Donations to Japan would be helpful

I think it is very important that we as a community push to help other nations in their time of need.

As you know, the disaster that Japan has gone through has killed many and in their time of need we should want to help. I think that your newspaper should push us as a community to donate anything we can.

Although we may be a small community, we should try to give as much as possible. The newspaper should push for us to give first aid kits, toiletries, money, canned foods, letters, pens, pencils, and so forth. I am sure by even giving the smallest thing as a pack of pens would help them tremendously.

Many of them have lost their homes, along with the simple necessities that are needed every day. We as a community should give as much as we can, so that when we are in a time of need, people will help us. I’m sure even letters would be nice.

Brian Connor Clark


Mohill was the one who started this mess

First, I'd like to discuss Mike Mohill’s family meet-and-greet on Tuesday (“Council candidate: I’m gay,” March 15).

It's nice that your family likes you, just as I'm sure Councilman John Drayman’s family likes him. As far as you acting like the victim in this mess, you started it — you and your buddies Barry Allen and Herbert Molano.

You have kept up this attack on Drayman for weeks and weeks, so don't act surprised when he finally dished a little dirt your way.

Your insults and insinuations directed at Drayman have gotten very old. If you really think the city would allow him to do the things you have accused him of, take it up with the planning department. I don't recall anything about a stop-work order and I'm sure with all you and Barry’s “detective work,” if there had been any infractions regarding permits, there would have been one ordered.

There are only two candidates worth voting for. One is Drayman, who has proven himself time after time, and with just his presence, has turned this council from Tuesday night fights to Tuesday night discussions — at least among Council members. When my neighborhood was being subjected to 3 1/2 years of construction of the Fairmont Avenue flyover bridge, when it got to the limit of our patience, we would call Drayman, Councilwoman Laura Friedman and the project manager, and things would get better until the next time, so once again, we thank you.

The other candidate is Dave Weaver. I will be the first to admit that I don't always agree with his decisions, but if you want a candidate who really cares about this city, please vote for Dave. The other candidates — one thinks he is a financial whiz but bankruptcy has proven that not to be the case, one just seems to be a repeat candidate, one has a personal vendetta and one seems to be unclear on many subjects.

Those are your choices. Please vote wisely on April 5.

Judy Taylor


In support of high-speed rail

Despite David North’s Feb. 11 letter, “High-speed rail project will fail,” readers should support the California high-speed rail project.

This is a great investment of billions of dollars. It will form the backbone of a transportation infrastructure that will support California for decades, when it will have paid for itself and then some.

Look at the woefully underfunded Amtrak; our own L.A.-San Diego line (primarily used by the Pacific Surfliner) is one of the busiest passenger train lines in the country, second only to the Acela line, which is so critical to commuters along the Northeast corridor.

I have been using Amtrak to travel to San Diego for Comic-Con every year since 1999 (with one exception). In the 2 1/2 hour trip, I relax, get a meal and enjoy views of the magnificent California coast.

All is followed by arrival at downtown San Diego, within walking distance of several major hotels. Every time I go, the train is full, in some cases to the point that passengers have to stand.

The high-speed train would probably cut this trip to under an hour, though I doubt I'll miss the comforts of the ride if it means I get to my destination sooner.

Yes, this would likely be competition for the airlines — well, sounds like a reason for them to improve services to keep up.

Antonio E. Gonzalez


Edwina L. Hughes provided a spirited commentary in her letter about Proposition 13 (“Golden goose was squeezed to death,” March 13). And it goes to prove the old adage that once you give the people something, it is difficult to take it away.

The ideology behind Proposition 13 is commendable. Fix the state’s income to make spending accountable and reasonable; however, the long-term formula is not sustainable unless the parameters used in the model remain fixed, which they haven’t. While the previous property tax method had its own flaws, Proposition 13 also has its flaws.

Almost two-thirds of California's voters passed Proposition 13 in 1978, reducing property tax rates on homes, businesses and farms by about 57%. The state’s property tax income reportedly fell by $5 billion.

Since the government was already spending more than this on existing programs, dramatic cuts were needed. But while the voters said the income was fixed and even less than before, they also didn’t want the programs cut. This created deficit problem No. 1.

Then came the inflationary 1980s, when the costs of goods and services far outstripped an increase in home values. This created problem No. 2, as the cost of maintaining services increased faster than offsetting income.

While there is waste in every organization, the amount of waste that can be removed from state spending doesn’t even come close to the actual deficit. If all waste was removed, and all “nice-to-have” programs were eliminated, the cost of core services still would exceed the state income.

No one can deny that the state has a huge deficit issue that must be paid down, nor can anyone argue that there is a significant cash flow problem. The state has an income problem that is bigger than a spending problem.

Eliminating Proposition 13 in itself will not fix the root cause, but supplanting it with a different method that appears to work better in many other parts of the country — or even the world — will go a long way. There are a host of models to choose from; and yes, those on fixed incomes in those areas still have their houses too.

Peter D. Morris


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