Oct. 18–Q: Your article about gas approaching $4 per gallon was misleading. Saying the 12 cent a gallon gas tax is part of the problem is bogus. When the new gas tax took effect, gas was still under $3 per gallon. You need to look at the oil companies and the mysterious surcharges. The new gas tax has nothing to do with the fast rise of gasoline costs. Nice timing right before an election to overturn the gas tax.
Tony Arata, Fremont
A: There are two big reasons why prices in California are so high — the jump in crude oil of about $20 a barrel over recent months. A $1 increase translates into a 2.5 cent hike at the pump. And there’s the surcharge that Severin-the-Berkeley-Energy-Man says is 22 cents a gallon. That is down from a couple of years ago, but until refineries lower it we’ll continue to get socked. At least the higher gas tax will pay for much-needed transportation fixes.
Q: Has anyone done a book about Jerry Morissette? Something triggered my memory and started thinking about him. I used to travel Interstate 280 often in the 90s and often stopped at the Father Serra rest stop. Most information I find now is in columns written by you.
Doris Howland, Atascadero
A: No book has been written and Jerry, who was a former monk, died of cancer a few years ago. He helped transform the rest stop into a welcomed oasis — clean and sparkling bathrooms and the hill lined with gorgeous flowers and plants.
Q: In my 74 years I have seen many strange and dangerous things while driving. A couple of weeks ago two of them happened. First one: As I was driving east on Branham Lane between Pearl and Vista Park I saw a motorcycle tooling toward me in the bike lane going about 45 mph. A motorcycle in the bike lane was going the wrong way.
Second one: As I was approaching the on-ramp to Highway 85 north at Almaden Expressway, a driver was making a U-turn on the on-ramp. Yikes!
A: Double yikes.
Q: I parked at an off-ramp because I was a little bit tired, it was a hot day, and I needed to go to the restroom. So I parked off the pavement and walked to the other side of the fence where there was a Starbucks.
I used the restroom, got a cup of coffee and returned to my truck where a CHP officer was parked, waiting for me. If I thought that he was actually going to issue me a ticket, I would have gone back into Starbucks and waited for him to leave. Couldn’t he have issued a verbal warning? I think I smell a ticket quota.
D.R., San Jose
A: Pay the $238 ticket. Parking on an off-ramp or along the shoulder of a freeway is dangerous and for emergencies only.
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