Chevron has done much for Richmond

After reading the Nov. 22 article, "Richmond to push Chevron on safety," I'm responding to Richmond resident Mike Parker, who said, "We clearly have a safety problem at the refinery."

Parker should compare the casualties of the refinery to the casualties of violence in Richmond: the shootings that have cost more lives than Chevron ever has and ever will.

Councilman Nat Bates said, "This council knows nothing about refineries. I am going to wait for the intelligent people to come forward with recommendations." That's one of the better remarks I've ever heard from any council member.

I'm a retired 35-year Chevron employee. I know Chevron has done much to improve its safety.

Chevron has contributed much to the community, such as assigning employees to donate time and teach in local schools, contributing to a longtime program that painted and repaired homes for low-income families, bought numerous safety equipment for lighting and surveillance (recently on 23rd Street), and more.

I'd like to see more recognition from the City Council of these contributions by Chevron instead of the negativity we read about in the paper.

John M. Begley

San Pablo

Transparency missing in Benghazi slayings

Transparency is absent in the Benghazi murderous attack to which President Barack Obama refers to as "bumps in the road."

Instead, we hear misplaced indignation from the president to those who question the veracity of the talking points Ambassador Susan Rice delivered on numerous TV shows at the request of the White House. Yet, Obama chose to add to the confusion by stating, "She had nothing to do with Benghazi."

Some claim Rice's talking points had been edited from the original version. Deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes admitted that the only edit made by the White House was changing "consulate" to "diplomatic facility." By whom were these and other edits made and why?

Hopefully, the ongoing investigation will satisfy the American people's right to know that "transparency is operating in such a way that it is easy for others to see what actions are performed" in order to learn the truth.

But as the investigation proceeds, so does a fast-moving bus.

Irene Lynch

San Ramon

We can't keep lowering the bar on education

Leonard Pitts' column in the Nov. 26 paper is so right on.

Lowering the bar further diminishes the feelings of failure for our minority students who for such a long time have been fed the propaganda that they can't succeed.

The achievement gap is a major challenge for all school districts and it must be conquered. Yes, many students entering school are behind in the basic skills needed to achieve. But throwing up our hands and telling them that we will subject them to an inferior education is tantamount to failure on our part as educators not theirs.

The raw material is there. We just need to know how to mold it into a successful individual.

Richard Asadoorian

Antioch

Let's punish high performers at schools

You mock the idea of "penalizing students who take more than the usual course load to complete a double major or to graduate early." It is a plan that "penalizes the motivated high performers" (editorial Nov. 26).

I cannot understand why this proposal is not supported. President Barack Obama and Gov. Jerry Brown have told us repeatedly that the high performers (high-income earners) should be penalized with higher taxes.

What better education could we provide in our schools but to demonstrate with higher fees the wisdom of our political leaders who say we should punish high performers?

Al Lappinga

Concord

Nudes are typically not very interesting

Hurrah for Dorothy Miller for a good opinion and one I can contribute to.

Rather than the word treated to public nudity, how about "Treated to a fun horror show"?

In my view, often the public nudes have little to show except possibly goose pimples.

Doreen Ainscough

Walnut Creek