Irregularities, not just the tax

Voters following the excellent reporting in the Times about the defeat of Measure H could interpret its rejection differently from West Contra Costa school board President Charles Ramsey and others who feel that the public just didn't feel generous this time.

Here's a different take: West County voters, who indeed are supportive of their children, have become smart enough to reject a type of bond notorious for hugely inflating the final cost to taxpayers, not to mention irregularities documented by the Times.

Now that Proposition 42 has passed, it will hopefully be easier to find out just who is served by the "For the Children of West County" campaign fund. Is it the children or the school district board, bond sellers, campaign donors and building contract recipients?

Ruby MacDonald

El Cerrito

Renaming of Portola school

We are opposed to renaming Portola Middle School for the late Fred Korematsu. There must be other ways to honor this man.

Also, we don't think the renaming of Portola school will have zero fiscal impact. How about the cost of reprinting stationary, etc.

We don't think Korematsu ranks with Martin Luther King Jr. or Cesar Chavez. There must be other names that would represent our community if you feel the new school location has no geographical reason to continue the name of Portola.

Lloyd and Nancy Coyne

El Cerrito


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How to save medical center

I am referring to the June 6 article in the Times by Tom Lochner, "Poll set to gauge tax-hike support."

This is the way the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors should try to save Doctors Medical Center San Pablo:

  • Put both sales tax options (one-quarter cent and one-half cent) on the ballot and let the people decide.

  • Do not authorize hiring an "outside firm to conduct a public-opinion poll to gauge the public's support." More specifically, do not vote in favor of a poll, "which would cost up to $45,000," as three of the five supervisors already did. Don't waste taxpayers' money on polling firms -- parasites feeding and fattening on each election cycle -- that will tell you the obvious: Sell the tax with the mantras "safety," "health" and/or "children." Voters are fed up with the constant telephone calls soliciting votes for candidates and measure and from people taking polls -- not to mention overloading our mailboxes with election ads.

  • Do not have a special election, as was done for Measure C (Doctors Medical Center) in May. The public is not dumb. They know the high costs of conducting a special election, including the printing and postage for mailing ballots. That's more money wasted.

  • Be forthright about how much of the tax money will be used for DMC. What about unexpected future costs? Will taxpayers be dunned for more money down the line?

    There absolutely is voter fatigue!

    Rudi Schmid

    Kensington

    Water, farming and fracking

    Let me see now: Farmers use too much groundwater and their usage should be regulated and taxed, even though we need their produce to eat and stay healthy.

    On the other hand, fracking uses and pollutes millions of gallons of water with unknown chemicals and politicians oppose any extraction tax.

    Is this wise? Stop covering up for the oil and gas industry. You never miss your water until the well runs dry.

    Judith O'Neal

    Richmond

    Entertainment not appropriate

    I had the honor to attend the African American Students of Honor ceremony at the Craneway Pavilion in Richmond last month. The event was very thoughtful and I wish to give kudos to all of the awardees.

    However, I would like to comment on the guest appearance by singing artist Sydney. I must start by saying that the performance was not appropriate for this event. I, and the parents around me, felt as though her performance and outfit were more appropriate for a nightclub, including her song choices.

    Let us keep in mind, when we plan events for third through 12th graders, that we want our students exposed to positive and productive entertainment. Not everyone wants their child to perform in nightclubs with sleazy clothes.

    I'm just wondering what the third graders were thinking during this performance? I'm sure there were other bands/choirs/groups available within the school district that could have performed.

    Good job, but let's work on more age-appropriate entertainment for next year.

    Cheryl Wilkerson

    Pinole

    Article about Rosies uplifting

    Your recent article by Chris Treadway about the former Rosies' trip to Washington, D.C. was one of the more positive, uplifting articles I've read in some time.

    What a deserving recognition for these women who contributed so much to our war effort 7O years ago!

    Their reception by the White House, Defense Department and members of Congress, followed by national television appearances, was most appropriate. I'm sure it was also rewarding as they continue to volunteer at the national park in Richmond, allowing all of us, and particularly our youths, to learn about their contributions.

    All of this can only make us wonder if, at that time, these women received equal pay for equal work, an issue we continue to debate today.

    Hugh Cavanaugh

    Alameda

    Labels inform the public

    We at the American Heart Association applaud your June 6 editorial, "Bill to require warning label on sugary drinks should pass." On May 30, it passed out of the Senate and now heads to the Assembly.

    The American Heart Association supports the introduction of this warning label -- similar to the support 50 years ago of cigarette warning labels. Consuming liquid, empty calories causes weight gain and increases risk of heart disease.

    Consumers need information to make educated choices. Sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs) are the primary source of added sugars in Americans' diet, as the average adult in the United States consumes roughly 45 gallons of SSBs each year.

    A warning label will allow consumers to make informed purchasing decisions, which will lead to improved diets and heart healthier lifestyles.

    California would be the first state in the nation to require a health warning on sugary drinks. As we pioneered tobacco education efforts, so we should lead the way with health warning labels on sugary drinks.

    Corilee Watters

    Oakland

    Watters is an American Heart Association Advocate.