Letters To The Editor

Dear Editor,
Your paper has had lots of articles the past few weeks on public pensions, bargaining rights and other public employee issues. However, I have not seen any articles on a current election that should help shape all of these issues.  That election is the election of statewide and local officer for SEIU 1000. I am guessing that the reason there are no articles about the nomination part of the election which ended recently is due to the fact that like many third world countries, SEIU 1000 has extremely limited the number of members that it lets run for any of these offices.  

Last year, the governing council for SEIU 1000 voted to only allow members who have been stewards for the last two years to run for statewide office.  This limited the number of possible candidates to probably to a 1,000 or so of the almost 100,000 people that SEIU represents. They did this to ensure that members that do not think like the current leadership would not get a chance to change things. Public employees and their unions are under attack on many fronts; this just adds ammunition to those opposed to the union.

I was a steward for 5 years from 1995-2000 and a chapter President from 1995-1998. However, I do not meet the new requirements to run for any SEIU 1000 leadership positions.

Many other members that do not agree with how the union is run cannot voice their opposition. This is just one more reason that many of the state employees SEIU represents don’t even like them. SEIU needs a greater diversity of opinions in their leadership, not less.

Bob Bernstein,

Dear Editor,
This is as bad as it gets. The California Department of Fish and Game thinks that we, the taxpayers, and interested citizens, can’t see through their smokescreens or tell fool’s gold from the real deal.

The Department is again campaigning to expand the number of California bears that can be killed during the hunting season by approximately 20% despite the overwhelming objection to this by state residents. (See my prior call to action piece that describes this cruel and unsportsmanlike activity http://bit.ly/icDFsi ) While trying to allow more bears to be killed, this same department is simultaneously bragging about their efforts to rehabilitate a few bear cubs orphaned by – yes – hunters! Once the babies are of the appropriate age to be hunted they will be released to the wild to be such a target.

They are essentially fattening those baby bears for slaughter. Did they think that we would not notice? Did they think that we would be so blinded by the image of cuddly, carousing cubs to not see the manipulating, sinister hand behind their self-congratulatory press releases? We are not so easily distracted by shiny objects.

I concur with my colleagues’ piece in the San Francisco Chronicle http://bit.ly/exhOBs with one exception. I don’t think we should praise them for these acts but rather bury them with demands not to expand the hunting numbers. I also believe every single resident of California should also contact Jerry Brown, our new governor http://gov.ca.gov/m_contact.php and ask for a top to bottom review of the entire Department of Fish and Game and its impotent Commission.

Madeline Bernstein,
President, Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Los Angeles

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