On Friday night, see a little place called America

In this time of uncertainty, when the news is not so good and costs more to read, we have Fridays nights.

That's right -- Friday night. You gotta check out a high school football game on Friday night.

You can catch one in any of the Tri-Valley cities. Great atmosphere, well behaved students, young men in helmets and shoulder pads testing one another. Cheerleaders and bands that march on. The smell of caramel corn and flank steak wafting over the stands, talented students singing the national anthem. Moms, dads, grandparents with smiles that don't disappear the whole game. Homecoming with floats, kings and queens, old friends you haven't seen in years telling crazy and wild stories you hope your kids don't hear. I swear I saw Norman Rockwell in the south end zone with a brush and easel at a game in early October.

And so it was, in this setting that the California fighting Grizzlies captured there first undisputed EBAL football championship in the school's history. Grizzlies hugs go to this redoubtable squad of young men and head coach Erick Billeci and his staff for their dedication and leadership that allowed this fine school with it's new campus, high test scores, to stand tall and be counted on the field of thrills, under the lights, on Friday nights.

Friday night lights. Check it out.

Bill Chestnut

San Ramon

Why not add pet insurance to Obamacare?

In response to the Oct. 25 pet insurance piece, gosh, was I surprised to find that animal health insurance is so unaffordable. With all the political support for the creation of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) did the AARP, Sierra Club, PETA and all other animal rights groups miss a golden opportunity? Congress could have easily taken another billion or so dollars from Medicare to cover this expense.

Seems to me it is only fair that I who do not own a pet (can't afford the money or time to take care of one) should have whatever wealth I have left redistributed to insure healthy pet ownership for everyone. Come on, get to work and get this guarantee added to Obamacare, while I still have some money left.

Raymond A. Carlson

Alamo

Article wrong about basketball gym opposition

I am a neighbor of the San Ramon Valley United Methodist Church and wanted to point out a material error in the Oct. 21 article about the church's proposed community basketball gymnasium and event center.

The writer's statement regarding the neighbors who oppose the gym that "many of whom have indicated that they would support the gym if it were open only to churchgoers or if it were moved to a nonresidential location" is simply incorrect.

Of the 60-plus neighbors in the 30 homes that completely surround the church and oppose the gym, only two to my knowledge would not oppose the gym if it were limited to use by the church's members. Not only are there not "many" who "support" such a use, the great majority oppose it entirely, and those two exceptions do not support the gym, they simply would not oppose it if used only by church members. For those who oppose it entirely, some have made suggestions to Contra Costa County of conditions that would limit its use, but only if the county is in favor of building it.

We hope that you will make the necessary correction and, in future articles, correctly reflect the extent of the opposition. Many thanks.

Susan Paulus

Alamo

Opposition to church proposal isn't consistent

The editorial by Roger Smith of the Alamo Improvement Association provided a detailed description of zoning laws and found the new facility proposed by the San Ramon Valley United Methodist Church to be a threat to the sanctity of those ordinances. But a few things were missing. He neglected to mention that as a nonprofit organization, the church is clearly not commercial and I am quite sure that charging fees to cover operating costs is far from a viable commercial model.

Recently, Community Presbyterian Church once again provided its facilities to the San Ramon music program for their dinner show, an event with admission fees designed to raise cash for the school music program. Where is Mr. Smith's outrage at this obviously commercial venture?

Thousands of parents pay hefty sums to get their children involved in nonschool sports activities, and those funded activities take place on our noncommercial school fields -- with lots of traffic. Isn't that off-limits? What I think we have is rich folks with a NIMBY problem.

Ron Kuhlmann

Danville

Danville should ban bicyclists from El Cerro

The time has come for Contra Costa County to seriously consider the hazards created by bicyclists on El Cerro Boulevard in Danville. Because of the extremely narrow roadway, the bike lane markers are meaningless (in most locations less than six inches wide), and create an extremely dangerous situation for drivers and bicyclists alike.

Last week, as I was driving west on a winding area of El Cerro, I rounded a turn and was met head-on by a motorist trying to avoid eight to 10 bicyclists in the eastbound lane. Fortunately, I was able to slam on my brakes, pull to the extreme right and avoid what could have easily been a very serious accident.

There are more than enough safe bicycle lanes in and around Danville: El Cerro Boulevard is not one of them. For the safety of motorists and bicyclists, please consider banning bicyclists on El Cerro Boulevard.

James R. Orosco

Danville

BART contract coverage was inflammatory

I agree with the Walnut Creek reader who asked, in her Oct. 25 letter to the editor, that the Times provide "more substance and less inflammatory rhetoric" in addressing BART contract-related issues.

The Times' Oct. 23 editorial denounces a proposed-contract settlement under which BART workers "will receive a stunning 16.4 percent raise over the next four years." A front-page headline in the same issue of your newspaper declares that a "sizable" BART pay hike was being offered. However, back on page 7, where the bulk of the article appears, a Times reporter explains that BART "management also won plenty ... including raising the employees' share of medical and pension benefits -- which will keep the net raise for workers relatively small."

So, are BART workers really being offered a "stunning" or even "sizable" raise or is it actually a "relatively small" one? Do the rhetoricians who prepare the Times' editorials and headlines actually read the substance of the news articles that appear in their own newspaper?

John K. Conneely

Danville