Make it illegal to shut down public transit
It should be illegal for anyone to shut down a major public transportation facility -- e.g. BART -- as a bargaining tactic.
If BART employee unions can use the public's mobility as a bargaining tactic, why shouldn't Caltrans employees be able to close the freeways for the same reasons. I realize this sounds absurd, but it's already absurd to allow a system paid for by the taxpayers and relied on by the public to be held hostage.
Our politicians won't do anything about this because of their habit of accepting money from the unions, so it's time for a ballot initiative.
Oakland A's deserve a better stadium
When Bud Selig said that the A's ballpark is a pit, he is right. And for once I can agree with something the commissioner said.
I have had the pleasure of visiting all the major league parks and rating them, and I can say O.co Coliseum rates in all ways at the bottom, along with Tampa Bay.
The scoreboard is totally out of date, as well as the rest of this multiuse stadium. The old park is just that -- old -- and the A's deserve better.
Pass an amendment to stop shutdowns
The funding crises created by Congress are temporarily passed. We, the people, should never face these threats and coercions again.
California fixed part of a broken budgetary process by taking away any pay, or back pay, for legislators who can't/won't fund operation of the state government.
We now need an amendment to the federal Constitution to do the same kind of fix. An amendment that would not only take away salary, but would declare an inability to fund government by any legal deadlines as an automatic statement of resignation and immediate vacating of office by all members of Congress, both houses, all parties.
New elections would be required in 45 days to refill the offices and restart the governmental process. The resigned officeholders could run again. Until the new Congress can pass the required funding measures, the old budget is in force.
There would never be another shutdown or debt-ceiling crisis. And if legislators aren't doing what they are elected to do, would we really be worse off with an empty Congress? I think not. Power to the people.
Gary L. Wilson
Newspaper should give Quan due credit
Having lived through the Knowland publisher era at the Trib in Oakland (with the highly troubled and corrupt John Houlihan and John Reading mayoral terms) and, more recently, a disappointing Ron Dellums term of office, how can the paper not give our current hardworking, honest and hands-on mayor, Jean Quan, a chance to finish out her first term and give her the credit she deserves for Oakland's thriving economic condition and the city's collective efforts at addressing our challenging, intractable crime problem?
I would at least hold off any endorsement or anti-endorsement until someone else shows up with a better plan.
Quan has done a great job as mayor
Mayor Jean Quan has brought us through the worst economic crisis Oakland has ever seen. She had to cut continuously, but still managed to keep libraries open while employing youth in summer jobs even after the federal moneys for that program were taken away.
She has championed public safety while growing our economy, adding police officers while beginning the long process of transforming our outdated police department into a modern force, accountable to the neighborhoods they police.
She is the only mayor to work on keeping our sports teams in town while providing groundwork for new facilities that will include housing, retail and entertainment, plus jobs for Oaklanders in those facilities.
She has done all this as the state and the feds have reduced support to our city. Crime is not a new problem for Oaklanders, but this mayor is working on multiple fronts to keep us safer: Ceasefire, police reorganization, more dispatchers, investigators.
She took action on the city side of the project moving in 2011 and made changes on the Port Commission. She rescued the state money from being lost in 2012 by her appointment of a new, stronger commission.
Congratulates to our Mayor on the groundbreaking of the Army Base project at 11 a.m. on Nov. 1.
Mercedes S. Rodriguez
Co-chair Block By Block Organizing Network Oakland