Statewide bag ban needs test period

Any deal to ban carryout plastic supermarket bags statewide should be implemented strictly on a temporary five-year trial basis.

After five years, the law should be subject to a review and renew process. If, at the five year mark, it cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the law has accomplished its intended objectives, the law should automatically repeal itself.

After all, can we really be certain the local/county bag bans have done any good?

Robert Minot

Alameda

State's priorities for water in wrong place

Recently, the paper ran an article about how important the almond industry is to California's economy, how they bring in 21/2 times as much as wine, and 80 percent of the world's almonds come from California.

Now we see Gov. Jerry Brown shutting off the water supply to agriculture. Really?

Meanwhile, I see on TV that ski resorts are depending on man-made snow. A foot-deep over how many hundreds of acres? Made from water. Why is this not restricted first? Skiing does not bring in the money that agriculture does. When you need to face a critical shortage, recreation goes first, not the essentials.

This is California. We have 840 miles of coastline and could take money from the overpriced and ill-considered high-speed rail project to create desalination plants to eliminate water-shortage problems. For the estimated $69 billion of the HSR, we could build 43 plants ($1.6 billion each), and each would produce 128 million gallons per day.

Why the heck are we paying for water resources board? Why didn't they think of this?

Jim Cauble

Hayward

Unions fight against corporation power

The author of the Feb. 4 letter, "Democracy works in the workplace," only forgot one thing in his excellent letter regarding corporate power: Strong unions would be a great equalizer for workers against the ruthlessness of corporations.

Bob Williams

Pleasanton

Tenure fight about breaking up unions

This is regarding the recent editorial, "Los Angeles battle over teacher tenure is needed fight."

It is not true that a tenured K-12 teacher cannot be fired. Tenure at this level refers to the need for due process; a teacher cannot be fired for political or personal reasons.

Corporations are seeking to break up teacher unions and are seeking to turn a profit at the hands of our public school children. This is the real issue, not the myth of the bad teacher with the supposed ability to ruin lives.

Attributing a business model to public education, as is done in this editorial, discounts the very nature of schooling. Schooling is not a quantifiable matter; each child represents a unique set of data that cannot be replicated, as does each teacher.

Removing tenure for K-12 teachers opens the way for politically motivated firings that are never to do with the children, simply to do with toeing the corporate line.

Liz Murray

San Francisco

'Coming out' now truly no big deal

In the Jan. 26 front-page article, Brian Boitano proclaimed, "I don't think coming out is a really big deal these days."

Boitano couldn't be more correct. It would have been a big deal if he'd had the courage and honesty to "come out" when he won the Olympic gold medal in 1988. It would have been a big deal 26 years ago for all the young gay men and women who needed a role model.

How many young gay men and women have been harassed, bullied and felt they had no choice but to commit suicide during the last 26 years?

I understand that coming out is a personal choice. However, Boitano has no right to be standing next to Billie Jean King representing this country. King sacrificed millions of dollars in endorsement money and a large part of her career to stand up for what is right.

Jay Brome

Vallejo

Nobel Peace Prize given to a traitor?

I couldn't believe what I was reading. Traitors are considered for the Nobel Peace Prize?

Edward Snowden has betrayed his country and deserves the subsequent consequences of his actions.

Christopher Barawed

Martinez