Letters: Reorganize BART | Homeless issue | Zoning decisions | King’s dream | Cancer screening

Letters: Reorganize BART | Homeless issue | Zoning decisions | King’s dream | Cancer screening

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Reorganize BART
to save money

Re: “Stalled bridge toll hike indicates the public’s discontent” (Page A12, Aug. 27).

Just as large corporations painfully reorganize when facing severe financial pressure, we must do the same with BART.

This is a start:

• Consolidate the 27 Bay Area transit agencies into two and lay off three-quarters of duplicate management.

• Fire all BART directors except Debra Allen since she is the only one who knows what she is doing.

• Fire all workers and have them reapply for available jobs at a 10% pay cut. We cannot afford to pay janitors $200,000.

• Disband the union.

• Hire two auditors and give them the power to do their job without interference from BART management.

• Run fewer trains until ridership increases.

• Install barriers to get 99% toll compliance, thereby saving $25 million a year according to BART. Set up a program for free or discounted hardship rider passes.

• Stop system expansion until finances are in order.

Chris Wood

Homelessness is
a national issue

Re: “Homelessness may haunt Newsom in DeSantis debate” (Page A7, Aug. 9).

Dan Walters points out that “homelessness” is a problem for our governor.

Having lived in Santa Monica for years until my move to Walnut Creek, I can tell you that the homeless problem is fueled by people from across the United States. Gov. Newsom should point this out, this complex group of individuals is not a California-generated problem.

While there are California homeless many come from other states and countries for the support and the weather. It is a national societal problem and should be recognized as such.

John Weyand
Walnut Creek

Return zoning decisions
to local governments

Re: “Popular housing narrative upended by planning expert” (Page A12, Aug. 27).

A recent commentary said that the state took away single-family zoning in every city to increase density. The purpose of getting rid of single-family zoning is to reduce the price of home ownership. However, according to academics who studied this, when you eliminate single-family zoning, it will lead to gentrification. Lower-income folks and people of color will be kicked out of their neighborhoods and home prices will rise. Sacramento has taken over the zoning of our neighborhoods.

Before our neighborhoods are ruined because of the loss of single-family zoning, we should pass a constitutional amendment that says local zoning laws supersede zoning laws passed in Sacramento. This will return our right to live in a neighborhood of our choosing. By taking away the right to zone the way the local citizens want, Sacramento will ruin the diversity that makes our area great.

John Briggs

60 years later,
MLK’s dream is elusive

Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech has been commemorated widely and deservedly, as the speech, the man and the movement were among the greatest if not the greatest of the 20th century. I had hoped to see that dream if not realized, at least substantially established by well before this century.

Regrettably, another speech given in 1963 seems more appropriate in America still. “How Long” must the ugly and depraved racist poison sow terror and havoc on Black America? How many more “manifestos” as in the recent Jacksonville slaughter will we tolerate?

It is not “woke” to examine the sad truths along with the grand triumphs of our American history. Slavery was a lot worse than our “peculiar institution.” It was more like a holocaust.

Reconstruction never was and lynchings (shootings) have never stopped. Denigrating others is an evil that portends only greater evil. How long indeed.

Keith Layton
El Sobrante

Bill for cancer
screening must pass

In 2023, 288,300 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in the United States. A projected 34,700 men will die from the disease. Men 65 years and older account for 60% of diagnoses.

Some men are at a higher risk than others — African-American men, men who have a first-degree relative diagnosed with prostate cancer. Black men in the United States have among the highest prostate cancer rates in the world. Their cancer deaths are one of the greatest mortality disparities in oncology.

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The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network supports the PSA Screening for HIM Act (H.R. 1826). All men at high risk for prostate cancer should have access to screening, barrier-free without cost-sharing.

Tina Tankka