Redskins should not change name
I support the decision of the Washington Redskins' owner not to change the team's name.
The team originated in 1932 with that name and there is no reason it should be removed. Many Native Americans of the Oneida Nation do not even admit the term is historical as it applies to the team and if you asked the team's fans, I would dare say that 99 percent of them wouldn't even think the term "Redskins" was a racial slur.
With outrage expressed by some faculty members, the University of Illinois was forced in 2007 to remove their mascot, Chief Illiniwek, who had been a symbol of the university since 1926.
This is reminiscent of my hometown of Memphis where three Civil War parks with the name "Confederate" had their name plates ordered removed by a majority black city council. The name "Confederate" had been associated with the parks for more than 100 years and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
My question is: "Why make changes to names of organizations and structures after 50-100 years?" I know history may be painful to some, but we don't just simply rewrite it based on our own personal likes/dislikes or politics.
Quan incompetent mayor, should resign
Jean Quan is the most unqualified and incompetent mayor the city of Oakland has ever witnessed since her predecessor, Ron Dellums, left office. Mayoral candidate Don Perata was elected mayor by popular vote, but because of the Ranked Choice Voting process, the residents of Oakland have been subjected to her ineptness.
Her defensive reply, "Editorial ignores exceptional progress in Oakland," does not excuse the fact that she ran ex-City District Attorney John Russo out of town because he was trying to curb gang violence with a court injunction and she was opposed to it. It also does not excuse that she ran ex-Police Chief Anthony Batts out of town because she wouldn't support Oakland police officers.
Her failure to support these two city officials, alone, speaks volumes about her inability to manage a city. The editorial about the mayor's performance is accurate and truthful and that is why Quan should resign.
BART management caved to unions
Once again, BART board and management have caved in to the unions. I thought things might be different this time. But for 40 years, the unions have always had it their way, so why won't they this time?
Go to the public employee website and go to BART employee salaries. In 2012, 60 train operators, with overtime, made more than $90,000; 33 of them more than $100,000. Also, 45 station agents, with overtime, made more than $80,000; 23 of them more than $90,000.
How many people get fringe benefits like these: An employee pays $130 a month for medical, which covers spouse and all eligible dependents; paid vision and dental, which covers spouse and dependents; 13 paid holidays; sick leave one day a month, accumulated up to 250 working days; three weeks vacation after one year, rising to six weeks after 20 years; and shift differentials.
BART management at the start of negotiations offered an 8 percent wage increase over four years. They settled for approximately 16 percent. They wanted the employee contribution to the medical to be based on the number of family members covered. They settled for a $27-a-month increase with no limit. They wanted employees to start contributing to a pension with 2 percent the first year. They settled for 1 percent a year, which reaches 4 percent after four years.
How anyone could say that the unions didn't come out way ahead this time around is beyond me.
Richard Van Kirk