Sugar drinks are bad news for teenagers

As a nutrition manager and researcher, I see firsthand the negative impact of soda, especially on teens. The American Heart Association has prioritized reducing sugar-sweetened beverage consumption to improve the health of all Californians.

While pleased to see that the rate of consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages has declined among younger children (article, "Kids saying 'no' to Sodas," Oct. 17) -- I am concerned with the increased consumption among teenagers -- particularly among African-American and Latino teens, where three-fourths are now consuming a sugar-sweetened drink every day, and who are at greater risk of having heart disease and stroke.

As we look to reverse this trend, it will be strategic to advocate for policies and pricing strategies that increase access to healthy foods and beverages, while at the same time decreasing access to sugar sweetened beverages and other unhealthy foods.

Corilee Watters

Advocate American Heart Association Oakland

Voters must show BART who is boss

Hopefully, when the next election occurs, BART riders/voters will remember local politicians who added pressure to BART board to settle with little regard for cost. Politicians know who supports their campaigns.

Also, when the BART board via bonds and taxes asks for increased money, voters will remember this current settlement.

Maren Giannini

Castro Valley

Bicycle rider takes impressive action

Recently, when I arrived to do my usual volunteer work at the Granada Native Garden in Livermore, I found an unfamiliar vehicle parked in the maintenance area. On the Arroyo Mocho Bike Trail, I met Harry, a senior citizen who lives nearby. Harry had been biking on the trail in the morning and came across broken beer bottles scattered over about 25 feet of the trail.

Harry went back home on his bike and returned in his car with cleanup tools. He was busy sweeping up the broken glass and other litter when I arrived.

I suspect that most people would have lamented the vandalism and passed by, reasonably expecting that someone would eventually clean it up. Harry was that someone. He was not expected to do it, but he knew it was the right thing to do, and he stepped up, regardless of the inconvenience and some personal hazard.

I thanked Harry wholeheartedly, in the name of the people of Livermore and all those who use the trail. Thanks once again, Harry.

Jim Adams

Livermore

Graffiti artists could channel creativity

Just imagine what graffiti artists could accomplish if they put as much effort, time and ingenuity into finding a creative job to let their art shine as they do when they vandalize public property.

They should think about it -- or they could be doing their art on their own homes.

F. Miguel

Hayward

Getting rid of bus transfers is bad idea

AC Transit is trying to eliminate bus transfers. I oppose eliminating bus transfers because that will increase fares for those passengers who rely on AC Transit buses for basic transportation the most. Make no mistake about it -- this is a rate increase.

In a recent article, AC Transit management recognized that many of its passengers live at or near the poverty level and use bus service for essential transportation. AC Transit management knows that transfers are an affordable way for these customers to plan their routes.

Eliminating transfers will place an undue and expensive burden on these bus riders, who can least afford it -- proposed rate changes will double their fare.

We must tell AC Transit to keep issuing transfers. Contact AC Transit at 510-891-7201, or by email at farecomments@actransit.org.

John Butchart

Volunteer Alameda County/Oakland Community Action Program Oakland