Questions remain on high-speed rail 

It was good to read of BART’s extension into San Jose. Ultimately, it will be $3 billion spent for a desperately needed project, serving a pretty densely populated region. You will get no complaints from the commuters and other riders who benefit from a less-congested transportation alternative.

I cannot say the same for the $98 billion (thus far) high-speed rail project, which I believe will end up being nothing more than an expensive amusement park ride for tourists.

However, I am concerned whenever I hear someone like U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein making ridiculously hyperbolic statements such as, “I am concerned that our state’s future would be greatly hindered if this project either failed to get off the ground, or failed to be completed.”

The first question that should come to mind is whether there is any connection between the project and Feinstein’s investor husband Richard Blum. Since we already know that the $98 billion projected cost is a lowball estimate, asking that kind of question only seems fair.

Mark Adams, Tahoe City

 

Give sheriff a chance

I deplore the lynch party atmosphere and rush to judgment in the alleged domestic violence incident involving newly elected San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi. A few political types seem obscenely eager to blow an unclear situation out of all proportion.

I know Mirkarimi, having been a volunteer in his City Hall office. He was a hard-working supervisor who served District 5 and The City very well. He had law enforcement training, made it a practice to ride with the police on shooting cases in the Fillmore and helped get the crime rate there reduced significantly.

Barry S. Eisenberg, San Francisco

 

Local benefactors shine

Your Friday editorial said Mayor Ed Lee has done a remarkable job of cultivating a new generation of local benefactors to carry on the tradition.

San Franciscans all know about the “high-tech philanthropists who are creative, visionary, driven and fiscally sophisticated.” But let us not overlook the other philanthropists who do extraordinary work in supporting other “parts of local life.”

For instance, take the fine work that Pet Food Express is doing for Northern California pet shelters and rescue organizations. The My Mutt program, over 10 years, has donated $1 million to help needy animals.

Nancy Wong, San Francisco

 

Fighting domestic violence

I am a longtime volunteer at the Cooperative Restraining Order Clinic. CROC helps San Francisco victims of domestic violence obtain restraining orders against their batterers.

Domestic violence is behavior driven by a need to control. It can include threats, annoying telephone calls and stalking, unwanted sexual touching, hitting and destruction of the victim’s personal property.

Domestic violence occurs across all income levels, races, cultures and age groups. But too often it is a hidden crime. If there is a positive about the domestic violence allegedly perpetrated by Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi against his wife, Eliana Lopez, it shined a much-needed light on a serious problem in our society.

Ralph E. Stone, San Francisco

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