Q To the silence of mass media and our elected officials, gas prices have been rocketing up the past few weeks. In Fremont, the price for regular gas increased 42 cents in just 14 days at an Arco station. Many stations are either at or closing in on the $4 price tag. Amazingly (not really), there is not even "fake" outrage from our elected officials about the oil companies hurting middle-class families by raising prices for no apparent reason. Or are the higher prices our punishment for the California and Obama "green" agenda?
What do you think?
A Our high prices can indeed be linked to our special blend of clean-burning fuel we've been using for about 15 years, since we cannot import that blend from other states. But after seeing TV broadcasts of the awful smog in China and in Salt Lake City, many have no problems with our type of fuel -- especially when they can see the eastern foothills that too often were blocked by valley smog when we moved here in 1984.
Oil companies now keep just enough supplies to meet demand, and when refineries go down for whatever reason, our prices soar. Do I like it? No. Do I like clean air? Most definitely.
Here is something else to consider.
Q This is a response to Jeffrey Novick's comments recently regarding charging electric/high-mileage
I find it interesting that Novick's proposal ran in the same edition of the Mercury News as the lead article on the Bay Area's high rate of hospitalization for children's asthma as a result of air pollution, etc. Charging a higher registration fee to owners of electric/high-mileage cars to make up for the loss in gas tax revenue is counterintuitive and counterproductive to national and state goals of reducing oil use and air pollution.
As the owner of two older petroleum-burning vehicles (gas and diesel), I would be willing to pay a bit more in taxes at the pump to make up for lost revenue, but only if those moneys went solely to improve and maintain our roads.
A Too often as gas prices soar above $4 a gallon, we tend to overlook the benefits of the more expensive fuel that you point out.
Q I find it amusing reading the comments about gas prices. Gas should be priced at what people are willing to pay. That is what capitalism is all about. Is this good? Not necessarily, but it is what we have. I never complain about gas prices.
A You are one of the few who doesn't.
Now to the hot issue of today: Where did radio deejay icons Don Sherwood and Carter B. Smith work?
Q Your reader Jim Craddick may have been thinking of KSFO and not KGO as mentioned in your Feb. 12 column when reminiscing about Sherwood and Smith -- the two disc jockeys who Craddick fondly recalled for their humorous traffic stunts. I worked at KGO from 1962 to 1998, but it's our sister station KSFO that gets the credit for them. ... Sherwood and Smith were on KSFO. I bet that I'm not the only one to correct this!
Verna McGann and Valerie Fick
A That is a bet you would win.
Q The Sherwood siren story on 101 is true and reminds me of another. Sherwood would also ask everyone on the Bay Bridge to honk their horns at the same time when he gave them a cue. He had such a large listening audience that it could get pretty noisy. ... Thanks for making me think of Sherwood again. ... At that time, KSFO was a personality-driven station with Sherwood, Jim Lange ("The Dating Game" host), Dan Sorkin and Al "Jazzbo" Collins. I believe it was one of the first stations to use a helicopter for traffic. Their studio was in the Fairmont and they were owned by Gene Autry. ... Sherwood was a very humorous and entertaining personality. Everybody listened to him. If you were in heavy traffic when he told a joke, you could look around at the drivers on either side of you and see them laughing. Sherwood kept us laughing for years. He dubbed himself "The World's Greatest Disc Jockey" -- a title Herb Caen often used in his column.
Max Jedda, Ted Atlas, Chuck Little, David Worthington, Curt Evans, Andy Lee, Bob Kimmel, Ed Eisenman, Patty and Lee Sherman, Mike Bench, Steve Dini and many more
A To be mentioned by Herb Caen was perhaps the ultimate tribute.