Make road wreckers pay up
Re “High fuel taxes and bad roads” (Dan Walters, Aug. 23): No one seems to be asking the question: Why are our roads crumbling? Anyone who drives Interstate 5 can see that the roads are cracked and broken.
What caused this? Could it be my light truck or my small passenger car? I doubt it. I think maybe one cause could be the increase in length and weight of the big rigs on the road today.
The roads were in OK condition when the rigs were 40 feet long. Now they are 50 feet long and carrying more goods and weight. If they wrecked the roads, increase the fees for trucking companies.
Martin Marovich, Rocklin
First, study impact of wage hikes
Re “Sacramento workers deserve a livable wage” (Viewpoints, Aug. 19): While it is intriguing to think that raising the minimum wage can have a large upside with little negative impact, we simply don’t know that yet – and we won’t for several years.
I understand the enthusiasm for helping those at the low end of the pay scale, but that doesn’t mean we should rush to a solution before we can truly evaluate all of the unintended consequences. If Sacramento increases its minimum wage, the city would be the first in the Central Valley.
We have an advantage: We can study the impact to Seattle, San Jose, Los Angeles and other cities as they implement increases. We have the opportunity to learn from their experiences and create a reasonable approach that won’t endanger the viability of our local small businesses.
Evaluate teachers on performance
Re “Rating California schools is a big battle” (Insight, Aug. 17): Thomas Jefferson and others stated we need a good public school system. State law, the Stull Act, states teachers should be evaluated on student achievement.
Students, teachers and parents want to succeed. Students cannot achieve when a high percentage of teachers, students and parents don’t understand how to use and get knowledge and skills from the textbooks, worksheets and technical devices provided by the state and school districts. User-friendly, easily understood tools to teach must be provided so everyone can be tested for a true evaluation of academic performance.
Public school educators should be reasonable.
Mark Helsley, Sacramento
California senators support deal
Re: “N.J. Democratic senator opposes nuclear deal with Iran” (Page 9A, Aug. 19) The article reports that U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey opposes the nuclear treaty with Iran but doesn’t mention that California Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, who both happen to be Jews, as I am, are supporting the deal with Iran.
As recent polls have shown, our views are in line with what most American Jews support, an achievable deal that takes nuclear weapons off the table for Iran.
Our senators understand the reality that if the United States fails to ratify this treaty after 10 years of negotiations, then other nations will accept the deal and end sanctions. We will have nothing to show for our efforts except the perception by the rest of the world that our Congress prefers a military rather than a diplomatic solution in the Middle East.
Hellan Roth Dowden, Carmichael
California has much to celebrate
Re “Study finds more obesity, diabetes” (Page 1A, Aug. 19): While the report may seem discouraging, there is much to celebrate about California’s public health.
Local leaders are innovating up and down the state. For example, in Los Angeles, the Parks after Dark program has created safe spaces to be physically active after-hours in the summer.
Meanwhile, Humboldt County and Sacramento are incentivizing healthy eating for low-income folks by matching federal nutrition assistance benefits at farmers markets.
Local efforts like these can bubble up to the state level, and they have: Smoking bans and menu labeling started as local initiatives. Our state has been a great leader in public health and can continue to ensure successful community efforts are brought to scale so we can maximize health for all Californians.
Juliet Sims, Oakland
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