Re “Technology crammed into cars worsens driver distraction” (sacbee.com, Oct. 5) It’s a wonder it has taken this long for studies to prove technology in new cars is a distraction to drivers. I have been a passenger and was fearful of an accident while the drivers fiddled with bells and whistles. Why is anyone surprised at the findings? What will be done to mitigate these distractions? Distracted drivers cause many avoidable accidents.
Marion Becker, Davis
Re “Homelessness” (Letters, Oct. 8): Letter writers David Lukenbill and Carol McElheney offer solutions to ending homelessness in Sacramento. Sacramento has more than 2,000 people living on the streets. As McElheney points out, short term shelters will not address the complex needs of this population. Lukenbill suggests the Haven For Hope model, a comprehensive center that provides services to help homeless reenter society and has been successful in San Antonio. McElheney suggests Sleep Train Area would be a viable option for such a shelter. However, a solution to the ever-expanding homeless population has become a much higher priority. We need to clean up our own home before inviting others to come live with us.
Carol Parise, Sacramento
Re “Exports help state agriculture, but at what cost?” (Viewpoints, Oct. 6): Peter Drekmeier makes a good case for regulating water use by corporate farms that grow perennial crops for export. Whether it be by reducing water allocations or adopting a fee to implement water conservation measures, something drastic needs to be done to free up more fresh water that can flow through the Sacramento-San Joaquin rivers, Delta and San Francisco Bay. Increasing freshwater flows through the Delta is the single most important action that can be done to restore our once-great salmon, steelhead, and sturgeon runs, among other native species that will benefit.
Arthur Charles Knutson Jr, Sacramento
Re “Capital’s police force is deeply understaffed” (Local, Oct. 8): Sacramento city leaders should look at Atlanta for clues on keeping our city safer. Atlanta has almost three times the number of police officers per capita, spends half the cost per officer and spends a third less on fire and medical emergency services compared to Sacramento. Atlanta also negotiated significant pension concessions in 2011.
Sacramento should fill each vacant position that does not require use of force with a highly trained, but much less costly, civilian instead of a sworn officer. The city should also expand private ambulance services for medical emergencies instead of expensive firefighters. We can protect people and property better if we innovate and resist union pressure.
Marcia Fritz, Sacramento
Re “Audit says consulting firm on Delta tunnels lacked qualifications” (Page A1, Oct. 6) The state Department of Water Resources and the water agencies funding WaterFix have publicly recognized the Hallmark Group’s ability to present policymakers with information necessary to resolve complex issues while controlling costs on this critically important project.
The audit was supposed to focus on DWR’s general fund expenditures, which were found to be entirely appropriate without exception. Instead, auditors spent taxpayer dollars reviewing Hallmark’s qualifications, choosing to speculate about its contract while failing to understand, or accurately characterize, the purpose for which Hallmark is employed on the project.
Jessica Alwan, Sacramento
Re “Elephant Train trolley ready to roll in downtown, Old Sacramento” (Local, Oct. 9): Yay! Finally, a logical and much cheaper answer to shuttle people around Old Sac and beyond. The Elephant Train is not only cute, it’s economical, easy to hop on and hop off for a small price. It sure beats the cost of the streetcar, which would cost $200 million and involve laying tracks. I hope Bill Taylor’s idea gets launched, and we scrap the expensive streetcar line.
Irene Stadt, Carmichael
Re “Lose ‘Farm-to-Fork,’ or you’ll only get farm-to-forklift jobs” (Viewpoints, Sept. 23): After reading Jock O’Connell’s article regarding Sacramento’s “farm-to-fork” standing I was angry, perplexed and sad. When Sacramento’s initiative launched in 2012, it set out to break down the exact stereotype O’Connell evokes.
Gone are the days of food production solely being a farmer and his tractor. From engineers developing the drones flying over fields and orchards to the graphic designer putting together the perfect advertisement, professionals in agriculture come from all types of professional backgrounds. Deciding to focus on the industry, and the people, that provides our most vital resources should be celebrated, not criticized.
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