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Letters to the Editor

VTA Tax Takes A Hit

Re: "BART or Bust" (MetroNews, July 23). After VTA and SVLG challenged the ballot arguments of opponents of the proposed Measure B VTA tax for BART, a Superior Court judge ruled on those challenges. Judge Murphy agreed with VTA tax opponents that their statement "[VTA has] the worst-performing light rail in the country" was not misleading. Tax opponents were able to substantiate this claim to the court's satisfaction.

To stifle public debate on Measure B, an employee of SVLG, with extensive assistance from VTA general manager Michael T. Burns, filed two lawsuits seeking to strike seven allegedly "false or misleading" statements in the ballot arguments against Measure B, and to disqualify one of the ballot argument signatories. The judge threw out six claims but upheld two based on technicalities.

Rejecting Measure B supporters' claims that opponents made false and misleading statements, the judge allowed tax opponents to assert the following: that VTA does have the worst- performing light rail in the nation; that VTA cut service resulting in lost ridership; that VTA did cut or delay key projects (in the main argument); that VTA has delayed key projects (in the rebuttal argument); that VTA is not delivering on prior commitments of adding new transit service; that John McLemore, who is a former VTA board member, a former MTC Commissioner and former member of the Santa Clara City Council, was eligible to sign the ballot argument.

Tax supporters objected to tax opponents' claims that the 2000 Measure A campaign had promised to complete all the projects without any further taxes. The judge upheld this claim against the tax opponents' rebuttal on the narrow grounds that VTA itself hadn't made these promises.

By filing frivolous challenges to our ballot statements, VTA and SVLG tried to prevent the truth from being told. We succeeded in documenting their falsehoods and in submitting convincing evidence to the court under enormous time pressure. Although we weren't allowed to file evidence in response to their challenge to the No on B rebuttal, evidence that we have that readily rebuts their claims, we were able to fend off two out of three challenges to our rebuttal arguments.

Margaret Okuzumi

Executive Director, BayRail Alliance


Beautifully Bleak

I just finished reading Gary Singh's article on the 10 wonderfully defunct districts in San Jose ("Postcards From the Edge of San Jose," Cover, Aug. 13). Wow! We just keep getting more and more interesting! Gary, I swear you and your photographer Felipe do more good for San Jose than all of those mayors and their fiefdoms (good word) put together!!

I love those bleak, stark buildings; there's a beauty in them. Those strip malls can't hold a candle to them!

Neila M.

San Jose

Needs More Buzz

In reference to your article on the recent impeachment hearings, "We Got Served" (The Fly, July 30).

Thank you for noticing that the country is in deep crisis and that there are stirrings within Congress to do something about it, possibly even saving it. We in Silicon Valley Impeachment Coalition are pleased to have been instrumental in bringing this matter to your attention and especially pleased to have received the attentions of your cultural reporter, "The Fly." He buzzed over to talk to us and was so surprised to find that "we made sense." But then, as he noted, we have Valerie [Carter]. Anyone who can hold a pencil is impressed with Valerie. Now The Fly need only hold a conversation with Dennis Kucinich—he can do this by going to his website. He'll be surprised again to find just how impressed he is. Now we hope that Metro will continue to keep its readers informed about their prospects of still having a country next year. For this task, may we suggest that you send the Wasp or, if you are really serious, the Hornet.

John Anderson

Mountain View

Rockin' Roll

Re: "Roller Brawl" (Sports, Aug. 27). Great article and sounds like there will be another! Your readers might want to know more about the game—the rules, how it is played, etc. Roller derby is the fastest-growing cult sport in America!


Silicon Valley Roller Girls Head Ref

Los Gatos