Vaccines require civil debate
Re “Panel sides with science, passes vaccine measure” (Editorials, April 9): As a concerned grandparent, I invite The Bee’s editorial board to take a more supportive stance in relation to parents and families who are opposed to vaccinations. Having a point of view does not entitle the editorial board to vilify those in opposition to vaccines.
The parents are educated, informed people who no longer can accept the word of governmental systems, including the public health system. We are a country based on the rights of the individual. Denying children access to public education because their parents are opposed to vaccines is infringing on the rights of these children. Vaccinating children by force or exclusion is not the American way. Building trust through addressing the concerns of parents opposed to vaccines as they are administered would be a better way to effect change on this issue. The Bee can lead by example and address this issue with restraint and respect, allowing readers to familiarize themselves with all sides of this complex issue.
Karla LaZier, Sacramento
Never miss a local story.
Why drugs cost so much
Re “Sky-high prices of specialty drugs stir outrage” (Page A1, April 5): The article on the outrageous costs of drugs completely missed the point. Nowhere in the article did it mention the primary reason for the high cost of drugs: the Food and Drug Administration clinical trial process that can cost millions for each new drug. Tufts University estimates the total cost to bring a drug to market is about $2.6 billion. Add to that the costs incurred for drugs that fail in clinical trials, and the price that the company charges for a new drug makes more sense.
The Bee article goes on to mention that the cost of drugs in the U.S. is higher than elsewhere in the world. That’s true, but one has to realize that a patient in a poor country simply can’t afford to pay the full price of the drug. Drug companies set prices differently to meet market realities. Would we have it otherwise?
Scott Slotterbeck, Sacramento
Ami Bera is the exception
Re “Indian Americans advancing in national, California politics” (Page A3, April 5): Curtis Tate’s article on Indian American advancement in politics overstates actual success by Indian American candidates. Rep. Ami Bera stands out as an exception among Indian American congressional candidates, who have run in record numbers in 2010 and 2012 but not won seats.
One reason for Indian American candidates’ failure to win is a tendency to confuse their ability to fundraise with their potential to mobilize the electorate. In California and elsewhere, Indian Americans jump into politics at the highest level – congressional races – rather than building a base of voters by serving in local or state office. Challenging incumbents, raising millions and aiming for Congress before serving in any other office are poor strategies for public service, and not one that Indian Americans or any other immigrant groups should strive for.
Sayu Bhojwani, New York, N.Y.
Stop sending almonds to Asia
Re “Stretch urban water before hitting farms” (Viewpoints, April 9): It’s clear why this state is in such trouble in a drought, reading the opinion piece by Mark Cowin, director of the California Department of Water Resources.
Cowin justifies the rights of Central Valley farmers – the corporate entities like Stewart Resnick living in Beverly Hills – to grow their almonds and pistachios to sell to Asia at a high profit and believes that the state shouldn’t intervene, regardless of how much water they use. He ignores the fact that the Central Valley farmers have been rapidly expanding almond orchards in the desert along Interstate 5 and are still converting line crops to almonds for more profit, meaning Californians are ending up with more beans, lettuce and other produce on their tables from Mexico and Costa Rica.
Cowin states that the Central Valley farmers are being cut back millions of acre-feet of water. Cut back from what? From the inflated level of pumping that has caused the environmental collapse of the Delta the past 20 years?
It’s clear the billionaire Central Valley corporate farmers own this state and its water.
Jan McCleery, Discovery Bay
Faucet regs watered down
Re “New toilets, faucets will have lower flows starting next year” (Capitol & California, April 9): We don’t need new standards for plumbing fixtures. Impose tiered water rates that severely penalize high water usage, and consumers will somehow figure out that the flow from a faucet can be reduced by not opening the valve completely. They will also discover that toilets don’t have to be flushed after every use.
Wes Hill, Sacramento
Drought’s not over – we get it!
Re “Storm gives region a good soaking” (Page A1, April 8): We get it. It’s a drought. It’s beaten into our heads at least 10 times a day. We only water when we’re allowed to. We let it mellow when it’s yellow or often use the great outdoors. We turn off the spigot when scrubbing with soap. We realize that a cold April storm that drops a half inch of rain is not going to end the drought. Do we really need to be told that it’s only a drop in the proverbial bucket?
Perhaps there are some people who believe that the storm that came through this week ended all our problems, but frankly, I don’t believe those people read the paper.
Brian W. McWhirter, Orangevale
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