Unenforced laws are simply not effective

A Sept. 6 My Word regarding smoking and cigarette litter was right on the mark.

I walk extensively in and around downtown Berkeley and the North Shattuck shopping district, and can attest to the high volume of trash directly related to the habits of smokers.

There is a problem in most areas, but there seems to be certain hot spots where there are amazingly high numbers of butts -- bus stops, bars, restaurants, outside Berkeley City College and downtown Berkeley BART plaza.

It is ironic that banning smoking indoors pushes smokers onto the streets -- despite Berkeley's several unenforced anti-smoking ordinances -- which has the unintended consequence that the butts that would have been placed in ashtrays inside now end up on the sidewalk, gutters and, ultimately, waterways leading to the bay.

Berkeley officials must come up with a plan to deal with this problem. It is one thing to pass laws that make us all feel warm and fuzzy because we took care of a problem, and a far different thing to actually have a plan for enforcement.

I absolutely support efforts to eliminate smoking and its damage to the environment. However, just passing laws that are not enforced is counterproductive.


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In the meantime, smokers, keep your butts to yourselves.

Joseph Brulenski

Berkeley

News media focused on the wrong teams

The news media are pro-San Francisco sports.

The Oakland A's are at the top of their division, playing exciting baseball, yet all the sports media talk about are the 49ers and last-place Giants.

Sure, the Giants won two out of the last three years' World Series, but what it actually means is that the Giants won two out of the last 55 years.

Also, I don't hear the crying 49ers fans talking "5 for 5" anymore, or mentioning that the 49ers are the finesse team anymore.

The Oakland Athletics should get more coverage in the sports section. Keep the San Francisco Giants and the San Francisco 49ers in their papers across the bay.

Robert Hunziker

Fremont

Single-state option has ulterior motive

A Sept. 10 letter suggests "sharing" the land of Israel. A "one-state solution" is simply code for the destruction of Israel.

The author cites a Jewish convert to Islam and disputed 1948 events to justify Arab/Muslim hatred and murder of Jews. Jews of Arabia rebuffed the demand of Islam's founder to convert; thus began Islam's hatred for Jews -- 1,300 years ago. Arabs/Muslims were murdering Jews in Britain's Mandate Palestine in the 1920s and 1930s, even before modern Israel became a political reality.

The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, a frequent Nazi guest in Berlin, asked Hitler to come to the Middle East -- after the anticipated Nazi victory in World War II and the murder of 6 million Jews in Europe -- to complete the annihilation of the Jews.

Those who hate never let full facts get in the way of their hatred. Joseph Goebbels, Nazi minister of propaganda, aptly noted: If you tell a big enough lie, long enough, people will believe it.

Using freedom of the press to instill hatred will be rejected by a well-educated public.

Fred Korr

Oakland

So many people here don't know history

OMG, what a genuine response. I totally agree with the author of the Sept. 11 letter, "Why don't you live in 'your' country?"

His response relating to the history of a people being brought to this country via slave ships brought to my attention once again how some people have not the slightest knowledge of the history of this country, how many people were brought here under duress (in chains), or how many came with privileges.

The woman who decried that the U.S. was contemplating attacking her "country" really showed that she was not in the place she considered her country.

The suggestion that the letter writer gave to all those who dislike and complain about the U.S. -- naming all the exits they may consider taking -- was awesome.

Joyce Jenkins

Berkeley

Running over Brown every day therapeutic

As someone who lived in San Francisco in the late '90s, I say why not name the new Bay Bridge span after the city's -- sorry, I meant The City's -- former mayor?

I mean, what's better than a commuter being able to say, "Hey, hun, I ran my car over Willie Brown this morning"?

The only thing, I think, is being able to say, "And on the reverse commute, I did it again."

Tony Mason

Oakley