Where to draw the line
Re “No more backsliding on Afghan pullout” (Editorial, March 25): Your editorial board suggests we pull out of Afghanistan. People are very concerned about America’s national security with the escalation of terror in the Middle East, the most recent being the fall of Yemen to terrorists. Iraq is a bloody mess because we didn’t leave a residual force behind. Doing the same in Afghanistan will only allow Islamic State and their affiliates to further spread their evil carnage and plan further attacks on our homeland. At what point would you draw the line for our national security and the security of the civilized world?
Doug Hinchey, Lincoln
Raise initiative fee
Re “Deter the deluded: Raise initiative fee” (Editorial, March 23): I have been in the political petition business in California for 30 years. Raising the price to file a petition makes perfect sense. It is ridiculous that anyone with a hot idea can run down, invest $200, cost the state a great deal of money and know they have no hope of qualifying the issue.
Would raising the price to file make a difference to grass-roots attempts? Probably not. If an organization doesn’t have enough money to afford a simple filing fee, they have no hope of ever qualifying a petition with volunteers. The size of the state and the number of signatures required would only be possible to achieve with well paid, high-powered, organizational people.
Would it have deterred McLaughlin? I doubt it. But the reality is there is no danger of his petition being meaningful in any way except as an indication of his mental condition. A constitutional review before circulation is the only thing that would be effective.
Eileen Ray, River Pines
No need to raise fee
The so-called Sodomite Suppression ballot proposition, which would authorize the murder of gays, is unlikely ever to become law even if it gets enough signatures to be on the ballot, because most Californians are not as bigoted or barbaric as the attorney who proposed it. It would never pass a court test, either.
Meanwhile, how would raising the cost of filing an initiative discourage well-heeled homophobes like McLaughlin? A higher filing fee would discourage less affluent citizens, farmworkers for example, without deterring lawyers like McLaughlin at all. If we want to raise the bar on initiative filing, why not just make it unlawful to file a petition that demonstrably seeks to destroy any citizen’s constitutional rights? By that standard, McLaughlin’s proposal would fail the filing test, as it should.
David Barrett, Sacramento
Politics or kids?
Re “Want higher voter turnout? Get rid of special elections” (Viewpoints, March 24): Bruce Maiman is right about special elections. The current Twin Rivers race clearly puts politics above kids. Money is being taken out of our children’s classrooms to pay for a special election because the Democratic Party and the teachers union did not like the appointed Area 5 candidate.
If the politicians and their candidate would have waited until the 2016 regular election, the kids would have $113,000 more in their classrooms. The needs of the kids are being ignored while politicians maneuver to control the school board. Disgusting.
Tannia Chavez, Sacramento
Regional San followed process
Re “Judge halts sewer storage project” (Our Region, March 21): A lawsuit filed over the award of a large wastewater treatment plant construction project portrays Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District’s bidding process as deficient and requests rejection of the award. As The Bee reported, a temporary restraining order was issued March 20 in advance of a hearing on this.
Regional San was clear in its requirement that all contractors and subcontractors be licensed by the Contractors State License Board at the time of bid submittal. This is not only a sound practice, but is required by California state law. Public works projects should be held to high standards and adhere to strict rules to ensure transparency, accountability and fairness to all bidders. It is unfortunate that this lawsuit may cause project delays and increase costs to ratepayers.
Prabhakar Somavarapu, district engineer
Do the math
Re “Elk Grove backlash to ending bus line” (Page A1, March 22): Your article states that light-rail travel times compare favorably to bus travel times. That is incorrect. The bus is considerably faster than light rail would be.
The article states that the trip from CRC to the 16th Street light-rail station takes 28 minutes and the trains run every 15 minutes. On Monday morning, the second Route 58 bus left the Calvine & 99 stop at 7:06. I got off at 7:21 at 16th and S streets, one and one-half blocks before the light-rail stop.
On Tuesday, the bus made even better time, leaving Calvine at 7:04, and arriving at my stop at 7:21. Assuming that it would have taken the bus an additional two minutes to travel the block and a half to the 16th Street light-rail station; that it would take five minutes for a bus to travel from the bus stop at Calvine and 99 to CRC and for the passengers to exit the bus, walk to the train and enter it; and using the slower of the two days’ bus travel times (all assumptions favorable to the error in the article), the commute would take an additional 16 minutes by transferring to light rail, if the train departed immediately.
If the train departed after a seven-minute wait, the additional commute time would be 23 minutes. For a 15-minute wait, the additional time would be 31 minutes. The bus also takes many riders closer to offices, another time savings. For example, the Route 57 bus has a stop on 30th Street, by the Caltrans offices.
Lloyd Warble, Elk Grove
Death row dignity
Re “Utah to allow firing squad executions” (Nation, March 24): For $300 for the entry-level drug, patients in Oregon can benefit from the Death with Dignity Act and request to be “put to sleep.” And because most people seem to like the concept of just letting it go peacefully, such law will soon come to California.
In the meantime, states across the nation cannot find the right drugs to execute convicts sentenced to death in a fashion that is not considered a cruel punishment? Extremes like a firing squad (Utah) or a total ban on executions (California) seem like the only alternatives. Let’s be compassionate and pass a “Death Row Inmate Death with Dignity Act.” If it is good for John Doe citizen, it should be good for them too, right? And with a maximum cost of $1,500 per person to express our compassion, the state would save tons of money and criminals would finally be punished as the people demand.
Eric Chevreuil, Folsom
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