Re "On a mission to get bikes off sidewalks" (The Conversation, Aug. 17): I frequently have to ride along Stockton Boulevard between T Street and 2nd Avenue to get to and from meetings at my place of employment. If you think I am going to ride in the street with cars whizzing past going 40 miles an hour and 6 inches from my foot, you have another think coming.
Re "Bicyclists: Be more careful" (Letters, Aug. 16) and "On a mission to get bikes off sidewalks" (The Conversation, Aug. 17): For two days in a row The Bee has published two articles about two pedestrians sustaining severe injuries from collisions with bicyclists; one on a bike path and the other on a Sacramento city street. City streets are hazardous, but so are suburban walkways.
Re "It's futile to guess what he was thinking" (Jack Ohman, Aug. 17): Ohman wrote a refreshing article concerning our ways of jumping to conclusions regarding the reasons behind depression. Nobody really knows except that person, referring to Robin Williams.
Re "DEA tightens rule on widely used painkiller" (Page A8, Aug. 22): If Sen. Joe Manchin has a problem with painkiller abuse in West Virginia, he should limit his prohibition efforts to that state and leave the rest of us alone. The new rule will only harm those who need painkillers the most. Sick people aren't inconvenienced. They're just in pain.
Re "On a mission to get bikes off sidewalks" (The Conversation, Aug. 17): Hilary Abramson's article was a chilling account of what I fear could happen to my neighbor Helen who, at the cusp of 100 years, finds a daily meditation in sweeping her driveway and sidewalk. With poor hearing and eyesight, she is no match for the numerous encounters with idiots riding their bikes on the sidewalk.
Re "Ad Watch: Health care law distorted" (Capitol & California, Aug. 23): I'm shocked. Karl Rove's Super PAC, Crossroads GPS, funded by the Koch Brothers and other Republican plutocrats making secret donations, is now runnings ads full of lies and distortions against Democrat Ami Berra? I'm really shocked.
Re "Obama should put ISIS threat at top of agenda" (Editorial, Aug. 23): Your editorial board states that "Obama came off the golf course to condemn the beheading of American journalist James Foley." However, it conveniently left off the crux of the story in that after Obama said his last word at the podium that within 8 minutes he was back on the golf course.
Re "Tax perk proposals seek final big push" (Page A1, Aug. 23): Next time politicians complain of not having enough money for needed government services, just remind them of all the tax giveaways that special interest businesses get. They always say it's about jobs but never offer any proof or final accounting.
Re "Hansen's got guts To defy Kevin Johnson" (Our Region, Aug. 20): The opposition to the "Strong Mayor" Measure L is more broadly based and diverse than Marcos Breton recognizes. It includes a growing coalition of neighborhoods, city employees and good government, including Common Cause as well as the League of Women Voters. Recently, the oldest and largest environmental organization in the nation, the Sierra Club, has decided to oppose this unjustified, high-risk and wealthy special interest backed proposal.
In 1988, George H.W. Bush ran for president. The center piece of his campaign was "Read my lips: no new taxes." After taking office, the economy fell into recession and the tax base eroded, causing huge projected annual deficits. Bush faced the choice between public crucifixion for going back on his promise or raising taxes to stem the tide of rising deficits. Bush put the country before his popularity and did the right thing. It probably cost him the election in 1992.
Re "Parking tickets out of control" (Viewpoints, Aug. 22): I strongly agree with the writer when it comes to signage regarding parking regulations. I have received tickets twice and taken pictures to show the poor placement of signs.
Re "Government Workers Waste Time" (Letters, Aug. 20): While I cannot speak for city employees or their labor relations division, my public sector colleagues and I rarely take breaks and consistently have work meetings during lunch or eat lunch at our desks while working. We do not automatically have jobs for life. Our labor contracts include legal and ethical clauses as grounds for termination or discipline.
Recently, I was watching Channel 3 and saw a story telling how the Sacramento City Council had written itself into plans for the now-building Kings arena in downtown. Free admission, free parking, free use of a luxury suite that might bring in $200,000 a year on the open market for 20 years.
Channel 3 had been tipped off by a Stanford researcher who studied the contract, so I wondered if The Bee had been scooped and how it was covering the story.
I went to SacBee.com and continually looked. Nothing. I contacted friends who subscribe. They, too, had seen nothing. Not even a mention in a column or op-ed. Huh?
A local journalist asked, "Are they embarrassed about being scooped?" Well, probably, but how can you explain this lack of coverage?
In dialogues with non-Muslims, I'll often ask whether or not they've actually read the Quran. Unfortunately, they often respond, "No need. I see how Muslims like ISIS behave." But have those so-called Muslims read the Quran?
Re "Davis Police Department's armored truck drives a wedge between community and police" (Editorial, Aug. 21): I had to laugh when I saw the news that the strife-torn and violence-wracked city of Davis had purchased a mine-resistant armored vehicle from the Army. It reminded me of an episode of "The Andy Griffith Show," where deputy Barney Fife admonished Sheriff Andy Taylor that the city of Mayberry was in dire straits because they had no machine guns or tear gas. Maybe Davis could procure a B-52 from the Air Force as well.
-- Patrick Eady, Sacramento
Re "Groups spar over bid to drug-test physicians" (Page A1, Aug. 22): This excellent article pointed out the real goal behind Proposition 46: to increase the dollar limit (cap) on MICRA. However, it did not explain that the cap is only on general damages, like pain and suffering, which cannot be measured and are arbitrary. Medical malpractice awards for medical expenses and loss of wages are limitless.
Re "California's share of Bank of America pact" (Business, Aug 22): As usual, The Bee reports big numbers without any context. I refer to the settlement with Bank of America where we are told that California homeowners and pension funds will get $800 million dollars.
Re "Urgent cash call by music festival" (Our Region, Aug. 11): Attending the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee was an important event in my life for many many years, until I sat through a loud salsa concert and decided the Sacramento Music Festival was not for me.
Re "CalPERS sweeps away Brown's reform" (Editorial, Aug. 22): So CalPERS has the ability to raise taxes? With their recent decision to add numerous questionable pay sweeteners to their member's pension pay calculations, isn't CalPERS effectively raising taxes on those ultimately responsible for paying for these pensions? I'm talking about California taxpayers.
Re "Calling journalist's beheading terrorism, US weighs striking Islamic State militants in Syria" (Aug. 24): It was reported that James Foley was beheaded because of the United States policy to never pay ransom. Merriam-Webster defines ransom as: "A consideration paid or demanded for the release of someone or something from captivity."
Re "Obama should've fixed economy" (Letters, Aug. 21): Letter writer Steve Sherman wants to blame President Obama for unrest in Ferguson because "this so-called improving economy" is not improving fast enough.
Re "Friends mourn animal rescuer" (Our Region, Aug. 20): Elaine Greenberg devoted herself to caring for abused, old and feeble Rottweilers. She went without to ensure that they were well-cared for, fed and exercised. T
Re "Holder sympathizes with those who don't trust cops" (Aug. 21): Unbelievable. Here we have the U.S. attorney General, one of the most powerful people in the world, giving the rioters his Ok to not trust cops because of his experience in getting stopped for speeding. Did it occur to Holder that maybe he was speeding when he was stopped and not because of the color of his skin? Or is he saying every time a cop stops a black person, it's because of racist attitudes on both parties?
Re "Ferguson protests prove transformative for many" (Aug. 23): When will the American media learn to distinguish between lawful protesters and rioters? The law-abiding people of America have the right to protest, according to the First Amendment. The rioters have no right to loot, burn and destroy property. Yet somehow the television news and newspaper articles continue to lump the two together.
Re "Crashes are up in I-80 construction zone" (Page A1, Aug. 21): It is hard to express enough disdain for a public employee such as Dennis Keaton who, at the start of the article says "With these numbers, we are definitely going to look into it," and by the end, tries to shift blame from Caltrans by saying "People are supposed to keep an eye on what's ahead of them."
Gov. Brown is the only thing that stands between us and another silly bill. SB 1022 requires CSUs and requests UCs to provide undergraduates with information about the economic benefits of degrees they might pursue. In a time of high tuition and soaring costs, must we spend money to tell bright college students that electrical engineering is likely to pay better than art history?
Re "Jumping the gun on innocence" (Letters, Aug. 21): James McCandless criticizes the editorial board for saying Michael Brown had a right to presumption of innocence and due process of the law, but it doesn't extend the privilege to Officer Darren Wilson. Yet, two sentences later, he states that Brown "had stolen from, and physically abused a store clerk." As if Brown was already tried and convicted of the crime.
Re "Davis Police Department's armored truck drives a wedge between community and police" (Editorial, Aug. 21): Don't forget this administration is the one who authorized the giving away of military equipment to our cities' police departments. For what real purpose? To enhance their choice of tools to combat violence and criminals? Possibly.
Re "Video intended to shift focus" (Letters, Aug. 21): Video intended to shift focus? Perhaps - in that it provided much-needed balance to initial false claims - something missing from most media coverage of the incident up to that point.
Re "Lobbyists work to kill California bill that would outlaw flimsy plastic grocery bags" (Aug. 20): A solution to saving animals, millions of dollars and helping the environment is simple: ban single-use plastic bags. Plastic pollution lasts for generations. This is not a legacy we want to leave.
Every year, California uses 19 billion single-use plastic bags, but only 3 percent are recycled. The remaining plastic bags pollute our streets, parks, rivers and beaches. Cleaning up marine debris, including bags, costs millions of dollars yearly. Momentum is building with over a third of Californians already living in one of the 115 cities and counties that have banned plastic bags.
Plastic is created using nonrenewable fossil fuels and never fully decomposes. These plastic remnants tarnish our parks, pollute our waterways and become a food source for aquatic animals. According to National Geographic, some endangered leatherback sea turtles have up to 11 pounds of plastic in their stomachs because they mistake plastic debris for jellyfish.
Re "Davis Police Department's armored truck drives a wedge between community and police" (Editorial, Aug. 21): Using the logic behind Davis getting an MRAP, I think they would be better suited in obtaining a railroad locomotive. Tracks run right through the center of town, and you never know when you might have to deal with trains getting out of control ar something nasty happening.
Re "Legislature shouldn't favor old" (Viewpoints, Aug. 20): While Barbara O'Connor, former professor and writer for hire, does her best to portray Uber and Lyft as some new business model, when it is just a version of the taxi services in third world countries except with a modern twist.
Re "Knife doesn't justify shooting" (Letters, Aug. 21): A knife is considered a deadly weapon. If somebody is lunging at you with a knife, are you going to take some time to decide where you should shoot him or by instinct are you going to shoot and just hope you stop him before he hurts you? What makes you think that a shot to the leg will allow seizure of the knife? The attacker could still be coming at you, especially if he is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Re "Davis Police Department's armored truck drives a wedge between community and police" (Editorial, Aug. 21): I very much agree the accumulation of military garb puts a greater distance between the police and the community, but your editorial missed a critical point. As long as we allow people to possess and carry military level weapons, police will always have a ready excuse to use a heavily armored military level response.
Re "Brown has a point about low birthrates among well-to-do" (Viewpoints, Aug. 21): Midway through his article I thought Bill Whalen had it right when he said "individual men and women making choices," but then he went on to suggest ways in which the well-to-do could have more children. There are more low-income children who already have kids. They have choices: a six-pack of beer costs $5.47, while a 12-pack of condoms cost $6.47.
Re "Brown critical of CALPERS" (Capitol & California, Aug. 21): The Board of the California Public Employees Retirement System has reached another pinnacle of irresponsibility. With CALPERS already underfunded, the board has voted irresponsibly to include special payments in calculations for pension benefits. With their 7 to 5 vote of approval the Board is sending an open invitation to courts, the public and others to attack pensions of the members of CALPERS.
Why are American workers anti-EPA and wanting to impeach Obama for the EPA requiring standards on coal companies to clean up their emissions and toxic ponds which leak into our rivers and earth contaminating it and making it unusable for human consumption, killing fish, and other wild habitat. Why aren't these workers marching on their employers who are the one's contributing these toxins and climate change producing substances into our air, water and land? Why aren't they demanding that their employer's clean up their act? That is what the EPA is trying to get these coal industries to do.
Re "Government workers waste time" (Letters, Aug. 20): I'm not sure why Sally Worthing of Granite Bay wrote. As an actual citizen of Sacramento, I've had nothing but exceptional service from its workers. So much so that I just mailed a letter to our mayor commending his City 311, Code Compliance, and Zoning Departments' staff. Only one day after my complaint was filed, these workers investigated and shut down a neighbor who was disturbing the peace and running an illegal business from his garage.
The usual local suspects have convened a meeting of the concerned over the events in Ferguson, led by Mayor Kevin Johnson. I do not recall such concern for the huge amount of black on black crime commonly perpetrated in our own city.
Re "Davis Police Department's armored truck drives a wedge between community and police" (Editorial, Aug. 21): As a long-time Davis resident, I understand the need for a tank in the city. Picnic Day has increasingly become more boisterous, and I think I saw a student with a bazooka at Trader Joe's the other day.
Re "State's sacred sites should be protected" (Another View, Aug. 21): Assemblyman Mike Gatto's plea for protecting Native American sacred sites seems genuine and heartfelt. However, Gatto's sympathies don't extend to efforts to preserve California's wild places and free-flowing rivers, such as the Mokelumne River.
Re "Brown has a point about low birthrates among well-to-do" (Viewpoints, Aug. 21): Bill Whalen has it backwards. We don't need the wealthy getting busier. We need the rest getting busier - with birth control.
Doug Ose's new TV attack ad for Ami Bera is startling in its dishonesty and inaccuracy. All his so-called facts presented against the Affordable Care Act have been repeatedly debunked and proven false. Ten to fifteen million more Americans now have healthcare from the ACA, and many whose rates supposedly went up as Ose claims flatly refused to go online to get a better, less-costly plan, blinded by their hatred of President Obama. Ose further fabricates the loss of millions of dollars due to Bera, while failing to include the offset savings in other areas.
Re "Knife doesn't justify shooting" (Letters, Aug. 21): Once again we see a letter from someone who second guesses the police in a life or death situation. Walter Graviet claims he is "unable to understand how a person with a knife can pose a sufficient threat to law enforcement to justify shooting him."
Re "Davis acquires mine-resistant war vehicle while some complain of militarization of police" (Page A1, Aug. 21): It was tragic to read that the city of Davis has acquired a mine-resistant war vehicle. Davis continues to tell its residents that it does not have enough money and asks for tax increase after tax increase to maintain basic services. It is unbelievable to hear the city say that a vehicle that cost the U.S taxpayers $689,000 and must be maintained with staff trained in its usage is free.
Re "Friends Mourn Animal Rescuer" (Our Region, Aug. 20): Thank you for the article on Elaine Greenberg. I did not know Greenberg and never heard of her until the story about the seizure of her dogs.
Re "ISIS beheads US journalist in video, threatens another" (Nation/World, Aug. 20): Perhaps this is mere semantics, but words mean things. The evil man who murdered James Foley is a terrorist, not a fighter. The article mentions "a masked black-clad fighter with a knife in one hand," and then goes on to say he warned that more Americans would be killed if there were more U.S. attacks on ISIS "fighters". It goes on to say the "fighter then killed Foley."
Re "Kaiser South Sacramento testing patient for possible Ebola" (Page A1, Aug. 20): Three cheers to The Bee for its level-headed, fact-based reporting on Ebola, unlike other news agencies and online phishing efforts that sensationalize and worry the populous to their gain.
Re "City can't thrive without the arts (Viewpoints, Aug. 16): Classical music and opera are not totally dead in Sacramento. The Camellia Symphony Orchestra, under the leadership of Christian Baldini, will be starting its 52nd season with four concerts in the Performing Arts Center at Sacramento City College on September 27.
CSO's programs will offer a variety of music by composers such as Beethoven, Mozart and Tchaikovsky. One program will feature Malcolm MacKenzie performing celebrated arias from Verdi, Rossini and Mozart.
Re "McDonald's seeks recipe to move past fast food image" (Business, Aug. 18): If McDonald's wants to change its menu with the times, it would be to have vegan options.
Re "West Sac may limit gun sales" (Our Region, Aug. 19): I don't recall ever buying a gun in West Sacramento and have no intentions of doing so, but I read the article with a great deal of interest. The question that came to my mind was "Why?"
Re "Mo'ne Davis inspires girls to dream with Little League star-power" (SacBee.com, Aug. 20): Someone once asked "When do you think we'll see a woman ordained as a priest in the Catholic Church?" A cynical answer was "About the same time we see a girl pitch a shutout against some of the nation's best boy players in the Little League World Series."
Re "Missouri Calls in the Troops" (Page A1, Aug. 19) Ferguson in 2014 looks like Birmingham in 1963 on steroids.
Re "Hansen takes a risk in opposing Johnson on 'strong mayor'" (Our Region, Aug. 19): I have one question for the proponents of Sacramento's strong mayor initiative: why?
Re "Hansen takes a risk in opposing Johnson on 'strong mayor'" (Our Region, Aug. 19): Shouldn't priority within municipal government be given toward funding adequate fire and police protection? How about assisting the indigent, public libraries and schools and providing affordable access to parks and recreation for all? Steve Hansen stepped away from the parade of adulation that marches for Mayor Kevin Johnson, he should not be subject to potential political payback.
We need to get President Obama to address the West Coast drought issue, please go visit the WhiteHouse.gov petition at wh.gov/lu6Gb. We need as many signatures as possible. Thank you.
Re "The strong mayor ice bucket challenge" (Cartoons, Aug. 20): Hooray for Steve Hansen. It's about time somebody brought our so-called Strong Mayor down a peg.
Re "City can't thrive without the arts" (Viewpoints, Aug. 16): I hope the City Fathers are listening, but maybe they're out at a ball game. When voting for candidates to city offices, perhaps it would be good to ask questions about what their interests are and whether or not they will make a commitment to the arts.
Re "Gov. signs off on court-ordered pay raise for engineers'/scientists' managers" (The State Worker, Aug. 20): California's court has correctly ruled in favor of state engineer/scientists' managers, who sought wage increase parity with the employees they supervise. Equal compensation for equal work is a hallmark of state civil service.
Re "Davis acquires mine-resistant war vehicle while some complain of militarization of police" (SacBee.com, Aug. 20): Davis Mayor Dan Wolk had an opportunity to demonstrate real leadership by rejecting the Davis Police Department's acquisition of an armored military vehicle. Instead, we see a bit of lip service to please critics of militarization without actually taking any action: "I hope it stays in the garage."
Re "Hansen takes a risk in opposing Johnson on 'strong mayor'" (Our Region, Aug. 19): Marcos Breton's admonition that Steve Hansen will find it impossible to work with Mayor Kevin Johnson after the election should the strong mayor initiative not pass because "KJ don't play that game" is probably the strongest argument to date that the initiative should not be supported.
I generally support the president, but his rush to play golf after delivering the James Foley condolence message was unseemly and actually disgusting. Has he lost all sense of tact and decency?
Re "Prison drop crowding county jails" (Capitol & California, Aug. 20): In the 1960s, California had the best statewide correctional system in the country. The state actually analyzed and operated corrections as a system rather than dealing with 58 county and two state systems.
I ask our representatives in local, state and national government to think of what their definition of Democracy is. Here is mine:
Re "City is making progress in effort to make bicycling safer for all" (Forum, Aug. 17): I've long been appalled by the frequent presence of people riding their bikes on crowded downtown sidewalks. In fact, even the police officers from the bike unit seem to do it regularly. Walking the three blocks from my office to the Capital Athletic Club, it is highly unusual to not have at least one bike pass close by me on the sidewalk.
Re "Dams are not the answer to water woes" (Another View, Aug. 19): New dams truly are not the answer to California's long-term water problems. You can't store what you don't have. The $2.7 billion from the new water bond should be used to build not dams, but water desalinization plants. By investing in water generation, California can relieve pressure on its overtaxed state water project, potentially helping the environment, agriculture and industry. Especially if capacity is increased year by year as California's population expands
Re "Democrats: the real party of no" (Letters, Aug. 18): Democrats block bills in the Senate. Republicans block bills in the House. Last fall, the House changed their rules so that only the speaker can bring bills to a vote. They blocked the funding bill last October and blamed it on the Democrats.
Re "National Guard deployed" (Page A1, Aug. 19): We have all read the different accounts of what happened to the young man killed by police in Missouri. He was shot because of race, he was shot because he fought with the cop, he bum-rushed the cop, he robbed a store and so on.
Re "Dams are not the answer to water woes" (Another View, Aug. 19): I couldn't disagree more with Kathryn Phillips' analogy. Our population in 1970 was just under 20 million. Today it is just over 38 million. How could we not need more storage?
Re "Michael Brown killing a symbol of not just race, but also the over-militarization of police" (Editorial, Aug. 19) : As a white male teenager transplanted from upstate New York for his high school senior year, I lived in Jackson, Miss. in 1965 and '66. I watched the police react with dogs and billy clubs to James Meredith's march into Jackson with frightened horror and disgust.
Re "Michael Brown killing a symbol of not just race, but also the over-militarization of police" (Editorial, Aug. 19): The editorial board wrote "Local police responded- perhaps over-responded- in riot gear and camo, carrying guns and looking as if they were hunting terrorists, not trying to keep the peace. Officers got exactly the behavior they were dressed for in the following days of looting and violence."
Re "Committee approves higher pension calculations" (Business, Aug. 18): Public employees deserve a fair pension, but the proposal to count 99 types of special payments toward pension calculations is a blatant attempt to make an end-run around the pension-spiking fix enacted in 2012.
Re "Another dollar store bids for its rival business" (Business, Aug. 19): So far, of all the competing dollar stores, only the 99 Cents Only stores have been offering fresh produce groceries. That the 99 Cents stores offer fresh produce is especially vitally important for the health of those living in urban food deserts, meaning there's an abundance of fast food restaurants but no grocery stores to buy fruits and vegetables.
Re "Pot legalization makes anti-drug message hazy" (Aug. 18): I disagree with the premise in the title of the article. I do not rely on the government to legislate morality. Just because something is legal does not automatically give it moral neutrality.
Re "Too many young black men have been left behind" (Viewpoints, Aug.19): It appears obvious to me that when Michael Brown was confronted by police, it was because he matched the description that had been broadcast by the 911 operator. The problem was that no one had yet seen the videotape of the robbery suspect which verified it was Brown on the tape. Now he is dead, and the last thing the police can admit in those first few minutes is that he was racially profiled.
Re "Michael Brown killing a symbol of not just race, but also the over-militarization of police" (Editorial, Aug. 19): In stating that the residents of Ferguson should be outraged at the killing of Michael Brown, the editorial board adds, "He had a right to presumption of innocence and due process of the law." Too bad the board can't extend the same privileges to Darren Wilson, the cop who shot him. Aside from the fact that Brown had stolen from, and physically abused a store clerk, details of the police officer's injuries are now being reported as "an orbital blowout fracture to the eye socket."
Re "Michael Brown killing a symbol of not just race, but also the over-militarization of police" (Editorial, Aug. 19): The editorial covers multiple incidents and circumstances to make your point. In doing so, you omit details and state problems but offer no real alternatives.
Re "Second Amendment supporter confronting militarized police" (Cartoons, Aug. 18): Mr. Morton's Political Comment Cartoon showing Second Amendment supporter confronting militarized police is blatant lying propaganda. It is the rioters who opposed a militarized police. These people who cannot differentiate between peaceful protesting and rioting are the ones who oppose the police. Second Amendment supporters support the police. They both have the same goal: the protection of the peaceful, law-abiding, unarmed citizens.
Re "A modest proposal to reduce suicide" (Editorial, Aug. 18): Suicide is a terrible thing, but current methods of preventing it rely on standard protocols for treating depression and other mental illnesses: psychotropic drugs.
Both sides of the conversation about whether people riding bicycles should have their own space will be pleased by a research paper published Tuesday. Despite the increase in the number of people bicycling, collisions with people walking are decreasing due to efforts to provide on-street accommodations for people bicycling.
Re Lennie Chancey's letter (Letters, Aug. 19): Whether releasing information regarding Michael Brown's apparent robbery of a convenience store is or is not character assassination is a matter of relevance and intent.
Re "Water bond headed to voters" (Capitol Alert, Aug. 13): Sen. Lois Wolk is absolutely correct that Proposition 1 avoids a divisive North-South water war. Proposition 1 does so by making any tunnel-conveyance cost is borne by south of the Delta water users while making sure that each area of the state can develop locally its own water sources and storage without looking elsewhere. Dan Walters made this very point in a column last week.
Re "Woodland officer kills man, claims he was charging with a knife" (Sacto 911, Aug. 18): How many times have you heard it before? A man has a knife, so police, fearing for their lives, shoot the suspect. I am unable to understand how a person with a knife can pose a sufficient threat to law enforcement to justify shooting him.
Re "State Assemblyman pays a visit" (Letters, Aug. 13): Letter writer Cory Artrip was impressed that Assemblyman Roger Dickinson visited him. I, on the other hand, was duly unimpressed with Dickinson's latest bid to further handcuff our schools in their attempts to control recalcitrant, discipline problem prone students.
Re "Why did Michael Brown shooting happen where it did?" (SacBee.com, Aug. 19): For those in Missouri who put the immediate blame of the police for the shooting death of one of their young men: everyone involved needs to look at their part in the problem. Whether it is unbalanced rights, privileges and treatment or the actions of so many of the young men when they chose to break the law.
Re "HPV vaccinations can save kids from misery and death" (Editorial, Aug. 10): The last five years have been a nightmare for our family because of the HPV vaccination.
Re "Rally calls for "justice" for teen" (Aug. 17): Anyone who has served on a jury, as I have, will know that justice is accorded to our American citizens quietly, in very deliberate ways, in the ordered proceedings of a very British-like court. Street-rally justice is not something that is big--or ever has been big--in this country.
Re "State Supreme Court got it right in knocking advisory measure off ballot" (Capitol & California, Aug. 14): Dan Walters has been indignant about supporters of Proposition 49 playing politics rather than doing something substantive in the upcoming election. How dare politicians ask voters what they want. The nerve of some people.
Re "Rove's super PAC will spend big to help Ose's campaign" (Capitol & California, Aug. 18): Karl Rove and Crossroads GPS are spending $900,000 to buy our congressional seat and give it to Doug Ose. Crossroads GPS gets millions from wealthy unnamed donors.
Re "Business wins food fight," (Page A1, Aug. 17) I dislike bloated corporate influence over government. Still, I can't get too excited over the defeat of legislation requiring health warnings on soft drinks. After all, the nutrition facts on the containers tell us what's in them. The decision to use them is ours.
The recent Sand Fire demonstrated some huge problems in El Dorado County. So far as I can tell, only one supervisor candidate is talking about a solution.
Re "Oil trains are necessary, and risks can be minimized" (Viewpoints, Aug. 16): In response to Catherine Reheis-Boyd's article, the risks must be addressed before the promised 100 tanker cars filled with volatile Bakken crude oil begin a daily rail journey through our backyards and downtowns, within a mile of public schools and a university, along our major interstates, and across waterways.
Re "State should protect parks, rethink Tahoe golf project" (Viewpoints, Aug. 10): Developing Washoe Meadows State Park with a golf course concession violates park principles.
Re "Bay Area loses lots of water" (Page A2, Aug. 18): First, billions of dollars to replace Los Angeles' aging pipes. Next, billions of gallons lost in Bay Area due to aging pipes.
Re "How much will liberals pay?" (Letters, Aug. 18): Marcia Kernan challenges liberals on their philosophy of government spending. Obviously the debate is really a matter of degree or amount: the United States must function with some level of tax/bond financing for government.
Re "A modest proposal to reduce suicide" (Editorial, Aug. 18): For serious public health issues like depression, it is too easy for the legislature to pass another law, but that only distracts from the larger problem. The issue is not whether public health professionals receive enough training but how society responds to depression.
Re "Thousands of Israelis demonstrate for peace" (Nation/World, Aug. 17): I take exception to your "World/In Brief" segment when you write that "Israel began an offensive in response to Hamas rocket attacks into Israel."
Re "Democrats are obstructionists" (Letters, Aug. 8): The obstructionist tag has been used recently and liberally to refer to legislators who disagree with one another, and remain resolute to their principles. I recently commented that our republic has thrived as a result of our ability to disagree yet move ahead. Now we disagree, and seem unable to compromise. We've lost respect for our differences.
Re "Federal agents add autopsy to role in Ferguson inquiry" (Page A1, Aug. 18): Regarding the Ferguson protests, is Gov. Jay Nixon actually boasting when he states that thousands marched and spoke, and there was not a single gunshot fired by a member of law enforcement? Is a lack of police brutality a reason to boast in Ferguson? What does that say about the norm there?
Re "UC Davis in strawberry turmoil" (Page A1, Aug. 16): I can understand that UC Davis views the strawberry germplasm as the crown jewels of the breeding program. However, I don't understand why the university administration wants to sit on these valuable assets.
Re "Airport financial outlook on the upswing" (Page A1, Aug. 18): I fly cross-country eight to 10 times a year for work, and until Sacramento fixed Terminal B at the cost of $1 billion, we had the most user-friendly airport in the nation.
Re "Kamala Harris stays on message, which means she bobs and weaves" (Dan Morain, Aug. 10): I usually read Morain's opinions with interest. They are generally well thought out, even if I do not agree with his conclusions.
Re "Audit finds phones misused" (Aug. 17): The audit discovered that a worker used a taxpayer-funded cellphone for more than 10,000 minutes in a single month, mostly talking with a family member in another state. The city's response is for IT to tighten controls on the usage of wireless devices and to refer the case to the city's Labor Relations Division for possible discipline.
Recently, KCRA-TV covered prominently the $8,000,000 luxury skybox for city officials that was approved along with the arena deal. Where was The Bee's coverage of this important issue, possibly affecting the upcoming election?
Re "Drought taking a bite out of food budgets" (Forum. Aug. 3): I have always been very frugal with my food budget, and it scares me to see the fast rising prices at the grocery stores and farmers' markets.
I can't express enough gratitude to the Folsom Fire Department, EMT's Folsom Police Department, Mercy Creekside Emergency Room, Mercy San Juan Trauma unit and numerous bike riders who came to my wife's aid on Sunday. She crashed her bike on Iron Point Road and suffered what appeared to be at the time minor injuries. In a matter of only a few minutes, Emergency Services arrived on the scene and started caring for her.
Re "Audit finds phones misused" (Aug. 17): Oh my gosh, City Labor Relations Division threatens possible discipline? Can a threat be any weaker?
So, now we discover in the fine print of the new arena deal engineered by the city that there is going to be a luxury box, estimated to be worth $8.0 million, owned by the city and reserved for city officials. Why am I not surprised?
Re "It's futile to guess what he was thinking," (Jack Ohman, Aug. 17): I want to say something profound about suicide, but I'm at a loss. My own mother committed suicide when I was a young girl. Only 60 years later, after much contemplation, research and therapy, I still don't know what it was that day in 1954 that caused her to feel enough was enough and act upon it. You can offer friendship, empathy, counseling and even intervention, but at the end of the day, it is a personal decision that one makes.
Re "Bicyclists: Be more careful," (Letters, Aug. 16): I appreciated the observation on the part of the writer that cyclists need to allow at least than 2 feet clearance when passing a pedestrian.
Re "Broken system leaves victims helpless" (Another View, Aug. 10): Heart speaks to heart. I am so grateful for the article by Candy and Hans DeWitt that explains the importance of assisted outpatient treatment for those in our community suffering from severe mental illness.
Re "$15 billion bill looms for L.A." (Capitol & California, Aug. 17): After reading about Los Angeles' infrastructure woes, I checked out the current Forbes Top 50 United States billionaire list. Each of the top 50, and a bunch in the next 50, has a net worth of over $15 billion. Any one of them could, without having to wonder where their next meal will come from, directly underwrite the repair of L.A.'s infrastructure.
Re "How to save teenagers from misery and death" (Editorial, Aug. 10): The CDC recommends HPV vaccination for preteen girls and boys at age 11 or 12 years.
Placer County improved a traffic problem at King and Auburn-Folsom roads with traffic lights that cost $500,000 plus power $1600 per year. Cities like Anchorage, Bend, Folsom and Auburn have traffic circles. Why? They are cheaper, handle 30 percent more traffic, last longer and can be more attractive. Both noise and pollution are reduced, a bonus for health.
Re "Buesiness wins food fight" (Page A1, Aug. 17): During the 1970s when I worked in in the Los Rios Community College District, I knew many staff workers. One of them, a likable Latina woman in the registrar, was battling weight and slowly, but most certainly, was winning. She looked better, her happiness evident, saying she'd done it by "giving up my three-cans-of-Coke-a-day habit." She exercised, too, but was adamant Coca-Cola played a major role in her former girth.
Re "Our skin is thick but our bones still chill" (Editorial Notebook, Aug. 16): There have always been militants who see themselves as constitutionalists. The Students for a Democratic Society, followed by The Weathermen, considered themselves to be militants. They openly advocated for the overthrow of the U.S. government.
Re "Oil trains are necessary and their risks can be minimized" (Viewpoints, Aug. 16): Catherine Reheis-Boyd of Western States Petroleum Association concludes "The hard thing is assessing and managing risks by developing effective strategies to minimize and hopefully eliminate them. That's how we protect communities and keep our economy thriving."
The images of the Ferguson, Mo. police department dressed in military camouflage was chilling to say the least.
Re "City can't thrive without the arts" (Viewpoints, Aug. 16): It's so great to hear that we are finally encouraging local sports teams, but what a disappointment that we no longer have an interest in music or art. After years of three performances of three operas and many years of Sacramento Philharmonic Concerts and the Sacramento Ballet, some of us are not looking forward to the loss of all of them next year.
Re "Study blames humans for most of melting glaciers" (Nation/World, Aug. 14): The recent findings by a group of climate scientists cited in Science Magazine echoes a report issued earlier this year by The National Academy of Sciences and The Royal Society: "Scientists know that recent climate change is largely caused by human activities from an understanding of basic physics, comparing observations with models and fingerprinting the detailed patterns of climate change caused by different human and natural influences."
Since many of Sacramento's taxpayers who are being forced to pay for the new arena will not be able to afford tickets to events at the new arena, there should be a lottery for the Sacramento taxpayers to use the private luxury box.
California is in a major drought, what's new? I am doing my best to conserve water, but I won't let thousands of dollars in landscape die, along with 80-year-old trees, and devalue the housing prices in my neighborhood while our government continues to allow developers to build thousands of new homes in the area.
I just wanted to express my thoughts on how bad your newspaper is, especially sports coverage.
Re Political cartoons, Aug. 16: Cartoonist Jeff Stahler portrayed Lady Liberty confessing, "I have racist tendencies."
Re "Slain black teen accused of theft " (Page A1, Aug. 16): On Aug. 16 , The Bee printed a story about the shooting of Michael Brown. The story originated in the Washington Post. No doubt the death is a tragedy, but the story slanted so far in that half truths and misconceptions and omissions were allowed with no corrections, no rebuttal and apparently no conscience by The Bee.
Re "Oil trains are necessary and their risks can be minimized" (Viewpoints, Aug. 16): Both Catherine Reheis-Boyd and Tony Bijak of The Bee make accurate and compelling arguments for and against the necessity of oil train use in this time of peak oil. The one missing link to either argument is that the relatively new fracked shale fields are very short-lived and collapse rapidly.
Re Political cartoons, Aug. 16: Really? Couldn't you pick a better icon than the Statue of Liberty to depict racism? Do you really think that Lady Liberty is the villain? You paint a wide swath with this brush.
Instead of fretting about how to pay for the recent surge of illegal immigrants at our southern border, just pay the bill and deduct it from the foreign aid we send to Central America and Mexico.
Re "Model fest on New Orleans'" (Letters, Aug. 16): Brian Lambert's suggestion to move the Sacramento Music Festival to Cal Expo sounds really good to me.
Re "Ballot isn't a public opinion poll" (Capitol & California, Aug. 15): I am so glad the California Supreme Court stepped in to save us voters from all the extra ballot clutter that we were about to be subjected to in November. It is so hard to decide how to vote on all these different ballot measures, one more would have been just too much.
As a native Detroiter who, as a teenager, watched his hometown being looted and burned during its 1967 riots, I can only hope that community leaders in Ferguson, Mo. can effectively prevent any further actions by the misguided and the greedy that results in looting businesses there.
Re "California regulators approve PG&E rate hike" (SacBee.com, Aug. 15):Pacific Gas and Electric just received approval for a rate hike of nearly $2.4 billion. It's hard to swallow when we have seen a barrage of television ads to help improve PG&E's image, following the disaster in the Bay Area in 2020.
Re "An easy vote on statewide plastic bag ban - yes" (Editorial, Aug. 14): The Bee's position on a plastic bag ban shows the editorial board does not have the ability to think an issue through to its logical conclusion.
Re "California lawmakers kill measure to ban sales of electronic cigarettes" (Capitol Alert, Aug. 6): A big thank you to the Assembly Appropriations Committee, particularly Dr. Richard Pan, for defeating the amended version of SB 648, which sought to ban the sales of e-cigarettes in vending machines but would also create an undesirable loophole in the regulation of e-cigarettes.
Re "Ballot isn't a public opinion poll" (Capitol & California, Aug. 15): Dan Walters commends the State Supreme Court for removing Proposition 49 from the ballot. That proposition asked voters to press Congress to overturn Citizens United versus The FEC, which allows unlimited contributions by corporations to political campaigns and causes. In effect, to buy and pay for elections and candidates for office.
For the last several weeks we have seen a freeze in Sacramento when it comes to placing a school bond measure on the November ballot for voters consideration. The responsibility rests with the governor, not the governor's office or the legislature.
Re "Robin Williams had Parkinson's disease, wife says" (Page A12, Aug.15): In all the medical commentary about Robin Williams' depression and Parkinson's disease, no one has pointed out that medications for depression can cause Parkinson's symptoms.
Re "Water is frittered away" (Letters, Aug. 15): Additional water storage to meet the needs of the population explosion in the Sacramento area will not solve our water shortages. Sacramento is one of the highest per capita water users in the state. We could conserve more water every year.
Re "Dams are wasteful page" (Letters, Aug. 15): Betsy Reifsnider wrote that dams are wasteful. I say dams are not wasteful.
Re "In Oak Park, a time to gather" (Our Region, Aug. 15): Curious that with two exceptions, most all the faces of folks having a wonderful time gathering in Oak Park were white, with some few Hispanics. It would seem that the rehabilitation of the neighborhood has brought displacement and gentrification, not benefit to the long-time inhabitants.
The planning commission unanimously approved a sixth pot shop in the Ben Ali neighborhood this week. After the meeting, a friend was told by a commissioner that finance had directed them how to vote. This leads me to believe that adding another dispensary will increase revenues.
Re "Reject AB 2145" (Letters, July 31): Legislative bills are something I have never given much notice, but Assembly Bill 2145 got my attention. This bill comes up for its last vote this week. It's hard to believe that our legislators, many of whom are up for re-election in November, would side with huge public utilities to discourage the creation of more sources for clean energy and prevent Californians from having a choice in the matter.
I would like to ask bicyclist to give a wide berth to walkers.
Re "An easy call on a statewide ban on plastic bags: Yes" (Editorial, Aug. 14): I wrote in the last couple of days to both Raleys and Safeway asking them that if SB 270 by Senator Alex Padilla passes, that the stores give the 10 cents per bag for paper bags that they will collect from us their customers to either a worthy cause or give it back to us via amazing sales.
Re Digital billboard OK'd for south area (Our Region, Aug. 14): The U.S. Green Building Council determined that a standard digital billboard consumes 397,486 kilowatt hours a year. One digital billboard is responsible for 108.41 tons per year of carbon dioxide. The greenhouse gas emissions from one digital billboard are equal to 49 traditional billboards or 13.39 homes.
Re "Bonds not the best way to fundraise" (Letters, Aug. 14): Matt Nelsenador, a "liberal Democrat and math teacher", stated he wants more taxes, not bonds. I am certain he's not alone as I see most, if not all, liberals wanting to spend money. Bonds or taxes, it's all about money. The problem with liberals is they continue to do both at rapid speed and it's killing us.
Re "Give parents and politicians a break on residency rules" (Viewpoints, Aug. 14): Joe Matthews' assertion that a legislator should be let off the hook because political jurisdictions are a muddled mess is beyond absurd.
Re "Lack of land slows work on California bullet train project" (Aug. 14): In considering support for the high-speed rail, the following should be reviewed.
The Internet has been called the fundamental infrastructure of the 21st century. Policies that advance building out/upgrading of our high-speed networks are expanding union jobs in the industry, providing affordable access and digital capabilities for American households and businesses.
Re "Brown cuts deal with lawyers and scientists": The lawyers and scientists that work for the California taxpayers complain that they are underpaid. Fine, then let them do what everyone in the Non-State Unions do, and that is to find a better paying job at at different company.
Re "Digital billboard OK'd for south area," (Our Region, Aug. 14): Fifty years ago, Lady Bird Johnson, appalled by the ugliness of our highways as she and President Johnson drove between their Texas home and Washington, D.C., undertook a mission to remove the omnipresent junkyards and billboards. With passage of the Highway Beautification Act, she succeeded in getting rid of much of the roadside advertising that blighted our highways.
Re "Yazidi rescue unnecessary, says Pentagon" (Aug. 14): All these poor souls, these Yazidi refugees, trapped on a mountain in Iraq , pursued by the villains of ISIS. How to save them?
Our president has, in the last few days, sent help to Iraqis stranded on a mountain, driven ISIS forces away from Kurdistan and now al-Maliki has agreed to step down in order to make Iraq a better place. Not a bad result for the last few days.
Re "Lower ceiling prevails in wave of new projects" (Page A1, Aug. 14): The Bee should be commended for covering the major construction story of the last decade: the creation of multifamily mixed use housing in the downtown and midtown during the recession. The missing link is the lack of coverage regarding CADA (Capitol Area Development Authority) and its JPA partners, the State of California and the City of Sacramento.
Re "Protests turn violent in St. Louis suburb" (Business, Aug. 13): A white man is beat into a coma in a predominantly black community by three black youths, and there is silence by the black community, as this couldn't have been a hate crime. A black man in New York selling illegal cigarettes dies in a ensuing confrontation with law enforcement after disobeying officers orders, now that is racism?
Re "Rhee opts out of advocacy group role" (Page A1, Aug. 14): The article on Michelle Rhee reads like a resume written personally by Rhee rather than an objective history of her background, especially her time as head of the D.C. schools.
Re "Private money should build Sacramento Republic FC soccer stadium" (Editorial, Aug. 14): The Bee's civic and economic double standard is painfully obvious in today's editorial about funding a professional soccer stadium.
Re "Benefits can add pain for spouses of fallen" (Page A8, Aug. 10): Let me get this straight. Things are not going well, so Katey Bagosy's military husband commits suicide. She accepts $400,000 non-taxable cash for starters, and she blows it on trips to the likes of Las Vegas etc. With $400,000 and x boyfriends later her excuse is "I tried to run." What about the two kids? Did she put a dime away for them?
Re "Limit microbeads ban to real plastic" (Another View, Aug. 8): Beth A. Lange got it wrong on AB 1699 -- landmark legislation to stop 38 tons of plastic microbead pollution from entering California's environment every year.
Re "Deadbeat dam projects shouldn't be part of water bond" (Viewpoints, Aug. 12): Steve Evans cogently shows why more dams are a waste of money. In fact, all the good dam sites are already taken.
Re "All sides in water wars should get behind protecting Mokelumne River" (Viewpoints, Aug. 13): I agree with Jerry Meral and Bill Jennings' viewpoint on SB 1199 and the Mokelumne River. It's time to protect the Mokelumne River for future generations.
Re "Sacramento County approves cargo-friendly Mather plan" (Our Region, Aug. 13): I seldom am in agreement with the local politicos, however I think the county supervisors may have gotten it right this time. Expanding Mather Air Cargo facilities is a good move and a start on making Sacramento a major hub for air cargo traffic.
I was born in Sacramento 59 years ago and have lived here ever since. Folsom Dam was in existence then, and I don't remember any issues with water shortages. I have seen Sacramento and the surrounding suburbs population explode. What I haven't seen is any attempt to create additional water storage for this hugely increased population.
Re "Williams' friends saw signs of fall into depression" (Aug. 13): As a former resident of Tiburon, many of us felt like we knew Robin Williams as a friend.
"Serious Drought, Help Save Water!" The signs are hard to miss, especially since they've replaced traffic tips and drunk driver warnings on every major freeway from Sacramento to San Diego. Still, I can't wrap my head around how my neighbors have brilliant green lawns, why their car needs to be washed twice a day or how the sidewalk benefits from a good watering.
Re "Suit challenges top two system" (Capitol & California, July 31): I have been disenfranchised in one election already due to the top two system. I believe this needs to be found unconstitutional, because it does deprive some people of their rights.
Re "Robin Williams: mental illness kills" (Letters, Aug. 12): When my wife was chronically ill for 8 years, mostly in bed and having to use a walker, she also had to deal with depression brought on by her condition.
Re "A tale of two border kids" (Page A1, Aug. 13): While I understand the unfortunate conditions of people coming from their troubled countries to the U.S. for a better life, I believe that if it's not done legally, then they should be sent back, ASAP. No excuses are really strong enough since much of the time their evidence can't be proven.
Re "No boots on the ground" (Cartoons, Aug. 13): Jack Ohman's cartoon in which he attacked President Obama for playing golf was childish and puerile.
Re "Bypassing Baghdad U.S now sends weapons directly to Kurds" (Nation/World, June 12): Religious conflicts and wars have been underway in the Middle East for nearly 1,000 years. To somehow believe the United States can change that with air strikes, weapons support or even with boots on the ground is unrealistic and about as naive as George W. Bush's belief we would bring democracy to Iraq that would spread to other parts of the Middle East.
Re "Tragic Stewart incident sets off cyberspace rage" (Aug. 12): I have read most of the social media comments regarding people's opinion of what may have or may not have happened in this situation. It certainly appears to me that most of the people commenting have never been on a track in any kind of race car. I have been in and around auto racing since 1946 and a past race car owner and current driver in vintage events.
Re "Sen. Rod Wright: 'Life ain't fair'" (Capitol Alert, Aug. 12): Life isn't fair for California Senator Rod Wright. Sen. Wright isn't a criminal, he's a victim of a law that is only sometimes, as in his case, applied.
Re "Robin Williams' death a teachable moment about preventing suicide" (Editorial, Aug. 13): To say suicide is preventable is adding the possibility of more guilty feelings on the part of friends, relatives and caregivers. I have gone to a workshop on depression and suicide and the messages included things one should and could do to prevent suicide but also the message that it is not always preventable.
Re "A tale of two border kids" (Page A1, Aug. 13): The family photo shows four people who look only days away from retirement age. Hardly a couple of kids.
Re "Obama's Foreign Policy" (Viewpoints, Aug. 12): Declaring President Obama's foreign policy a failure, Michael Gerson attributes it to two seminal events that occurred in 2011: "to stay out of the Syrian conflict and to passively accept the withdrawal of all U. S. ground forces from Iraq."
Re "Dump extreme politicians" (Letters, Aug. 11): Kristine Johnson states in her letter that "the House of Representatives chooses to do nothing to resolve our most pressing problems." Does Ms. Johnson realize that the House has sent about 100 bills to the Senate that were completely disregarded by the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid with no compromise and no discussion?
Re "Air Force Academy's cadet spy fights ouster as scandals arise" (Page A10, Aug 10): If you are intelligent enough to go to a major college away from home, you should be smart enough to do what's right on your own. Lou Holtz, while football coach at Notre Dame had one simple rule to keep the scholarship on the team: "If what you are doing or about to do isn't something you would be doing if your mom or dad was with you, then it's wrong and you won't be here very long!"
Re "Robin Williams, boisterous comedy star, dead at 63" (SacBee.com, Aug. 11): Mental illness can kill as exemplified by the tragic death of Robin Williams. No one should underestimate the impact of a single risk factor for suicide, and Williams had two: depression and substance abuse.
Re "Southwest braces as Lake Mead water levels drop (Business, Aug. 12): After 14 years of drought, 40 million people and 4 million acres of farmland are increasingly threatened. Also, in a recent Bee, Bruce Maiman's column points out how failure to vote for increased property taxes for a fire protection district can result in higher insurance rates or even dropped coverage.
Re "Obama's foreign policy doctrine is utterly collapsing" (Viewpoints, Aug. 12): It's true. Obama is getting all the credit for George W. Bush's Middle East-destroying blunders. We should have known better.
Re "A water bond seems within reach, if no side overreaches" (Editorial, Aug. 12): We live in a state where all of our rivers have at least one dam. We want to improve the quality of our water. Like the canary in the mine, our Chinook salmon is a keystone species reflecting the quality of our rivers and streams.
Re "Lawmakers plan vote on new California water bond" (Page A1, Aug. 12): While writing about the last-minute sprint by the legislature to make a water bond deal, the article quoted Sen. Jim Nielsen saying, "Where have we been and where has the administration been since January?"
Re "Doug Ose's county park project a work in progress" (Page A1, Aug. 8): My family has benefited greatly from Gibson Ranch. We have been there for Civil War Days, fishing adventures and ham radio tests. The ranch is one of our local getaways where the kids can run.
Re "Can mom live alone?" (Page A1, Aug. 3): I read with interest the article on Alzheimer's. There is a pilot program for Medi-Cal recipients, where the affected individual's assisted living costs would be paid for. Without it, mom's house would have to be sold.
Re "Robin Williams hanged himself with belt" (Page A1, Aug.12): After his death, Robin Williams' family issued a statement asking that he be remembered, not for his death, but for the happiness and joy he brought to countless millions around the world. It is fitting and proper that he be remembered in this way, but the manner of his death cannot be ignored.
Re "Recorded books a growing segment" (Page D1, Aug. 12): I love reading Allen Pierloni's book reviews and totally agree that audiobooks are a favorite. Not only can I listen to books on long drives, but I have an apron with deep pockets where I put the CD player and listen while working around the house, and 30 minutes on the treadmill goes a lot faster when you're listening to a book.
Re "Bill would start first diaper aid" (Page A1, Aug. 2): Kudos to the myriad letters pointing out the flaws with this bill. It's a fact that bringing a child into this world is costly. It's a choice you make, so you should provide for him or her. Don't expect taxpayers to assist in purchasing disposable diapers for you.
Re "Robin Williams hanged himself with belt" (Page A1, Aug.12): We'll all miss Robin Williams, who a great talent and by all accounts, a kind and generous man. That said, I would like to say that depression is a serious thing, but it's so clearly a part of life.
Re "Fuel supply only going down" (Letters, Aug. 12): Victor de Vlaming writes in his letter that fuel costs should go up in California through cap-and-trade as fossil fuels are becoming more rare. He, and many like him, apparently feel that Californians should lead by example and artificially raise the price of fuels at the local California level to save the world from depleting energy supplies. He calls it "time to think on a scale larger than oneself."
Re "Plastic bag ban faces tough vote" (Capital & California, Aug. 12): Senate Bill 270 will cost consumers a dime to get any bag from a retail store. Taxpayers will pay for cap-and-trade carbon fee for gas next year. Taxpayers pay for CRV on beverage containers. Businesses increase profits, like Coca-Cola selling 1.5 liter bottles for the same price the 2 liter size sold last week.
Re "Postal Service losses mount in spring" (Business, Aug. 11): The Bee reported that the U.S. Postal Service lost $2 billion in the third quarter of its 2014 fiscal year. While the piece did note that much of this loss was attributable to a requirement imposed by Congress that the system prefund its retiree health benefits, it would have been useful to also point out that the prefunding requirement has little or no precedence in the private sector. It also uses assumptions on health care cost growth that are far above recent growth rates.
The most overworked, trite expression in journalism today is "humanitarian disaster," hereinafter referred to as HDs.
Re "Urgent cash call by music festival" (Our Region, Aug. 11): Ever since the inception of the Sacramento Jazz Festival, people have come from afar to enjoy it because it was unique and featured music they like. They rented hotels, brought motor homes and stayed all weekend.
Re "Robin Williams, boisterous comedy star, dead at 63" (SacBee.com, Aug. 11): The intergalactic community lost one of its most beautiful and unique shining stars: an outspoken, irreverently witty erudite ambassador of a very widespread galaxy.
Re "Plenty of blame to go around" (Viewpoints, Aug. 12): Wildfires have been a problem in the Sacramento Region for many years. The article blames the drought, budget, insurance companies and homeowners. Where is the responsibility of the conservationists who were/are against responsible forest management? The conservationists demanded that forests be left in their natural states. They were warned that the buildup of dead and diseased trees would lead to catastrophic fires. These forests are now burning with loss of life, property, and natural resources.
Re "Scientists are rising to the challenges of drought" (Viewpoints, Aug. 11): The Bee published an interesting op-ed by agroecology experts Tom Tomich and Marcia DeLonge. As they note, droughts are anticipated to become more intense as a result of global warming, due to factors like higher temperatures drying out our soil. Tomich and DeLonge suggest we should shift to more sustainable agricultural practices in order to adapt to those dry future conditions.
Re "Evidence is questionable that pesticide is harming bees" (Forum, Aug. 3): Randy Oliver too quickly dismisses the option to reduce the human population as being "politically unpopular." Global population growth must end because the Earth is finite. Many countries have proven that population can be reduced peacefully and equitably, in spite of official unpopularity. Women informed of the benefits of smaller and delayed families enthusiastically respond to the options.
Re "Two bonds equal too much debt" (Editorial, Aug. 11): As a liberal Democrat, I am totally in favor of California spending money and using its authority to solve our water shortage and fully fund education. I love large government, but as a math teacher, someone who understands percents and compound interest, I am totally opposed to solving these problems through bond measures.
Re "University of California steps up out-of-state recruiting" (Page A1, Aug. 11): We should force the Californian existing for profit institutions of higher spending and lesser learning to opt for a buyout option and privatize themselves.
Re "Racial ruling could free inmate" (Our Region, Aug. 10): As an attorney, I was disturbed by the questions asked by prosecutor Robert Gold during voir dire.
Re "Roger Dickinson talks tobacco, term limits" (Capitol & California, Aug. 9): On a hot day in July, there was a knock on our door. Opening the door came with a surprise. Assemblyman Roger Dickinson was in our neighborhood and stopped by to have a chat. There was no mention of party politics. It was like having a casual conversation with my next door neighbor. I quickly realized how deeply concerned the assemblyman is about the wellbeing of our communities. The visit was very much appreciated.
Re "Can city overcome its envy?" (Our Region, Aug. 11): Sacramento's envy of Portland, Ore. overlooks a significant disadvantage. Unlike Portland, we are a government town that is not a major urban center in our state. We must compete with San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Re "Consent standards considered," (Capitol & California, Aug. 11): College students are members of society, and should be treated no differently. A sexual assault is a sexual assault; it is a crime, whether or not one is a college student. If college administration is made aware of a sexual assault claim, they should have to report it to the city police, not deal with it privately.
Senate Bill 492 needs to be defeated. This bill would allow optometrists permission to perform surgical procedures on the eye even though they have not completed extensive surgical training at an accredited medical school.
Re "Addicts seek peace through prayer" (Page A1, Aug. 10): The so-called drug rehab ministry of God Will Provide sounds like a cross between the ministry of the very late Father Divine who provided housing and food for his followers who in turned worked at jobs and turned their paychecks over to him and the discredited reparative therapy of the Exodus International which claimed it could turn homosexuals into heterosexuals through prayer and Bible reading.
Re "UC turns its eye to out-of-staters" (Page A1, Aug. 11): There were a lot of statistics included in this article. Some were very thought-provoking, i.e., if a non-resident student pays an "additional $22,878.00 annually on top of $12,192.00 in tuition" as stated, this would total an intake of $35,070.00 per year.
According to its website, Davis is known for its "environmental programs," "energy conservation" and for being "socially progressive" and "environmentally aware". However, the city does not take this drought seriously. As a homeowner, I haven't heard or seen anything from the city about voluntary or mandatory water rationing. Even the city's main webpage is silent on the drought.
Re "Board to decide fate of Mather Airport" (Our Region, Aug. 11): Some thoughts from someone with over 47 years in the heavyweight air cargo industry.
Re "Iraq airstrikes are justified, but may not be enough" (Editorial, Aug. 9): The Editorial Board's piece on Aug. 9 argued that U.S. airstrikes in Iraq are justified, and that the president must do everything he can to keep his promise that the U.S. won't be dragged into a third Iraq war. Such wishful thinking is like hoping a crack addict won't take a hit when he already has the lighter and pipe in hand.
Re "Don't be surprised if Johnson runs for another term as mayor" (Our Region, Aug. 10): Marcos Breton thinks Mayor Kevin Johnson has a great skill set to be mayor. If all you care about are professional sports, that might be true.
Re "Dump extreme politicians" (Viewpoints, Aug. 11): This year can be a game changer, as stated by Ms. Johnson, in terms of choosing new politicians. However, let me remind folks that the House has passed over 350 bills this year. Good or bad, at least they have been working.
Re "Defense rests in barbershop trial" (Sacto 911, Aug. 11): Is there any information as to why the men were shooting in front of the barbershop? From the article, it sounds like they were just firing into the barbershop at random.
Re "CIA tries to limit interrogation probe's release" (Aug. 10, A10) and "CIA's handling of torture report less than intelligent" (Aug. 10): What a shock, the CIA is out of control.
Re "Benefits can add pain for spouses of fallen" (Page A8, Aug. 10): Every day, I read about more cruelty inflicted on the dependents of our fallen heroes. What has come of this country? Men and women lay their lives on the line, and all we can do is punish, degrade and hurt those left behind.
Re "Robin Williams, boisterous comedy star, dead at 63" (SacBee.com, Aug. 11): I hung out with Robin Williams in 1979 at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angles. I was Hugh Hefner's brother's girlfriend at the time and lived there on and off. Robin came up for party nights, and Keith Hefner and I would keep him company. He invited us to be his guests at the Comedy Store on Sunset Boulevard, and we were his special guests that night.
Re "Ose's park still a work in progress" (Page A1, Aug. 8): When I saw a story about Gibson Ranch, I thought it would update us on the hard work and funds Doug Ose has poured into the park. He kept it open without major expenditure of taxpayers' money and saved a recreational, educational and happy place for 250,000 or more of our residents.
I spent a summer on an Israeli kibbutz working beside Israeli soldiers. Here in Sacramento, I have Palestinian friends. The best I can come up with to ease my pain is Gandhi's "An eye for an eye and the whole world will be blind."
Re "Water sale exploits a shared resource" (Other View, Aug. 8): Water in California is a public resource. Landowners have a right to use as much groundwater extracted from below their property as they can put to beneficial use, a usufruct, a right to use something they do not own.
Re "Letters" (Forum, August 3): The letter writers who claim that Israel is only defending itself against rockets indiscriminately fired by Hamas, fail to provide any context for the Hamas attacks. Israel has occupied Palestinian territory for decades, imposed an economic blockade on Gaza that has led to untold misery and suffering, destroyed the homes of Gaza residents that the Israeli government claims are owned by terrorists, has violated UN resolutions by continuing a policy of expansion into Palestinian lands via settlement construction and has been guilty of untold numbers of other human rights violations.
Re "How to save teenagers from misery and death" (Forum, Aug. 10): I applaud The Bee's editorial board for its Aug. 10 article. However, I'd have named it "How to save teenagers and adults from misery and death."
Re "My childhood spent doing duck-and-cover" (Forum, Aug. 3) : There is a generational difference in evaluating whether or not we should have used atomic bombs against Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Younger people say that it was inhumane and should not have been done. I'm a World War II veteran, and my generation said "Hooray" on the day it was done and still say "Hooray." Japan's military did not plan to surrender at that point, and it took two atomic bombs to change their minds. Had an invasion of Japan been necessary, the bloodshed on both sides would have been horrendous.
Re "Gas price hike from cap-and-trade will hurt families and small businesses (Viewpoints, Aug. 9): Fossil fuels, including gasoline, are in limited quantities on planet Earth and because of increasing human populations worldwide are being decimated at an ever-increasing rate. Since there appears to be no plan to limit human population growth or limit the use of fossil fuel use, the decline in fossil fuel availability will continue to decline at an increasing pace.
Re "Let's get on board with Aggie Express" (Forum, Aug. 3): Thanks to Rob Turner for reminding us that we're long overdue for an extension of light rail to Davis. My daughter and her bicycle are attending UC Davis in the fall. I was surprised to discover there is no public transportation from Davis to Roseville without using the downtown bus station, which is, frankly, not safe.
Re "Get on board with the Aggie Express" (Forum, Aug. 3): How many lives have been lost to Sacramento light rail system in the last five years? Too many. People Guards were once used in San Francisco, why don't we use them in Sacramento?
Re "Don't stop scientific dialogue" (Letters, Aug. 7): The soda industry continues to claim that sodas are equivalent to other calorie-rich foods when it comes to causing obesity and diabetes. This actually is not true.
Re "Harris plays it safe when pressed" (Dan Morain, Aug. 10): The bias exhibited by the staff of The Bee is so blatantly liberal that to call this a newspaper is a joke. The Bee is a fundraising, progressive PR firm for the Democrats.
Re "Odds of oil fire" (Business, Aug. 10): Tony Bizjak is a rock star. Following the issue of oil train shipments through Sacramento should be required reading by all local agency heads and policy makers. Avoiding a catastrophic accident would far outweigh whatever efforts go with the proposed solution.
Re "Long overdue for light-rail extension" (Letters, Aug. 10): The writer says there is no public transportation between Davis and Roseville without using the downtown bus station. There is public transportation in the form of the Capitol Corridor train. It connect Davis with Roseville 6 times a day weekdays, four to five times a day weekends by train and connecting Amtrak bus at the Sacramento Valley train station on 6th and I Streets in Sacramento.
Re "Turnout is low because voters don't get respect" (Forum, Aug. 3): Low voter turnout may well be affected by a lack of politician respect. However, there is another that is lurking in the background that is even more insidious.
Re "Nixon's resignation holds lessons for Obama" (Viewpoints, Aug. 9): Ben Boychuk's rambling rant against President Obama is clumsy sophistry which any intelligent fifth grader would recognize as a poorly disguised attempt to suggest grounds for impeachment.
He suggests the president knew of the IRS discrimination against conservative causes by writing "...although nobody so far has managed to turn up the proverbial 'smoking gun' linking the president to those abuses." The Republicans certainly have made every attempt to link Obama, and they have not and cannot.
Earlier this week, I saw a new television ad about SB 270, Sen. Alex Padilla's bill that would ban plastic bags in California. The ad was entertaining, because it included a couple of clowns, who basically try to make Padilla's effort out to be a joke.
Re "Ose's park still a work in progress" (Page A1, Aug. 8): Can you imagine being a taxpayer and forking up the cost for a closed local park?
I am shocked that you attacked a local small business owner for turning a run-down park into a beautiful sprawling ranch.
The way you spoke about the hazardous material on Gibson Ranch made it seem like Doug Ose was storing nuclear waste. I just want to point out to you that thanks to the overbearing government regulations in this county and our state, hazardous material can be anything from an extra can of paint to fuel for a lawnmower, or Roundup to manage weeds, etc.
I not only thank Ose for saving my taxpayer dollars, I thank him for helping out the local community by preserving our park.
Once again, your reporters have failed to tell the real story. Please be more objective in you reporting.
Re "Iraq airstrikes are justified, but may not be enough" (Editorial, Aug. 9): President Obama is correct when he says "[dealing with ISIS] is going to be a long-term project." However, it also seems clear he hasn't got a clue as to how to deal with the problem. Waiting for a cohesive government in Iraq ISIS consolidate their holdings, and expand where possible. Airstrikes won't get the job done. Air power did nothing to deter the opposition in Vietnam. Wars are won by taking and holding the ground.
I hope Californians wake up quickly to what is arguably one of the largest scams that's ever been perpetrated by a Sacramento legislator. SB 270 isn't about protecting the environment by banning plastic bags. It's about increasing grocer profits.
Re "Gas price hike from cap-and-trade will hurt families and small businesses (Viewpoints, Aug. 9): Fuel prices are going up and consumers need money to pay at the pump. Now is the time to replace cap-and-trade with Revenue-Neutral Carbon Fee And Dividend, which gives revenue directly to the consumers to pay for higher fuel prices. A sound proposal proved successful in Alaska and British Columbia and supported by the findings of the study by Regional Economic Model, Inc.
Re "Iraq airstrikes are justified, but may not be enough" (Editorial, Aug. 9): Having just read this editorial online, I turned on cable news to see President Obama holding a press conference on the White House lawn. I cannot believe what I'm hearing. There is a genocide happening, now, today and continuing because of ISIS.
Re "Gas price hike from cap-and-trade will hurt families and small businesses (Viewpoints, Aug. 9): A Sacto midtown florist clamors for the next step in AB 32's cap-and-trade program to be delayed or repealed. There is a delicious historical irony to his carping about transportation fuel expense.
Re "Ose's park still a work in progress" (Page A1, Aug. 8): Doug Ose carries forth the philosophy of our board of supervisors. For 20 years, they have starved our parks of funds and instead have adopted the philosphy mouthed by Ose that parks are nothing but a piece of land to exploited.
Re "Drought-busting El Nino unlikely, scientists say" (Capitol & California, Aug. 8): One moment scientists are abuzz about El Nino, the next they tell us "Never mind."
Re "Gay Joins Cousins in Team USA Bid" Page C1, Aug 9)
Re "Ose's park still a work in progress" (Page A1, Aug.8): I could not be more pleased with Doug Ose's efforts behind Gibson Ranch.
Here we have a park that was left to deteriorate and costing the county money. The fact that Ose was willing to take a financial hit for the good of his local community shows real leadership and a true commitment of getting the job done.
Ose knows this community. He was born here, grew up here and has done business in the region. He has proven to be a real leader as evidenced by his tireless efforts to protect our local economy and grow private sector jobs. His work to get Gibson Ranch up and running again shows the exact leadership that is needed in Washington.
Re "Change in teacher credentialing" (Viewpoints, Aug. 6): As a credentialed physical education instruction and a teacher of the California Cadet Corps program, I am convinced the Commission on Teacher Credentialing made the right decision to allow holders of the military drill credential to add a P.E, authorization. The article incorrectly portrayed the facts about the Commission's decision.
Re "Another chance for governor to veto meaningless legislation" (Editorial, Aug. 7): Citizens United puts our democracy completely and legally up for sale to the most powerful corporations in the world. You even said it opened the door to unlimited corporate cash in political campaigns.
Re "Rep. DesJarlais holds on in Tenn. despite scandals" (Nation/World, Aug. 7): Lamar Alexander won because of the open primary law, which California also has. In open primaries, a Democrat can vote in the GOP primary if their primary is pretty much wrapped up, but there's a GOP candidate who is favored to beat an establishment Republican, in this case, Lamar Alexander.
Re "Clean air leaders hold EPA public hearings on climate action to protect health, wildlife and the environment" (SacBee.com, July 28): The EPA hearings you wrote about last week were a big success. Supporters occupied 78 percent of the slots. As NWF's California Director, I wanted to share the testimony I offered:
Re "California Lawmakers kill measure to ban the sale of e-cigarettes in vending machines" (Capitol Alert, Aug. 6): Congratulations to Dr. Richard Pan for his courageous stand against the tobacco companies.
Re "Another chance for the governor to veto meaningless legislation" (Editorial, Aug. 7): It is impossible to ignore the blatant corruption in our elective process today. Billions of dollars pour into the campaigns of politicians to influence elective outcomes and policy. The day after an election, Congress is once again on the phone with these big donors priming the wheel for the next season. The average, involved citizens' concerns and voice are squashed by the steady flow of corporate money.
Re "Don't stop scientific dialogue" (Letters, Aug. 7): John W. Bode of the Corn Refiners Association has obvious financial incentives for misrepresenting the American Medical Association's position on sugar and soda as causes of obesity and how to address overconsumption of same. Perhaps readers should also be aware that the AMA holds that "intake of sugar-sweetened beverages has been strongly and consistency associated with increased body weight and a number of health conditions like type 2 diabetes and reducing consumption of these beverages is a simple way to reduce intake of added sugar and empty calories," and that "taxes on beverages with added sweeteners are one way to finance consumer education campaigns and other obesity-related programs."
Re "U.S. airstrikes could shield Iraqis" (Page A1, Aug. 8): It is good that the president would keep us out of war, but it is bad when it is done from weakness. Groups willing to fight for themselves against aggressors have asked us for weapons, but the president refuses even that.
Re "Obama sends U.S. planes to aid Iraqi refugees" (Nation/World, Aug. 8): The United States is now at war with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, ISIS, having launched air strikes and attacking first. President Obama's desire to protect Kurds, Christians and Yazidis is admirable. What is not admirable is that Article II section 8 of the Constitution, granting the power to declare war to Congress, not the President, is again ignored.
Re "UCD well levels plunge" (Our Region, Aug. 8): Matt Weiser's account is a wake up call, indeed. As growth of the city-campus complex has burgeoned, so have the requirements for water. Now, Well No. 7A has dropped an additional 14 feet in a single month.
Re "Another chance for governor to veto meaningless legislation" (Editorial, Aug. 7): The opposition is based on the fact that it's only advisory. True, but the advice needs to be heard by Congress and legislatures precisely because the public voice is often ignored
I just received notice from my water provider regarding the prohibited irrigation activities and potential citations and/or fines. While the four prohibited activities make perfect sense, I fail to understand why my purveyor is not using the information already available to them to educate and potentially enforce water conservation on their customers who might really be wasting water.
Re "Hamas official spurns truce as rockets resume" (Page A10, Aug 8): Has there ever been an international conflict as uncomplicated as the origins and conduct of the one in Gaza?