Rich Clark 
Member since Jun 23, 2009


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Re: “Letters for the week of June 17, 2015

No doubt many welfare recipients who read Ms. Anna Salomone's letter [Banks are Robbing the Poor, Letters, June 17-23] were scratching their heads and wondering why Ms. Salomone did not dig into the reasons for the switch from checks to bankcards. Her complaint was that banks were charging welfare recipients "up to $4 per transaction in order to access their cash benefits". Actual welfare recipients who have received checks in the past will know that $4 is a bargain. It's also safer. Just think about it. According to Ms. Salomone, "an average welfare benefit to a Bay Area family is only $670 per month." Assuming that an average welfare recipient does not have a bank account, and so must rely on a high-priced check cashing service to convert their monthly check into cash, I asked an employee at Payroll Advance, on 2005 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley, how much it would cost to cash a check for $670. The answer was $20.03, which is calculated at the rate of 2.99 percent of the check amount. There is also a serious risk of robbery involved, since the service will not cash only part of the check. If the welfare recipient only wants a hundred dollars to buy some groceries, they still must walk out the door holding $650 in cash, a fact that certainly every street thug knows well. Compare that to an ATM machine which allows the person to withdraw only the amount needed, and the safety issue becomes obvious.

Rich Clark -=- Berkeley, California -=-

Posted by Rich Clark on 06/17/2015 at 7:25 PM

Re: “Bred in Abuse

So where is a photo of Moses Kamin?

1 like, 5 dislikes
Posted by Rich Clark on 08/11/2013 at 11:03 AM

Re: “The Battle Over Biofuels

Regarding a 100 MPG diesel-electric hybrid vehicle, you may be aware that Volkswagen did produce such a prototype for display at the Geneva Auto Show with a 70 MPG rating. Apparently they had plans for production, but then changed their minds, and will only offer straight diesels for 2010, not the diesel-electric hybrid. Beyond that, my understanding is that 80 MPG vehicles have been on sale in Europe for several years. Volkswagen's Lupo, Mercedes A-class, and Audi's A-2 model all get 80 MPG, according to the various web pages. However, if you have such a vehicle shipped here, you will not even get it off the dock, so I was told by the VW people at the auto show in the Moscone Center. Given the above, the prospects for a 100 MPG diesel-eletric hybrid vehicle here in the US appear dim indeed. This is clearly a political situation, not a technological problem. Some engineering students at San Diego State did build such a vehicle with off-the-shelf components three years ago. Their creation was a two-seater sports car called the Enigma, got 80 MPG. A YouTube video of the car is here:

Meanwhile, those of us looking for greener transportation solutions will have to be satisfied with driving a diesel and making biodiesel from waste veg oil.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Rich Clark on 06/23/2009 at 2:20 PM

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