Dog owners should watch pets on street 

If you walk down the sidewalk swinging a 6-foot (or longer) chain over your head, the San Francisco police will arrive to put a stop to that threateningly anti-social behavior.

But if instead of swinging a chain, you clip a dog to one end of the chain and clear a 6-foot swath of sidewalk out of your way, the behavior is not generally thought to be anti-social. Indeed, anyone who dares to suggest that dog owners rein in their pet is sneeringly dismissed as “anti-dog.”

In fairness, some dog owners aren’t acting maliciously, they are merely socially oblivious. But there are also some dog owners who give every indication of quite consciously using their canines to deny others their fair use of the sidewalk.

The question is, why do we continue to tolerate this thinly veiled form of anti-social aggression?

Riley B. VanDyke
San Francisco


Recycling supes a bad idea

Your Jan. 3 story “Controversial supervisor considers another board run” shows how district elections for supervisor has become a total farce if Chris Daly, who now live in Vallejo, can move into a district just a few months before an election and run for supervisor.

District elections were designed so that candidates who had longtime roots in the district and had an understanding of the neighborhood needs could run for supervisor and get elected. What you have instead is a game of musical chairs where a carpetbagger such as Chris Daly can just move into a district a few months before Election Day and run for district supervisor and get elected with just a few thousand votes.

E.F. Sullivan
San Francisco

High-speed rail a mistake

If Sacramento Democrats don’t immediately kill the $118 billion high-speed rail to nowhere, this proves new taxes are not needed in 2012 and must be rejected. California taxpayers otherwise will be liable for $115 billion in new loans, aka new bonds. Bonds are paid back with interest at $2 for every $1 borrowed, so $115 billion in new bonds actually costs $230 billion from the general fund. And costs will inevitably rise; they always do.

The California Labor Federation and other well-connected construction interests want this boondoggle, but it’s at the expense of K-12 children, school supplies, university tuition hikes, senior centers and state parks.

Investigative reports show that only 20,000 permanent new jobs would be created by high-speed rail, not the 1 million touted by state officials.

So Democrats cannot claim California is broke and that K-12 children will suffer without new taxes. Obviously at least $230 billion is lying around for the high-speed rail boondoggle.

Mike Brown

Employment problems

Back when I read The Economist, I marveled at the 10 percent unemployment Old Europe didn’t seem to mind. It was explained to me that this was the accepted cost of cradle-to-grave welfare.

My son-in-law lost his job last month. He was one of 200 bank employees who were terminated. Interestingly, these newly unemployed will be carried on the company roll for six months, drawing their regular pay and accruing benefits. This causes me to wonder just how many job seekers there truly are these days.

Paul Burton
San Francisco

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