Texting and driving numbers are off
Re “Texting while driving is deadly” (Editorials, July 16): I was shocked to see that the number of drivers who text while driving cited as more than 9 percent.
I think the state’s observers need to get glasses. Where I’m driving, that percentage is more like 40 percent. It’s especially noticeable whenever I pull up to a stop light. Almost everyone around me immediately bows their head. And I’m pretty sure they’re not praying.
Bill Child, Fair Oaks
Harris disengaged from DNA bill
Re “Democrats line up against police use of DNA” (Editorials, July 16): The editorial board is right: Criminal law is too complex to be altered by initiative.
It’s not surprising that some liberal Democrats voted against the collection of DNA from certain offenders, but it is surprising that Attorney General Kamala Harris failed to get involved in the legislation. Harris is running to be one of California’s senators. Voters can decide if they want to vote for a candidate who opposes DNA collection from certain offenders.
Richard McKone, Lincoln
Good IT staff in short supply
Re “Project manager fights state’s cautious problems” (Insight, July 15): I read with special interest the article about how the new state information technology chief is attempting to address why so many state IT projects fail or otherwise fall short of expectations.
The article named a number of reasons for the deficiencies, but one that was missing was that these complicated systems often lack the personnel expertise that is needed for their proper operation.
I retired from state service not long ago and it was my experience that many of the promises made for the enterprise system I dealt with went unrealized because of lack of programming personnel needed to fulfill development requests. Essentially, IT personnel who have the expertise and system certifications expected will not work for the low pay offered for the many vacant positions.
Richard Oravetz, Fair Oaks
Carbon tax would solve major issues
Re “New study says a third of Californians in poverty” (sacbee.com, July 14): I find the United Ways study estimating that one-third of California residents are living in poverty sad but motivating.
One way to help with poverty in California can also help address the issue of global climate change. The Carbon Fee and Dividend is one policy that can address these two pressing issues for Californians at once.
The carbon fee can reduce carbon pollution by putting a national price on carbon and stimulate the economy at the same time by returning the money to American households on an equitable basis. Through this policy, two-thirds of households would receive more in monthly dividend checks than they pay in increased costs for carbon-based fuels.
Rose Anderson, Portland, Ore.
Sac State solution not so simple
Re “Senate stands ready to help on graduation rates” (Another View, July 17): While efforts to improve Sacramento State graduation rates are to be applauded, they often ignore a crucial fact: “full time” students are often “full time” employees. It’s extremely difficult to do both well.
The standard formula says that two hours of outside of classwork are needed for every hour in class. Therefore, pushing students to move from 12 units, or four classes, to 15 units, or five classes, means increasing from 36 hours of school work per week to 45.
That is doable if the student is solely devoted to school, but almost half of Sac State students work full time. So taking 15 units means work plus school equals an untenable 85 hours per week. What tends to give? Schoolwork. Students may scrape by with barely passing grades, but they won’t learn much.
Kim Nalder, Sacramento
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