Doubt cast on air monitors in Bay Area
In 2005, I phoned the Bay Area Air Quality Management District to ask where its air monitors were in relation to the Chevron Richmond refinery. I was told that one was at the Richmond end of the Richmond/San Rafael Bridge and the other was in Concord.
The first location is upwind from the refinery; the prevailing wind ordinarily blows through the Golden Gate and then northeasterly, 10 months out of the year. That means the district's monitor was positioned where it would assess the air before it reached the refinery.
The other monitor, many miles away in Concord, was assessing pollution from Chevron's Richmond refinery and several other refineries, including in Rodeo and Martinez. How useful can this one have been to assess pollution from any one refinery, much less Chevron's?
I question whether the air quality district is protecting us. The five they now claim are near the refinery may also be positioned where no pollution can reach them.
Americans failing to research tax issues
Every American should read "The Betrayal of the American Dream" by Donald Barlett and James Steele.
The book documents the changing tax structures and policies from the 1970s that resulted in the current uneven distribution of wealth. We see this
There was and would be ample funds for these programs and constituents if taxes were restructured in favor of all Americans.
The only unanswered question is why so many Americans fail to vote in their own best interests or do the research? If you don't read books, see the movie "Network" from the 1970s. Not much has changed, including our own collusion in this debacle.
Sowell's diatribe is disingenuous
Thomas Sowell's recent diatribe suggesting President Barack Obama is dismantling the Constitution is beyond disingenuous.
Sowell states Obama unilaterally repealed the legal requirement that welfare recipients must work. Not true.
Since states were requesting Health and Human Services to allow them leeway to deal with individual needs of welfare recipients to help them get back to work, HHS said that if it helps to connect people to work, it would consider waiving certain parts of the performance measures and use alternate measures.
These measures do not include weight-control classes, but encourage activities that may help meet the law's work requirements: job training, internships, or school, to name a few. But it puts restrictions on how many hours a welfare client may spend at school, or how long they can attend school before it no longer counts toward the work requirement.
The idea was to help recipients transition to work. Sowell's "translation" is a lie.
As for executive orders, President George W. Bush signed more than 250, including spying on American citizens and detaining them without due process.
Where was Sowell's outrage then?
Sam Van Zandt
Will Chevron decide it's time to leave?
Your front-page article regarding the Richmond refinery fire, "Will it be rebuilt?" (Aug. 18), zeros in on the key issue. One wonders about the outcome once the oil company assesses the full extent of the damage and ponders the uncertainties, complexities, local opposition, market demand and costs of a rebuild/modernizing process. Will it conclude it simply makes more sense to walk?
With lawsuits and seemingly endless demands from "environmental activists," it appears everyone is standing in line to take a punch at Chevron. The Times article quotes the city of Richmond's planning director as saying, "We will rely on state and federal regulators who will determine what caused this and what work is needed."
Surely this is some kind of a bad joke. The idea that a group of bureaucrats possess the unique expertise to determine the scope of work for a sophisticated refinery rebuild is ludicrous.
Will the Richmond refinery be downsized or phased out? Let's hope not, but if the attitudes and misunderstandings reflected in your article continue to dominate local thinking, I won't be surprised.