Letters to the Editor
Re Inappropriate comment printed in Metro regarding cops: I am writing you regarding the editorial comment in the July 9 newspaper. The comment appeared after the article titled "Did SJPD Let Drunk-Driving Cop Slide?" In this article there were serious concerns addressing the actions of four police officers at the scene of a traffic collision. The attorney general's office is charging a former cop and investigator for the district attorney's office with felony drunk driving. The article understood that the internal affairs unit of the SJPD is investigating to see if the responding officers will lose their badges or face other discipline for the response that day. Your inappropriate proclamation was: "Comment: SJPD is always trying to get away wit shyt! Profiling the innocent only protecting their own! —Duhh"
First, I feel that the statement goes against the fundamental principals of justice, that we are all (including police officers) presumed innocent until proven guilty. Second, I feel this statement goes against the citizens of San Jose and their overwhelming trust in their police department. I hope that Metro will be responsible enough to retract this inappropriate comment.
Chief Financial Officer
Jeffrey, we wish we were cool enough to say things like 'wit shyt' without feeling like total poseurs. Alas, the article originally appeared on NBC11.com and the comment was from a reader on that site.—Editor
No More Money For BART
Thank you for the article discussing the proposed BART tax in the July 23 issue ("BART or Bust," MetroNews). I'm glad that Erin Sherbert pointed out that even with the new tax, there's still not enough for the BART line, the capital cost of which is now in excess of $6 billion.
In addition to the issues raised in the article, you should point out that the route of the proposed line is not optimal from a transportation standpoint, missing the job-rich "golden triangle" area and the airport. Passengers traveling to the latter will be required to ride the long way around to Santa Clara and transfer to a "people mover," which is like a cross between a bus and an elevator, to backtrack to the airport terminal. The Bay Rail Alliance has a superior alternative on its website called "Caltrain Metro East."
As you mention, word is out that the California Bureau of State Audits (BSA) has indicated it will release its audit report on VTA next week. We can only hope that the audit contains some bad news about VTA's finances that make them reconsider BART. There is precedent for them to reconsider. The "VTA Watch" blog reports that the "Downtown-East Valley" project has been rescoped: "Eight years ago, light rail on that corridor was one of the key projects listed on the 2000 Measure A in order to woo voters. Now it has been watered down to a bus rapid transit project with a possibility of a light rail upgrade."
How does this relate to BART? It shows that projects can be reconfigured to meet the budget: "Although BART is a good, cost-effective plan worthy of consideration, a switch from light rail to BART nonetheless represents a pattern of double standards. If VTA actually put as much effort to develop a cost-effective alternative to BART as it did for light rail on the Santa Clara/Alum Rock Corridor, VTA wouldn't have to ask voters for another tax increase this November."
VTA needs to go back to the drawing board, instead of always asking the voters for more money.
What's Next With Permits?
Re Promoter's Permits ("Club Dread," MetroNews, June 11): I am so ashamed of San Jose. For all the talk about this city being a cultural epicenter, the City Council sure seems determined to prevent significant growth. I've been to hundreds of great shows, some of them as small as 10 people at a little record shop watching amazing local artists; under this new law shows like that would be illegal if someone doesn't shell out a thousand dollars? What about open-mic nights at cafes? Are poets going to need Free Speech Permits next? Are artists going to need Visual Expression of Imagination Permits to display their work in public? This is a disgraceful low for San Jose, especially during tough economic times— when we could all use a night of the blues, they're squeezing the scene for some green.
I thought downtown was becoming a ghost town when they closed the Cactus down—this is just another step in the wrong direction.