Cutting education for high-speed rail

California has a spending problem. And how California allocates state taxpayer dollars speaks volumes to our priorities as a society and our morals.

Contrast this: California spending $4.5 billion in taxpayer dollars to lay 54 miles of high-speed rail tracks between two tiny cities of Borden and Corcoran (total population 25,000), nonoperational without trains or electrification; or Gov.-elect Jerry Brown being “forced” to make hugely draconian cuts to education for our children and teachers. Brown’s statement to teachers: “Fasten your seat belts!” But the University of California system already raised student tuition 62 percent over three years (with more increases coming), school classrooms are crowded beyond capacity and California already ranks 49th worst in education in the U.S.!

Only a morally bankrupt society and state would waste more than $100 billion in taxpayer dollars on a “Train to Nowhere” by cutting basic educational materials and resources to children. Support Rep. Jerry Lewis’ House Resolution 6403 (American Recovery and Reinvestment Rescission Act) and California Assemblyman Jim Nielsen’s Senate Bill 22. Both laws defund the California High-Speed Rail Authority and will kill California’s boondoggle today.

Mike Brown, Burlingame

NFL rules change

The NFL needs to reconsider its rules concerning an automatic ejection for a player who makes contact with an official — just as 49ers defensive end Justin Smith was last week.

When the whistle blows for the play clock to begin, behemoths position themselves on the line of scrimmage and prepare to burst into one another at a force most human beings cannot handle.

So to think another whistle, used to stop the forward progress, is going to stop them in midmotion, in a sense make them freeze, is absurd.

This ain’t musical chairs.

And what about a player’s reputation? Isn’t society based on a person’s reputation? Doesn’t a person’s character count for anything, and if so, shouldn’t that apply to the game official
as well?

Or are officials absolved from anything and everything they do on the field regardless of how inept they have proven to be? That is to say, don’t officials have reputations as being consistently good or inconsistent more often
than not?

Kevin J. Marquez , San Francisco

City failing its youths

How sad it is for The City that there will no longer be any Oscar Jimenezes.</p>

Why? With the laying off of more than 70 full-time, dedicated, professional recreation directors, there are no more heroes. With the “privatization” of recreation centers, there are no more friends to the families, mentors or saviors for our youth.

Along with that also goes all of the sports teams that create teamwork, which leads to excellence in school and keeping kids off the streets.

Ellen Leaf, San Francisco

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