my own career with Walmart in 2000 as an hourly intern, and today I am managing my own store.

Independent research here in California has shown that, on average, communities with a Walmart enjoy general business growth and an increase in citywide taxable retail sales. We support small businesses and carry products from such area companies as Happy Home Pet Products, of Napa, and Nor-Cal Beverage Company, of West Sacramento.

Since 2012, the Livermore Walmart has contributed $20,000 to the local community and has supported such area organizations as Open Heart Kitchen and the Community Interfaith Student Support program.

Sunny Edmisten

Livermore Walmart Store Manager

Bankhead a treasure downtown

There is a misunderstanding regarding the Bankhead Theater. The Bankhead has demonstrated it can operate without a public subsidy. It is operated by a nonprofit company, with minimal paid staffing and with the assistance of many volunteers. Expenses are paid by ticket sales, theater rental and a large volume of donations. However, it cannot pay the heavy construction debt, nor was it expected to do so. In 2011 the state unexpectedly killed redevelopment, a process in place in California for 75 years. That left the Bankhead stranded with a $22 million debt. Some of the debt can be paid off by factoring the dedicated Altamont dump fees.

The community needs to come together to restructure the remaining debt. Once that is done, the theater can operate at a break-even level, as it has shown it can do.

There are many attractions in downtown Livermore, and it is now a very lively place, day and night. The Bankhead plays a prominent role, as it sits at the head of the new spacious plaza, the scene of much of the new activity. The theater presents a wide variety of shows, from classical to jazz to country. The theater is home to eight performing nonprofit companies, ranging from a children's chorus, dance companies, symphony and opera, to a popular Speaker Series. These companies provide not only entertainment for the audiences, but fulfilling volunteer involvement. Losing the Bankhead Theater would be a major loss to audiences, downtown businesses, and the many participants of performing nonprofit companies.

Jim Schmidt

Livermore Friends of the Bankhead and Bothwell

Sbranti voters' clear choice for Assembly seat

Your recent editorial support of two candidates running for the state Assembly surprised me.

Catherine Baker, a Republican attorney, seems to have no history of public service, and Steve Glazer, the other candidate you seem to like, was recently found by the California State Fair Practices Commission (FPPC) to have "violated the Act's mailing disclosure provisions with regard to the requirements that the committee paying for the mailing be identified."

Tim Sbranti, the current mayor of Dublin, has a history of outstanding public service as a teacher and as an elected member of the Dublin City Council, and has been elected and re-elected by the voters in Dublin. As mayor he helped transform Dublin from a city suffering serious budget deficits to a city with budget surpluses. With his leadership, Dublin is able to fund city services, outstanding parks and recreation and the city received national recognition for quality of life.

His leadership skills are needed in Sacramento.

Heinz Gewing

Dublin former superintendent, Dublin school district

Professional athletes aren't 'superheroes'

In his recent column, Tim Kawakami touched off one of my pet peeves. The title of his column was "Curry Goes into Superhero Mode." SUPERHERO? Come on!

Is there anything about being able to shoot a basketball, or making many millions of dollars yearly, that makes someone "heroic?" I would surely accept the word "superstar," as Stephen Curry of the Warriors appears to be in that category.

Ironically, just above Kawakami's column was an article about an athlete who definitely was "heroic" -- Pat Tillman. I wish journalists would choose their words more carefully!

Jim Willis

Livermore

Protect funds for our great Dublin schools

My family and I are active members of the Dublin community because we feel it is important that our kids receive a high-quality education and live in a community that takes control of its own future success.

Over the last several years, student enrollment has increased and our schools have endured years of budget cuts. That is why in 2008, I voted to pass local funding to prevent the cuts to educational programs that make Dublin schools strong, preparing local students for future success in educational academies in science, engineering, medicine and biotechnology, as well as retaining the most qualified teachers.

Now in 2014, funding is ever more critical as our schools' student enrollment continues to grow. A strong education system benefits all of Dublin.

Melissa Strah

Dublin

The impacts of ACA a far cry from zero

The recent opinion piece by Eugene Robinson is a clear example of self delusion. He opines, " ... The Affordable Care Act is a cautiously designed set of reforms whose impact on most people is approximately zero."

My health insurance premium went up 30 percent this year. My case is not an outlier; more than 5 million people lost their coverage. People lost access to their doctor and provider network. These examples are hardly "zero."

It is hard to imagine the vehicle known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act taking a victory lap when it is in the ditch.

Mark Strauch

Livermore