No credible excuse for exorbitant gas prices

Here we go again. Another so-called problem at Exxon Mobil's Torrance oil refinery.

This comes on the heels of the fire at the Richmond refinery last month.

Both of these "accidents" are causing exorbitant gas price increases, notwithstanding the damage to the health and well-being of the neighbors of these plants.

There is simply no credible excuse for these tragic errors that affect so many people and businesses. U.S. citizens pay for these errors at an unconscionable cost.

If NASA was run the way that these gas companies are, we would never have gotten to the moon.

Linda S. Messick

Oakland

A's belong in Oakland, not in the South Bay

If nothing else has shown that the A's need to stay in Oakland, maybe this will:

I live in Oakland, but I work in San Jose. While at work, I was checking surreptitiously on the Internet to keep track of the third and final A's-Rangers game.

There was no office buzz that it would be momentous if they won. Even when they took the lead, there was no office buzz. The later in the game it got, the more excited I became -- but I couldn't hear or sense anything in the office vibe.

When the A's finally won and clinched the division title, I didn't hear a peep above the cubicle walls. If it had been the Giants (or the Mets), I guarantee I would have heard something.

San Jose does not give a hoot about the A's. They belong in Oakland.

Michelle DeRobertis

Oakland

Zoo tax money must be administered publicly

The Oakland Zoo is pushing hard for the passage of Oakland Measure A1, which would be funded by a countywide parcel tax. By playing on our sympathy for soft, furry animals and our sense of responsibility to our families' resources, the East Bay Zoological Society and Zoo Director Joel Parrott want us to authorize a tax to maintain and update the zoo facilities.

It is troubling that the millions of dollars in public funds generated by the tax would not be administered by a public entity, but by the East Bay Zoological Society, which, as a private foundation, is not required to follow sunshine laws that apply to governmental action.

The city of Oakland has not audited the zoological society's accounts in many years -- and would entrust control over millions of residents' dollars to an appointed citizens oversight committee that would meet only once a year. An open-ended check for the zoo is not a smart investment. As much as we all may care about the future of the zoo, we need to vote no on A1.

Barbara Kluger

Oakland

Stay out of the affairs of other countries

I am sick and tired of reading in the paper and seeing on TV news about anti-U.S. protests.

Let these countries that have gotten our people in the service killed and are killing each other, kill each other off, and stay out of the fighting over there that never seems to end.

We have given so much money and so many supplies to foreign countries and have gotten very little thanks from them.

Let them fight their own battles.

We have a lot of things to fix in our own country, and a lot of our own people need help.

We get very little thanks for anything we do, so it's time to put a stop to it.

A lot of our people need help and can't get it. Shame on us.

Dorothy Allen

San Leandro

Manufacturing is key to a strong economy

I believe the Nov. 6 presidential and congressional elections are critical for the future of our country. For full employment and sufficient tax revenue, we must bring back our full manufacturing capabilities in the private sector.

As we now stand, the redistribution of wealth with unlimited spending favored by our present government has discouraged private business and has destroyed the individual will to work, succeed and prosper without government interference.

We must make and sell goods worldwide where private companies become the major thrust of our economy and where business and workers provide tax revenue to fund our government.

Mitt Romney and most Republicans believe in capitalism where a limited but strong federal government has sufficient revenue through fair taxation to meet the obligations of our Constitution.

Emil Raffetto

Hayward