More staff needed at Kaiser
Re “Kaiser workers set to strike” (California Focus, Jan. 4): It seems that Kaiser Permanente officials would rather pay fines than staff their facilities to meet the needs of paying members. Last year, Kaiser Permanente was fined $4 million for failing to provide mental health treatment in a timely manner. Today it continues to deny members the coverage they pay for.
In 2010, I was in the Roseville hospital when the nurses went on strike. Kaiser administrators did not hire temporary help. Instead, they closed down half of the hospital. Somebody needs to make Kaiser stop paying penalties and start providing adequate services. The mental health staff is striking for our benefit.
Walter Scherer, Loomis
Time to ordain female priests
Re “Pope’s cardinal picks reflect diversity” (Page A9, Jan. 5): The pope just named 15 new cardinals and claimed real diversity in his selection. That’s a laugh. Not a woman in the group. The Catholic Church’s population is more than half female. No private or public organization could get away with that without serious criticism and likely legal action. Come on, pope, it’s time to allow ordination of female priests so that someday a future pope can claim real diversity by naming female cardinals.
John West, Sacramento
Teacher pay affects students
Re “See how well your school district pays its teachers, superintendent” (Sacbee.com): The Bee did another one of its valuable public services by putting a database of teacher and superintendent salaries online. It reminds one of the travesty of the court ruling that tenure is responsible for low-income students having less experienced teachers.
The average teacher salary in Rocklin Unified is $87,442. The average salary in Sacramento City Unified is $65,695. That is a $22,000 differential. This is the reason so many young teachers migrate to the suburbs and so many low-income students end up with brand new teachers with little experience. It’s another income gap that has real consequences for children.
Steve O’Donoghue, Sacramento
Minimum-wage job not a career
Re “Brown urged to fortify safety net” (Page A1, Jan. 4): Sen. Holly Mitchell’s top priority is to repeal legislation that prohibits aid for new children born into families already receiving welfare.
Eloise Rossiter, 28, makes $17 an hour as a pharmacy technician. She has a child, with another on the way, but turned down a pay raise because she could lose her child care subsidy. Sounds like enabling individuals who have made poor life choices. Receive government support and compound the behavior instead of reversing it.
A $13 minimum wage? I’m a business owner. Going from $8 to $9 cost me $24,000 in increased wages, payroll taxes, workers’ comp and royalties. Going to $13 will either put me and 14 workers out of business, or initiate a huge price increase. Minimum wage (in my case) is for high school and college students to develop skills and move on or up the ladder. It is certainly not meant to lift a family of four out of poverty.
T. Southern, Folsom
Don’t bring children into poverty
Parent Voices advocate Mary Ignatius suggests it’s time to “bring down the wall of poverty” by making child care affordable. The article also quoted Eloise Rossiter (also a Parent Voices advocate) as saying that she didn’t take a better job because she would have lost her child care subsidy. She’s expecting a second child.
What Parent Voices suggests is that child care is not the responsibility of the parent but the responsibility of the government – meaning other taxpayers. I have a better idea: Educate girls about the tremendous financial, moral and physical obligations of raising children rather than teaching them how to use the system. Encourage birth control. Teens should be taught not to have children while very young and unmarried, because otherwise they are assuredly choosing to bring their children up poor. Intentionally bringing children into a life of poverty is a poor choice.
Becky McIntyre, Pollock Pines
Brown avoids state bank
Your recent article about the “fiscally responsible” governor omits one area where his vaunted stinginess went the other way, for the sake of Wall Street, no less. He has kept California from emulating North Dakota’s state bank. That bank, not oil, is what saved North Dakota from the ill effects of the Great Recession.
If California had a state bank, among other things, it could keep the interest payments for its debt in-state. Not only could a public bank fund infrastructure and safety-net projects, it might manage California’s cash flow problem so it wouldn’t need “rainy-day” reserves. Why have a reserve when line of credit from a public bank would accomplish the same purpose without reducing funds for the elderly, disabled and school children?
To its credit, the Legislature did fund a study of public banking. Jerry Brown vetoed it.
Mark Dempsey, Orangevale
Our country hasn’t moved on
Re “Tired of the name-calling” (Letters, Jan. 5): Kay Walsh may be tired of “race baiting” and even believes that we, as a country, have “moved on.” Really? I have a simple question: Is Walsh an ethnic minority? Is she a black male? If not, how can she even suggest that we, as a country, have moved on? It must be nice to live in such a paradise. May I suggest that Walsh might want to walk in our shoes before she suggests that the country has “moved on.” The reality for dark-skinned males suggests that we are not resurrecting the past but rather living in it.
Danny Delgado, Sacramento
Injustice swept under rug
While calling out Eugene Robinson’s excellent criticism (“The GOP has a bad habit of consorting with racists,” Viewpoints, Jan. 2) of Rep. Steve Scalise speaking to a white power group, reader Kay Walsh said “the country has moved on but Robinson hopes to resurrect the past.” “Moved on” is just a euphemism for “got what he wanted.” It implies progress but really means sweeping injustice under the rug. Write on, Robinson.
Jerry Tuck, San Andreas
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