Bill would improve egg-laying hens’ lives 

Your editorial (“Bill’s defeat a win for animal welfare,” June 25) misrepresents my efforts to establish a national standard for the humane treatment of egg-laying hens.

In 2008, California voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 2. This initiative required egg producers to increase cage size so birds could stand up and extend their wings. Similar measures were put in place in Michigan, Arizona, Washington, Ohio and Oregon.

Such a patchwork of state regulations could well lead to significant difficulties shipping across state lines for many egg producers.

To address these challenges, the Humane Society — a leading proponent of California’s Prop. 2 — and the United Egg Producers — which represents nearly 90 percent of the egg industry — came together to negotiate a national solution. A cornerstone of those negotiations was the preservation of Prop. 2.

My legislation embodies that compromise, extending a humane cage size requirement to all 338 million egg-laying hens nationwide. Consistent with Prop. 2, California egg farmers will have to comply with the law by 2015, while other egg farmers have until 2029.

California led the way on making farms more humane. My plan will simply bring that approach to the rest of the country.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)
Washington, D.C.

Put new rail plan to a vote

As the writer of 128 articles on the subject of high-speed rail, I know this project well and I vehemently beg to differ with your editorial (“High-speed rail needs cash now,” June 27). The senators you call out, Sens. Mark DeSaulnier, Alan Lowenthal and Joe Simitian, have done a great public service. They have attempted to separate fact from fiction on this badly run project. Call them, yes, but ask them to vote no on the funding. There is a vast difference between the “concept of high-speed rail” and the execution of this project. Facts and reality point to the need to halt the project since it doesn’t follow the law. Or, since this project resembles nothing that was on the ballot in 2008, a new vote should be issued with the new facts known today. California state law forbids legislative tampering with voter initiatives, so the level of discretion the Legislature has is, in actuality, minimal at best. Education, social programs and jobs in the public safety sectors need cash, too. They need it more than a train paid for on the backs of the poor and less fortunate.

Kathy Hamilton
Menlo Park

Mixed-up confusion in S.F.

The obvious greed and corruption that appear to underlie the tossing of ethical Vivian Day from the Department of Building Inspection don’t seem to be raising many eyebrows in this earthquake-prone town. Sad and scary, but business as usual.

I am, however, a little surprised that the equally obvious appearance of sexism and racism doesn’t seem to be pinging anybody’s radar. Now if she were gay (and I have no idea whether she is or not), we might have a perfect trifecta of discrimination. I don’t suspect our Mayor Ed “I Won’t Run” Lee of possessing the subtlety to notice.

The photograph of Building Inspection Commissioner Debra Walker (a Day supporter) shaking hands with Day’s replacement, Tom Hui, says it all. It is quite plain that she is looking around for, to paraphrase Bob Dylan, “a hole to get sick in.” I’m with her.

Cab Covay
San Francisco

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