Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Thursday June 18, 2009 - 07:47:00 PM


Editors, Daily Planet: 

Perhaps the only way to stop abortion docs from being murdered and/or intimidated is to hire Blackwater, “the world’s most powerful mercenary army,” to protect them. Obama should step up to the bat and do it! Here’s a true way of reaching across the aisle. 

Robert Blau 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

On June 8, the Social Justice Committee of the Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists (BFUU) co-sponsored an event there to raise money for the Palestinian cause. A couple of weeks before the event, the Jewish community had told committee members some interesting things about the fundraiser’s scheduled performer, Gilad Atzmon.  

What the committee learned is that Atzmon has made statements and coined terms which many people find extremely troubling. Perhaps the most offensive of these is his concept of “Jewishness.” Atzmon describes Jewishness in his online lexicon as:  

“Jewish ideology, the interpretations of the meaning of being a Jew by those who regard themselves as Jews. Jewishness is the core of Jewish identity, it is a dynamic notion. It is hard to pin down. While refraining from criticizing Jews (the people) and Judaism (the religion), elaborating on Jewishness is a must, especially considering the crimes committed by the Jewish state in the name of Jewish people. As long as the Jewish state is shelling civilians with white phosphorous, it is our ethical duty to question: Who are the Jews? What does Judaism stand for? What is Jewishness all about?” 

Say what? How can all the parts of this definition cohere? Atzmon maintains that we should refrain from criticizing Jews and Judaism, but at the same time we should “question” (a euphemism for blame) Jews and Judaism because Israel is committing its crimes against the Palestinian people “in the name of Jewish people.”  

So does he or does he not blame Jews and Judaism for Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians? Atzmon attended a meeting with some Social Justice folks prior to that evening’s performance. There, he didn’t clarify this question but he did raise a new one when he explained that Jewishness is “an ideology,” based on “we are the best; chosenness, tribalism, expansionism.”  

Are we to believe that the qualities of tribalism and expansionism are uniquely embodied in Jews? It would seem so because if Atzmon considered them to be common human problems, he surely wouldn’t gather them under the label of Jewishness.  

Asked at the fundraiser if he could find a better word than Jewishness to describe those universal flaws, Atzmon refused to budge. Apparently, no other word will do.  

And here I have to confess that I still don’t know what Jewishness is. But I have a pretty good idea of what Atzmon is.  

Judy Shelton 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

In seeking to discredit a city-sponsored study on the feasibility of high-rise development in the downtown in the June 11 Daily Planet, Dave Blake, in his reader commentary, “A Frightful Decision for Downtown,” says that “A similar such feasibility study 13 years ago established conclusively that no grocery store could stand a chance of surviving at the present Berkeley Bowl site down Shattuck.” 

This was not the conclusion of the study that Dave Blake references, the South Berkeley Retail Market Analysis performed by Economic & Planning Systems, Inc. under contract to the City of Berkeley. The study (Finding 1, Executive Summary) states that “comparison of supply to demand suggests unmet demand for about 60,000 square feet of grocery store space.” It states that the Berkeley market was “oversupplied with higher-priced format stores” but would easily support a grocery store in a lower-priced format. The success of the 43,000-square-foot Berkeley Bowl that opened at the former Safeway site three years later shows that the city consultant’s study was accurate. (The net addition of grocery store space from the Berkeley Bowl at the Safeway site was only 17,000 square feet since the Bowl closed its former 26,000-square-foot location at 2777 Shattuck Ave.) 

The fact that the Bowl’s owners, Glenn and Diane Yasuda, have gone on to open a 51,000-square-foot store at 920 Heinz in West Berkeley, close to but not in the market area considered in the study, shows that its projection of unmet demand was indeed “conservative,” as the study itself claimed. 

The consulant who performed the study, Joanne Brion, should be given credit for careful and accurate work on an important policy issue for the City of Berkeley. As a city staff person who assisted her and retains a copy of her study, I would allow anyone to examine it by calling me at 981-7534. 

David Fogarty  




Editors, Daily Planet: 

Amazingly, they’re almost gone, and uncool as it sounds I will miss the American car and its kin. I doubt I weep alone, since for over a century they’ve been our drug of first choice. More importantly, it’s been said that the corporate giants of the departing Big Three, with the U.A.W., created the middle class—another notion on its way out. 

Allow me to cite a few conspicuous offerings conferred by each. General Motors gave us the ’55 Chevy, the Corvette, the GTO, and the front-wheel-drive ’66 Toronado, a personal favorite. Oh, Louis Chevrolet was a race-car driver. (Notice a pattern?) From ever-classy Chrysler came the ’34 Airflow; the wood-clad Town and Country; whopper tailfins in the ’50s; the ’64 Gas Turbine Car, an early experiment in greening; the five-year/50,000-mile warranty; minivans; some sharp retro’s lately; and a first-rate piece of architecture, Manhattan’s beloved Chrysler Building. It also borrowed a billion from Reagan in ’81, re-grouped, and repaid the loan in a couple of years instead of crapping about why it couldn’t. Ford is the iconic marque, its founder the classic American success: thanks in large to old Henry’s $5-dollar/eight-hour workday/five-day workweek, there could be a chicken in every Model T in every old horsebarn; hello, post-war party, with the ’49 Coupe, the ’50 Mercury, and Les Paul on the radio; the Continental Mark II, Thunderbird, and Mustang; and today, every police car you see (please someone, explain to me how you can corner that market and still lose your silk shirt). 

And, let’s not forget the Rambler, whose seat made into a bed; the mighty Duesenberg, peferred chariot of earthly divinities; the sublime ’37 Cord; making out in Daddy’s car; and a rusted-out pickup, asleep in a country field. 

Hand me that wrench. 

Phil Allen 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

I live in North Berkeley where the Cheeseboard is on Shattuck Avenue. When the weather gets nice the patrons of the Cheeseboard, mainly college kids, are sitting on the median in the middle of Shattuck, right under the signs that doing this is against the law with the Berkeley Municipal Code listed but this code is unenforceable because no one reads the signs and there was an accident a few years back which brought this code into being. People, wise up how many deaths have to occur before you take your pizza home and eat it in your own front, back or side yard. 

Anita Fiessi 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

Obama continues Bush’s endless wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He’s adding tens of thousands of American troops into the Afghan quagmire and increasing the use of private contractors like the reconstituted and renamed Blackwater. Bush “war on terror” domestic spying tactics—condemned as violations of constitutional rights—continue under Obama. At the same time, Code Pink has disappeared from the scene.  

See, Code Pink’s loud Berkeley protests were not really protests against unjust wars and constitutional rights violations. They were instead vehicles for Democratic Party politicians to take power from Republican Party politicians (while continuing Bush policies). And Berkeley was subjected to untold economic harm, ridicule and disgrace nationally as Code Pink used Berkeley to smear our US Marine Corps as “war criminals” solely to help the Democratic Party retake the White House. Code Pink is a disgrace. 

Nathaniel Hardin 

El Cerrito 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

Armed with long shopping lists, friends and I visited the new Berkeley Bowl for the first time Saturday morning. We were struck by the size of this building located at Ninth and Heinz. From the outside it looked more like a government building—say, the FBI—than a grocery store. Certainly the interior was very impressive, with wide aisles (so no bumping into carts), beautifully displayed produce, tempting take-out food in the deli, several check out stands and friendly staff. All in all, this new Bowl obviously has much to offer its customers. 

Nonetheless, we all agreed that something was missing. That something was the noticeable absence of diversity in the shoppers, the very thing that makes the “old” Bowl on Shattuck Avenue so distinct, and, to my mind Berkeley’s own United Nations. There were few, if any, customers of color. No graceful Indian saris, bold African caftans, no bearded men with turbans, nor young men wearing yarmulkes. There was definitely a total lack of that richness of ethnicity and cultures I associate with the Berkeley Bowl, at least not on this particular morning. But, to be fair, the store is new. Hopefully, as more customers are drawn to this Bowl, the makeup of race and nationalities will be more evident. 

The outside of the new building also leaves much to be desired. There are no stone benches where one can sit while waiting for friends, no newspaper venders, no activists asking people to sign petitions. Not to be totally negative, the store has a great parking lot. 

Granted that the new Berkeley Bowl is a welcome addition to our community, I, for one, will continue to shop at the old Berkeley Bowl—fighting for a parking place, bumping into grocery carts in crowded aisles, and standing in line at the check out counter for what seems like an eternity, thereby making interesting new friends. 

Oh, yes, this is my store and I treasure it! 

Dorothy Snodgrass 





Editors, Daily Planet: 

In his commencement speech to Stanford grads, Justice Kennedy implored the 2009 graduating class to “protect and enable freedom and law around the world.” I wonder if the good Justice had to suppress a smirk when he delivered those words? Does he not know that the U.S. Special Forces are training and funding lethal death squads in Iraq—death squads that are free of any governmental constraints and who summarily try and execute innocent civilians at will? Is this the type of “freedom and law” that Justice Kennedy is urging our young people to emulate? I will be much more inclined to embrace the hopeful words of Justice Kennedy when he and his colleagues, and those of the executive and legislative branches of our government, demand that all U.S.-funded terrorism cease immediately. 

For a complete report on the latest US death squads, see, Shane Bauer’s revealing June 22 article in The Nation. 

Tom Kelly 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

Some may have noticed the June 6 and 7 San Francisco Chronicle articles pertaining to the arrest of a retired U.S. State Department official and his wife—also retired—charged with mainly U.S. economic spying for Cuba. The Cuba referred to in these articles is an unrecognizable cold-war bogeyman land. But is this only about two retirees’ harassment?  

One article quotes James Cason; he, as head of the U.S. Special Interests Office in Havana, was active in destabilization efforts, bringing in during his tenure thousands of short wave radios pre-tuned to broadcasters subversive of Cuba, via the diplomatic pouch. He encouraged a variety of “dissidents,” “journalists,” “librarians”—following the path of his predecessor, Vicky Huddleston, a Clinton holdover in the first GW Bush years, and proclaimed official U.S. views— during and following the Iraq invasion in March, 2003—from a building top wrap-around kind of ticker tape that could be read from a distance in the streets below.  

In 2002 while on a Global Exchange sponsored trip to Cuba I saw these ticker tape public (diatribe) commentaries electronically shining from the edge of the top of the Special Interests building.  

Some may have noticed that the U.S. Supreme Court decision on June 15 not to hear the appeal of the unfairly tried Cuban Five was not published in the June 16 New York Times; the five have been in prison now for more than 10 years for acting to prevent terrorism against a sovereign state (Cuba), originating in the Cuban exile war zone of Miami. 

The charges against the Cuban Five were basically the same as for the retirees: “conspiring to spy.” As such, a red herring was to be expected. Hence, the bogeyman land articles were no surprise. But the victims were. Why should U.S. economic intelligence, which purportedly makes up much of the information they provided Cuba, be so frightening? Doesn’t that mostly describe everything that any country is interested in from the United States?  

While I was in Cuba (where I found Cubans to be a cheerful folk by the way) I saw how the Cuban Five are considered national heroes on billboard and in speech. I think that the U.S. Supreme Court should have taken up their appeal on old-fashioned Bill of Rights grounds.  

Fred Hayden 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

As the echoes of gunfire still ring out in the supposed quiet enclaves of our city, a woman’s plea for help can be heard as her abusers speed her away to some unknown fate, some unfathomable night. 

Grief, pain and anxiety, like a palpable spirit, decends upon those of living flesh and bone, lying wide eyed in the dark hours. Mothers in anxious fear for the well-being, safety, and future of their children, fathers tinkering at their vocations that serve as distraction from the atmosphere of dread, and lone citizens desperately clamoring to latch the locks on their doors. 

One’s thoughts cannot help but wander. Yes, each of us, in some way has, the burden of shouldering the responsibility, and the blame for the eroding fabric in our communities. 

And one cannot help but wonder: at the Misanthropes and Matriarchs of the Berkeley Drug Trade who revel in the violence and suffering they inflict upon the innocent and vulnerable in our city. 

One cannot help but wonder: about the so-called, social activists whose actual purpose seems to be the obscuring and obstruction of light and hope, and whose arrogance is itself a form of cowardice. 

One cannot help but wonder: about the journalists and commentators of the local press, incapable, either from ignorance or fear, of getting the proverbial “story” right. 

One cannot help but wonder: about those who have gained the explicit trust and privilege of holding elected leadership positions in our city... those cowards and bullies who have, what is tantamount to, a sacred duty to rise above their narrow-minded, arrogant self-interest to attend the needs of their community. 

John Herbert 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

Don’t fall for the “Divide and Conquer” routine.  

The governor proposes to not treat poor women for breast, uterine or cervical cancer. There is no proposal to withhold treatment for prostate, penile or testicular cancer. 

We pay $40 million a year for the governor’s personal security. The CDFA (California Department of Food and Agriculture), is completely unnecessary as it duplicates the services of other departments. These are but two small pieces of the boondoggle our elected representatives are presenting. 

While simultaneously voting for a $2.4 million tax break for “Hollywood,” our legislators voted earlier this year to severely cut state medical insurance and stipends to the impecunious disabled. They now plan to cut services to almost nothing. The state legislators receive the best medical care available, and they receive some of the highest salaries of any politicians in the country. Our local legislators have not taken a pay cut themselves. Senator Lou Correa, D-Santa Ana, and Sen. Abel Maldonado, R-Santa Maria have cut their own salaries. They are the only ones.  

Let’s try to make certain, as the guillotine blades are sharpened, that the axe falls appropriately. 

D. Jacklin 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

When Leon Panetta awkwardly backed away from his assertion that Dick Cheney wanted an “I told you so” terrorist attack on American soil, he made a bit of a fool of himself. By saying he was misquoted he was impugning one of the most trustworthy people in American journalism, Jane Mayer, a New Yorker reporter. The sad part of his waffling is that he was almost surely right. Cheney and his ilk, unmanned with anger about their recent political fate, must have some dark thoughts about the political reward of a terrorist attack here in America. I don’t believe that would welcome a massive blood letting but I can imagine that many, if not most might think that if only an Arab terrorist head killed George Tiller or if only an Arab terrorist had killed the security guard at the Holocaust Museum instead of the pair who turned out to be right wing Christians. Shame on you, Leon Panetta. 

Ken Bartelme 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

In last week’s paper, I was pleased to see that the first letter to the editor was about the sales tax and written by an old friend, Fred Foldvary. He, a philosopher and an economist, pointed out how that ubiquitous “tax” has played a most unhelpful role in the demise of local bookstores. Here, I would like to bring to the readers’ attention (probably for the first time), to whom the almost universally misapplied “sales tax,” really applies. 

At certain enlightened Berkeley establishments (where I have been met with a modicum of civility and intelligence), I have shown them the law. Consequently, I am not harassed by them, nor by an unlawful “demand” that I pay the retailer any sales tax monies. 

About the bookstores: As one who easily “decodes” the state and federal codes, I have always found the term “independent bookstores” to be an oxymoron, as it is clear that they had exercised no independence of thought or reading skills, when they declared themselves to be a “business,” to be an “employer,” or to have “employees,” etc. None of these legal terms mean what the general public thinks; their definitions (as found in the Internal Revenue Code), are for those internal to the federal government. Result: They entered into voluntary servitude, and paid “taxes” not lawfully required. 

About the “sales tax”: Please note that it is NOT called a “purchases tax”! Who among the “independent” booksellers—or you (if a customer)—has ever perused the Revenue and Taxation Code to find whether you should make a “demand” upon your customers to pay a sales tax—or acquiesce to one? Have you ever seen Revenue and Taxation Code, Section 6051? It states:  

“For the privilege of selling tangible personal property at retail a tax is hereby imposed upon all retailers at the rate of __ percent of the gross receipts of any retailer from the sale of all tangible personal property sold at retail in this state on or after August 1, 1933; ...” 

The above Revenue and Taxation Code is written in code. Is that surprising? Section 6051 is based upon the following clearer, statutory language by the California Legislature; it stated:  

“... for both federal and state tax purposes the incidence of the California sales tax is upon the retailer for the privilege of selling tangible personal property at retail and is not upon the purchaser.” (Sales Tax Act of 1933.) 

Arthur Stopes, III 

Director, Center for Unalienable Rights Education 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

I’d just like to thank the Daily Planet for two recent articles: the front-page story on the People’s Park anniversary, and the tribute to Claire Burch. These are the kind of gems that appear only in the Daily Planet (in addition to hundreds of other gems the Planet has published over the years). It gives a voice to the community that wouldn’t exist otherwise. To have a Mom-and-Pop community newspaper in these troubled economic times is a rare and fortunate thing. Long may you run. 

Ace Backwords 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

John Yoo can be sued by Jose Padilla for torture, according to the ruling by Northern District judge Jeffrey White on June 12 in the Padilla v. Bush case. Yoo is still living here in Berkeley, still has his job at UC Berkeley Law School, for which WE are paying him over $200,000 a year to teach young prospective lawyers about constitutional law. I kid you not! He’s teaching a constitutional law class this fall. And he still has not apologized to anyone who was tortured or treated inhumanely because of the legal green light he gave to Cheney, Rumsfeld and the imperial Commander in Chief, George W. Bush.  

I’m also waiting for his apology to Berkeley for his disdain for our community and its values of peace and justice. “What do you expect from the People’s Republic of Berkeley?” he smirked to an interviewer when asked about the protests that have greeted him at the law school and elsewhere. As the organizer of the “Shame on Yoo” witness against torture at John Yoo’s house on Grizzly Peak, on May 31 and coming up on Sunday, June 28, at 4 p.m., I wonder if his torture-enabling influence extends to the UC Berkeley Police Department. All of the people who came to witness against torture-enabler Yoo were visited by UCBP detectives last week. Somehow they had our names and addresses and dropped by, unannounced. I plan to go and talk to them because I want to assure them wholeheartedly that we are not terrorists.  

On the contrary, we want the terror against innocent detainees to end. I want to tell them, and Daily Planet readers as well, that we mean no harm to Professor Yoo. We want him to be held accountable for his complicity in the war crime of torture, but we leave that to the proper authorities. I received crank calls and text messages after the May 31 witness against torture, from probably well-meaning people who want to make sure I get blamed if some harm comes to Yoo. People, we’re protesting a torture-enabler—not calling for vigilante justice! We are against violence in any form whatsoever. Do not, repeat do not, come to the “Shame on Yoo” protest on June 28 at 4 p.m. unless you plan to stay peaceful and principled. 

Cynthia Papermaster 





Editors, Daily Planet: 

Remember Arnold Schwarzenegger’s campaign promises during the 2003 recall election? While campaigning, Schwarzenegger hammered Gov. Gray Davis over the budget. He promised to rein in state spending and repeatedly criticized Davis and Democratic legislators as “overspending addicts.” He further lambasted Davis for trying to balance California’s budget through the use of tricks and gimmicks. 

Yet upon taking office, Schwarzenegger released his budget plan, which hinged upon passage of Proposition 57.  

Proposition 57 authorized the state to sell $15 billion in long-term bonds to pay off accumulated deficits. Passage of Proposition 57 incurred even more state debt, while deferring any real solution to the distant future. Schwarzenegger then resorted to typical Republican budget gimmickry, by raising various state fees, so he could continue to give lip service to opposing raises in taxes. His tortured logic went something like this: Raising “fees” will help get us out of our fiscal hole, but raising “taxes” would be unfair to Californians and destructive to our economy. True to his word, one of his first acts as governor was to restore the vehicle license fee to its pre-deficit year levels by saying it was, in reality, a tax on the average Californian. This act, of course, deprived cities of an essential source of revenue.  

And each budget season since, we have been “entertained” by some of the same “tricks and gimmicks” Schwarzenegger criticized Davis and the Democratic legislators for. The latest was the recent defeat of Propositions 1A through 1E.  

The seemingly unstoppable cyborg of “Terminator” fame has become but a mere mortal Governator with no tricks or gimmicks left to balance the budget. 

Ralph E. Stone 

San Francisco 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

You can go to the Redwood Room in new City Hall by taking the elevator on the left to the sixth floor. The elevator on the right goes only to the fifth floor, where the mayor, City Council, and city manager have offices. You can also go directly up the stairs from the fifth floor to the Redwood Room, although the sign in the hallways says merely, “Stairs to the Roof.” 

The mayor’s Agenda Committee meets in the Redwood Room at 2:30 p.m. on Mondays of the week prior to the City Council meeting. These meetings are open to the public. 

I’ve asked the committee if they would meet in a more accessible place, like the first-floor Cypress Room, or City Council Chambers. But Mayor Bates just gives the same old, “I’ll think about it.” 

The Redwood Room is not wired for public TV or radio and they don’t even tape-record meetings, as most cities do. I asked if they would provide a microphone because it is difficult to hear, especially the mayor who speaks softly. But they said,“It costs too much.” 

Secret meetings do occur in the Redwood Room. For example, a strategy session for Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to apply for a multi-million-dollar DOE grant for massive biofuels research and development was held in the Redwood Room a few months before LBNL received the grant. Our city’s Economic Development Department staff, Dave Fogerty and Michael Kaplan, chaired the meeting. 

LBNL was well represented at the meeting with then Public Information Officer Theresa Powell and five or so lab planners/developers. West Berkeley Real Estate brokers were there—Mr.Yost (of Norheim and Yost), because the grant required LBNL to build or acquire large labs, generally 50,000 square feet or more. 

Also competitive for the grant was availability of affordable housing and office space for the potentially massive project. Dave Fogarty was pleased to tell the group that housing costs for rentals had been going down in Berkeley for years. I believe that is the intended consequence of over-building big box units which now have more than several thousand vacancies according to published studies. 

That’s all for now, but plenty more should be said about secret meetings, and the Redwood Room. 

Merrilie Mitchell 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

As a resident in Jesse Arreguin’s District 4, I am concerned when my representative’s recommendations regarding downtown plan proposals ( Daily Planet, June 11) are not given the time and respect they deserve. According to the article about the City Council meeting, Tom Bates allowed Jesse Arreguin insufficient time, (two to five minutes) to present his recommendations, and Max Anderson said “I’m tired of having these things rushed through...!” This does not seem a respectful way in which to treat Mr. Arreguin or those residents in his district and elsewhere in Berkeley who support his recommendations. 

Joan Clair 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

The bond for the warm pool repairs nine years ago has shrunk in value by at least a million dollars, thanks to school board and superintendent Michelle Lawrence changing their minds and asking, no, demanding that the city move warm pool users elsewhere; this is due to soaring steel costs. 

The citizens and voters in Berkeley own six swimming pools, three indoors at BHS and three outdoors. Inflation has destroyed the value of the fixed sum voted to us, which was never realized. No bonds were ever issued, no cash was even given to the city by any bank. The 2.8 million is not earning interest in a Swiss bank account or anywhere else; it does not exist, except as a legal possibility. The cost of the campaign to pass the bond is a total loss. Thanks school board. 

There is no rational excuse for moving us to some new future nonexistent warm pool. At least one of BUSD’s indoor pools at BHS can serve both students and non-students far into the future. The two older indoor pools are steel frame, the highest quality structural system available. Steel frame can easily be brought up to code for seismic. New plans have been drawn up, free of charge to create much wanted classrooms. 

Why should voters be asked to build new indoor facilities for a warm pool when these facilities already exist? The school board should be impeached for demanding such, and for destroying valuable older buildings like the old gym, if they continue to intend to do so, with their toxic new South of Bancroft Master Plan, which promised us a warm pool site on Milvia Street, yet another offer withdrawn. 

What shameful misbehavior. 

Terry Cochrell 




Editors, Daily Planet: 

In response to Becky O’Malley’s editorial: I think in the long run, we must organize and repeal Proposition 13. The only way to pay for public services, social programs and education is to raise revenues. 

I’m 58 years old. I was an occupational therapist. My job was to help other people and I loved my work. 

I’ve worked ever since I was 12 years old—first as a baby-sitter. In highschool I worked as a sales clerk to pay for my school clothes and spending money. I put myself through college doing odd jobs. 

Over ten years ago I came down with a devastating immune system illness. Much of the time I’m bedridden and am unable to speak. I have only limited use of my arms. I desperately wish that I could do the work that I so love. Without a great deal of help form home health aides that are paid for by the state, I would not be alive. 

The Governor is now proposing to slash the health care and help I am getting. He has stated that thousands of people who are in my position should instead go and live in nursing homes. Yet it would cost the state five times more to live in a nursing home that it costs to maintain me in my own home. 

Will his next proposal be to turn people out of nursing homes into the streets to die? 

Anyone can become ill or injured. Many people are only one paycheck away from being on the street. Is it only the wealthiest people who should be allowed to have adequate health care? 

If we don’t want to revert to a dog-eat-dog social system, we must not abandon those of us who are incapacitated and can’t care for themselves. To do this, we must generate the revenues to pay for it. We must overhaul our current system and create a system of taxation so that the wealthiest individuals and corporations pay more taxes. 

Please contact Budget Committee Chairwoman Noreen Davis (916) 319-2007 and your local legislators. Strongly urge them not to balance the budget by cutting critical services to health, education, and other public services, but instead raise taxes to pay for them. This is the only way we can all have a safety net that will be there if we truly need it. 

Angela Cunningham