Opinion » Letters to the Editor

Central Subway project is a pointless expense

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Thanks in part to The San Francisco Examiner’s excellent coverage, I have recently become aware of how the colossally overpriced Central Subway would disrupt Chinatown and ruin transportation in eastern San Francisco.

My own travels to The City on BART often take me to destinations in North Beach and southeast San Francisco.

With the Central Subway, I would be obliged to either transfer twice or take a two-block hike between BART and the Central Subway on virtually every trip.

Since I usually carry reports and other documents with me, this would require me to drive into San Francisco, something I really hate doing.

How can San Francisco’s politicians be saddling Muni with substantial additional operating and maintenance costs while providing something of so little benefit? Isn’t Muni already in enough financial difficulty?

Judith Box, Walnut Creek

Tracing history

We research genealogy for our pedigree ancestor lineage, or the paleontology of our prehistoric ancestral species attributes (“We thought it was a mistake when we first saw it,” Thursday Quote of the Day), where scientists have recovered the DNA code of 30,000-year-old remains of two Denisovan human relatives recently discovered in Siberia.

Although only a single back tooth and a bone fragment from a finger were found in a cave in Siberia, the DNA code indicated that the Denisovan people had interbred with the people of Malayasia in Southeast Asia.

Some have heard of our ancestral homohabilis, homoerectus, Cro-Magnon and Neanderthal, and know that Europeans have between 1 and 4 percent of Neanderthal genes. Now the Malaysian people have also been found to have between 1 and 4 percent Denisovan genes.

Could this be the reason for the school test scores and dropout rates in America?

Frank Norton, San Francisco

How to save more money

I hope the Jerry Brown administration considers all suggestions for reducing the budget problem, including Dan Walters’ suggestion (“Closing tax loopholes could help California’s budget gap,” Friday).

Walters’ idea would save about $1 billion dollars a year. Here’s how we can save another half-billion: Eliminate the high school exit examination. Analyst Jo Ann Behm has estimated that the combined state and local costs of California’s test exceed $500 million per year.

The most recent review of research on exit exams, done by researchers at the University of Texas, concluded that high school exit exams do not lead to more college attendance, increased student learning or higher employment.

In fact, researchers have yet to discover any benefits of having a high school exit exam.

Stephen Krashen, Professor emeritus, USC, Los Angeles