Re “In a new book by an old stoner, Cheech Marin underscores the diversity of California’s cultural mainstream” (California Forum, Joe Mathews, Nov. 22): In a state awash in drugs, it is disappointing that columnist Joe Matthews chose to praise a pot-head like Cheech Marin. Make no mistake about it, marijuana is a dangerous drug. Use of marijuana is a serious problem. With the loosening of laws on its distribution, it will only get worse. Liberal politicians don’t care about that. In this instance, they are selling our state’s soul for revenue.
Michael J. Lamb, Sacramento
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Re “The drug war destroyed black neighborhoods. This Sacramento weed policy could help“ (Erika D. Smith, Nov. 27): Columnist Erika D. Smith wants to know if black and brown people who have served time for illegal drug sales will become victims all over again, boxed out by wealthy, white investors who will invade low income, minority neighborhoods to start businesses, jack up property values and hire outsiders.
She states that the drug war destroyed black neighborhoods, pretending that criminals were victims. Victims of their own choices, perhaps. Smith wants Sacramento to provide taxpayer funds to help certain minority groups get into the soon-to-be legal drug trade, and fears white people will invade low income neighborhoods to sell drugs, forgetting the more horrendous problem of having legal drugs sold by anyone of any race to those same (or any) neighborhoods. Sacramento should not enable anyone to sell drugs. State law or not, it is a disaster in the making.
Becca McIntyre, Sacramento
Re “What happened to GOP on deficit?” (Viewpoints, Nov. 27): Syndicated columnist E.J. Dionne hit the nail on the head when he writes that Republicans will soon turn to cutting Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security if they manage to pass their tax cut-reform legislation. Rosy projections about supercharged economic growth, increased tax revenue and benevolent corporations raising wages are a smoke screen. Their true desire is to use deficits as justification for cutting entitlement spending. What little credibility they have regarding their support for anyone other than the 1 percent may well disappear altogether.
Jay Lowy, Sacramento
Re “Another holiday season, another delay at the airport. Take air traffic control away from the FAA” (California Forum, Nov. 20): California Chamber of Commerce President Allan Zaremburg is misguided in his assessment that the Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Rehabilitation Act would streamline air traffic services and alleviate delays at major airports. The Federal Aviation Administration is on track to implement a strategic plan, moving aviation systems forward with newly developed Automated Dependent Surveillance Broadcast scheduled to be fully operational in 2020. Automated Dependent Surveillance Broadcast will reduce flight delays. Zaremburg compares Canada, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Canada only has 10 percent of the airports that the United States has. Under the Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Rehabilitation Act, airlines would oversee the air traffic infrastructure. Many small cities in California would experience cost cutting measures, crippling air commerce for those Californians. Any reduced cost would be passed on directly to the user of air traffic services including a disproportionate increase in user fees including airline ticketing. The Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Rehabilitation Act would fail to move air traffic services forward at a reduced cost. It would, however, compromise safety as airlines would no longer fund critical resources to cities not served by them. The FAA has proved that a complex airspace structure can be updated in the safest, most expeditious manner at a reduced cost serving all aviation entities.
Paul Koscheka, Antelope
Re “GOP wants to privatize air traffic control and let airlines run it. That’s terrible for Americans” (California Forum, Nov. 20): Rep. John Garamendi’s op-ed criticizes legislation to improve air travel, but his facts are wrong. He condemns the Aviation Innovation, Reauthorization and Reform Act as an untested privatization scheme. The fact is a new non-profit organization would be federally chartered, managed by a chief executive officer accountable to a board of aviation experts and answerable directly to Congress. This model has become the international standard with more than 60 countries having migrated their air traffic control away from government, reducing service costs, maintaining or improving safety and modernizing technology. Garamendi asserts the FAA is well on its way to modernization. The FAA has spent more than $7 billion on attempts at modernization, yet upgrades have not materialized. Rather than condemn the Aviation Innovation, Reauthorization and Reform Act, Garamendi should join some of his fellow Democrats who support it.
Roger Niello, Fair Oaks
Re “If state is a climate leader, why is CalPERS backing firms that burn rainforests down?” (California Forum, Nov. 21): Pension funds are in business to manage legal income producing investments. If CalPERS doesn’t do its best, taxpayers have to make up the difference. Unless there is an initial public offering or a new release of corporate stocks or bonds, companies don’t benefit directly from trading transactions. CalPERS is not, as former Rep. Henry Waxman wrote, propping up companies with its investments. It is buying and selling investments. If CalPERS’ clients would like to it invest directly in lower income, feel-good investments, they should decide accordingly.
John Hightower, Orangevale
As a daily user of the American River Parkway for 25 years, I have observed the increase of parkway usage. This is a good thing. Human excrement on the ground is not. I understand that the call of nature is not negotiable. But you simply must manage the disposal of your waste. At least bury it. Dig a hole six or eight inches deep and pack out your paper. Open defecation is pollution of the worst kind and you are responsible for it, no exceptions.
Robin Wham, Folsom