Must stand firm for better elder funding

I thank the paper for the thorough coverage of the closing of Valley Springs Manor in Castro Valley. The lack of response from emergency and licensing personnel is shocking. I hope we consider this unfortunate incident a hard lesson learned the next time we weigh budget cuts to the critical programs that were drastically cut in 2008.

It was in 2008 that California proposed the elimination of Ombudsman programs and cutting Community Care licensing by at least 50 percent. The Alzheimer's Association and many of our community partners strongly opposed those cuts -- in fact, we sponsored emergency legislation to allocate funding to at least keep Ombudsman funding at 50 percent.

While we were successful in getting the emergency legislation, I have to believe that if these important oversight programs were functioning at full funding, someone would have responded more capably and in a timely manner to this situation.

Ruth Gay

Public Policy and Advocacy Director Alzheimer's Association, Northern California and Northern Nevada Chapter Lafayette

Government doesn't need any more slack

The author of the Nov. 8 letter, "Government should be given some slack," wants us to cut the government some slack because Google, Yahoo, Facebook and others all do the same thing regarding data collection.


Advertisement

That may be true, but Google can't sic the IRS on you for saying something it doesn't agree with; Amazon can't put you on a terrorist watch list for buying a book that the government doesn't think you read; and Facebook can't cause you to lose a job for being friends with somebody it doesn't think you should be friends with.

No, there are plenty of reasons why we shouldn't cut the government slack for its intrusive web surveillance.

Bill McGregor

Berkeley

Fast yellow light triggers tickets

The red-light camera at Mowry Avenue and Farwell Drive in Fremont flashes more motorists for violations of the straight-through type than any of the other 100 cameras in the Bay Area -- not because this intersection is a magnet for aggressive drivers, but because the yellow light is set one-half second shorter than what it should be.

If the yellow light had been set for the normal speed of traffic, it would be 4.5 seconds long instead of just 4.0 seconds. This missing half-second is important because two-thirds of the 2,000 tickets issued each year go to motorists trapped by this shortened yellow light; that's nearly $1 million per year in fines, fees and assessments.

The notion that a longer yellow just lets those marginal violators off easy has been disproved by data from other intersections where the yellow light had been extended. These violators do not continue to "run the red." These violations simply disappear.

Data also show that longer yellow lights reduce the really late incursions into the intersection. These have a much greater potential for causing collisions, and this is where the real safety benefit lies.

Roger Jones

Organizer Red Light Camera Protest Group Fremont

Cal football is an embarrassment

The Cal-USC game was the worst-played collegiate game I've ever seen, including the debacle at the 2006 Tennessee game; I can still hear Rocky Top Mountain ringing in my ears.

It's obvious from his record that the coach from Louisiana Tech, Sonny Dykes, is in above his head in the Pac-12, and his assistants are inept as evident with the numerous kick returns and porous defense.

I say the entire Cal football team should be disbanded -- those boys are not ready for prime time -- and the funds turned over to Jack Clark and his ruggers who obviously know how to win and how to graduate.

Jim Smith

UCB class of '70 Warner Robins, Ga.

Name Washington's team the Rednecks

The name Washington Redskins has been challenged by some Native Americans as being racist and offensive. The owner of that football team has stated that the name Washington Redskins is not racist but shows respect and honor for Native Americans.

I would like to have the football team owner change the team name to Washington Rednecks. Now before anyone tweets, I will remind them that the word redneck has been used on TV, as well as by a comedian who states "You might be a redneck if ..." So the terminology "redneck" is being used in public and reportedly is not offensive to anyone.

Let's see if the owner of the football team would consider Rednecks as nonoffensive as he considers Redskins.

Walt Randle

Oakland