Editors didn't do their job -- explain things

What an embarrassing editorial in today's edition of the Times! Although the editors tried to tell us the government shutdown was only about blame-placing, the shutdown resulted from a political policy dispute. The Republican majority in the House of Representatives did not want Obamacare to go into effect Oct. 1, and the White House and the Democratic majority in the Senate refused to stop the implementation. The Republicans used the only political tool available to them to break the stalemate: the government shutdown. That's a pretty stark policy dispute.

Which side in this dispute has the better position and should prevail? We, the readers, have no idea because the editors didn't tell us. They simply sidestepped the issue. If the role of a newspaper is to help the public understand complicated issues, the editors blew it on this one. Just whining about the lack of leadership in Washington is not enough -- we readers can do that on our own without help from the editors. If this is the best the CCT editors can do on tough, polarizing issues, they need to get out of the newspaper business because they don't understand what their role is.

Michael Kelly

Livermore

Orchard wrecks apples' name


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Ninety-eight percent of the politicians in Washington are giving the rest of them a bad name.

Bob Schoenherr

Dublin

Thanks to all for making our event successful

I want to thank the San Joaquin County fire districts for their support and participation Sept. 28 in the second Watts Winery Stomp Out Cancer fundraiser. Without them, the Stomp Out Cancer campaign would not be possible.

Congratulations go to French Camp Fire District, which this year won the trophy for producing the most grape juice. The idea behind the Stomp Out Cancer campaign is to directly fund the research into childhood cancer; we also give to families directly affected by childhood cancer.

As a cancer patient on the second round with adenoid cystic carcinoma, I know the nightmare in fighting cancer. As an adult, I can handle the cancer fight, but being a child or a parent with a child battling cancer -- there is no reasoning whatsoever.

One day, we won't have to hold fundraisers to find a cure for cancer. Until that day, I know I can count on the support of the San Joaquin County fire districts.

Les Mahler

Livermore

Liberal-bashing letter's rhetoric was beyond pale

I am at a loss for words to describe my feelings about your publication on page A7 of the Sept. 30 issue of the Times of the vitriolic, hateful, anti-liberal rant written by Mark Marcotte, from Danville, but I'll do my best to find some.

The topics of the other published letters range from closing fire stations to putting real news on the front page instead of sports, nothing to do with liberals versus conservatives. I believe that Mr. Marcotte's letter, which puts thoughts and ideas into the heads of liberals whom he seems to believe are stupid and anti-American would be out of place even in a series of letters specifically addressing the topic of liberality versus conservatism due to its gross generalizations and abundance of spite, but it is most definitely out of place when the topics of the letters are not even tailored to the subject. I hope the person who writes the liberal, anti-conservative rebuttal letter is filled with as much scorn and bitterness as Mr. Marcotte because he has a tough act to follow. I am disappointed to see something like this published in an otherwise respectable and reliable source of news.

Joel Torres

Livermore

Council blunders on development zoning exemption

Pleasanton's City Council opened the door Sept. 17 for still more residential development in Pleasanton.

Mayor Jerry Thorne once described California's housing requirements as "out of control," but it was the mayor and three other members of the City Council who voted to exempt 900,000 square feet of rezoned housing in Hacienda Business Park from the commercial center's overall cap of 9.9 million square feet of development. Jobs created from the additional development certainly will mean more housing required for Pleasanton with no strategy for dealing with any increased housing.

Brian Dolan, the city's community development director, irrationally said he didn't believe retaining the office space would result in the need to rezone for additional housing while simultaneously claiming it is impossible to predict the impact on future housing.

Well, Mr. Dolan, a clue is recent methodology for housing allocations under "fair share factors" in which jurisdictions with higher numbers of jobs received a higher allocation. It's time our representatives and city staff showed some backbone against the Hacienda Business Park's Owners Association.

Matt Morrison

Pleasanton

Sports have no place on A1's

I thoroughly agree with a Sept. 30 letter, "Put real news, not sports, on front page."

Many Americans seem to be convinced that watching men play ball games is just about the most important thing in the world. Some men throw big round balls through metal rings. Others hit little leather-covered balls with big sticks. Still others throw, catch and run with funny-shaped balls with pointy ends.

There is no doubt that being able to play ball games more skillfully than other men is a special talent indeed. Whether these ball players deserve such stratospheric salaries is, of course, open to question. Baseball has been defined as "a game played on a diamond-shaped field by 18 millionaires."

Yes, watching men play ball games can be entertaining. But in the overall scheme of things, it is really of trivial importance.

Burt Bogardus

Danville

Ill former lab employees deserve help

Since 2000, more than 1,750 former Livermore Lab employees (and their survivors) have applied for compensation and benefits from a federal program because they believe that their illnesses are the result of on-the-job exposure to radiation and/or toxic chemicals. The federal program is the Energy Employee Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA).

Unfortunately, many lab claimants have difficulty getting legitimate claims approved. Tri-Valley CAREs has created a program called Sick Workers Support Group to help claimants work through the labyrinth of paperwork and bureaucracy involved.

There will be a meeting on Tuesday from 1 to 2 p.m. at the Livermore Library to help workers with their difficulties. Survivors who are eligible are also welcome. For further information contact Tri-Valley CAREs at 925-443-7138. Please help get the word out to all who are affected. They deserve our help.

Beverly King

Livermore