BART employees just want fair deal

I am a BART commuter. A strike would be a major inconvenience for me, but I am disturbed by BART's dishonest PR tactics and even more disturbed that your paper seems to have fallen for them.

BART raises its prices periodically, but apparently none of this increase has gone to the workers. These BART employees work all hours to keep the cars and the stations clean. They help tourists navigate the system. Most importantly, they keep the thousands of us who ride BART every day safe by maintaining the cars and the system and by operating trains carrying hundreds of passengers each. I am willing to make sure we can afford the best engineers, mechanics and train operators by paying them a decent wage, providing health insurance and making it possible for them to have a decent retirement when they can no longer work. BART needs to respect its workers, stop lying and settle with the union now.

Judith Seid

Pleasanton

Bag ban not forcing limits on anyone

In response to a woman's recent letter, I did a quick Google check of ways that plastic bottles are recycled. One article has eight innovative ways that showed how recycled bottles were used from car interiors to sports clothing to a three-story building in Taiwan.

I don't know where the writer got the notion that she has an "owner," but unless she is walked on the end of a leash, she is giving others way too much power in her life. I live in the same world as the writer, and I don't feel forced by anyone to live a certain way. The enrichment of our lives is our duty to ourselves, not the responsibility of corporations who seek to make a profit.


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As far as plastic bags are concerned, she can always opt to pay 10 cents to buy a paper bag. That letter was one of the worst examples of self-victimization and whining that I have ever seen. Quit your beefing, get a backbone and choose the life you want.

Jeannette Gosnell

Livermore

Twenty weeks plenty of time for an abortion

Abortion now is a given "right" for all women in America. Even underage girls can have an abortion in many states without the consent of a parent. So, ladies who are abortion advocates, if a person wants an abortion, why not the morning-after pill, why not get the abortion as soon as you realize you are with child, usually no later than two weeks?

I do NOT believe in abortion. Your "fetus" is a human child, your baby growing in your womb. Why would any woman wait until they are one month pregnant, or two months or even 20 weeks? The woman who is being housed by me until she can get on her feet had her second child at 20 weeks. He weighed one pound. He is now 14 and a very healthy young lad who is loved. Twenty weeks, ladies is a fully formed human being capable of life.

You have your "rights." Stop with wanting more ways (partial birth) and longer times to end the life of your child. There are innumerable ways to prevent pregnancy in the first place. Yes, I know there are exceptions; I know lack of money is a problem. Planned parenthood even wants their clinics to perform abortions without qualified doctors. Is that what you want? Your life in jeopardy?

Ann Marie Dolan

Livermore

So much for democracy on immigration

In a recent Other Views section, Frank Burroughs makes several good points about immigration.

I think most people agree that the system is broken, and that's a sensible reaction to the seven amnesties that he mentions since '86 and the now 11 million illegal aliens. However, what's specifically broken is that for 40 years there's been no serious enforcement either in the workplace or the interior of the country.

The problem with the Senate's version of reform is that it doesn't fix the broken part. Instead, it panders to special interests on the left (ethnic activists) and the right (business) by not only giving amnesty to the 11 million but also doubling future legal immigration via expanded work visas. If an amnesty passes, does anyone really believe that vigorous enforcement efforts will soon get under way to deport those who didn't qualify?

When polls ask (if people want) "more, less or the same?" about (the amount of) legal immigration, the responses usually split roughly 15 to 55 to 30 percent, and many of the 30 percent really mean "less" but are too polite to say so. So how is it that the 15 percent have hijacked immigration reform?

Jim Hemenway

San Ramon

Buyers, beware of shady real estate agents

I have been looking to buying a home in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. I have repeatedly been advised by real estate agents that in order to obtain a home, I need to offer more than the asking price.

Just a few years ago, real estate agents were pushing up the prices of homes to the point that thousands lost their homes in foreclosures. Thousands of young people were conned into buying homes that they could not afford and later lost in foreclosures. I cannot help but feel that the practice is creeping up again. Who is the real estate agent for the buyer? It seems to me that the real estate agent for the buyer is really representing the seller. When a house is up for sale and lists an asking price, the first person to offer that price, provided he has financing, proceeds to closing. It is unethical for a real estate agent to seek a higher amount than asking price. Buyers beware, don't allow this practice to continue.

D. Mackey

Dublin

Playing racial politics with nation's laws

President Obama and Eric Holder should never have spoken on a criminal case that had not yet been tried in court.

Obama's statement about if he had a son he'd look like Trayvon was only the first race card he and Holder played. Our tax dollars, via the Obama administration's Justice Department investigators, paid for the financing of local activists who agitated for Zimmerman to be arrested. Police procedures were circumvented because of political pressure. After arresting a man whose arrest was not warranted by evidence, the city manager, egged on by Holder and the Feds, took things out of the hands of the police when they had family members, together not separately as any other investigation would have done, hear the recording of the calling for help. That's politics, not law.

We have survived bad presidents before, and a few have totally defied the Constitution, as has Obama. We will survive him, too, God willing.

Joan S. Hamblin

Danville

Never too late for prosecution

(Minnesotan Michael) Karkoc is not a victim of the "so called" Nazi hunters at the Wiesenthal Center; the Wiesenthal Center is a real, effective Nazi hunter. The victims are the hundreds of men, women and children, many of whom were Jewish, that Karkoc helped the Germans to murder. If this alleged war criminal were to be deported from the United States it would probably be to Poland or Germany. Neither of these countries are Bolshevik states in which "Uncle Joe" Stalin can influence the outcome of a trial. Justice in this case is long overdue.

Walter Gewing

San Ramon