Dodging doggy doo
I AM retired and have become an avid walker. In the neighborhood surrounding Mendenhall School it has become quite a feat trying to avoid doggy doo on the sidewalks built for pedestrian traffic.
It is a sad state when the owners of these canine waste producers can't seem to bend down and retrieve the present their pet has deposited on the sidewalk.
I also notice there are shoe prints around the 2-5 size area imprinted in the doo. This tells me the children being sent off to school either tread through the doo coming or going.
This is an open letter to those owners too lazy to clean up after their pets or who send their children out to walk those pets, to have a little common sense and do their duty by picking up the doo.
Lay off top DAs
CONTRA COSTA County District Attorney Bob Kochly is predicting Armageddon if his office has to absorb a $1.9 million budget hit. He has stated that he will have to lay off 18 deputy district attorneys and that he will no longer prosecute some misdemeanors, including petty theft.
All of this is designed to create panic among citizens and merchants alike. I may have a solution. Since deputy DAs serve at the pleasure of Kochly and don't enjoy civil service protection, lay off the 18 most senior attorneys. Theoretically, these are the highest paid attorneys in the office. Shift the responsibilities of these attorneys to the next, most senior deputy DAs. Advise them that their new responsibilities do not include a pay raise, but they do include a job.
Kochly should meet with the graduating class of students at JFK law school and promise the first 18 graduates who pass the bar exam a job. These attorneys will make far less money than the attorneys they replaced. In these tough economic times, they will jump at the opportunity. Voila, problem solved. The first two deputy DAs to be fired should be John Cope and Steven Bolen. Their remarks in a recent article about the budget cuts reflect that their focus has been more on how to scare the populace than on how to find a creative solution to the problem.
Reform foreign aid
IN LINE with my Christian faith, I agree with the necessity of reforming the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 ("Clergy join fight against world poverty," April 2).
I believe that God intends that everyone in His creation should be able to experience prosperity and well-being, not just a few, nor should prosperity and well-being be achieved at the expense of others.
U.S. foreign aid programs currently provide significant benefits to poor and hungry people around the world: enabling millions of children to receive an education, reducing infant mortality through immunizations, empowering women heads of households through provision of job skills and micro enterprise loans, providing improved seeds and farming techniques for farmers, and increasing life expectancy for HIV/AIDS patients from antiretroviral medicines. Funding for these poverty-focused development programs must be continued and even increased.
Beyond this, reform of the Foreign Assistance Act must align U.S. aid, trade, migration, energy and environmental policies to promote sustainable development that reduces global poverty. Current aid policies that are exacerbating poverty in developing nations must be reformed.
To the maximum extent possible, emergency food assistance should promote regional purchase and distribution of food, rather than shipping U.S. grown commodity crops which can undermine indigenous food production capacity and increase dependency.
That the U.S. economy is in turmoil, and that we face the prospect of large budget deficits makes it imperative that foreign assistance be reformed to be truly effective, but not used as reasons for pulling back.