Can't we take break from the weapons?

Looking at the breakdown of funds requested by the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory for 2014, I noticed a few interesting facts:

Energy efficiency and renewable energy combined constitute less than 1 percent of the budget. Defense environmental cleanup is a minuscule 0.1 percent. On the other hand, nuclear weapons activities constitute a whopping 84 percent of the requested budget.

Are these priorities truly in line with most Americans' feelings? The lab is a national facility that could be using science to bring about a better future. After six decades of poisoning the environment, can we take a break and spend some time cleaning it up?

Matt Vinciguerra

Livermore

Money must go to restoring education

California's public schools have taken the brunt of the budget cuts over the past five years. California is now ranked 49th in the nation in per-pupil spending and last in the ratio of teachers, administrators, librarians and counselors to students.

Voters in California fought for the passage of Proposition 30 to help restore public education funding -- not just prevent future cuts.

As an Educate Our State supporter, concerned citizen and voter, I demand that the approximately $4 billion in extra revenue collected by the state be used to begin to rebuild public education funding to at least the 2007-08 levels before further allocations are made to other important yet better funded services. Our children have suffered enough.


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Districts should have base grants that restore funding to repair the damage $20 billion in cuts has caused. Shifting around what little money education receives today will not help.

Every politician claims public education is a priority. It's time for them to put the money where their mouths are.

They need to tell the lobbyists for the better funded special interest groups that education has been cut to the bone and needs the most help.

Our schools no longer have enough resources to properly educate our future state leaders. The more than 7 million children in California's public schools, from preschool through college, are counting on them.

Candace Gutleben

Alameda

Why make such a speech at all?

Really, the president was keynote speaker for Planned Parenthood.

During a recent interview, Barack Obama was asked about Dr. Kermit Gosnell, who is on trial for the murders of live babies at his abortion clinic. The trial, by the way, that the liberal media (including this newspaper) has refused to cover. His comment was he thinks Bill Clinton had the right idea that abortion should be safe, legal and rare.

So, President Obama, why would you be willing to speak to an organization that aborts 300,000 babies every year? Rare indeed. Guzzling pinot noir and enjoying prime rib while discussing dead babies must make for a great evening.

Connie Clark Benson

Hayward

The evolutionary theory challenged

On April 30, Peter Hess wrote, "If evidence were discovered that controverted either gravity or evolution, you can bet the theory would be vigorously challenged by scientists eager to claim a Nobel Prize."

The fact is, many scientists are vigorously challenging evolutionary theory. This can be verified by an Internet search on "Dissent from Darwin." There, a list may be found of more than 1,000 distinguished scientists who have signed onto the statement: "We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged." The scientific credentials of each signatory is listed.

This fact will remain unknown to public schooled kids because, as I lamented in my original letter some time ago, public schools teach kids what to think, not how to think. Apparently there's a line that must not be crossed.

Hess implies that that line is between science and religion. I know of at least 1,000 scientists who would disagree.

Bob Humphrey

Pleasant Hill

Solar panels are not so 'green'

I would like to enlighten Jack Kline and the public in response to his letter, "Wind and solar are 'green.' "

Solar panels are not green because after a possible life span of 10 to 15 years, they must be disposed of. Kline does not mention that solar panels must be disposed of as hazardous waste. What is that doing for the environment? And then there's the cost of disposal.

The same can be said for wind turbines, which are mostly nonpolluting. When their useful life is over, there is material to recycle or dispose of. What about the number of birds killed each year by those turbines?

However, I think wind and solar technologies are still in their infancy and will improve with time and have great benefits.

Kline paints a wonderful picture, but does not tell us about the negative aspects of wind and solar. We need the whole story from beginning to end.

Gene Berry

San Pablo