Don't change zoning for apartments

Ironwood Apartment owners (formerly Rhonewood) want to erect four three-story apartment complexes on the green area on Norma Way in Livermore. This requires a General Plan amendment to increase the density from 14 units per acre to 14 to 18 units. It would be detrimental to the quality of life in the neighborhood and inappropriate for an established neighborhood.

We already suffer effects of higher density at the east and west ends of the complex. Street parking is impossible, and the middle section of Norma will follow if the expansion is approved. Residents don't experience "average" density per acre; we endure what's directly outside our door. Outside mine is estimated density of 32 units per acre. And the middle section would endure density of 52 units per acre outside their door.

Garbage day is a traffic hazard (cans are left toward the middle of the street after parked cars leave). Three-foot gaps between cans are impossible, so garbage trucks sometimes bypass them. Two informal traffic studies showed more than 50 percent of drivers on Norma travel over the 25-mph limit. There's a grade school nearby; I worry about children's safety walking to school. Street sweepers should bypass Norma; they can't get to the curb because of the parked cars.

Norma residents indicate it sometimes takes 10 minutes to back out of their driveway. All this indicates existing problems that would increase if the city approves the additional four three-story apartment complexes. I encourage the City Council not to approve a zoning change to the Ironwood property.


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Felicia Ziomek

Livermore

Anti-gun drivel has really been on roll lately

Wow, two biased anti-gun articles in one issue: "Guns and Good guys do not mix" and "Group criticizes safety plans."

Instead of quoting Dr. Wintemute of UC Davis, someone should have researched where his funding comes from and other badly documented studies he has published. The Joyce Foundation is notoriously anti-gun. Meanwhile the cleanly documented study by John Lott, "More guns, less crime," which is not new, is roundly criticized. Detractors are listed, but those in agreement are not. All you have to do is look at the statistics of states with more and less gun control to find out who is right. The articles state —... cautioning the proposals of placing untrained armed guards in schools." Who said anything about using untrained personnel to guard the schools?

There is also the example of the use of "excessive force" by George Zimmerman. I guess that the writers forgot about his bloody head and nose. I prefer my heroes to be alive to get their medals.

David Pastor

Pleasanton

Other factors, not gun control, cut murder rate

Your article that "Good Guys and Guns Don't Mix" manages to insult almost half the country, because almost half the country owns guns. You then choose a couple of incidents and decide that we should make national policy based on this. This is irresponsible.

Tens of millions of guns have been purchased in this country in the last 20 years, and our crime and murder rate has dropped in half. The two are not necessarily related, but obviously, more gun ownership has not raised the crime and murder rate.

If you think that more gun control will help, just look at Mexico. Millions of people have fled Mexico to live in this country, so it is the best comparison country with strict gun control. I don't think that anyone would like to have a murder and crime rate like Mexico. People are even afraid to travel there for a visit these days.

There are other differences between our countries, but that it the point. It is the other things that reduce the murder rate, not gun control.

Steven Hunter

Livermore

Praying for our schools is most powerful action

The terrible December shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., has reminded us all of how precious and vulnerable our children are. Individually and as a nation, we now strive to take action to protect our children.

For many the answer lies in some aspect of weaponry. More? Less? Some bemoan the lack of organized prayer at school. They seem to have forgotten that there is nothing that prevents citizens from praying at home and in our places of worship for the protection of our schools. And prayer is effective.

Prayer actually is the strongest defense there is against violence. Each of us can take this event as a rallying cry for prayer. Individually wrap your neighborhood school, or even your whole school district in daily prayer. Even better, become a part of a prayer circle -- within your faith community or in an interdenominational organization -- and together embrace our schools daily, hourly in prayer.

This is the most powerful action we can take, and it is available to each and every one of us.

Kaarin E. Brown

Livermore

Brainwashing machine cranks into high gear

The media is bombarding us with a propaganda campaign about so-called assault weapons.

The coverage is highly slanted and insulting. Letters to the editor faithfully attack the mean old nasty NRA. The media buries stories that might harm their cause. Two days after the Connecticut shooting a man in a restaurant in San Antonio decided to kill his ex-girlfriend. After he shot her, most of the people in the restaurant fled next door to a theater. The gunman followed them and entered the theater so he could shoot more people. He started shooting, and people in the theater started running and screaming. It's like the Aurora, Colo., theater story plus a restaurant! There was an off-duty county deputy at the theater. She pulled out her gun and shot the man before he had a chance to kill anyone.

Since this story makes the point that he best thing to stop a bad person with a gun is a good person with a gun, the media is treating it like it never happened. Only the local media covered it. The city is giving her a medal. Gun-free zones are a fantasy. They are actually free-fire shooting galleries for nut cases.

Dianne Feinstein's gun bill is said to protect gun owners by grandfathering their guns. The crafty catch is that they have to register their guns, giving her a hit list for later confiscation. Her bill bans many popular handguns that are not assault weapons. We are seeing the same old Feinstein, who is personally armed.

G. Roger Gathers

Pleasanton