RT should have local security
Re “Transit agency urged to cut ties to global security firm” (Page 2B, Jan. 3): A “global security company” has provided RT security for eight years. Board Chairman Jay Schenirer says he wants to stay out of international politics.
Isn’t it time, then, to reconsider this contract and build a new contractual relationship with a local security company? These are public dollars for public services. Let’s keep it local and avoid any tie to possible human rights violations elsewhere.
Judith Lamare, Fair Oaks
Light rail isn’t for kids
On Sunday, I took my three children (7-year-old twins and an 8-year-old daughter) on our first trip on Regional Transit light rail. We headed from the new Franklin station in south Sacramento at 11:30 a.m. to Seventh and K streets near Old Sacramento.
During our round trip we had men selling pills, marijuana and pot brownies openly in large plastic bags just seats away from my children; homeless men with oversized carts that blocked walkways; people smoking despite “no smoking” signs posted at each station; a man with a pit bull; and a young woman carrying a portable speaker with her phone blasting songs with excessive profanity.
There were no security staff members anywhere in sight on the train. The cars were full of trash and spilled drinks, and the windows were so smeared with dirt and grime that we could barely see out.
The experience left me shaken and saddened. What an unsafe and toxic environment for a family, and what a sad representation for Sacramento. Ironically, this is the same line that one would take from Elk Grove to go to the new Sacramento Kings arena. My advice: Take another means of transportation, especially if you have children. Next time, I will stick to driving.
Doreen Webber, Elk Grove
Account of homeless raid
Re “Homeless advocates rousted from City Hall” (Local, Jan. 3): We had started volunteering to feed the homeless at the Community Dinner Project, so we saw the notice of the raid on Facebook. We bundled up against the cold and walked over to the protest site.
Other concerned citizens were there. People offered socks, food, blankets. The cops announced that people camping would be cited. The protesters did try to comply. People walked around, shaking souls awake in the 30-degree cold and biting wind. One man wouldn’t awaken. People yelled for medical assistance. No response. People had to call 911 themselves. When the cops finally walked over, an ambulance had arrived.
Then more police cars. Cops in riot gear with sticks and helmets showed up to face off with the homeless and others who were brave/kind enough to be there. A helicopter circled.
How many of our families in need could have been helped with the money spent that night? A disgrace to Sacramento.
Aaron Green, Sacramento
Benefits aren’t deferred income
Re “Unused sick, vacation time boosts pensions” (Local, Jan. 3): Sheriff Scott Jones is not qualified to vote on our national budget as a congressman if he can’t stop expensive and unnecessary $100,000-plus sick-leave cash-outs routinely paid to sheriff’s deputies when they retire. Sacramento County’s sheriff’s deputies have some of the highest retirement benefits in the nation. Deputies’ sick-leave benefits are insurance to protect wages in the event of illness, not a tax-deferred supplemental savings plan.
If Jones can’t trim fat at home, we can’t expect him to do any better in Congress.
Marcia Fritz, Orangevale
Let Perea pay for election
Re “2015’s movers, shakers and events in California politics” (Page 8A, Jan. 1): Assemblyman Henry Perea, D-Fresno, has decided to leave the Assembly halfway through his term to go to work for a pharmaceutical lobbying firm. It is fortunate for him and his family, but the residents of his district will pay a high cost for his self-centered resignation.
Mr. Perea not only reneged on his commitment to represent his constituents for a full term in the Assembly; he is also leaving them a bill of approximately $750,000 for the election to fill his vacancy.
The Bee reported that he is leaving office with a sizable “campaign” fund with no campaign in his future. I suggest that he donate his campaign fund to the cities and county that will have to fund the special election.
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