Don't let sheep grazing wreck our city parks

We frequently hike on Pleasanton Ridge. On Saturday, we were shocked to see sheep grazing in the Augustine Bernal portion of the park. What's going on? Sheep are well known to seriously degrade the environment with their grazing habits. There were many areas where they had been grazing where there was nothing left but the dirt. Who is responsible for allowing this to happen? We are very lucky to have these wonderful parks available to us for recreation. Why allow sheep to destroy this? The cows are bad enough.

Robert P. Huberman

Pleasanton

Benghazi, in comparison to Iraq, very pale

Can't the GOP find something of value to work on besides wasting their time on a Benghazi rehash? Four people died. It was tragic, but the military couldn't have arrived in time to save them, no matter what the cause of the violence. Get over it!

Here's an idea, look into the lies that GOP President G.W. Bush told to get us into the Iraq War. Osama bin Laden was a Saudi, most of the hijackers were Saudis, not Iraqis. Thousands of U.S. soldiers died, or were disabled and billions were wasted on a tribal war no one really won. Yeah, they got rid of Saddam Hussein, but look at the costs. While it is too late to do anything about it, an apology would certainly be in order!

Karalee Brune

Livermore

Cost socialized while profit is privatized

Really? Sunny Edmisten wants us to believe Walmart is a benefit to Livermore? So a "full-time" average hourly wage is $13.03 (or $26,060 a year based on working 50 weeks), with no mention of benefits. What is the average hourly wage for the "part-time" employees at the Livermore store? Is it not true that Walmart will provide government assistance application forms with their employment application package that they hand out? Is the store manager willing to tell us how many of the store's employees are on our government assistance programs? Or explain what kind of Health and Welfare benefits package is provided to all their employees? The only benefit I see is to Walmart. They pay cheap wages with little or no benefits, and we the people foot the costs of caring for their employees.

Terry Givens

Livermore

Elect Baker to Assembly's 16th District

The Times has endorsed Republican Catharine Baker in the 16th Assembly District. I commend you for your choice. Ms. Baker is a mother of two elementary-age children as well as an attorney for small businesses and nonprofits.

She knows the difficulty of starting and running a business in California. She knows how it is more productive to help people in need, through nonprofits, not higher taxes. As a mother of two elementary children, she knows what it takes to educate her children, to provide them with the skills needed to compete as adults in the future. She knows that to saddle today's children with the debt incurred by today's adults is not what she wants for her children or anyone's children. She knows that overspending at all levels of government has created a massive debt for our state.

Politics is a numbers game, and our state legislature's spending habits have been fueled by the politics of the Democrat incumbents and their special-interest "friends" from labor unions and business. In this campaign period, opponent Steve Glazer and his fellow Democrat candidates have been on the receiving end of millions of dollars gifted by these special-interest friends.

If your house were on fire, would you call an arsonist to put out the fire? Of course not. For the same reason we should not send a friend of those special interests to solve the problems facing our state.

Vote on June 3 and vote for Catharine Baker. I am.

Jean Meredith

Walnut Creek

Low incomes, single parents are correlated

Democrats in Congress and elsewhere lately have bemoaned "income inequality" and suggested various government schemes (like increasing the minimum wage rate) to address the problem.

Curiously, they never mention a major driver of income inequality, single-parent families, which have grown considerably in recent years. Did you know that TWICE as many U.S. children live in single-parent homes as in Europe? Numerous studies (Penn State University, the federal government's Centers for Disease Control, Harvard University) have shown a huge difference, with, for example, more than 10 TIMES as many single-parent children living in poverty than those in two-parent families. The Penn State study reported that 41 percent of the increased economic inequality between 1976 and 2000 was simply the result of changes in family structure.

But in an age of political correctness run wild, it isn't popular to notice that out-of-wedlock births, too-easy divorce and downplaying the importance of fathers to their families and children are causing huge problems. Sadly, these trends hit minority communities hard, further widening the apparent income gap. The disparate impact on black communities was written about as early as 1965 in a Lyndon Johnson Labor Department report, but little, if anything, was done about it.

Mike Heller

Danville

Obama good at politics, bad at presiding

I want to acknowledge the success of Barack Obama -- however, not as a president but as a politician and campaigner; he is a miserable failure as a president.

He is totally inept when it comes to governing. He survives by constantly campaigning against what he has caused and makes it look like he is opposed to what's happening; except he is the one making it happen. Obama was among the least prepared men to ever serve as president. However, he sold the public a bill of goods that he was a reformer, someone who could unite us for the common good, who would reach across the aisle for dialogue.

He has fallen short of what he promised by any measurable metric. Choose a metric: economic growth, job creation, reducing the national debt, reducing poverty and most of all, uniting political parties for the common good. His best talent has been to divide groups and classes against each other, to create discord for his political advantage.

By temperament and experience, based on skill set and ability, Obama is better equipped to be a community organizer than to be president of the United States. He should have stayed in Chicago.

Philip R. La Scola

Livermore