Letters from our Readers: Look to the bicycle to cure what ails you

The Sunday letter “Bicyclists are dangerous,” suggested that police should be aggressively ticketing bicyclists, yet it failed to examine why bicyclists have increasingly become a danger. Bicycle commuting has increased dramatically. But there are no new bike lanes, so bicyclists are left to improvise — often forced into sidewalks or crosswalks.

The bicycle is an amazing remedy. Consider the somewhat invisible costs of vehicle ownership (gas, insurance, tickets, parking, maintenance and repairs). Then consider how broke and unhealthy the average American has become in recent years. Consider foreign oil, parking, whatever. The bicycle is a partial remedy for all of these problems. If you’d like a better city, advocate for more bike lanes, not more tickets.

James Edward Gleason, San Francisco

Climate change disgrace

The Palo Alto City Council just passed a resolution about global warming. Are they unaware of the current Climategate scandal at the University of East Anglia in the U.K., where prominent climate scientists have been cooking, deleting and changing data on global warming to make it fit the current “theory” and discrediting or firing any scientist who disagreed with the current “accepted” version?

This has all come about because a whistle blower in the U.K. simply couldn’t stand the lying any more and made public e-mails from the past 10 years between top scientists in the field — these same scientists whose “facts” played prominently in Al Gore’s and the United Nations’ theory.

The e-mails make it clear that these scientists had tremendous financial advantages in pushing the “people’s CO² causes global warming” theory even though we have actually been cooling for the past seven or eight years.

Nancy Deussen, Palo Alto

Proud of Heisman winner

Though I rooted for Stanford’s Toby Gerhart to win the Heisman Trophy, in a way I am glad Alabama’s Mark Ingram got it because he gave one of the most emotional acceptance speeches in recent memory. At first I thought he was so petrified that he wasn’t going to utter anything. But after some tears of joy, I think he just about thanked everyone that he had ever encountered in his life. It was truly enjoyable to listen to some real heartfelt gratitude. It is amazing that with all the great players and teams Alabama produced over the years, he was Alabama’s first Heisman winner.

Kenneth L. Zimmerman, Huntington Beach

Time to deal with dogs

City officials whisper agreement that unleashed dogs roaming in the parks and streets are rampant. Then they act deaf when pressed to correct it. It is time to call out SFDOG President Sally Stephens for making excuses about fellow scofflaw dog owners, the Board of Supervisors for ignoring dog problems, the mayor for favoring dog owners over law-abiding citizens, every SFPD captain not giving direct orders to officers to do their job, and every dog owner ignoring the comfort and safety of others.
When — or if — can the majority of non-dog-owning citizens expect these four- and two-legged brats to be brought to justice?

Andrea O’Leary, San Francisco

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