Letters to the Editor

Supervisor targeted for doing his job

The article "Anonymous video targets supervisor" (Dec. 25, Page B-1) reminded me that I wanted to write a letter also targeting Supervisor Jim DeMartini -- targeting him for a big thank-you for looking out for the taxpayers who elected him.

DeMartini, unlike some county supervisors, is not falling for the smoke-and-mirror games and spin put forth by the West Park developers and supporters. A director of the Alliance (which never met a tax it didn't love) has been disrespectful of someone who was elected to office.

County bureaucrats are all over themselves supporting this foolish project that not even the Port of Oakland wants anything to do with. When will they ever get it at the Alliance that the funds they seek to build this flop of an idea are bond funds -- not some magical source of free money? Voters approve bond funds for specific purposes, purposes not in the realm of the West Park plan. Voters and taxpayers are sick and tired of bond funds being bastardized by redevelopment agencies and consultants.

Right on, Mr. DeMartini! You deserve support on this issue and you deserve re-election (unlike some of the other supervisors).

JACK ARNOLD

Modesto

Illegal for Laos general, legal for Bush

Is anyone else out there who's following the story about Gen. Vang Pao as confused as I am? Here's a former Laotian general who, with the backing of our CIA, helped battle communism during the Vietnam War. We all know how that turned out. So here it is some 30-odd years later and the Laotian refugees still want their country back. And the good general is rallying the troops, weapons and funding to try to accomplish the original mission which the United States was the major part of. But now, it seems, it's against U.S. law to try to overthrow the government of another country. Gen. Vang Pao and his accomplices could be sentenced to life in prison for what they attempted to do, which violates the Neutrality Act.

Does that strike anybody else as just a little bit hypocritical on the part of the U.S. government? Aren't we attempting to do the same exact thing in Iraq? Should someone inform the Bush administration about U.S. laws regarding overthrowing foreign governments?

Oh, but I forgot. Our laws don't always apply to the people who we elected to enforce our laws.

DAVID K. FORD

Modesto

Modesto should grow around freeway

I was born in 1968 and raised in Modesto. I have been mostly living away since 1992 and recently returned to see the immense growth that has taken place.

The other night, it took me 15 minutes to get to Rose Avenue from the freeway. I can't imagine how long it must take at 8 a.m. Why has Modesto grown solely to the east? Why is the planning committee forcing citizens, many of whom commute to the Bay Area, to drive several miles and up to 45 minutes just to get to our only freeway? It makes no sense, especially in an age of growing fuel costs.

Growing and developing the city of Modesto around the 99 freeway makes sense, which is why I guess the City Council and the Planning Commission haven't done it. Anything that makes a lot of sense seems to elude them.

COREY E. BAYLESS

Modesto

Vote to help livestock live better lives

On Nov. 4. Californians could have the opportunity to vote on a historic ballot initiative, the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act, which could greatly improve the lives of millions of animals raised on assembly-line factory farms. This type of farming confines pigs, calves and chickens in such small, restrictive cages that they cannot lie down, turn around or stretch their legs. This inhumane and cruel treatment of farm animals makes them more susceptible to diseases and problems, let alone the trauma they go through.

There is a growing concern that this type of farming is contributing to the depletion of our resources, pollution and global warming. Arizona, Florida and Oregon have banned pig gestation crates. Arizona has banned veal crates. Major California companies are moving away from battery cages and veal gestation crates, and the European Union has banned all three.

If you would like to support humane treatment of farm animals, send for petitions and get signatures as fast as you can. There are only two months left to get it on the ballot for November. For more info, go to www.humanecalifornia.org.

DONNA FORGEY CHAPIN

Modesto

You can exercise without killing things

In response to "Hunting requires physical fitness" (Dec. 22, Letters): All of this exercise could be achieved by far more positive steps without killing God's innocent creatures.

As for sportsmanship, it would be sportsmanship if all players competed on an equal playing field -- not one party with a gun and one totally unarmed.

The writer's remark that he hopes there will be duck hunting in heaven makes me wonder what makes this person believe he will pass through the pearly gates after the slaughter of God's peaceful, defenseless animals.

SHARON VARGAS

Modesto

Enochs pedestrian bridge funds wasted

I am curious as to how much tax money has been spent on the crosswalk overpass in front of Enochs High School. I sat for at least 10 minutes waiting for the students as they used the crosswalk at the roundabout instead of the overpass. What will the wait be when it becomes a four-year high school? What research showed that putting a roundabout directly in front of the high school was efficient?

I bet in a couple of years they will have to remove the roundabout to put in traffic signals, forcing the students to use the overpass. Where do the street and road planning commissioners go to get their research, Mayberry?

J.A. CRISP

Modesto

Editor's note: Construction of the pedestrian bridge cost about $1.6 million.

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