Oyster wars

EDITOR: The Press Democrat's recent exposure of the Koch Brothers' connection to the Drakes Bay Oyster Co.'s lawsuit ("Oyster battle reaches past Drakes Bay," March 9) and the efforts by right-wing senators to permanently commercialize the Point Reyes National Seashore wilderness ("Oyster farm in GOP jobs bill," March 15) speaks volumes about how involved this company is with a radical agenda that threatens our most treasured landscapes.

Kevin Lunny says he didn't know about legislation, which would benefit his business while subverting national park and wilderness policy. The Point Reyes language is buried in a larger piece of legislation that opens our coast to drilling, approves the Keystone XL dirty tar sands pipeline and blocks the EPA from protecting the air we breathe and water we drink. I find it unbelievable that Lunny denies knowledge when his lobbyist has sought the help of this batch of senators.

I agree with Rep. Jared Huffman that this effort is an "environmental wrecking ball." The ball is now in Lunny's court to convince the public that the information before us, which connects his company to a broad anti-environmental scheme, is accidental. He can start by publicly rejecting this legislation so destructive to Point Reyes.



The bigger picture

EDITOR: While I am extremely disappointed that the Senate does not have the votes to pass a ban on assault weapons despite the American public's support of such a ban, the bigger picture is the need for campaign finance reform.

Those senators who vote against or are too cowardly to admit they would vote against an assault weapons ban probably owe their re-election to the National Rifle Association.

The NRA and other lobbying groups have too much power over our elected officials. If we want a democracy, we need elected officials who represent the people and not the lobbyists and/or corporations with big money. The time is now for a change.



No comparison

EDITOR: Eric Lindenbusch's letter ("Vasa's responsibility," March 14) comparing car sales persons with educators does not make sense. The sales managers I've had the pleasure to know have not been overly concerned with what their staff thinks about the product they're selling as long as they are good sales persons.

The gift of a Catholic education is not about selling a bill of goods or marketing a product. I believe that the very fine teachers in the Santa Rosa Diocese do excellent work in educating their students in the required Catholic curriculum. They don't teach their personal thoughts. To have a teacher repudiate, under duress, their private thoughts is simply wrong.

I don't read the the New York Times or Cosmopolitan, nor did I vote for President Barack Obama in either election. And, when it comes to being obsequious, I believe that thoughtlessly following any cleric is the very definition of the word.



Laws and more laws

EDITOR: I bicycle, and I've been hit by cars. However, I question whether the county needs an ordinance about interactions between cars and bicycles. Do we need yet another law? What ordinance will be rescinded to make room for this new one?



CalPERS rate hikes

EDITOR: I appreciate The Press Democrat reprinting the long-term care editorial from the Fresno Bee ("Another failed promise by CalPERS," March 12).

I bought CalPERS' long-term care coverage 15 years ago. I have the 1995 brochure that led me to believe my premiums would not go up. The editorial did not mention the fact that we were billed a 5 percent increase in 2012 and face 5 percent more in 2013 and 5 percent again in 2014. Coupled with the 85 percent increase adopted by CalPERS, that's a 100 percent increase in my quarterly payments. CalPERS says that premium will remain for 10 years.

I would love to see an in-depth article and more research on this huge increase in premiums. It appears to be an attempt to force out those of us who chose the lifetime benefit and 5 percent inflation protection. It seems to me that I am paying for that 5 percent inflation protection with this year's increase and the potential 100 percent increase coming by 2016.


Rohnert Park