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Letters: Reform Prop. 13 | CPUC’s duty | No screens | Sexist trope | Term limits

Letters: Reform Prop. 13 | CPUC’s duty | No screens | Sexist trope | Term limits

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State should reform
Prop. 13 for schools

Re: “The hidden price tag of California’s public schools” (Page A1, Sept. 17).

On Sept. 17, this newspaper asked what will happen when no one can afford to pay “The hidden price tag of California’s public schools,” referring to sizable contributions voluntarily paid by parents in affluent districts to their children’s schools.

That question should have been considered more carefully before this newspaper advised voters in 2020 to vote against Proposition 15 [“Schools and Communities First“]. Proposition 15 was intended to raise much-needed revenue for schools and local governments by taxing at market value — instead of the original purchase price — commercial properties worth more than $3 million. Proposition 15 would not have affected homeowners’ property tax protections. Also against Proposition 15 were business groups like the Proposition 13-promoting Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and California Business Roundtable, along with the leadership of the California NAACP.

Nevertheless, Proposition 15 came within 4% of winning with the support of numerous community organizations.

Ruby MacDonald
El Cerrito

CPUC should promote
solar power, not PG&E

Re: “Undergrounding power wires is best option for PG&E” (Page A6, Sept. 26).

PG&E CEO Patti Poppe’s op-ed requests permission from the California Public Utilities Commission to increase revenue by 26%, fixing their original failure to install underground power lines. California ratepayers bailed out PG&E’s bankruptcy before, leading us to pay the fifth-highest utility rates nationwide.

If that wasn’t bad enough, the CPUC has issued a proposed decision on virtual net energy metering (VNEM) that would eliminate the opportunity to install solar and storage for multifamily housing, schools and farms, costing them up to $50 a month in savings on their utility bills. While discouraging citizens from reaping the benefits of solar power, the CPUC is carrying water for PG&E, protecting PG&E’s monopoly.

The CPUC should promote residential solar adoption, eliminating more transmission lines requiring expensive undergrounding. Their VNEM proposal must be modified to incorporate onsite netting for tenants, schools and farms.

Andrew Wise
Fremont

Dinners should be
for families, not screens

Families should stop having screen time during meals. For some people, this is the only time they get to gather and connect with family in person rather than in a virtual world. Allowing phones while eating diminishes communication and relationship-building between parents and children.

I love expressing my emotions and have a great relationship with my parents and family. Seeing that others would rather be on their phone ruins the atmosphere when eating at a restaurant. To fix this growing societal trend, leaving children unable to express their emotions, parents must work toward being present in their children’s lives.

Starting a simple conversation such as “How was your day?” or “What did you learn in school today?” can make a huge difference. Family is important and we don’t get this time forever.

Taylor Shepherd
Brentwood

Biden article promotes
a sexist trope

In describing the dignitaries who greeted President Biden upon arriving at Moffet Field, the article told us, “Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors President Susan Ellenberg, dressed in a gold satin pantsuit.”

Demeaning, sexist and irrelevant are just a few of the descriptors that come to mind. Would the journalist have described the fashion choice of a male dignitary? Oh wait, the other dignitary mentioned is David Korsmeyer, deputy director of NASA’s Ames Research Center, and no mention is made of his fashion choice.

Didn’t this diminish the excellence and hard work Supervisor Ellenberg brings to her job? The Bay Area News Group should be embarrassed.

Allan Berkowitz
Kensington

Government problems
demand term limits

With another government shutdown nearing I know how it feels, having been employed by the federal government for close to 40 years, and have lived through many shutdowns. It is time to think about term limits for both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives.

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For the most part, they do not consider what their lack of common sense is doing to the American citizen.

Now we have two Supreme Court justices who do not feel they should answer to anyone; it makes me wonder why they are allowed a lifetime appointment. Maybe we should limit the time these men and women sit on the bench.

Maryann Sheridan
Walnut Creek