Illegal gun use in fire zones proving costly

The Morgan Territory Fire near Mount Diablo and the Rim Fire near Yosemite will cost taxpayers more than $50 million dollars. The cost to wildlife and our public resources is incalculable. Both were started by men with guns who were illegally target shooting or poaching.

Tony B. de Bellis

Danville

Democrats do little for black community

Recently, our president took time off from the golf course to give a speech honoring Martin Luther King. It was the same old tired lines heard every year: "We've come a long way, but we have more work to do, blah, blah, blah."

Obama says we now need "economic justice" This is coming from a black president who, six months after he was elected, killed the Washington, D.C., school voucher program -- a successful program that allowed black students to choose what private school they wanted to attend. It was immensely popular and successful. Vouchers worth $8,000 a year resulted in a 90 percent graduation rate, compared with the Washington public schools that cost $18,000 a year with miserable graduation rates and high dropout rates.

What has Obama done for the black community since his election? Zip, zero, nada. After 50 years and trillions upon trillions of dollars, food stamps are up, welfare is up, teenage unemployment is up. Obama and all Democrats before him talk a good game, but all they do is watch the inner city youth struggle to get out of poverty without the benefit of a good education. It boggles the mind why 90 percent of the black community consistently vote Democrat, when all they get in return is speeches. Speech is over; time for the skinny socialist to get back on the golf course.

Mark Marcotte

Danville

PG&E is doing right by Valley

Thank you for recent coverage of PG&E's new state-of-the-art gas operations centers.

As a San Ramon business person and a Town of Danville elected official, I am pleased to see PG&E making such an investment and selecting our community for its location of jobs. Equally important, it is a facility that will proactively address our critical infrastructure needs. We appreciate PG&E being an active partner -- most recently testing pipelines and installing more efficient lighting in our town.

Karen Stepper

Danville

Family homes are no place for pit bulls

Of all the pictures you probably had available to advertise the Humane Society's block party, celebrating the shelter's recovery from fire, you had to use one of a mixed-breed pit bull?

I find that unconscionably irresponsible on your part. The continual support of this breed of dog, despite it's record for unprovoked attacks, is wrong. This is a breed that has been overbred for aggressive behavior and does not belong in a family home as evidenced by the recent attack on the young man who will be in rehab for years and is enduring more surgical procedures. Shame on you.

Vicki Carlson

Alamo

Moral decline bodes ill for U.S. freedom

The most critical threat to our freedom is a failure to appreciate the power of truth. I am retired military from World War II and Korea, and I have experienced more loss in our freedoms in the last decade than at any other time in my life.

Freedom needs sound families, common decencies and the unafraid respect of one human for another. It needs little acts of virtue, tangible loyalties, unbending commitments -- this is truth.

I have not experienced these virtues in our elected representatives in the past seven years from either party. There has been total disregard for the pledge they made when entering their office, no regard for the Constitution they pledged to support and defend. We have laws that have been passed to support our freedoms. Our freedom is being denied because these existing laws are not being enforced.

Can there be a free society of people who habitually lie and cheat, who cannot be counted on and who flout the law? Can freedom survive where as long as they are fed and entertained and people are content to be dependent, this is freedom? I do not think so. Freedom and this nation will be lost if we continue to reward those who disobey the law and the leaders who refuse to implement the laws of the land. Truth matters, it is more powerful than all the weapons in the world.

William Meine

San Ramon

Viewing 9/11 footage should be required

Yet another anniversary of 9/11 has passed and those horrific moments seem like yesterday. To this point, I believe it should be mandatory that scenes such as these be part of history classes throughout our nation by having every sixth-grader on up to 12th grade be required to view and study them.

These scenes were not produced in Hollywood but are actual moment-by-moment accounts. I would venture to say the majority of students know everything there is to know about rock stars and rappers yet very little concerning this event that changed the complexion of our country forever. Never in the history of our great nation, with the exception of Pearl Harbor, has such a dastardly, cowardly event taken place on our soil by such evil, subhuman monsters.

Calling to mind that our freedom should never be taken for granted, the attempts of madmen still lurk in our country and world and should be a reminder that we all need to be on guard, not living in fear, but being made aware of the likes of those who flew the four planes and whose main goal in their perverted life was to destroy us by attempting to take away our God-given freedom that they never experienced. Let us never forget that freedom does not come freely but on the backs of our heroes who strive to keep and maintain them. God Bless America!

LaVerne Walters

Dublin