Actually, California is better off than Texas 

Mark Hemingway’s four-part series on why Texas is economically superior to California conveniently forgot to note that California’s productivity (GPD per capita) grew at a much faster rate than Texas between 2001-2010. According to World Bank Estimates, California productivity is 1,911,822 million while Texas trails at 1,158,194. And California has been stretching its lead for the last decade.

If California were a sovereign state, its economy would rank seventh in the world. Texas lags far behind at fifteenth. California is also much more successful with technical innovations.

And Hemingway didn’t mention that the Texas budget shortfall for 2012 is estimated at 31.5 percent of its entire budget. California’s 2012 deficit proportion is less — 29.3 percent of entire budget. So Texas is in bigger debt per capita and our gross domestic product grew in comparison to Texas for the entire last decade.

John J. Dillon, San Bruno

Caltrain info missing

Numerous letters to The San Francisco Examiner rightfully complain about Caltrain’s failure to provide enough bike cars to meet passenger demand. Perhaps even more serious is Caltrain’s failure to provide reliable service information.

On Dec. 31, I waited in vain at 22nd Street for a southbound 8:45 p.m. train. Days later, a Caltrain “customer service” representative informed me the train had been canceled for New Year’s Eve. But no signs were posted at stations, nor were messages displayed on the flashing electronic platform signs.

At around 7 p.m. Feb. 3, someone was killed on the Caltrain tracks at Sunnyvale. Once again the flashing electronic platform signs provided no updates on service disruptions. No announcements were made on the public address system and the Caltrain phone information line was closed for the evening. I finally got to San Francisco at midnight, after the 9:01 p.m. and 10:01 p.m. trains out of Palo Alto just never appeared.

Tom O’Keefe, San Francisco

Issues at Sunset library

The outside of the San Francisco Public Library’s Sunset Branch (next to Jefferson Elementary School) is at times a homeless shopping-cart parking lot. And the reading room inside is a place for the homeless to pass the time with their bags of cans and oversized backpacks thrown on the floor. I also see nonservice dogs allowed inside, scratching their fleas.

I suppose this crowd moved on from the Main Library, which the city librarian in a recent Examiner letter claimed had no problems.

Ed Florence, San Francisco

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