U.S. today far cry from what founders meant
It doesn't take any guts to be Obama Claus. Suck all the money into Washington, D.C., and spread it around. Good old Saint Socialist Nic takes from the makers and gives to the takers.
Pelosi, Reid, etc., are the elves, but Boehner, McConnell, McCain, are just as bad. Reaching across the aisle for these people means they can both have their foot on the peddle as we speed deeper into debt. What made America unique and great were the beliefs of patriots such at Patrick Henry. He said, "The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government -- lest it come to dominate our lives and interest."
The tea party patriots are like modern-day founders -- same beliefs, same determination. Tea party people are in the cross hairs of liberals and rhinos alike because they threatened the status quo. If Henry could see what has happened to our great country, I know what he would say: "give me liberty or give me death!"
Proposition could fix public labor problems
The union of unions and their beneficiaries will diminish the career of legislators and arbitrators who reduce their demands to any extent.
The current situation is so outrageous that binding arbitration and the elimination of strikes seem possible. However, the pay, benefits and work rules remain among the highest. Binding arbitration sounds reasonable, but as the Times and others point out, unions track awards on a multistate basis. Both sides must agree in advance on the arbitrator. Typically, unions will only agree to a union-biased arbitrator.
The general public, not beneficiaries to the above have little say. Think Prop 13. Politicians were uncertain until Proposition 13 passed in a landslide; then they became instant supporters. A proposition could specify a formula based upon costs and pay for similar positions, costs of living, etc. that is far less vulnerable to subsequent pressure. This settlement could become the template for the "bullet train."
Cancel church construction plan for its lot
I would like to respond to Jeremy Thomas' article concerning the Methodist Church's plans to build a gymnasium in their parking lot.
This "gift to the community" certainly lies well outside the function of a community church, considering that the church will be paid for renting it out. With such late hours and frequent use, it will certainly be a burden on their immediate neighbors. Even if built to be soundproof, there will still be a great deal of noise generated by people and automobiles as they arrive and depart. The traffic congestion that is caused by the overflow from the church parking lot on Sundays would only worsen with increased attendance on weeknights.
The Alamo Improvement Association is against this project, considering its impact on the community and the fact that the Methodist Church seems to have been less than forthcoming about the scope of operation when it originally presented its project to the AIA. I personally can see no need for this project, since there are adequate opportunities for the community to participate in sports and exercise classes in the vicinity. The Methodist Church seems to have some disdain for its neighbors, proposing a project that would obviously be a burden to the quiet enjoyment of their homes. I suggest that the church use its property as it was zoned: for the functioning of their church as it ministers to its parish members, not, as an ill-conceived gift to the community.
Special lanes on I-680 just scam
Regarding the stretch of Interstate 680 from Dublin to Walnut Creek, we have seen the gods at Caltrans mess with us no less than four times, changing the hours of operation of the High Occupancy Vehicle lane for the rest of us folks who do not have Teslas.
Initially, the hours were 6 to 9 a.m. and 5 to 7 p.m., then 5 to 9 a.m. and 3 to 7 p.m. (only Monday through Friday). If this was not enough of a pain to the vast majority of us who pay for it and cannot use it, then for some crazy reason it went to 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. for the whole week (lots of Teslas drive on the weekend, apparently). Now, less than a month after they put up the new signs, it's back to the 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. (only Monday through Friday). So the question is this: is this just to mess with us, generate more tax revenue from tickets or what? I'm sure the ultimate goal is to change the lane into a High Occupancy Toll lane to generate even more tax revenue at some point. Remember, green cars and car pooling are good except when you can fleece the public with a HOT lane ... and then driving a gas guzzler alone is just fine and dandy. And you thought HOV/HOT lanes were supposed to benefit the "environment" and help commuters.
Hopefully, dogs won't despoil Point Molate
It's so wonderful that Point Molate has opened for the first time since it's gates closed in 2001. Unfortunately, the pictures you posted was not one of a family enjoying the park and it's beautiful views, but that of a woman walking a dog.
I wonder how long it will be before it is full of dog feces that is hardly ever picked up by its owners. After all, it's public land and the dogs have every right to poop wherever they want as long as it's not in the owners' backyards. Any plans to ban dogs from this wonderful park? And, while we are waiting for the permanent public bathrooms to be built, have we already built dog poop collection stations for those who are picking up their dog's leavings? Just saying ... can we get our priorities straight?
Hydrogen fuel not worth all the drawbacks
To get some balance — which is sadly lacking in your reporting -- on the news of Gov. Brown's hydrogen highway plans (Oct. 13 Times article by Paul Rogers) it might be of interest to your readers where the hydrogen fuel will come from. Production of hydrogen either by electrolysis or reforming of fossil feedstock will require more energy than would be available from the electric power generation or fossil fuel feedstock to begin with and generate as much carbon dioxide as the internal combustion engines. Low efficiency of fuel cells powering the $50,000-plus cars would waste energy.
Vlado Bevc, Ph.D.