Food trucks can help Montclair Village
It is with great interest that I've been following the discussion about how best to bring traffic to Montclair Village to support our shops and restaurants there. While my family and I support as much as we can, we are just four people.
I heard recently that there was some discussion with the Village association to have food trucks come to the Village one night per week. I have seen the traffic that these food truck "markets" bring, along with a sense of community as local families come with their children to experience the cuisine from these trucks.
I know that the local restaurants are questioning whether they would take business away, but I was down in the Village for dinner one recent Wednesday and it was completely dead at 7 p.m. We dined in the wonderful Greek hof brau with only one other couple and thoroughly enjoyed our meal.
My point is that if more people were drawn to the Village for the food trucks, many good things would happen: They would see how wonderful the Village truly is and return later, they would support local business (the food trucks themselves are also local businesses) and a sense of community would grow stronger when neighbors and friends meet to experience something new and fun.
This is something to consider and discuss.
The road rage of many of your readers stimulated by the MTC/ABAG proposed Vehicle Miles Traveled tax is not surprising.
On this issue, there is a broad misperceived right of privacy and expectation of free service. My private motor vehicle becomes part of the public transport system when I drive on metropolitan roadways, and the community has a right to measure the use I make of the system and expect me to pay.
Revenues to maintain metropolitan highways have not kept up with the demand placed on them. Gasoline taxes are collected on a per-gallon basis rather than upon the inflated value of the gasoline, so that source of revenue has lagged as fuel consumption has flattened.
Contrary to the assertion that the idea is anti-automobile, I believe it may promote greater recognition of the importance of automobiles in our transportation system and offer a means of improving their utility.
The Metropolitan Transportation Commission is to be commended for seeking new ways to increase transportation revenue.
On our way to bankruptcy
What impossible circumstances now exist in our cities, counties and in our state. Public sector unions are forcing us to go bankrupt.
We can't afford our schools, firefighters, law enforcement officers and our local government staff. I would see no problem paying them if we could afford it. What can we do?
Taxes and more taxes, seems to be the officials' solution. Unfortunately, we have scared off most of our industries and our wealthy taxpayers who produce jobs and pay taxes.
Too many of our wealthy have moved to other states where they are appreciated because they produce good jobs.
We still have good retail, high tech, transportation, tourist and agricultural industries. But mining, drilling, construction and medium and heavy industry jobs are eliminated because of ridiculous rules, regulations, permits, fees and taxes that kill jobs.
Our 80,000 family farms are now being hammered by bureaucrats from the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Fish and Game and the Army Corps of Engineers.
It won't be long before our agricultural industry will also be eliminated.
We must file bankruptcy in each city and county and start from scratch. No more $100,000 to $200,000 salaries, benefits and pensions.
Gun laws need to be changed
This is regarding the question of whether gun laws should be changed after the Aurora, Colo., massacre.
At the federal level, we need a ban, such as California's, on high-capacity ammunition magazines and military-style semi-automatic assault weapons like those that made the attack in Aurora so deadly.
We need a federal law requiring background checks every time a gun is sold -- including at gun shows. Too many Americans die because our present policies keep it too easy for criminals and other dangerous prohibited persons to purchase firearms.
Unfortunately too many politicians, especially Republicans, aid the gun trafficking.
We must pass federal laws that help shut down gun dealers who consistently violate gun laws and repeatedly "lose" dozens of guns out the back door.
Readers can help. Ask the presidential candidates to tell us what they plan to do to prevent gun violence and have your friends do the same.
See this link: http://www.wearebetterthanthis.org.
Soldiers pay for our freedoms
I am a combat veteran of the Korean War. Although a truce was signed in 1953, the conflict has never officially ended.
How does a Korean combat veteran view today's world? Surely he must recall freezing in the Korean winter, vastly outnumbered by an attacking force, wounded from being too long on the line, emotionally scarred from isolation as a POW and surrounded by the death and carnage of combat.
The veteran says, "I suffered physical pain to give you freedom to vote and loss of income when called to duty."
Remember, it is the soldier, not the TV newscaster, who gives you freedom of the press. The soldier, not the campus organizer, allows you to demonstrate.
It is the soldier -- who salutes the flag, fights for the flag, whose coffin is covered by the flag -- who allows the protester to burn the flag.
President Truman kept the legacy of freedom alive by courageously confronting the invasion of North Korea into South Korea. Today South Korea stands as one of the great economic engines in South Asia.
Stanley J. Grogan
Freedoms are jeopardized
The idea of taxing drivers, by following them with GPS transponders, is possibly the most dangerous violation of personal liberties that I have ever seen.
This is an Orwellian "1984" concept that borders on a totalitarian oppression of individuals to benefit a regime (the government). Is Big Brother watching?
The government already has a stranglehold around all of our necks: property taxes, income taxes, sales taxes, DMV fees, rising bridge tolls and on and on.
This proposal is dangerous in concept, and if it even moves forward one inch, I would expect a revolt against the proponents that will rival any protest we've ever seen.