Thwart telemarketers without federal list
I hope to provide the author of a June 19 letter, and others with similar issues, options for disconnecting calls from telemarketers or solicitors.
First, I have caller ID on my phone, which identifies the number from which the caller has placed the call. If you don't recognize the number, do not answer the phone. You also may wish to dial back the number and confront the caller.
As a second deterrent, let the call go to voice mail. At the end of your greeting include the following: "Please no telemarketers or solicitors." The caller will always hang up without leaving a message.
This method is far superior to being placed on a "do-not-call" list or dealing with federal bureaucracy.
Reconsider suicide barrier nonsense
I see the cost of the proposed Golden Gate Bridge suicide barrier has gone up from $50 million to $76 million ("Suicide barrier planned," June 24). And in the next three years it takes to make a stainless-steel net, how much more will it cost?
This is just ridiculous. So, you jump from the bridge and land in a net. What's to keep a determined suicide victim from climbing up the net and jumping out of it? This is not prevention, this is just a delay. Maybe if they make the net out of razor wire, nobody will want to jump into it? Or, they could just jump in front of a Caltrain or BART train and still accomplish their goal.
This is a huge waste of money to make the bridge ugly and spend money we don't have. The money would be better spent by directing it to suicide prevention -- by any means. Let's reconsider this nonsense.
Must do better job of protecting Bay
The San Francisco Bay is a natural treasure for all California, but the Bay is at risk of being contaminated with toxic waste.
The Environment California Research & Policy Center's report, "Wasting Our Waterways," ranks San Francisco Bay as the fourth most polluted nationally iconic watershed, with 1.67 million pounds of toxic pollution discharged in 2012.
The Clean Water Act was passed to protect waterways like the Bay. Sadly, lawsuits brought by polluters have put 140,000 miles of California's streams at risk of losing this protection.
The Environmental Protection Agency is closing the loopholes in the Clean Water Act, but big polluters are pressuring the EPA to back down.
We know San Francisco Bay is a big part of what makes California great. The EPA should restore Clean Water Act protections so that California's waterways endure for future generations to enjoy.
Volunteer Environment California Research & Policy Center Oakland
Paper must report on Bakken crude
We should pay attention to the issues raised by a demonstration at the Kinder Morgan rail terminal in Richmond last month covered in this paper.
The transportation of highly volatile Bakken crude and highly corrosive Alberta tar sands crude through our area is another threat to the health and safety of us refinery-belt residents. Our area already has higher rates of cancer and respiratory illnesses.
Earlier this year, the Times reported that the National Transportation Safety Board believes that current regulations are not sufficient to ensure the safety of crude-by-rail shipments of the more volatile and dangerous Bakken crude. Tank car explosions and fires in Quebec and Virginia emphasize this point.
Crude-by-truck seems even more dangerous than crude-by-rail. Serious jackknife and rollover highway accidents are certainly possible. Are the tank trailers carrying Bakken crude able to roll over in an accident without exploding?
The media must be vigilant and thorough in reporting on transport and refinery issues. The public needs to pay close attention to these situations for our own protection.
Offering another approach on guns
Retired Supreme Court Justice Stevens has suggested an amendment to the Second Amendment that would limit gun ownership to those "actively serving in a militia," thus, eliminating private gun ownership.
I also suggest an amendment. However, my approach is quite different. The change must irrefutably confirm the rights of all persons to own guns. Then, as quid pro quo, the National Rifle Association and gun owners must support gun registration and instant background checks.
My suggestion confirms the right to bear arms and makes it harder for criminals and those with mental illness to legally purchase firearms. It is a common-sense solution to a stubborn, deadlocked problem.