Make it easier for volunteers to work

I sympathize with the July 18 letter writer's frustration regarding the feral cat problem.

At least 70 percent of a colony's cats need to be sterilized at all times just for the population to remain constant. Cats negatively impact desirable wildlife, such as birds, but also hunt vermin.

Killing feral cats -- it's not euthanasia when the animal is healthy -- is one solution. What the letter writer and others miss is that while there are tens of thousands of people passionately involved in Trap, Neuter, Return, there will never be enough people willing to trap and kill feral cats to make a difference. Those few who try will inadvertently trap pet cats as well, face public outcry, etc.

Instead, support efforts to make it as easy and cheap as possible for TNR volunteers to do their work, put TNR laws on the books, and get animal control agencies involved with colony feeders who aren't in compliance.

Remember, the TNR trapper is trying to help. It is the cat feeder who won't cooperate with the trapper who perpetuates the problem.

Karen McNeil

Oakland

BART should use binding arbitration

The threat of a BART strike and its impact on our community is no small calamity.

Indeed, some will lose their jobs, and many will lose income and services.

BART should be required to enter into a binding arbitration to prevent this coming traffic mess. Transit services are critical to the area's economy and must be kept available for the public.

One reader called for firing and replacing all the workers and eliminating their unionization. He said: "There are many ... who would be thrilled to work under the terms offered by BART management."

I might add that once the public unions have been eliminated, the terms offered by management will resemble those of our private industry today.

Wages have stagnated in the last 30 years, pensions are almost unheard of, and health care is not assured in many jobs.

The nonunion workers in America have lost while a small group of investors have become enormously wealthy, all brought to you by Milton Friedman and the Chicago School of economics.

Anne Spanier

Alameda

A job well done for Big League all-stars

Congratulations to the District 14 (D14) Big League all-star team who came within one game of competing in the Big League World Series.

The D14 team won the sectional and divisional (NorCal) tournaments before heading to Bremerton, Wash., to compete against the likes of Hawaii and Southern California. D14 beat Hawaii twice but fell to SoCal in the finals -- D14's only loss in 11 all-star contests.

Team members include Mark Bontempo, Jeff Chu, Brandon Facha, Brandon Fuhs, James Gaffey, Scott Havard, Kenny Jacoby, Devon Jones, Christian Letona, Reid Marion, Wyatt Ott, Martin Padilla, Austin Robles, Thomas Rodriguez, and JJ Sanchez, and coaches Wayne Chung and Lucky Ott.

In addition, each player had at least one family member who made the trek to Washington to watch their boys play and provide consistent support throughout the week long tournament. Congratulations to all on a job very, very well done.

Ed Hugo

Fremont

Does a law need to be changed?

As I read the coverage of the George Zimmerman trial, questions came to mind.

Is it OK for a lay person to handcuff another person and haul him off to jail? Perhaps not. Then why is it OK for a lay person to get out of his truck, start a fight with a stranger, and shoot him dead?

Besides, if racially mixed states such as California can do just fine without stand-your-ground laws, why is it necessary for other states to have those laws? Stand-your-ground laws sound suspiciously like legalized vigilantism.

Racism lives in the minds and hearts of people (not all, but a few) and it may take decades and generations to be rid of it. Bad laws, on the other hand, could perhaps be addressed within years.

Maybe that is the conversation we should have as a society: Change stand-your-ground laws. Sooner or later our thoughts and feelings will catch up with the laws.

Silloo Tarapore

Lafayette

Recalling the O.J. Simpson verdict

I certainly do not recall wild demonstrations, wanton destruction of public and private property, burning of the flag, nasty graffiti, and denouncements of the verdict by Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, et al., when O.J. Simpson was acquitted of murdering two innocent, unarmed white people in cold blood.

I guess the value of one's life depends on the color of the person's skin.

Sylvia Downs

Concord