Keep pets safe from coyotes

The coyotes are back!

I live on the Iron Horse Trail between Pine Valley and the golf course. I am up at 4 a.m. every morning. Recently I have been hearing the coyotes howling. Sometimes they are close to my back yard. Also early in the morning I have cats that come and visit. Evidently, they either are let out early in the morning or are out all night. One cat visitor has not been around for a month.

If you have pets and truly love them, do not let them out at nights or early in the morning. Coyotes are out looking for food, and their next meal may be your pet. If you live around the trail or golf course, I would take extra precautions. The coyotes come down from the hills, hunt along the golf course and come down to the Iron Horse Trail. I walk early and sometimes see them in the neighborhoods. One morning at 9 a.m. I saw a coyote with a cat behind Lucky's on Alcosta. Please warn your friends who have pets.

Laura Latt

San Ramon

Medical advice from 'Watson' troubling trend

Love it when naysayers start whining about a government takeover of U.S. health care. Does it ever ring the same bells for these folks when medicine and the insurance industry join forces to start programming supercomputers to "determine what treatments should be authorized for payment" (i.e. "IBM's Watson Will Work with Doctors, Insurers,' in the Feb. 9 Times)? Be assured that cost is the primary parameter for insurance industry criteria in programming. Consumers and government aren't there.

In the past, no questions were asked about hidden agendas for "altruistic" partnerships between drug studies, the National Institutes of Health, the FDA and Big Pharma. Now software projects between insurance corporations and medical centers are following a pattern. Government has no role in this software deal that is sure to be a first step in pricing treatments. Is the best treatment a primary driver? There are no regulations for this new type of electronic decision tree. Watch out, doctors -- you can be replaced by a machine. So you believe that the government is taking over your health care with the 2010 Affordable Care Act? Think again. Business is not innately altruistic. Science reduced to a "recipe card" is not grand for the patient.

Jan Howe, R.N. (ret.)

San Ramon

Dome theater's closure a shame

I'd like to add one more voice to the chorus of dismay regarding the closure of the dome theater in Pleasant Hill.

Several writers have pointed out that this theater is the only location this side of Berkeley for patrons who enjoy foreign and independent films. I consider this theater a true community asset. It would be a shame to lose it. Like many people, I am puzzled by the rationale that eliminates something that is one-of-a-kind in order to replace it with something that we seem to have in excess. I hope we can convince the city planners to rethink this decision.

Ann Walker

Danville

Beware perils of fracking for fossil fuels

Thanks for your editorial on fracking. I wish you had taken a stronger stand.

Fracking is far more destructive than you described, because of the unknown chemicals (so called "trade secrets"), that are shot into the earth with such force that no one can account for the results -- for now or for the future. Million of tons of sand accompany these chemicals, forcing them to unknown depths and areas that could cause pollution for years to come. They could bubble up years later, far from the original source and impossible to trace.

The amounts of shale recovered would serve as a resource for only a few years, but the damage would be immeasurable for many years to come: affecting our waterways, aquifers, wildlife and yes, human life. If it poisoned one person, it would not be worth it. It would profit a few and cost billions in untold damage. Commercial companies are notorious for their wanton destruction; few care about the environment as it stands now. Fracking should be outlawed.

Barbara Meistrele

Alamo

Opening party for Bay Bridge to be too pricey

Do the math: to spend $5.6 million to let 125,000 people walk across the Bay Bridge (on Labor Day) will cost $44.80 per walker. Obviously, charging $5 or $10 will not be enough to cover the cost of this fantastic opportunity. Why not cancel the "party" for all but the planners of the bridge party and make them pay $45 and walk the 6 miles all by themselves while we watch them on the news?

Jane Beyss

San Ramon

If Constitution doesn't support a law, ignore it

America, wake up! You're rapidly losing your Constitutional rights; yet you continue to elect politicians who have few moral values, have little knowledge of our Constitution and think nothing of lying to the American people.

We trust too many unreliable sources in determining what is or isn't true or Constitutional. The mainstream news media seldom reports facts, the ACLU works against the Constitution and our courts have pretty much decided themselves out of relevance. I blame U.S. citizens for allowing so many unconstitutional laws to be passed, read the Constitution. If you know a law is unconstitutional, ignore it.

The current battle over gun control is a prime example; what a waste of time and money, citizens are already banned from owning military weapons (assault weapons). No government agency has the power or authority to monitor my gun collection or magazine capacity. Licensing and gun confiscation are unconstitutional, so I won't participate in any unenforceable laws they may pass.

Richard D. Hudson

Livermore

Super Bowl's anthem from Keys' just fine

Muriel Kahsen's remarks regarding Alicia Keys' rendition of the national anthem at the Super Bowl were totally irrational.

Music and its style is expression. A different rendition of the national anthem, for example, is just as "patriotic" as the one written many, many years ago. We are in a world that is constantly changing. We are a creative people. We are a free people. Using creativity helps us grow and experience new things.

The "olden days" are gone, Ms. Kahsen. Get modern ... don't be so negative. Have an open mind ... or turn off your TV, computer and stop reading.

P.S. -- I am over 60.

Eileen Stein

Danville

Carnival ordeal raises question

Editor: This is a rhetorical question. Why was the Carnival Triumph towed for four days to Mobile, Ala., putting the entire 4,000 passengers through all kinds of misery when it could have been towed 150 miles to the Yucatán coast of Mexico? Answer: the passengers did not have passports to Mexico. How many of the 11 million illegal immigrants here in the USA have passports?

Robert R. Wood

Livermore