Local business is worth supporting

Recently I went into Pagano's Hardware on Lincoln Avenue in Alameda looking for an ice scraper for my car.

After looking around and going into the back storage area, employee Mick said he was sorry, but they didn't seem to have any in stock. He then said he had one in his car that he never uses, and that I could have it if I wanted.

I didn't want to take his ice scraper in case he ever needed it, but he insisted he didn't need it; he just uses water to clear his windshield.

We walked to his car about half a block away where he got the ice scraper out of his trunk and handed it to me. Back at the store, I thanked him and wished him a Merry Christmas as he headed back to work. I have always gotten expert help and assistance at Pagano's, but this really takes the cake. Where else are you going to get this kind of small-town service and care?

You may sometimes find a lower price at the big box stores, but don't forget to support your local hometown businesses as much as you can. They provide a level of personal service you just can't get elsewhere.

Steve Gorman

Developer appears to have gone off rails


Advertisement

Regarding the Dec. 20 article, "Developer proposes hotel, conference center:" yesterday, an 80-unit housing project was proposed. Today, a 212-unit hotel/conference center is proposed.

What will Ron Cowan's Harbor Bay Isle Associates propose tomorrow -- an Indian casino? At his current trajectory, he is going from the ridiculous to the sublime. In the process, he is wasting a lot of people's valuable time.

Steve Burich

Shame on Lockyer for taking new job

Looks like California takes the shaft again. Our state treasurer, being paid $139,189-plus, needs a part-time job?

Shame on you, Bill Lockyer. The good citizens of California have stood by you for 46 years through thick and thin. You should retire now and start your apparently new career.

Let's fill this critical position with someone who is willing to dedicate all of their time to the financial affairs of the state.

Susan Elliott

Oakland

Snowden a true hero for blowing whistle

Although enforcement of his decision is pending appeal, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon's order that the NSA stop collecting "bulk telephony data" on Americans' phone calls indicates that we can be a nation ruled by law, rather than by personal dictates, as is North Korea.

There, a man-child can have anyone executed and all are afraid to protest. Here, citizens can take their grievance that a government spy agency violated our privacy rights to court, and justice can prevail.

Amassing information about everyone's communications, all the time, through telephone, Internet and email creates a vast potential for corruption, intimidation and general mischief from even the most stalwart of government stewards. If you need an example, consider three words: J. Edgar Hoover. He collected files on everyone in Washington, and nearly everyone was afraid of what he could reveal. NSA's files are ever so much larger, and its ability to mine databases more powerful. Responsible oversight has failed; the FISA court does not protect us.

How were challengers Larry Klayman and Charles Strange able to verify NSA's abuses? Until recently, all claims of uncontrolled spying were denied. But one brave whistle-blower, Edward Snowden, revealed NSA malpractice. And how has Mr. Snowden been thanked for his courage? Our government indicted him for treason when he should be honored as a national hero. Without courageous individuals, our nation of law could fall victim to man-child dictators.

Bruce Joffe

Piedmont

Stop 'Frankenbomb' nuke development

Livermore Lab has been pushing Congress to move forward with the development of a dangerous new nuclear warhead. Most of the research and development would take place in Livermore.

This project, estimated to cost upward of $14 billion, would mix elements from several existing nuclear weapons.

Some components would come from the Navy's submarine-based W88, some from the Air Force's silo-based W8 and some from other weapon designs.

This mash-up of three or more different warheads would create an untested "Frankenbomb" with new military capabilities, thereby violating our nuclear non-proliferation treaty obligations and encouraging other nations to undertake similar new weapons programs.

Because the Navy and others have objected to the interoperable warhead's costs as well as the radical nature of the proposed new design, the Obama administration could, and should, impose a five-year delay on the program to study alternatives.

The Livermore-based Tri-Valley CARES has brought important information to light about this new warhead and continues to challenge this dangerous and costly program.

The group serves as an important check on the Lab's otherwise unfettered nuclear ambitions. Check out their work at www.trivalleycares.org.

Scott Yundt

Oakland