Make AC Transit get fiscal house in order
This is in response to a Sept. 21 letter in which the author argues that more funds are required so that AC Transit can fix potholes and not cut $10 million in service.
I have a better idea. Let's redeploy all the unused and underutilized routes to the more populated areas and improve services there. Let's audit AC Transit before it gets any more money.
I am tired of seeing buses in Pleasanton, Livermore and Dublin driving around almost empty. As I drive south on I-880 early in the morning, no one is on those buses but the bus driver.
The point is not the "small sacrifice" of a half-cent tax. The point is that AC Transit does not use its existing resources wisely. It is time to bring the same discipline of setting priorities and husbanding scarce resources that the private sector must deal with every day.
No on Measure B1. AC Transit must get its financial house in order before any more funds are extorted from hard working taxpayers.
Zoo's expansion plan makes little sense
Local issues can get lost in a presidential election year. One that should not be overlooked is the Oakland Zoo's Measure A1, an Alameda County 25-year irrevocable parcel tax.
The zoo is trying to sell this to taxpayers by calling it humane animal care, but the measure will actually give the zoo huge amounts of money with almost no strings attached.
This tax money may be used to fund the zoo's $72 million expansion into Knowland Park, a development project that would destroy and enclose what is now beautiful native park land that is open to the public.
At a time when funds are needed for the most basic community services -- fire, police, schools, libraries -- the zoo's outrageously expensive development plans make no sense, and neither does a parcel tax that can be used to fund this project. Vote no on Measure A1.
Just cannot depend on leaderless government
I am sensing a blockade on any new taxes. In the November elections, we are again being asked to pay more in support of schools and other things.
Sure, our schools are important and education is said to be a priority. Will people support these increases? I don't think so, and it's not because people think schools are not important.
People are fed up with government waste, funding trains to nowhere, political perks, increases in health costs, lack of pension reform, no federal budget, funding senseless wars, funding every social program that comes along, sending billions of dollars to countries that hate us. The reality is, with our debt and lousy economy and high unemployment, people are really uncertain how they are going to pay for things at home.
Telltale sign: Earlier this year, we couldn't even pass a cigarette tax on the reviled smokers.
The real issue is a lack of any government leadership. We have blamers, stonewallers and attorneys who are all too happy with the status quo. We can't depend on a leaderless government.
World Bank not keeping promise
When one student takes money away from another, it's called bullying. What is it called when the World Bank does it?
In 2010, the World Bank promised it would add $750 million over the next five years to help the least developed countries provide basic education for 61 million children not in school. Now it's reneging by quietly changing the numbers to which the $750 million would be added. Instead of giving $6.8 billion, it would now give $2.3 billion less between 2011 and 2015.
For an international organization whose mission statement proclaims its purpose as ending global poverty, its backpedaling on education is unacceptable. Enabling children, especially girls, to get a basic, grade-school education multiplies the effect of all development programs.
Without education children never learn to read, write, add or subtract. Their ignorance keeps them at the mercy of corrupt governments, greedy businessmen and unpredictable weather.
Even a divided U.S. Congress should be able to unite in urging the World Bank to keep its original promise.