We must be aware of animal cruelty

I am writing regarding an issue that I feel very strongly about and that I believe more people should be aware of: the inhumane treatment and neglect of animals.

More than 100 million animals -- mice, rats, dogs, cats, rabbits, monkeys, birds, among others -- are killed in U.S. laboratories for chemical, drug, food and cosmetics testing every year.

From dog fights to bull fights, livestock in terrible living conditions, and animals being tested on in laboratories, there are many different cases of animal cruelty that can be prevented. More people should be aware of the consequences of animal cruelty and report any and all activity of animal cruelty.

Some improvements have been made, such as the new law stating that if someone leaves a dog in a car and the animal seems to be suffering from lack of ventilation or outside temperature, an officer can legally break the window to retrieve the dog from endangerment. Although this helps out animals in a small way, I still believe there is much more that can be done.

Vanessa Mascardo

Hercules

'Corruption' has no party bounds

This is in response to Ernest Hampson's letter, "Corruption takes away advantage."

Clearly, Hampson forgot that Republican Gov. Pete Wilson and the California Public Utilities Commission -- most of its members Republicans appointed by Wilson -- pushed for deregulation of public utilities.

That's how Enron became so powerful. How Enron laughed at charging PG&E $50 per unit for electricity that PG&E, a regulated company, had to sell at $12 per unit. How many businesses can survive buying a product for $50 and having to sell it for $12? Talk about corruption!

The push to put PG&E out of business, and privatizing the utility, almost worked. PG&E stocks had dropped to $7 a share, bringing the company to the brink of disaster. Many stockholders lost everything.

Only the exposed corruption at Enron saved PG&E. I remind Hampson that the major players during this very shameful time were not Democrats.

Eleanor Newman

Concord

It was the awful smell, not the tax

Voters following the excellent reporting in this newspaper about the defeat of Measure H could interpret its rejection differently from West Contra Costa school board President Charles Ramsey and others who feel that the public just didn't feel generous this time.

Here's a different take: West County voters, who indeed are supportive of their children, have become smart enough to reject a type of bond notorious for hugely inflating the final cost to taxpayers, not to mention irregularities documented by the Times.

Now that Proposition 42 has passed, it hopefully will be easier to find out just who is served by the "For the Children of West County" campaign fund. Is it the children or the school district board, bond sellers, campaign donors and building contract recipients?

Ruby MacDonald

El Cerrito

Mistakes can be real eye-openers

Life is full of mistakes. However, the lessons we learn from those mistakes often propel us into a growing, wiser society better-suited to solve situations for the good of the whole.

Recent mistakes have come to light that have me waiting to see how the individuals involved will learn from those mistakes or how they will act to correct the misguided steps of the past.

Whether it is a coach's call in a sporting event, an administrator's decision about policy, a school board's choice to provide health care to all employees, or a country's decisions regarding equality -- it is the lessons learned from these decisions that will form the future.

My hope is the decisions that are made will provide a brighter, stronger, wiser and caring society for the good of all.

Cecilia Cuneo

Walnut Creek

Need extraction tax for fracking

Let me see now: Farmers use too much groundwater and their usage should be regulated and taxed, even though we need their produce to eat and stay healthy.

On the other hand, fracking uses and pollutes millions of gallons of water with unknown chemicals and politicians oppose any extraction tax.

Is this wise? Stop covering up for the oil and gas industry. You never miss your water until the well runs dry.

Judith O'Neal

Richmond