PG&E still not taking responsibility in blast 

Many people seem relieved now that the National Transportation Safety Board has stated that PG&E is to blame for the gas pipe explosion tragedy in San Bruno a year ago. But of course the utility’s president says no actual people were at fault, it was just “the system.”

I’d like to see someone try that excuse after causing a car crash. But now even if PG&E is slapped with something as humiliating as a massive fine, I think we all know who’s going to end up paying for it.

And this is the same company we’re supposed to trust with its “safe” SmartMeters.

Carl Hoffman, San Francisco

Private-school tax breaks

I’m not a big fan of school vouchers, but the state should give a tax break for private school tuition. California spends around $10,000 per student, so those enrolled in private schools are saving state taxpayers that amount. Why shouldn’t the parents get a tax exemption for the money they didn’t require California to spend?

Tim Donnelly, San Francisco

Circus elephants abused

In response to your Aug. 25 story about Ringling Bros. Circus, PETA would like to explain why those performances are protested at every stop. We have acquired shocking photos of Ringling’s baby elephants prematurely torn away from their mothers, stretched out with ropes, slammed to the ground, gouged with bullhooks and shocked with electric prods — to teach them the physically grueling and confusing tricks seen in a circus routine. You can view these images on ringlingbeats

These photos depict the beginning of what will be a lifetime filled with chains and punishment. A PETA undercover investigation produced video footage showing Ringling workers repeatedly beating elephants moments before performances in order to remind them “who’s boss.”

Adam Miller, PETA, Los Angeles

Dufty’s ‘black agenda’

For Melissa Griffin’s Aug. 30 column to suggest that Bevan Dufty began talking about his “black agenda” for San Francisco only after Ed Lee entered the mayoral race is inaccurate and unfair. Bevan has spoken with passion and purpose about the challenges facing African Americans in our city at dozens of forums and appearances.

I have personally seen Bevan’s tenacity when he worked for confirmation of Leona Bridges, an accomplished African-American leader in finance, to the SFMTA Board. Without his leadership, this very qualified and committed candidate might not have had the opportunity to serve our city.

Annette Shelton, Hand to Hand, San Francisco


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