Voting against those who squelch records

I've cut out the names this paper listed of the politicians who voted to gut the Public Records Act and will be voting against every one of them if I see their names on any ballot in every upcoming election.

Jan Slikker

Castro Valley

Progress happens only with respect

The author of the July 10 letter, "Time for one-state solution in Mideast," is only partially right when he declares, "We do not make peace with our friends; we make peace with our enemies."

A real peace between enemies may be achieved when they either tire of fighting or realize that further fighting is fruitless.

As long as the Arab countries, in general, and the Palestinians, in particular, continue to reject Israel's right to exist, no diplomatic efforts could bring peaceful resolution of the conflict. The Palestinians could have had their state many times in the past decades, but they always prefer to take a "higher" road of eradicating Israel.

As for the author's idea of "one democratic state where Israelis and Palestinians live together," taking into account the current state of affairs in the Arab world, it looks more like a pipe-dream, or realistically speaking, as a nightmare.

Vladimir Kaplan

San Mateo

Making up the facts won't help matters

The author of the July 10 letter, "Time for one-state solution in Mideast," has made up his own set of facts.

He ignores the true facts that: (a) The Palestinians, as part of the Arab world, attempted repeatedly to destroy Israel and have never accepted the presence of a Jewish state; (b) Hamas -- with whom the author wants Israel to negotiate -- has said repeatedly that it will never accept a Jewish state; (c) What he calls stolen land never belonged to the Palestinians; and (d) One-state solution is a code phrase for "We'll take over and not let the Jews have any power."

Dan Fendel

Piedmont

Bay Area should help Egypt with vote

Will the Bay Area help Egypt solve its government crisis?

Egypt's crisis is the result of an outdated election system, which is even worse than our own local elections were before San Francisco, San Leandro, Berkeley and Oakland passed reforms. Egypt's problems can also be solved with the same improvements: District representation and Instant Runoff (Ranked Choice) Voting.

The "parliament" proportional election system itself motivates voters to vote along sectarian lines so that their ethnic/religious group will be represented. Only with district representation and ranked voting are politicians motivated to overcome sectarian divisions and promise to focus on improving their district's future instead.

To win, they cannot risk alienating any ethnic group because they will need all the second- and third-choice votes they can get. This is why Oakland and San Francisco now have the first big-city Asian mayors in the U.S., along with nondivisive, policy-oriented political climates.

We should be sharing these benefits and helping Egypt get proper voting equipment before new elections are held. This is the ideal opportunity, while Egypt has no incumbent government to resist/prevent modernization.

Sennet Williams

Berkeley

Fixing feral cats is an unrealistic solution

The subject of feral cat Trap, Neuter and Return is typically long on emotion and short on real-world perspective.

Unfortunately, there's very little sound raw data by which to judge the problem's magnitude, so we resort to "what-ifs."

U.S. veterinary associations document 20,000-25,000 sites that may be capable of neutering. If, for argument's sake, the average neutering rate is five cats per day, five days a week, then if 20,000 sites are involved, about 25 million neuters would be performed in one year. Sounds promising.

We don't know the size of the feral cat population; around 50 million is a popular estimate.

If half of it is in TNR, then of the remainder let's assume 50 percent are breeding females (12.5 million). This cohort would have to produce only one or two extra survivor kittens in a year to replace cats dragooned into TNR. Feasible? Maybe.

If a goal of about 25 million neuters yearly were to be realistic, then who's going to pay for it? Judging by vet bills for neutering my cats, the incremental overhead could average as much as $100 per cat. Total: $2.5 billion -- making a strong economic case for euthanasia, which is simple, fast, cheap, humane.

Christopher Panton

Walnut Creek