Obamacare affects Aetna health plan

If you have a Aetna individual health care plan, you will be getting a letter in the mail canceling your policy because of Obamacare.

It will no longer offer individual policies starting Jan. 1. This will affect about 49,000 people in California. So much for keeping your own policy, another lie from President Barack Obama.

These people will have to go to a health exchange or find some other means for their health care. With Aetna doing this, I bet it won't belong before others start doing it.

Rodney A Affonso

Union City

Good report on food stamps cuts

I really appreciated seeing political writer Josh Richman's June 14 post highlighting the $20 billion cuts to food stamps and the protest launched by 26 representatives, including the Bay Area's Barbara Lee and Jared Huffman.

With so many traditional news sources failing to cover poverty issues, it is great to see that this paper is not one of them. Four million Californians rely on food stamps to prevent hunger. Eighty-three percent of all food stamp benefits go to households with a child, senior or disabled person.

I applaud Lee and Huffman for taking part in the Food Stamp Challenge, eating only food they can purchase for $4.50 a day -- the average food stamp allotment. Most important, I am thankful that they recognize how vital this program is to struggling Californians.

Food stamps help the neediest and most vulnerable in our society. Any cut to this program would result in hunger, an indignity that no one should experience.

Jessica Bartholow

San Leandro

Don't name bridge after Willie Brown

I was confused when I read that a group of legislators proposed to name the western span of the Bay Bridge after Willie L. Brown Jr. I read he "battled with lawmakers over the design and location which led to years of delays." No mention of the many millions of dollars this amounted to.

I am sure he is a great guy and know he had a long and prosperous run in California politics. It seems they all would be embarrassed how much time and money was wasted and, if they can figure out how to repair the problems still remaining, quietly open it.

According to Wikipedia: Preliminary discussions leading to the eventual building of the Golden Gate Bridge were held in January 1923. Construction began Jan. 5, 1933. The project was finished April 1937, $1.3 million under budget. It's been declared one of the wonders of the modern world by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

That's four years to build. Who did they name this bridge after?

Tom Pifer

Pleasanton

Oakland money going to waste

Oakland is in a financial crisis, you hear that over and over. So, in addition to the paid city staff members and mayor who are supposed to be working with the police department to ensure they are staffed and doing their jobs, we are now also paying for:

1. The police chief de jour, and the predecessors who all conveniently arranged to retire so they could maximize their pensions.

2. An adviser to the city (Strategic Policy Partnership, Bratton and team) $250,000 to essentially dust off and republish their recommendations from 2007-2008.

3. More IT support to implement tools that we bought but don't utilize.

4. Thomas Frazier, appointed to oversee the Oakland police by a federal judge, who is being paid $400,000 plus bonus and vacation who has power to tell both the consulting team and the police chief to go away.

And, in a recent article, we see that we have a number of slots open that we have budget for but that are not filled because of all of the above incompetence.

So that's more than $1 million a year for repurposed materials, an implementation plan and project management work.

As a consultant for more than 20 years who actually must produce valid results, all I can say is I'm amazed.

Valerie Peck

Oakland

How to help the people of Syria

An estimated 1.5 million refugees have left their homes in Syria -- and continue doing so -- to flee the Assad regime.

Some half a million, mostly women and children, have sought refuge in a camp in the Jordanian desert, where there's little food and water and little protection from the desert conditions. We've helped very little. Let's change that.

Let us make a safe place for them. Let us provide food and shelter; drill deep wells for water to drink, bathe, and grow a few vegetables; provide generators and fuel to power those wells; and doors that lock. And Qurans. The United States is not against Islam: Here's proof.

And when the men have delivered their families to safety, many will return to fight in Syria. Let them have our weapons, jeeps and tank destroyers. Let them carry solar-charging satellite phones to hear the intelligence (gathered by our drones) on movements of the Assad forces. When the Assad regime falls, they will remember who kept their families safe.

This is much better than a "no fly" zone.

Michael Carroll

Antioch