Obama’s State of the Union; Newsom Wants a Date; NUHW and Kaiser; District 10 Race; Chocolate Milk …

by on January 27, 2010

To the Editor:

I too will not watch Obama’s speech, because I feel that every time his lips are moving he is lying.

James Ricciuti
Waynesburg, PA

To the Editor:

Good article. I too will skip the speeches. Now you are catching on, I recognized the empty campaign promises for what they were during the presidential campaign (nothing new about that). News flash, the elitists are going to discover how many intelligent people in this country have been paying attention since the media fueled ‘mass’ hysteria of the election. Most of the midterm election voters have very low expectations and will tip the scales in favor of political gridlock. We can’t afford any more ‘help’ from the government.

Keith Beattie
Greenville, TX

To the Editor:

I have been writing this same message to the President since last March. I have asked him, time and time, to mount his horse and take out his Saber. So far, no warrior has appeared coming out of the White House. My fear is that the President just does not know how to fight. His next chance at getting things done may be his last. Time is running out. Good article, and the beginning of the next phase of history.

John Holter

To the Editor:

Randy Shaw is either naive, far too entrenched in his own ideology, or both. Primarily, he sites the unions as the sole representation of the middle class. As a card carrying member of the middle class but not a union member, my taxes will foot the bill for my middle class peers who are union members to maintain their cadillac plan. Perhaps that plan was over generous in the first place. My coverage is just average and it will do.

I don’t expect any of the union members to pick up my tab. As for the war. When each President hits the world stage and becomes privy to the intelligence, complexities and subtleties of diverse cultures and their intentions, conflict historically becomes a part of the formula to maintain balance. Since the beginning of humankind there has been war somewhere. A sad commentary on humanity and our ability to coexist. We must be ever vigilant in trying to improve our efforts to negotiate a win win for ourselves and others. In the mean time we must do the best we can to at least maintain.

Barbara Kern

To the Editor:

Excellent Article!! You have put “the obvious” into words, and yet most of the news media do not want to say it! Thank you for showing that the ‘individuals of millions’ don’t have to say to themselves. “Am I the only one who sees it this way?” Keep up the great reporting!

Steve Tuz
Charlotte, NC

To the Editor:

Barack Obama is exactly who he represented himself to be. Those that were delusional are the ones disappointed. This is the poorest /shallow excuse of reasoning I have read in some time. Grow the %$#@ up! We have plenty of children voicing thier opinions already.

Timothy Counts
Hayward, CA

To the Editor:

You hit the nail on the head by pointing out the difference between the “sayer” and the “doer.” The sad truth (for those that support Obama) is that he will always be in “campaign mode.”

Mark Simons
Martinez, CA

To the Editor:

I can understand and appreciate the frustration with the Democrats and the Obama Administration. I too have felt the anger over the lack of movement on any of the polices that they were elected to implement.

But I am from the generation that watched this same anger and frustration toward the Democrats in the 60’s that led to the election of Richard Nixon. That election led the United States through 40 plus years of the “dark ages” of our political system. Republicans have learned that to divide is to conquer. And unfortunately, we have not learned how to push for change with the current Administration, without dividing and destroying our own purpose.

I agree with most of the challenges we have faced in trying to create change. But we are too eager to forget all that Obama has done that we would never have seen with a Republican Administration. I have witnessed personally many people who after being laid off, only having to pay 1/3 of the COBRA for their Health Insurance — this would have never happened with a Bush or McCain administration.

There is more. We must remember that we can work for change with the Democrats but we cannot work for change with the Republicans. We must learn new methods of becoming more a part of making change with the current Administration then being disappointed, angry and allowing another Republican to take another House or Senate Seat — another 8 years of “Bush” type governing and its all over.

Nancy College
San Francisco

To the Editor:

Brother Shaw, your writing and criticism are well placed, so how about you proposing some ideas to the President that will make things better? Do you believe that McCain would have even tried to get a health plan for uninsured Americans? How can we have two wars going and not take care of our own peoples’ health? May I have your take on the recent decision by the Supreme Court to allow companies to spend as much as they want to get an candidate elected? Doesn’t that sound a little like a banana republic’s way of conducting elections?

Please, give us some positive ideas. We’re listening!

Andre LaRochelle
Santa Rosa, CA

To the Editor:

I always felt Obama was too conservative for my support. Now, I guess, everyone see he is not the liberal progressives were looking for. Live and learn. It’s too bad — there was so much optimism after the election. We lost health care reform because the Democrats and Obama were too weak to get it through even if they were in the majority. At the end, they compromised so much that the only winners were the insurance companies.

Maggie Carmody
Foster City, CA

To the Editor:

This says A LOT about Newsom’s leadership philosophy, or lack thereof. He is so afraid to be in the same room with people who disagree with him that it’s shocking. If this job development plan is so great, Newsom should be willing to fight for it IN THE BOARD CHAMBERS!

Kevin Bard
San Francisco

To the Editor:

I have some concerns about innaccuracies in this article. Rank and file members were included in the pension bargaining sessions. I am one of 4 elected rank and file members who participated from UHW. NUHW supporters chose to boycott this bargaining, with the hope that Kaiser would wait until they had their former leaders in a new union (NUHW). Kaiser was unwilling to wait. 29 unions in the Kaiser Coalition, not just UHW, were at the table.

The lump sum was reduced because of the pension protection Act requirements to keep it 80% funded. In order to do so, the rate by which the lump sum was calculated was changed from the T-Bill to the CBR. As you may or may not know, there is an inverse relationship with rates and payouts. The lower the prevailing rate, the higher the payout. If Kaiser had continued the use of the T-Bill, the lump sum payout would be so high it would drain the fund. We did bargain an enhanced “pop-up ” survivor benefit, to make the lifetime annuity more attractive. I have even more details if you are truly interested in accuracy.

Trez Fleming
Placerville, CA

To the Editor:

Great analysis on the District 10 race, but don’t assume a field full of African Americans insures that an African American candidate will win the race. The shrinking percentage of Black voters in the district coupled with a divided candidate field may result in a dynamic similar to what occurred in D4 with the Ed Jew race. So many Chinese candidates entered the race that an Arab man lead the run off. Ed Jews surprise win was totally unpredicted. Look at the potential for candidates of Asian ethnicity or a White female to gain foothold.

Ahimsa Sumchai, MD
San Francisco

To the Editor:

As a nutritionist and long term school nutrition advocate, I agree completely with the arguments presented in this article. The priority is to improve the amount of body building nutrients students get. These include calcium and protein. Chocolate milk is a means to that end. I applaud the responsiveness of Berkeley Farms,and hope that they will revisit the issue of amount of sugar in their product as they get input from parents and students. Thank you, Dana Woldow, for taking a complex issue and making it understable and accesible to us.

Laura Brainin-Rodriguez
San Francisco

To the Editor:

Choco milk – the great distraction: “Identifying the barriers which keep students from eating the cafeteria meals, and overcome those barriers, is vital to getting more students to eat school lunch. The barriers include stubborn issues like the stigma some students feel when they accept a ‘free’ meal; or getting teenagers to remember to dig the meal application out of their backpack (where it has fallen to the bottom and been crushed into an accordion shape)”

I think those examples say a lot — if a child is hungry or ill-nourished, he/she does NOT routinely lose a meal ticket or refuse to eat in the school cafeteria. What we have here is another costly program that needs to be pared back to address only those students who truly need it. And as for schools providing nutritious food — if you really want to change matters, offer nutrition and cooking instruction along with free food to the moms, dads, and grandparents who can put good practices into effect at home.

This school lunch business is just that — a business opportunity for non-profiteers and government employees to punch their time cards. These people are benefiting from a system that does not want poor people to change their own lives. If poor folks did so, THAT would be radical and empowering. Changing choco milk — ‘very empowering’ indeed.

Dana B.
San Francisco

To the Editor:

Yeah to the work of Dana Woldow and the others. It may be a small victory, but it is a victory!

Patricia Gray
San Francisco

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