California does indeed shine

A letter by Erich Kellner of Walnut Creek compared California to Greece.

California's the world's seventh largest economy, Greece is way down in the double digits. We are, indeed, a "shining showcase."

We're working to solve the problems left to us by the last 16 years of Republican management of California's economy (borrowing our way out of debt).

Our farms feed the world and provide luxury produce for the whole United States. Many of our manufacturers are in the top international brackets, especially in electronics. Many of our schools need improvement, but our best are among the top schools anywhere.

Our slums are a disgrace, but they aren't worse than other countries, and we have many more people living in pleasant suburbs, such as Walnut Creek, than we have living in slums.

Yes, governments force us to pay for the services they render. That's the plot of the first book of Samuel in the Bible. The Prophet Samuel attempted to persuade the people they were better off as a coalition of villages than as part of a unified country. He was outvoted.

California has a strong government. Let's make it the world's best government. Don't just gripe.

Teddy Knight

Berkeley

Lawmakers voted down ban on polystyrene

On Aug. 31, the California Assembly voted 45-26 against Senate Bill 568, which would have phased out the use of polystyrene foam food containers in all restaurants throughout California.

For those unaware, polystyrene foam is made from materials that are known human carcinogens which can leech into our food every time we order takeout.

Here in the city of Concord, I helped direct a canvass campaign that was able to obtain signatures from hundreds of Concord residents and more than 40 restaurant owners and managers that were delivered to Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla to demonstrate to her how strongly her constituents were in favor of SB 568. Unfortunately, Bonilla did not support the bill.

DART, the company which manufactures the foam containers, lobbied mightily against SB 568 as did the American Chemistry Council, who represents Dow Chemical. Both entities warned of job losses.

They also said the exposure to styrene is too minimal for it to be a human health concern. Both these statements are untrue, but unfortunately too many of our legislators believed them.

Rudolph David Silva

Concord Silva is a member of Clean Water Action.

Armstrong will always be hero

Why do we malign some of our dearest heroes?

Lance Armstrong was harassed to such an extent he gave up fighting back. How many years were we proud of him, loved him, for his feats, while fighting for his life with cancer? Ask someone going through it, the fear, depression, pain. Don't tell me you're not going to grasp for a few extra drugs to pull you through. How dare you invade his privacy to check on blood tests of years ago during his illness.

He continues to do good for cancer causes. Let them take medals away, so what. He still remains our hero and honest champion. We love him always.

Doris Rilling

Martinez

Lindbergh case no kidnapping

A story in the Sept. 2 edition writes about the Lindbergh "kidnapping." There was no kidnapping. The baby was killed accidentally or in a jealous rage by a Lindbergh family member, and a ruse was made. After the "kidnapping" was announced, Lindbergh had to follow through, paying "ransom" to extortionists.

Two well-researched books, one by the late Noel Behn, another by New Hampshire prosecutor Stephen Monier and attorney Gregory Ahlgren, have told the facts. Previously, two other books maintained that Richard (not Bruno Hauptmann -- this was tacked on by the prosecution) was no kidnapper. Other authors, as well as San Francisco attorney Robert Bryan, said there was no kidnapping. The trial was a farce. Evidence was faked. Shortly before the execution of Hauptmann, four Lindbergh and Morrow servants went to the New Jersey governor with the truth. The governor tried hard to stop the execution, but had no power under New Jersey law. Hauptmann acquired some water-damaged ransom money just in the way he claimed.

Beverly Meyer

Walnut Creek