7 letters run the gamut from high-speed rail to City Council service to protecting rodeo animals

Let’s put the $100 billion and climbing high-speed rail
project to bed before it’s too late

Dear Editor,
There has been a huge amount of effort and argument both pro and con regarding the proposed and incredibly expensive high speed rail system. It is time to wrap it up. The price tag has now grown to the range of $100 billion. The cities are broke, the counties are also, and the state is totally busted. Therefore we will try to buck the full cost up to the taxpayers. This is pure nonsense.
First, the government should never be permitted to conflict with free enterprise, the government will win by hook or crook. The competition is with the free enterprise airline companies which fly between San Francisco and Los Angeles: it can be done in less than an hour, at competitive prices.
With multiple airlines, you can be sure that the ticket cost is realistic. With a government owned rail system the only thing you can be sure of is that it will be a money loser and the fares will never pay for the cost of running the rail line, the taxpayers will carry the difference, ad infinitum. Per recent declarations from Sacramento, they don’t seem to care what the cost is, the taxpayers will pay for it, one way or another.
Second, if the people in Sacramento want a rail line that badly, the rail companies such as Union Pacific or Southern Pacific should be asked to build it and do their own financing. Again, the government should never compete with free enterprise, let the railroad experts try. If they fail, there is no cost to the taxpayers, either the rail lines or the airlines will succeed, the winner takes all.
When you look at all of the factors, you aren’t going to get it any faster or cheaper than an airline can accomplish. Let’s get Sacramento and the taxpayers out of the high speed rail discussion and let private enterprise argue it out. If it won’t operate at a profit, it should not be built in the first place.

W.R. Blakley, Morgan Hill

Raise for Gavilan president causes reader to wonder aloud about what should be valued

Dear Editor,
What are we thinking? What do we value?
Recent complaints about Gavilan College President’s raise, sparked by President Obama’s leadership toward class envy, make me wonder about what is important and of value. 
In this case a recent publication of salaries showed a stark contrast between college heads and sports directors. It shows what is valued.   
College president’s with a PhD get about $250,000 to $350,000. Sports coaches s get $1.5 million and in some cases more. It appears that the schools exist to support athletics. I used to think the academics were the important part. Obviously not!
Teachers and directors even with advanced degrees are lucky to earn enough to support a family. Professional players are getting $7 to $15 million per year to throw a ball around. Net intrinsic value equals zero. Once they throw the ball it’s done.  Nothing is produced. Value added to the economy? Probably nothing.  
They do soak up a lot of bucks just like the government. Now these Dollar Dynamos want your money to spend billions on new arenas. The movie and TV entertainers are not much different. They are mostly relatively uneducated and surprisingly their opinions on politics and life are sought after. The Romans pacified the populace with entertainment, too. Too bad a PhD is not required of sports figures.  Maybe we wouldn’t have to pay them so much.

John Herren, Gilroy

Hey Mitt, every cloud has a
silver lining even in the GOP presidential primary battle

Dear Editor,
They say that every cloud has a silver lining. As we all know Mitt Romney hasn’t wanted to release his tax returns and explain his bank accounts in the Cayman Islands. With Newt’s big win in South Carolina it looks like he may not have to.

Marc Perkel, Gilroy

Really appreciates the service provided by the Gilroy Dispatch with regards to Council actions

Dear Editor,
On page A6 of the Friday edition of the Dispatch, we were pleased to find an excellent description and evaluation of the City Council agenda for the Monday evening meeting.
This report provides a very brief but clear synopsis of the major issues to be reviewed by the council. We believe the public should be informed of what policies the council is considering, before action is taken and not just reported after the fact.
Although this information is available to all citizens on the city’s website, there are many who do not have the time or access to retrieve it. We believe the Dispatch is providing a major public service with this type of report and hope it is continued for the foreseeable future.

Thomas and Becky Fischer, Gilroy

Editor’s note: Thank you for the kind words, and we plan to do just that.

Bad form trying to blindside GOP frontrunner Newt Gingrich in national TV interview
Dear Editor,

When CNN’s John King tried to blindside Newt Gingrich it blew up in his face. Whether you like Newt Gingrich of not, he is not one to run from a fight.  What was demonstrated was media bias.
King in an interview afterword claimed he knew that Gingrich would attack him. That is hard to believe based on the response from the audience. The audience nearly booed King off the stage. 
Does anyone believe that he expected that response? I don’t think so.
Keith C. De Filippis, San Jose

Tighter controls on rodeo and Mexican charreadas events needed to protect the animals
Dear Editor,

California is the #2 rodeo state in the nation, second only to Texas. We also boast the best (only?) rodeo animal welfare law in the country, Penal Code 596.7. The law needs strengthening.It now allows for either an on-site veterinarian OR an on-call vet able to arrive within one hour. 
The rodeo folks usually opt for the on-call vet, since it’s cheaper. The law also requires that injury reports be submitted to the State Veterinary Medical Board. In the law’s 12 years there have been fewer than 20 such reports. Not possible! What with 60 professional rodeos held annually, plus double that number of amateur rodeos and the Mexican charreadas, there should be 50 to 60 such reports every year. It’s clear that the on-call vets are not being summoned, and animals are suffering accordingly.
SOLUTION: Amend 596.7 so as to require EITHER an on-site veterinarian OR an on-site Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT), with a licensed vet on call. There are about 7,500 vets in the state, and 5,500 RVTs. RVTs are far less costly than vets. And shouldn’t on-site medical care for the animals simply be the cost of doing business? Seems only fair.
There should also be two weeks advance notice to local animal control of any upcoming rodeos, in order that these agencies might deploy their staff accordingly to see that rules are followed.  Such notice is already required of traveling circuses with animal acts. Please ask your state reps to introduce this much-needed legislation to alleviate animal suffering. All legislators may be written c/o The State Capitol, Sacramento, CA  95814.

Eric Mills, coordinator, Action for Animals, Oakland


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