Banda did well. How did kids do?
Re “City schools chief leaving at year-end” (Page 3A, Jan. 20): Two and a half years ago, when José Banda became superintendent of the Sacramento Unified School District, The Sacramento Bee quoted him as saying he took the position to return to California to enhance his retirement. My letter to The Bee questioned his motive at that time. Well, he will leave in June with an enhanced retirement. As I wondered 30 months ago, did the children have an enhanced education under his leadership?
Leslie McNeill, Rocklin
Californians pay too much in taxes
Re “Legislators must fix our rutted roads” (Editorials, Jan. 18): In 2006, as a result of Assembly Bill 32, the California Air Resources Board enacted a cap-and-trade program to charge businesses and residents for the right to produce carbon emissions.
Since then, the state has collected billions of dollars and spent much of it on pet projects that haven’t demonstrated any big reductions in greenhouse gases. Californians already pay some of the highest taxes in the nation.
Cap and trade is an illegal tax. If legislators want to continue the cap-and-trade program, they owe it to all Californians who are paying it to acknowledge it as the tax it is and pass it by a two-thirds supermajority vote.
Karreen Denning, Lincoln
Cap and trade is an illegal tax
Politicians think that just because an idea is complex, they can pull a fast one on us. Cap and trade is just another one of those complex ideas. The Legislature never passed it with a two-thirds supermajority, which is required for all new taxes.
Unfortunately, that hasn’t stopped unelected bureaucrats at the Air Resources Board from raising billions from the auction program. A good percentage of that has come from the 10-plus cents a gallon each driver now pays for gas. The Sacramento Bee editorial writers are right. Cap and trade is a tax on businesses and consumers and must be passed with a two-thirds vote, as required by law.
Alan Absalon, Roseville
Arm kids with reasoning skills
Re “Real bills about spotting ‘fake news’ ” (The Buzz, Jan. 13) In my first political science course at UC Davis, this professor made plain what he considered a valid and scholarly source of information. The town crier, no; the Economist and Financial Times, yes. Fortunately, my parents had taught me to think for myself, to be critical of sources, and to understand fact from fiction, so this was no surprise.
Now, apparently, Sen. Bill Dodd and Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez find that this will be insufficient. I don’t deny that there are plenty of ridiculous news sources in the world. And we have networks working too closely with political candidates, and using their status not as an instrument of illumination but instead obfuscation and a political soap box.
The answer isn’t in a media literacy curriculum. It’s in adopting straightforward logic, arguments and critical reasoning. Take this as an opportunity to address the root cause, not the symptom. Reject the idea of telling kids what they should and shouldn’t watch. That’s their parents’ job. In the curriculum, arm them with critical reasoning skills. In our great democracy, it’s up to us to form our own opinions.
Tobin Richardson, Davis
Golden 1: Cut smokers a break
Golden 1 Center should change its smoking policy. What is wrong with having a covered, outdoor area for the smoking patrons? There was no area for smoking, and if you leave to smoke you cannot come back.
Robert Deitz II, Placerville
We must save Heilbron House
Re “Downtown mansion stands in the way of new state offices” (Page 3A, Jan. 16): The Heilbron Home on Seventh and O streets must be saved. Too much of Sacramento has changed and the charm is disappearing. We should preserve this house. Please save Sacramento’s history.
Madeline Crane, Sacramento
A heartfelt thanks to SMUD workers
Re “Area cleans up in wake of storm – prepares for more” (Page 3A, Jan. 20): I would like to express a huge thank you to the SMUD work crews that worked tirelessly in our neighborhood from sunup to sundown to remove a huge tree from a power line, install a new power pole, and restore our power. Great attitude. Great perseverance.
In an era when people seem to only like to complain, our little circuit of 56 homes on Greenridge Way in Fair Oaks wanted to make sure SMUD and their work crews know just how thankful we are to have our lights back on and our furnaces running again. Thank you.
Aleta Bailey, Fair Oaks
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