Must be careful in way we report abuse

I totally agree with recent editorials that every single potential child abuse violation must be reported in a timely manner.

However, as we have just seen in Livermore, an alleged abuser can be tried, convicted and crucified in the news media before even a shred of state investigation has been completed.

I am guessing that many a mandated reporter pauses when they know that they may ruin the life and reputation of their colleague without cause by reporting.

If the process of reporting violations to the state was swift, private and complete before the news media getting involved, the incidence of reporting would rise exponentially. If we want transparency in reporting, we must find a way to treat fairly those who would ultimately be exonerated of the charges.

Lisa Gray

Livermore

Endangered Species Act must be lauded

The Endangered Species Act turns 40 this year. Here in the Bay Area, we can celebrate the return from extinction of the California condor, southern sea otter and California least tern among more than 200 species placed on the act's list for protection over the past few decades.

All species play a part in fragile, yet complex biosystems that provide food and habitat as well as clean air and water -- the requirements for all life-forms. However, due to the extreme escalation of human demands for higher technological standards of living, we are faced with a global crisis.

More species face habitat loss, introduction of alien species into their communities and fragmentation of their natural environment because of the physical assault of bulldozers, highways, etc. More species are on the brink of extinction.

The Endangered Species Act has a remarkable success record of 99 percent of those listed.

We must ensure that this valuable legislation remains not only strong but expands its scope globally.

Maida Counts

Oakland

Naming rights the answer for bridge

The solution to reducing the burden on taxpayers to cover the costs of the Bay Bridge construction and the pending celebration is simple: Corporate naming rights.

How about these possibilities:

Yahoo Bay Bridge party: no one can stay home; BMW Bay Bridge: or any auto manufacturer; Target Bay Bridge: on second thought, we don't need any more ships hitting the bridge; Bay Alarm Bridge; or my personal favorite: eBay Bridge.

Jim Thomas

Concord

Pope should inspire kindness to animals

I was delighted to learn that the newly elected pope chose for himself the name of St. Francis of Assisi, generally known as patron saint of the animals.

Indeed, Catholic and Anglican churches hold ceremonies blessing animals on his feast day Oct. 4.

On one of his nature walks, Francis reportedly preached to the birds and is often portrayed with a bird in his hand.

On another occasion, Francis concluded a pact with a ferocious wolf that was terrorizing local townsfolk, whereby the wolf would quit preying on the town's sheep in exchange for being fed regularly.

He even persuaded local dogs to stop harassing the wolf.

He freed a rabbit from a trap, returned caught fish to their stream, and fed half-frozen bees in wintertime.

I hope that Pope Francis will inspire Catholics and all persons of goodwill to show nonhuman animals the respect and compassion they so richly deserve, particularly when it comes to subsidizing their abuse and slaughter for food at the checkout counter. Joining the Meatless Mondays trend may be a good start.

Milton Connley

Oakland