Something must change at BART

The editorial the day after the BART strike began basically nailed it.

Those poor hand-to-mouth BART workers want a 23 percent raise over the next four years or they'll paralyze the Bay Area by shutting down the rail system that the public owns, pays to operate and depends on?

Hee-haw.

And this on top of the executive perks and outrages reported in this newspaper lately. Something has to change, and the sooner the better.

Don Buchholz

Union City

Overpaid workers should try real world

Thanks to the paper for the bold and to-the-point July 2 editorial.

In the statement "BART employees are still among the best-compensated for the jobs they perform" I believe that the key words are "jobs they perform."

If a station agent earns more than $50,000 per year plus other benefits, they are overpaid already. We, as consumers, must stand up and fight these outrageous demands.

Most jobs do not offer greater than a 2 percent raise per year, you have to pay a lot more for medical insurance, and hardly ever is there any pension plan available other than 401(k), which is funded mostly by employee contributions.

Tailap Mehta

Fremont

Shame of the greedy vacation abusers


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Regarding some BART white-collar employees cashing in on their lavish unused vacations:

What that tells me is that they are getting much too much unneeded vacation, which they cannot use. Therefore, their vacation days must be reduced drastically and immediately.

The intent of vacation is not designed to generate additional income. Shame on these greedy people.

Ed Mirzaian

Alameda

Focus on obesity as key health issue

In light of the American Medical Association's decision to classify obesity as a disease, the American Heart Association asks for renewed focus on obesity, a risk factor for heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and diabetes. We urge individuals, industry, health care professionals and national, state and local governments to focus on obesity as a key health issue.

In the U.S., more than one-third, or 75 million, adults and nearly 1 in 3 children are overweight or obese. Classifying obesity as a disease adds a new level of urgency to a health issue that has reached alarming proportions.

The AHA believes that small efforts toward improving our nation's health can lead to big outcomes. Making simple changes, such as eating healthier and getting active, can help.

Taking off a few pounds can provide you with cardiovascular benefits, so every step in the right direction is a step toward healthier living.

Bea Cardenas Duncan

Co-chairwoman of Shape Up San Francisco Coalition American Heart Association San Leandro

BART belongs to Bay Area residents

The greedy BART union bullies have no idea of reality. BART belongs to us Bay Area residents, not to the BART unions.

Bay Area residents make an average yearly income of $46,700, including benefits. Most of us, like me, get no pension except for Social Security. Mine is $17,300 per year.

BART employees don't even realize all the perks they get, such as low copay on health insurance and prescriptions, many sick days, overtime shifts, and much more. They receive an average of $79,000, including benefits. And then they get early retirement and pensions four times greater than mine.

And they want a raise? Unbelievable!

Public employee unions don't work because it is the unions against us citizens. President Franklin Roosevelt said we can never have public employee unions because it is not the same as private sector unions; it won't work.

We now see public employee unions bankrupting our county.

Ella Jensen

El Cerrito