• Growing roses in the Bay Area - 02/26/2015 04:50 PM PST
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    Arms makers benefit from war authorizationYou don't have to be a genius to comprehend who benefits most from any new congressional authorization for use of military force -- the military-industrial complex.  
     
    Woman who hanged self mattered to usWe live about 50 feet from the estuary between Oakland and Alameda. There is a promenade where during the day people walk their dogs, socialize, bring their children to play.  
     
    Schaaf right not to spend for stadiumI am delighted the new mayor of Oakland is unequivocal in her belief that the taxpayers of her city would not subsidize sports arenas under her watch.  
     
    Should be outside probe in KensingtonThere seems to be a few problems with the situation with the Kensington Police Department's investigation. ("Kensington: Police chief ousted after stolen-gun scandal," Feb.  
     
    New agency cannot possibly do the jobThe new agency created to curb threats in cyberspace can't work. Unasked in the question: Where is our greatest cyberspace threat?  
     
    Congress should not attend speechJohn Boehner's invitation to Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister, to address both houses of the U.S. Congress, without consulting the White House, is stirring a political storm in both the U.  
     
    Nation must change eminent domain lawRecently, I read an article by Margery A. Beck of The Associated Press that a judge has halted the Keystone Pipeline -- at least, temporarily.  
     
    Richmond City Council vacancyRegarding your article, "No deal on new council member," it's disturbing that Vice Mayor Jael Myrick holds my membership in the Richmond Progressive Alliance, a civic organization, against me as a candidate for Richmond's vacant council seat.  
     
    Politician should protect children's privacyCouncilwoman Annie Campbell Washington posted a picture of my children in her newsletter without my knowledge or consent.  
     
    Paper should be watchdog on funds.Thanks for Brenda Payton's column, "Can we sustain drop in violence?" and the Steps Toward Peace series. Especially, for the research on Ceasefire as a program to get at violence at its causes.  
     
    We need to stop killing each otherI've had enough of murder as usual. I appeal to the people of the world to stop killing each other. From Oakland to the Ukraine to Syria and Africa -- life is short.  
     
    Director of sanitary district must resignThe Asian Pacific American Democratic Caucus of Alameda County calls upon Oro Loma Sanitary District Director Laython Landis to resign for knowingly and willingly making offensive racist and sexist comments and then failing to comprehend and accept the  
     
    Obama's negotiating skills questionableSetting aside our political biases for a moment, imagine what our world would look like today if we had President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry negotiating with Adolf Hitler and Imperial Japan in the 1930s.  
     
    First lady should've had a headscarfI wonder at the level of knowledge the State Department and the White House staff have about the world's religions and cultures.  
     
    Don't abuse animals for monetary gainsA Fremont reader who objected to new state requirements for cage-free eggs believes that chickens were put on earth to feed us.  
     
    Need leads to solve 43-year old murderForty-three years ago, on Feb. 4, 1972, at 3:50 a.m., 28-year-old Robert "Bob" Pluff was savagely stabbed to death by an unknown assailant while lying in bed with his wife in a Castro Valley apartment.  
     
    Teachers giving all on their paid tasksIn his Jan. 28 guest commentary, "Union, school district should keep matters at table," Dirk Tillotson is highly critical of teachers who are working to rule, or working their contractual hours and abandoning voluntary work.  
     
    Constitutional is silent on same-sex marriage The Times' Saturday Forum question also could be stated, "Will the Supreme Court find that gay marriage is a constitutional right?  
     
    Should report fully on health care riftThus far, coverage of the Blue Shield-Sutter Health brouhaha has neglected a crucial point. Yes, in the event that a settlement isn't reached, Blue Shield subscribers with PPO or Preferred Provider policies would be able to continue receiving care from Sutter  
     
    Letter's call for huge donation unrealisticRegarding "Masonic Hall should donate the property," letters, Jan. 23:I wonder if there is any person in Union City who would donate a $10 million piece of land and receive nothing in return?  
     
    Disruption of travel should be a felonyApparently chaining yourself to a BART train or shutting down the San Mateo Bridge are merely misdemeanor offenses.  
     
    Disgusting effort is what killed Prop. 45I was born in Kaiser Oakland Hospital and have been a member of Kaiser for many decades. My experience has been a good one for the most part; I'm still here.  
     
    Keystone XL pipeline should not be builtThe United States should not build the Keystone XL pipeline because: According to former NASA climate scientist James Hansen it would be "game over" for climate change if we burn all this dirty oil and don't instead focus on clean energy alternatives.  
     
    Judge was wrong on foie gras decisionCalifornia lawmakers were right to ban foie gras in 2004, and Judge Steven Wilson was wrong to strike it down in 2015.  
     
    Actions would have disappointed KingWhen does the right to protest become civil disobedience? On Jan. 19, the San Mateo Bridge was shut down in both directions at peak commute time for almost an hour by protesters.  
     
    Nurses should have role in assessmentsThe recent investigative reporting on excessive use of psychotropic drugs with troubled children who act out and frighten their caregivers was excellent.  
     
    Protesters don't get how many they hurtIn his attempt to justify his disruption of BART on Black Friday, Zachary Norris is proud and pleased to report that his actions were a peaceful and nonviolent protest of the dehumanizing treatment of citizens by police.  
     
    Costs far outweigh the benefits to the stateIt consumes enormous amounts of our valuable and scarce water. It deposits high-pressure carcinogenic chemicals underground, which can penetrate into the water table used for agriculture irrigation.  
     
    Only modern leaders can change MideastThe Jan. 9 letter, "Israel stole the land: there can't be peace," should have referred to the Palestinians' intransigence, rather than blaming Israel for failed talks.  
     
    Plutonium meeting is vital for publicDeadly radioactive plutonium may be used in the National Ignition Facility by the end of January. NIF has cost taxpayers more than $8 billion and has failed every ignition test.  
     
     
    (LiPo Ching/Bay Area News Group)
    Big Sur getaway: Where pampering and wilderness meet

    A weekend getaway to Big Sur marries luxury and rugged wilderness trail when the day's delights include stops at the Ventana Inn, Big Sur Bakery and a trail that goes straight up.