Q Your recent article on Caltrain's $30 million deficit is once again showing your socialist leanings. Saying Larry Ellison of Oracle or Sergey Brin and Larry Page of Google or Steve Jobs of Apple should rescue Caltrain is one of your famous inane ideas. If Caltrain cannot operate without taxpayer funding, it should go out of business. Just how much taxpayer money is used to fund the likes of Southwest Airlines, Greyhound Bus or any taxi services? As a taxpayer, I have never received a billing statement from any of these companies for not using their business! If you want the rich to pay for Caltrain, I suggest you tax rich athletes, actors, entertainers, the major news network anchors and, of course, rich politicians such as Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, Nancy Pelosi and John Kerry, to name a few. Private business is the heart of America! Not government! Maybe you should quit the Mercury News and go to work for Gov. Jerry "Moonbeam" Brown and become director of Caltrans.
A I would if the job paid better. The Caltrans director makes about $50,000 to $75,000 less a year than transportation executives at many county-size agencies. But jeez, Alan, the comment from a reader about Ellison, Jobs et al. was a spoof. Then again, maybe my "socialist" leanings are spreading. The Silicon Valley Leadership Group, which represents more than 300 companies in the Bay Area, is leading the effort to generate ideas to save Caltrain. Many of the bosses of those firms are rich folks who have supported several tax measures for transportation work throughout Santa Clara County. I doubt many of them ride Caltrain.
Q To the person who said, "Forget a 3-cent-a-gallon gas tax, or higher highway and bridge tolls or vehicle license fees for Caltrain. FIX THE ROADS!" I say: Forget a 3-cent-a-gallon gas tax, or higher highway and bridge tolls or vehicle license fees for roads. KEEP CALTRAIN!
Yudhvir Singh Sidhu
A Another socialist!
Q We just got the registration renewal notice for our son's car, which is registered to and owned by his father, but is with the son in college up in Oregon. He won't be home with it until summer, and the smog check and registration is due April 16. How can we handle this situation? Should we register the car in Oregon? Wait until summer and pay the $100 late fee, and let him drive with expired tags? Help! We can't be the only parents of a college kid with this problem.
A You are not.
Q I have a child with her California registered car in school in Colorado. She will return home in late March. I just received the license renewal, due this month, which requires a smog certificate. What options do I have to get the car smogged and registered while the vehicle is out of state? Does smog testing in Colorado meet California's requirements? Do I have to go and retrieve the car and bring it back to California for testing?
A No, it's a lot simpler than that. Go to www.dmv.ca.gov/forms/reg/reg256.pdf and send the DMV a "Statement of Facts" form that says your car is registered in California but is being driven by your daughter attending school in another state and cannot be smogged before registration is due. This form must be submitted with your payment. A Colorado or Oregon smog certification won't be accepted. Once your kids bring their cars back to California, get them smogged.
Q I showed your prompt response to my fiance and said, "I told you Mr. Roadshow is a god!"
A A socialist god!
Q Any idea what is going in the Highway 101 center divide near the Old Middlefield Road overpass in Mountain View?
A The city is doing pile-driving foundation work for a pedestrian overcrossing that should be completed in the spring of 2012.
Q My dream car? One that starts every morning.
A I know that feeling.
Contact Gary Richards at firstname.lastname@example.org or 408-920-5335.