February 28-March 6, 2007

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Letters to the Editor

Would It Have Changed the Election?

In light of the recent election of November 2006, Americans let it be known that they were tired of an administration that suffered from one bad decision after another, congressional bickering, lack of congressional oversight and accountability, and most serious, criminal and unethical behavior on the part of some representatives.

Americans were also tired of Congress' self-serving nature and that representatives had forgotten who their employers were. Last election was another way of the public reminding Congress of its tendency to quickly forget those responsible for electing them.

Peter Byrne's recent story on Senator Dianne Feinstein and her husband Richard Blum raises serious ethical questions. If she had any notion that her participation on the Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee (MILCON) might in any way have a positive impact on Mr. Blum's financial interests, it would have been most appropriate for her to resign from the committee to avoid the slightest appearance of a conflict of interest. Despite this potential conflict of interest, she chose to continue as a MILCON committee member.

One wonders if Senator Feinstein would have been re-elected if the facts cited in Mr. Byrne's story were made public prior to the 2006 election. It is likely that questions would have been raised about her ethics and the decisions she made as chairperson of the MILCON committee.

Senator Dianne Feinstein needs to respect the fact that there are many in addition to this writer who are questioning her ethics and values.

John Pizzuti, Soquel

What's Wrong?

"Klein Responds" (Letters, Feb. 14) mentions "inaccuracies" but no actual instance of wrong information in"Iraq and Dianne" (Cover, Jan. 24) or "Daddy Kleinbucks" (MetroNews, Jan. 31).

Michael Klein, in the middle of a long letter, claims only that Dianne's senatorial support didn't, to her knowledge, "specifically" benefit either of her husband's defense-contracting firms.

If attorney Klein had found an inaccuracy, he wouldn't have written a letter to the editor. He'd have demanded a retraction.

Dave Canfield, San Jose

Dear Editor

Richard Koman is dead wrong when he asserts that one would have a difficult time writing a school paper on, say, the anti-slavery movement in the United States in the mid-19th century using a local public library ("A World Without Late Fees," MetroNews, Feb. 7). On the contrary, it is quite easy to find more than enough information on this topic—and on many other topics—by using both the online catalog and the electronic databases provided by a public library. In addition to housing the needed information for many school assignments, public libraries employ reference librarians who are very able and willing to help students select and locate the materials needed for school assignments.

Koman is also wrong when he writes that when requesting books from other libraries one "must wait several weeks and hope you ordered the good stuff."

If one should need to borrow books from other libraries, both the Santa Clara County Library and the San Jose Public Library have the LINK+ system, which provides free access to the book collections of 30 academic and public libraries throughout California. In my experience, books requested using this system arrive within a few days of placing an online request.

Koman's remarks lead me to believe that he is unfamiliar with the wide array of resources and services provided by public libraries. Perhaps Koman should be assigned to write an article on, say, how to use the public library for writing school research reports at the beginning of 21st century. In doing so, I hope he would have the sense to visit a few public libraries, and to interview some reference librarians. In addition, I suggest that he take the time to read The Oxford Guide to Library Research (3rd ed., 2005), by Thomas Mann, which was favorably reviewed in the pages of Metro (Nov. 9, 2005). The book is available at many public libraries.

Russell G. Fischer, Campbell

Enough to Make You Sick

Re "Mismanaged Care" (MetroNews, Jan. 17): You have no idea what is really going on in this system. For over four years I have been trying to expose the corruption that permeates the Regional Center system. All to deaf ears. Many, many more developmentally disabled citizens face abuses in the future from a system that is underfunding homes, taking bribes to place the "desired" consumers in favored homes, putting good care providers out of business because they speak up, retaliating against anyone who has the guts to fight these abuses, discriminating against certain ethic groups, condoning illegal labor practices, defrauding care providers, consultants and families through illegal and unethical audits, etc. Favoritism is rampant. Collusion with other agencies is commonplace. What is going on is enough to make anyone sick. Care providers are slaves to this system, and many resort to illegal practices to keep afloat. Something needs to be done and NOW.

Dr. Carol Gandolfo, Irvine

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