Letters for September 2 

Readers sound off on Bishop Sal, gay marriage, East Bay parking, "Smart Growth," and union leadership.

Page 4 of 4

Linda Maio.

I then said, rather pointedly, "By the way. I've been meaning to talk with you about the parking situation."

Rolling her eyes and asking her partner, "Did I really want to have this conversation here?" she said, "Well, we have to raise money somehow." So there you have it. We Berkeleyans needn't "worry" if parking tickets are a "tool for closing the budget gap." They are!

And that's taxation in the 21st century: Make up rules that people will break, make them more aggressive, jack up the rates, and send the police to collect the taxes.

For her part, Linda pointed out that Berkeley is under a lot of stress because the University doesn't pay its share. It must be made to do so. One way or the other.

But using the police to extort money to cover the budget gap is *inherently* objectionable, and on sooo many levels. Throw the bums out. Are they really doing *anything* for us?

John Howe, Berkeley

"Anti-Growth Group Wraps Itself in Green," Eco Watch, 8/12

Smart Growth Ain't

As a native, I can't help wishing Berkeley had stopped growing between 1970 and 1980. While it is possible that even denser urban development may reduce people's commutes and consequent greenhouse gases, it's more possible that it will lengthen the commutes of groceries. I have yet to hear a 'Smart Growth' advocate give a good answer for where the food is coming from.

As an engineer, I am not thrilled with the wonderfulness of the LEED standards. Their micro-minutiae lists obscure the forest (while no doubt extracting stacks of paper for listing). Concepts such as passive solar are chopped into little bits and carefully hidden in plain sight. And LEED seems to be blind to idiocies such as leafblowers and lawnmowers, not to mention the diesel trucks that often chauffer them around.

Muriel Strand, SustainableSacramento.blogspot.com, Sacramento

"An East Bay Trail of Tears," Raising the Bar, 8/19

Union Leaders? Try Union Misleaders!

It's becoming very clear that Jay Youngdahl doesn't understand what it is that the labor movement is facing. To start with, what he calls "union leaders," these are actually misleaders, most of whom never worked in the trade they represent but are intellectuals with university titles, including lawyers like Mr. Youngdahl who think they know it all, who started working in the union hall and climbed up from there. Their strategy is to collect the dues; therefore the strike doesn't enter into their plans at all, as exemplified in the BART negotiations, where workers are blackmailed into submission by making them vote until they "get it right" and agree to the concessions demanded by management. In this respect, Robert Gammon also wrote a little shitty note siding with BART's management, in solidarity with his colleagues at the Oakland Tribune.

The contract that the ATU misleaders are putting up for vote to its members, among other concessions, screws up the new hires by increasing the waiting time to be entitled to retirement benefits from five years to fifteen. A great way to divide the workers! Courtesy of your misleaders.

Management is always ready to show the books when they're really losing money but, when times are good, they still demand concessions and the books are not available. At NUMMI, Toyota started to blackmail the workers right after GM decided to withdraw, with the support of state Democrats and corrupt, sell-out union misleaders. On the national level, criminal union misleadership has been pouring workers' money into the coffers of the Democratic Party to get Barack Obama elected and the workers get record unemployment, illegal scab labor, and not even support for the bureaucrats' pet issue, The "Employee Free Choice Act."


Antonio Trossero, San Leandro


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