Sugar-sweetened drinks are harmful

Richmond's Measure N proposes a fee of 1 cent per ounce on sugar-sweetened beverages in local merchants' inventories, that way revenues generated will remain in Richmond and not get siphoned off to the state.

No doubt sugar-sweetened beverages contribute to increased incidences of, for one, diabetes. Many of us know people afflicted with diabetes. It's painful to watch as their limbs get nibbled away, usually from the toes up, with one amputation following another, and from the inside-out as they become dependent upon portable oxygen.

Nor is there any doubt that a "tax" on sugar-sweetened beverages, just as taxes on cigarettes do, would diminish consumption. Sugar-sweetened beverages are just as harmful as cigarettes. Certainly, ongoing public health education about the harmful effects of cigarettes is crucial to the "quit smoking" campaign.

Let Richmond be the trendsetter. Other communities will follow suit. And, in Richmond, should Measure O pass, we will direct some revenues Measure N generates toward a necessary public health education program against sugar-sweetened beverages.

Kathleen Wimer

Richmond

Justice served in Mirkarimi case

With all due respect for the experience and credentials of Ria Tanz Kubota, the author of the letter, "Abusers are con artists," I question her interpretation of what I consider a San Francisco circus of more than nine months duration.

Likewise, I recognize and abhor the level and continuing frequency of spousal abuse and battering, and I consider the vigorous prosecution of such crimes to be of utmost importance.

However, the events following Ross Mirkarimi's poor behavior and transgressions, compounded perhaps by his mistaken reactions at the outset, have become, in my view, a media and political witch hunt, for lack of a better term.

I believe Mirkarimi's actions New Year's Eve have been scrutinized and addressed by our legal system, certainly absent of special treatment or leniency. Through this difficult period for his family, his wife, Eliana, has spoken, written, testified eloquently, confidently and with credibility.

I consider justice to have been served and his attempted removal from elected office an injustice, unwarranted by his previous unfortunate actions.

Charles Pappas

Berkeley

High gas prices really necessary?

The Oct. 10 front page story tells California consumers we had better get used to high gasoline prices. It's the price of clean air in the our state. Really?

Isn't it strange that the other 49 states in our nation use gasoline with much less stringent formulations and get along just fine? What's their secret?

Could it be they have limited tolerance for wacko environmentalists, corrupt politicians, ambitious bureaucrats and cooperative oil companies who are happy to play the California game of politically correct fuel regulations?

Why wouldn't oil companies collaborate with the environmental loons, self-important bureaucrats and avaricious politicians who are busy shoveling our money into the greedy maws of Big Oil? Furthermore, what percentage goes back into the shovelers' pockets?

Isn't it time to get rid of the corrupt Democratic politicians who have enabled this gasoline insanity?

Technology can, always, find better and cheaper ways to do things if opportunities are presented and allowed to blossom. We went to the moon, didn't we?

Ernest Hampson

Pittsburg

Think it through before you vote

If you are a parent of a school-age child in California, I invite you to put aside, for a moment, all your big picture ideas about taxes. Instead, please consider just this one economic reality: If Prop. 30 passes, you will pay an additional .0025 cent sales tax on every dollar for the next four years.

Therefore, if you make a $10,000 purchase, it will add $25 to your bill. Now balance this against the 11-15 days that the state has already promised will be cut from the current 2012-2013 school year if it does not pass. This will be followed by another 15-day cut in 2013-2014.

Think about what this means in terms of cost to you for child care for those 11-15 days, or in time lost from work if you have to stay home with your child, since every family in California will also be scrambling for child care on those days.

Please don't be (¼) penny-wise and pound-foolish!

Full disclosure: I am a teacher in California, and therefore a member of a special interest group. Our special interest is our students. Please vote yes on Prop 30.

Sherri Bensen

Pleasant Hill