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Letters: July 7, 2006

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Disaster planning should come first

Why the big rush in San Francisco to use the $104 million budgeted for emergency room care to prop up a new health insurance program?

That seems to ignore the recommendations of the San Francisco civil grand jury regarding hospitals being overwhelmed by having to care for an additional 550 to 600 severely injured patients in the event of a major earthquake.

Since the 60 days that the Mayor’s Office was allowed to respond to the grand jury expires this month, and the 90 days allowed the supervisors expires next month, shouldn’t those responses shed more light on how we’re going to pay for this new program without leaving ourselves vulnerable?

Robert Prentiss

The City

Street-racing crackdown

I find it very hard to believe that suddenly San Mateo County and police officers have gained so much knowledge in the modifying of vehicles (“Street-racing stings to continue, cops say,” June 19).

I drive a Honda Civic and have spent hours upon hours working on my vehicle, along with a lot of money, from which the state benefits. How is it then that every one of these “modified” vehicles on the road should be referred to as a street-racer?

I’m fed up with being profiled like some modern-day criminal. I went to school, I work 40 hours a week and support myself like any other citizen. There is no reason authorities should have the right to invade my privacy and make false comments with regard to us hobbyists.

David Seck

San Mateo

North Korea’s missiles

It has been more then a little amusing watching and listening to the reaction to North Korea’s in-your-face July Fourth multiple missile firings. The network and cable talking heads have been hyperventilating, in stark contrast to the low-key, almost tepid response of the Bush administration.

I suppose when your bluff is called, there isn’t much you can do but mouth a lot of feeble statements calling for the same world community that you have ignored for five years to punish them. Once again, this administration has been exposed as totally inept, while exposing the country to danger and ridicule.

Vernon S. Burton

San Leandro

I cannot help but feel that the firing of missiles on the Fourth of July by the North Korean government was little more than a feat to save face.

With the world community watching, they could not back down. Regardless of the program’s failure, they save their honor in the public eye. At the same time, the United States and the world has now seen that North Korea does, indeed, have the potential and not just threats.

William J. Coburn

The City

Fortunately for the world, North Korea’s missile test was a failure. The problem, however, is that the United States is powerless to do anything about it.

In the past, America was a trusted nation in the world community that had the power to bring nations together and create a unified world consensus as to what to do about the world’s crazy leaders. But that is no longer the case.

Now, when we come crawling back to the United Nations calling for resolutions regarding nuclear proliferation, we are neither respected nor trusted. We are in fact seen in the same light as Iran and North Korea — as a nation with bombs that is out of control.

There is a price to pay for thumbing our noses at the world community, andwe are now paying that price.

Marc Perkel

The City

NASA’s shuttle launch

Despite the wishes and prayers of the anti-Bush, hate-America crowd, the Discovery became NASA’s first-ever Fourth of July launch after two weather delays and last-minute foam trouble that conjured up worries.

Following the commander-in-chief’s “let’s roll” grit right after 9/11, NASA demonstrated Yankee determination to get the job done on a historic birthday for the greatest country in human history.

Americans should pray in gratitude that our leader is George Bush and not some perverted hillbilly from Arkansas or weak-minded peanut farmer from Georgia.

John W. Lillpop

San Jose

Plaza at the Mint

I read with interest the story about the proposed “green plaza” next to the Old Mint (“Private developer to pay for new ‘green’ plaza beside Old U.S. Mint,” July 5). I, for one, would like to know more about the “special property tax assessment” on the four buildings owned by the Martin Building Company.

Is the company really going to give the plaza to The City, or are they simply finding an imaginative way to reduce their property taxes by an undisclosed amount?

Steve Merlo

The City

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