Publication Date: Friday, July 16, 2004
Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor
(July 16, 2004) Legal immigrants don't need to speak English
I am writing this letter in response to the letter of Paul Johnson which was published in the July 2 Voice. I mostly agreed with Mr. Johnson's opinion, but if you have been a legal immigrant for 15 years in U.S. you don't need to be able to speak English to become a citizen, you only need to pass the interview in your native language.
In a country like Canada, I have heard that if you are over 65 and have been a legal immigrant in the country for three years you can interview in your native language. The United States already has the toughest law for legal immigrants.
Defending our trail and rail
I would like to respond to the Letter to the Editor in the July 9 issue entitled "Trail extension won't benefit enough people."
The Stevens Creek Trail is heavily used mornings, afternoons and evenings by people walking, running, biking and skating. Besides using it for recreation and exercise (not exactly undesirable activities), people use it as a means to get to Shoreline Lake, Palo Alto and other destinations.
If you use it, it is clear that it is not just used by people who live directly adjacent to one particular section of the trail. I use it quite frequently myself, and I observe surprisingly little refuse. I have never observed any homeless people in the creek bed or elsewhere. I will admit that I haven't checked it in the middle of the night.
As far as the reference to the Light Rail, I just happened to use it on July 9 with a friend as part of a bike ride. We boarded at the Castro Street station at 10 a.m. and within a few stops, the bike racks were more than full and the seats about half full. On the way back at 2 p.m., it was about three-quarters full. Note that neither of these trips was during commute hours.
Sierra Vista Avenue
City shouldn't build child-care center
Congratulations to the Mountain View City Council on its reluctance to support the child-care project.
Governments should not get involved in private businesses. They aren't successful because they have so many constraints, have to make so many compromises to get a consensus, and the timing delays make them miss the window of opportunity, that they end up losing money. Plus their hearts aren't really in it because their money is not at risk! If it is really needed, private enterprise will provide the service faster, cheaper, better and make money on it.
The Economics Press (1974) in its booklet, Good News, quoted a man who gave away millions of dollars for one the richest families in the world. He said, "The more I see, the more I believe that most things which are really worth doing can be done at a profit."
Bruce Tinsley said sarcastically that there are people who feel there should be a "center for pushing a public-policy solution for every problem imaginable." We need less government interference and involvement, not more!
In addition, it would be giving up scarce park space to a private project. And don't hire a child-care coordinator for the city. Which department will the money be deducted from? I encourage the council to not waste more taxpayers' money on further studies and to stop considering the project.
Country needs better fuel efficiency standards
America must increase the fuel efficiency of motor vehicles. We now have the technology for automobiles with fuel efficiency standards of 60-80 mpg through the use of hybrid engines and other technologies. Yet the average fuel efficiency of cars are almost as low as the Model T Ford.
It is important that we take steps today to change this. With increasing gas prices and reliance on Middle Eastern oil sources, there are numerous reasons to increase our nation's fuel efficiency standards. Our gas-guzzling ways are making poor families pay more at the pump and putting our soldiers abroad into harm's way. And as demand for oil from emerging economies continues to increase, we need to demonstrate restraint before it is too late.
Our Congress should enforce and strengthen CAFE (Corporate Automobile Fuel Economy) standards instead of letting them get away with loopholes. For a healthier environment and sensible foreign policy, we must act now.
Michael Moore went too far
Having been a fan of Michael Moore's work in "Roger & Me" and "Bowling for Columbine" and never a fan of President Bush, I was in for a jolt from "Fahrenheit 9/11." Moore has skipped right past "Documentary Filmmaking 101" into "Nazi-style Journalism." The enormous use of pre-air TV footage and the powerful slant on so much information was not what I expected.
It was chilling to be in the theater with so many people watching so many distortions to make a passionate point. I thought of how Hitler demonized Jewish people in large public gatherings and felt I was watching it happen in real time. When the audience applauded at the end, I was left with a very bad feeling in my stomach. Bad things happen when bad filmmakers gain an audience.
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