Plan attempts to do end-run around zoning

Regarding Tom Barnidge's San Ramon Valley Times article decrying the opponents of Plan Bay Area and Metropolitan Transportation Commission's to shove high-density and low-income housing into our communities: zoning was created to ensure a commonality in development. PBA and MTC want to sidestep normal zoning and require that land and properties be rezoned for high density. He lays the opposition on one activist. He must have missed the SRVT articles about the standing-room-only turnouts for meetings discussing this. He must have not heard of the overwhelming opposition to this horrible scam. How can Danville, Lafayette or Orinda not be seriously harmed by such insanity?

There are a number of bases for the lawsuit filed against MTC and Plan Bay Area. One example: the high numbers they assert for population growth are totally contradicted by other state agencies. Actual historical growth shows little increase. Will the poor children do well in our high achieving schools? Will the children or the parents fit in socially? What jobs will there be for them in upscale communities?

Mark Fernwood

Danville

Bill would wreck mortgage bonds' good reputation

The Times is wrong for supporting AB 639, a bill by Assembly Speaker John Perez that would ask voters to redirect $600 million of bond funds from home mortgages to a variety of social program expenses. Clearly, this is a misappropriation of funds.


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The bonds that fund the California veteran mortgage loan program are attractive to investors because of the excellent repayment record of the veterans who purchase the mortgages. Since the bonds are attractive, they can be sold for top dollar. If you allow the Legislature to misdirect $600 million from home loan mortgages to fund projects with little or no chance of repayment, what do you think will happen to the attractiveness of those bonds.

Perhaps a more important question for The Times to pursue is why the Legislature put forward a bond measure in 2008 for veterans' home loans when half of the funds from a similar 2000 voter-approved bond measure were still unspent.

Patrick Tuohy

San Ramon

Management's, labor's greed ruining country

Quite often, societies are blinded by axiomatic truths without re-examining them regarding their applicability in the changed times or circumstances. Some of the U.S. government's policies are still based on "laissez-faire" economics -- noninterference with individual economic freedom of choice or action.

This economic principle assumes that individual choice and action will always be adjusted to the forces of open competition. Where open competition is eliminated, the highest quality of product cannot be produced for the lowest price. Under such conditions, noninterference by government is an implicit permission to the dominant forces to hijack the economy.

This is happening in America. Unions eliminate open competition and fix wages according to their political force, not in accordance with their competitive contribution. High wages forced by the unions have driven many jobs out of America. Unions of public employees are bankrupting cities.

On the other side, some corporations are also swallowing noncompetitive profit by smart collusions, circumventing the ineptly enforced, weak, ambiguous laws. Look at the U.S. health care industry: the runaway prices are keeping it out of reach of the common man. Captive patients (with debilitating diseases) are ruined in bankruptcy by merciless, astronomical profits without competition. This is well illustrated in an article, "The Bitter Pill" by Steven Brill in Time magazine's March 4 issue.

Noncompetitive wages and profits are hijacking the U.S. economy. The U.S. government must establish a) a Fair Wages Commission and b) a Fair Profit Commission with adequate powers to reestablish the economic order.

T.S. Khanna

Alamo Foundation for Better Government

Obamacare to be disaster for middle class

After talking to my current Medicare supplemental health insurance plan operators, I calculated that my husband and I will have to pay 2.45 times as much next year for the same insurance. Isn't that a 245% increase? Not exactly what Obama and Senator Reed promised.

My sister whose husband is retired and gets California PERS health insurance will pay three times as much. Sadly, that is just the beginning of taxes to be generated as a result of Obamacare. Americans will be barraged by $1 trillion worth of new taxes, the bulk of which will be passed on directly to the middle class. These "stealth taxes" were designed to be taxes on businesses, which will, of course, be transferred on to us. These taxes include the investment income surtax, a Medicare payroll tax and even a "tanning tax."

Let's fund the national parks, the military but not Obamacare.

Joan Hamblin

Danville

Council needs Sachs, and vote 'no' on D and E

It is important for San Ramon's voters to elect Harry Sachs. Sachs' qualifications and civic performance are far superior to all the candidates, especially to the multiple time-incoumbent Dave Hudson. Hudson's claim of "Proven Leadership" is false advertising. He has forfeited the city's control over the City Center to the owner of Bishop Ranch and helped turn that project into a fiasco instead of one that should have had its key governmental elements completed by now. Hudson does not even deserve the tepid endorsement of the San Ramon Valley Times. Vote Sachs for City Council.

The Times' endorsement of Measure D and E is also wrong. The voters should reject these as they have before. Even-year elections bury them into the flotsam and jetsam of the national and state elections. It may save short-term money but the potential for uninformed voter choice will cost so much more in the long run and do permanent damage. Vote No on D and E.

Joseph Covello

San Ramon

Retail uptick may be good for City Center

I read with interest the recent front-page story, "Retail sector surging in the Bay Area." Could this be the news San Ramon city leaders have been waiting for to finally move forward on the long-awaited City Center project?

Camille Thompson

San Ramon