President must act on climate change

The Feb. 14 editorial response to the president's "strong speech" failed to mention a major item in his agenda for the future -- climate change.

While advocating the adoption of sustainable sources of energy, he, unfortunately, expects to speed up new oil and gas permits. But this involves large emissions of greenhouse gases.

On Sunday, thousands of activists came out in the cold to protest, joining climate rallies here in San Francisco and across the nation. In Washington, D.C., 50,000 marched around the White House demanding that President Barack Obama block the Keystone XL pipeline and move forward in climate action.

The Sierra Club and 350.org are major sponsors of climate action with wide support from all environmentalists. We must all, including the newspaper, take this threat seriously.

Late news has it that during the rally, the president was playing golf with oil executives in Florida.

John Waters

Oakland

Loose parenting leads to tragedy

Related to the discussions at all government levels on gun control legislation, many strategies have been discussed, including a national mental health database for individuals with severe conditions, increased background checks, gun registries, strong-arming gun stores to close and the number of ammunition magazines a person can have.


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Whereas each of these ideas may have some merit, laws and/or executive orders will do little to solve the problem. For example, there is the loophole that will preclude background checks that no one has mentioned -- inheritance of firearms.

With as many as 55 million U.S. households owning firearms, it is estimated that a quarter of them would be passed down to family members.

Although there have always been gun murders, society seems to more increasingly violent, and I blame a significant amount of it on ineffective parenting. One can argue that both the Aurora and Newtown massacres could have been averted if parents took more of an interest in the lives of their children, recognized any mental health concerns and got them the needed help and encouraged them not to use firearms.

In general, loose parenting leads to tragic events affecting many families such as deaths from firearms, alcohol and drug overdose, and reckless/impaired driving.

Kurt Kleier

Oakland

Bridge celebration is waste of money

We hope it is not too late to be counted as being opposed to the Bay Bridge celebration as it is planned.

What an incredibly monumental waste of our money when not only our schools and services for the truly needy are in such dire straits, but the transportation systems need more support as well.

Wouldn't opening up only the new portion of the bridge to walkers be the most important and more feasible way to celebrate?

A fence would not have to be rented, erected and taken back down, and those wishing to make the walk could be charged a reasonable fee to cover the bus ride from a BART station to the bridge entrance, and a bus ride back from Treasure Island to designated stops or BART stations.

I think the majority of Bay Area residents are just happy the bridge is almost done and the bumps (hopefully) gone that warn about the curve ahead.

Cathy and John Francioch

Oakland

State should pay tribute to Howser

California politicians should set aside passing new bills for a while and name something in Sacramento to pay tribute to Huell Howser.

He has done more for California with his program "California Gold" than anyone.

Pat Lisa Sr.

Antioch

The evacuation of California

A recent Times article, "Texas tries to woo businesses," described how Texas is actively recruiting businesses to leave California.

California now has the highest income and sales taxes, and is rated by business organizations as among the most business unfriendly states in the United States.

California has gone downhill from being a business magnet and one of the most vibrant economies in the world. Today, we have about 10 percent unemployment and businesses, as well as high-income earners, are evacuating.

Those doubting should Google, "businesses leaving California" or "high income leaving California." When viewing this, one must remember this as almost all before Gov. Jerry Brown's tax increases.

To maintain the current level of wasteful spending, as money and jobs leave California, the tax rates will have to go even higher. In short, California is in a death spiral.

The Legislature, controlled for decades by the ruling Democratic Party, has viewed ever more government as good. This will continue to push out the private sector.

Mark Fernwood

Danville