Pipeline plan to be raw deal for almost all
The single most critical issue linked to global warming that we now face is the northern portion of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport tar sands crude oil from Canada to the Gulf coast. This oil is the most environmentally damaging form of petroleum, starting with the vast areas of deforested, polluted landscape where it is extracted. Remarkably, this pipeline would serve foreign markets, would not reduce our energy prices and would accelerate tar sands extraction and global warming. Each year the pipeline would contribute atmospheric CO2 equivalent to 37 million more cars, exacerbating droughts and hastening rising sea levels.
To have any chance of reducing the CO2 level to the 350 ppm needed to prevent the earth's temperature from rising more than 2°C, the Obama administration needs to resoundingly say NO to the pipeline and Big Oil lobby. Climate and energy scientists have done the calculations showing that most of the earth's fossil hydrocarbons need to stay in the earth! Please encourage the president to make this scientifically compelling and politically courageous decision.
Larry H. Thompson
Running off the homeless is not right
At Jan. 28's Livermore council meeting a small group of neighbors living near the Arroyo Mocho spoke in support of an ordinance establishing a camping policy. This ordinance gives the police department the authority to break up any encampments and fine and jail the homeless. Despite three-fourths of the comments being against this ordinance, the council passed it on four to one for a future vote.
The homeowners and Mayor Marchand's arguments were basically related to the quality of Livermore's water being affected and some trash on the paths of the Arroyo. I'm sure the wildlife and hired goats add as much to the environment as the homeless. Another speaker referred to this group as "idiots."
The mayor stated "We're forcing the homeless to get help" and "The homeless are being shipped to Livermore to take advantage of our services." Many of these homeless services are provided by nonprofits such as Open Heart Kitchen or initiated by faith-based organizations, not the city. Members from several Livermore churches founded the Livermore Homeless Refuge to provide overnight shelter in response to the deaths of a number of men and the nonexistence of shelters.
There is a great misconception that the homeless should "just get a job." For every person there is a different story. Many will never be functioning members of society due to mental illness or addiction. If Livermore's City Council will not have compassion on these people, we who do care can speak up for them.
Drought may be worse this time around
California is now in another drought period with very little rain falling this winter so far. The reservoirs are very low, and time is running out for them to get replenished.
As we know these occurrences happen quite frequently and normally there is enough water in the reservoirs to tide the state over in regards to farming and daily customer usage. The population is now just short of 40 million people, all who expect to take daily showers, water their lawns and buy all the locally grown vegetables they want.
This time could be different. The state has done very little to prepare for this upcoming event such as more reservoirs, desalinization plants, mandatory usage limits etc. All that I have read about is some lamebrained idea to build some peripheral tunnels around the delta to more effectively use up what little water we have. What needs to be done is ban all unnecessary farming, greatly limit customer usage and build extra facilities to store more water when the rains return, hopefully next year.
Any loss in agriculture is not needed since we still waste about 50 percent of all food products in America today. Also, since many people in America are obese a little less eating is highly desirable.
Dismantling old bridge sad but necessary
After reading Anne Auburn's letter in the Jan. 14 edition I was compelled to remind everyone the reason the new span was built was for safety.
While I agree with her that not only is the new span an impressive and beautiful piece of architecture, the old span is also impressive, especially considering when it was built. Unfortunately, structures do have a lifetime, and for the safety of the public, as well as for budgetary reasons, sometimes need to be torn down. The cost of making it safe for foot traffic and street fairs and insuring it, would far surpass any revenue that would be created.
Benghazi shows two who aren't fit to lead nation
The Benghazi Affair presented a real test of the Obama administration to cope with an emergency situation, and it decidedly failed with resulting disasters. Primarily, the situation exhibited the failure of Obama as Commander-in- Chief and of Hillary as Commander-in-Chief in waiting. As I recall, Obama decided at the time to campaign in Las Vegas, the only talent in which he excels. That dereliction of duty speaks volumes. I am not aware of any excuse Hillary might have.
Neither Obama nor Hillary have shown, in this case, that either is presidential material. (Romney was a good example of what presidential material looks like!). How unfortunate we are. It also follows that the Democrat Party is not capable of acting for the benefit of the country rather than for politics. We voters must do our part in contributing to a better United States with thoughtful voting this year and in 2016.
Frank J. Murar
Facts trump Obama's play of race card
In a recent New Yorker magazine interview, Obama blames racism for his dismal approval rating.
It can't be the fact that he lied about us being able to keep our health care provider and doctor. Or that he promised to cut the deficit in half and instead added $5 trillion to it. Or that he promised a transparent administration and all we see is stonewalling in regards to Fast and Furious, Benghazi, NSA, etc. Or that he punishes his enemies, i.e. Tea Party groups, using the IRS. Or that he fires military generals who disagree with his soft stance against radical Muslims.
Or could it be his Arab spring foreign policy is a disaster (see Syria, Greece, Iran and Iraq)? Or could it that his economic policy is nonexistent (91 million people out of work who want to work)? His immigration plan is nothing but a ploy to register illegals as Democrats. He wages a war on the private business sector while expanding the federal government.
His goal is to redistribute any and all wealth, like the socialist dictator he wants to be. Yes, his lowest approval rating ever must have something to do with his race.