Taxpayers sold bridges on big public works

In a time when our state government complains about the shortfall of funds for everything under the sun they never seem to have a problem finding a project to spend ungodly sums of money on. Ironically, the more funding needed, the better.

A perfect example -- the Bay Bridge: grossly overbudget (for all the common reasons we knew it would be) and grossly late for all the same reasons. Our bloated bureaucracy was at its finest on display for the world to see. Politicians give us these rosy projections of costs and timing and then proceed to treat us like fools while they explain all the reasons those projections are now no longer possible and the dollars spiral out of control. Remember, this started at $1.3 billion in 1996 and ended up well over $6 billion today, maybe $12 billion by the time we pay off the bonds in 2049.

Now we have the train to no where and the delta water project. For the high speed train, again the rosy projections have changed wildly. Be it the fare price, the cost of the project or time to complete. This one is going to make the Bay Bridge look cheap. Who knows about the water project? The moronic leadership of this state and the unions that feed at the trough of unlimited dollars are again laughing at us, and we just go on letting it happen over and over again. Maybe we are the morons, especially those who bought the line from our governor that the last round of tax increases was "temporary."

Charlie Brenner

Alamo

A pattern that's all-too-familiar


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Regarding Sept. 21's story "A problem ... swine! Wild boars pig out on yards," how very human! "We" invade the wild boars' territory, "they" dig up our precious lawns and disrupt our serenity and our response is, "Help! Somebody do something!" Trap, kill, remove, fence off, etc., but stop these creatures from damaging "our" property.

"We" invaded the wild wolf's territory, "he" attacked our cattle and sheep and "we" nearly wiped out the species in "doing something." "We" invaded the Indian's territory, "he" behaved badly, so "we" "did something" and destroyed a whole culture. And, so it goes -- coyotes, prairie dogs, raccoons, cougars, bobcats, deer, you name it! "We" invade their territory, claim it as ours, object when "they" do what they have always done before "we" got there and "we" holler, "Help! Somebody do something!"

"We' buy homes build in flood plains and complain when the rains come, buy homes build near existing airports and complain about the "noise." Will "we" never learn?

Bruce Elerick

Alameda

Passing laws not understood seems illegal

Can a proposed law be inherently illegal? Assume that the proposed law is 200,000 pages long. Is that illegal? How about 100,000 pages? How about 50,000 pages? What is a reasonable limit to keep it legal?

We know that very very few, if any, legislators read the entire ObamaCare legislation before it was passed behind closed doors! If legislators won't read the proposed law of approximately 2,000 plus pages, why do you think they will understand it better with 15,000 to 20,000 pages of regulations?

Please find out if any legislators completely read and understood the proposed ObamaCare legislation. If you can't find one legislator, I'd say the proposal was inherently illegal.

Ray Greer

Danville

Living wages would lift all nation's boats

It always amazes me that the link between poor wages and the inability of these people to shop and increase our economy goes unnoticed. If we pay these workers a living wage, they can afford to shop. Refusing them a living wage results in a worse economy. This shortsighted program is costing those of us who are working and making a living wage to pay more for services for the poor. Wake up folks, making a living wage is a win-win situation for our economy.

Vicki Carlson

Alamo

Sharing of state's water should be fair

Scientifically naive politicians created the state's drought, per writer R. Waymire? The reality of records shows that increased state population, growth of urban or suburban development and increased demand by California manufacturers and agriculture drains water resources.

Real records document below-average snow and rainfall over the last 100 years. Our eyes have seen the sparse snow cover on mountains for many winters over that same period. Nature plays a big role in water supply and can't be legislated or controlled by private or public means. Where are specific facts to support his opinion that "politicians are destroying private property rights and removing water rights at an alarming rate?" Is he ignorant of statewide bond debt or potential land seizures and purchases for the tunnels he hopes will bring our water south to him?

Waymire ignores case law, federal regulations, and California voters who supported a dual-purpose Bay Delta Conservation Plan, i.e. equality of environment and water supply. "One million acre-feet of our water" "flowing to the ocean" for environmental reasons is a personal insult to him! Is Waymire a senior or junior water rights holder? Since when does fresh water from north state belong to agribusiness in the south state, or is job creation in the south state more important than job security in the north?

Jan Howe

San Ramon

Housing plan's opposition was distorted

Once again, local mainstream media shill Tom Barnidge has managed to belittle and demonize any opposition to the oppressive scheme called Plan Bay Area in his Sept. 23 column.

Instead of actually supporting his assertions, he continues to attack the intelligence of those fighting the implementation of PBA. Barnidge states attendees at an ad hoc informational meeting in Lafayette —... seemed eager to believe (speaker Peter Singleton) thanks in part to his artful ability to massage facts."

This type of deceptive editorializing by Barnidge seems to be his trademark. How does he know attendees were "eager to believe?" What facts were being "massaged" by Mr. Singleton? Why does Barnidge characterize PBA's opponents' arguments as "sky is falling" hotheads?

The Association of Bay Area Governments and Metropolitan Transportation Commission representatives are not elected. Yet Barnidge repeats the mindless drivel heard in countless regional government PBA meetings: that the representatives were elected, just not to the posts at ABAG and MTC. Huh? Apparently Barnidge is committed to defending the 82 highly compensated, non-elected bureaucrats of ABAG that are taking in more than $11 million annually at taxpayers' expense.

To be fair, the Times' has published letters and editorials from the opposite side. For that they are the thanked.

Pam Farly

Alamo