June 16, 2024
Mercury News Letters to the Editor for Aug. 31

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City must finish job
of restoring church

Re: “Historic San Jose church comes into view after eyesore tarp is removed” (Aug. 29).

Jim Salata has chutzpah, a much-needed quality that’s not thick on the ground in San Jose. Tired of waiting for the city to get the job done, he put his crews to work removing the torn plastic sheets and scaffolding from the First Church of Christ, Scientist at 43 East St. James St.

In other words, he accomplished in half a day what the city has been unable to do in the last five years.

Now the city government needs to step up not by blowing smoke, but by running Z&L Properties out of town by whatever means necessary and restoring the building to its former grandeur.

Thank you, Jim.

Judith Hurley
San Jose

Slayings remind to keep
an eye on one another

Re: “Relative is arrested in stabbing deaths” (Page B1, Aug. 26).

I was shocked when I read about the recent double slaying of a young boy and his great-grandmother in San Jose.

I’ve read many reports of murders, but they always felt like distant news headlines — statistics that mattered to someone else. Reading this heartbreaking news so close to home, I realized that the victims could have been anyone.

We can no longer count on legislators to make knife or gun control policies, but we can watch out for one another in our community, and this is more pressing than ever before.

Daniel Lin

Sweden sets example
for public services

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

While your editorial properly rebuffed BART for seeking massive bridge toll hikes without any reform proposals, it does not sufficiently address: (1) How BART can possibly continue to justify its chronically humongous budgets in this new era of remote work and internet shopping; (2) whether BART will ever develop an effective, economical plan for handling its numerous violent/unruly passengers; (3) the BART unions’ considerable influence over BART budgetary and management decisions; and (4) whether the Bay Area should now consider adopting the recently emerging Swedish approach to providing needed public services, specifically, by establishing a governmentally coordinated; partially publicly funded; privately operated system, utilizing Uber, Lyft, taxis, bus companies, ferries, etc., while also providing low-income residents with fare subsidies.

As in Sweden, this promising approach seeks to accomplish vital public policy objectives through the efficiencies, flexibilities and incentives of free-enterprise competition.

John Haggerty
Santa Clara

Say no to latest
MTC tax proposal

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

I am deeply disturbed that the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) is planning to push for a Bay Area-wide 2026 ballot measure to raise the region’s sales tax another half-cent to further fund commuter rail, buses and ferries.

MTC is asking residents to fill out a survey that never asks if people want to pay more taxes; instead, the higher tax is a given, and it just asks how people want to spend the money. These constant sales tax measures on every ballot are quite annoying.

Over the last several elections, voters in Santa Clara County have passed multiple tax and fee increases. All this nickel-and-diming hurts people of modest means, who must pay the greatest percentage of their income in these regressive taxes. Each increase by itself does not amount to much, but the cumulative effect is to add to the unaffordability of the region. Please vote no.

William Hough
Los Altos

Transgender people
are also God’s children

Re: “Conservative groups pushing anti-trans bills” (Page A1, Aug. 29).

A Bible verse says that God created mankind in his own image. About 73% of Republican and conservative activists strongly believe in God and are very religious. Christianity happens to be the major religion in America.

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According to Pew Research, 1.6% of all adults in America consider themselves transgender or nonbinary. 5.1% of adults in the age bracket 18-29 years are transgender or binary. Then ages 30-49 at 1.6% and ages 50 and above at 0.3%. Most probably because of society’s acceptance, younger people are at a higher percentage compared to others.

If we believe God is the creator of everything, then we need to accept these folks as God’s creation. Yet, it is ironic that believers are willing to deny their rights to exist in schools and sports. Let’s accept them as God’s children and help them in their growth to adulthood.

Mohan Raj
San Jose