Light rail is just fine for children
Re “Light rail isn’t for kids” (Letters to the Editor, Jan. 8): Doreen Webber, who complained that light rail isn’t for kids, has clearly had a very different experience on RT than I have. I ride light rail regularly to downtown from the Franklin station and did from Meadowview before that. I find the trains generally clean with few security concerns.
The riders I meet are mostly friendly. I’ve never seen a drug sale or anyone smoking on the train. Yes, the trains are noisy, with passengers playing music too loud and carrying on high volume (and sometimes intimate) cellphone conversations. But that's hardly different from anywhere on city streets or in parks. I wouldn’t hesitate to take my young grandson on light rail.
Drew Mendelson, Elk Grove
Regional Transit doesn’t get it
Re “Light rail isn’t for kids” (Letters to the Editor, Jan. 8): I support public transportation and have used it in many parts of the United States and other countries. But being a regular RT light-rail rider, I’ve realized that its fare-paying system is essentially “voluntary.” Unlike other large cities, there are no turnstiles or other controls to make sure riders pay.
It allows some unsavory riders (fare-evaders) to rip off the system. A few of them sometimes create problems that discourage people who have their own cars from riding to places like the new arena, Old Sacramento and more. The car-driving public has a perception that our light rail is “unsafe and unclean,” and unfortunately, this is often true. I wish it wasn’t.
Fear should never win elections
Re “Expectation rises for attacks after San Bernardino” (Page 1B, Jan. 8): It is striking to see that twice as many California Republicans expect and fear a terrorist attack than Democrats, independents and nonpartisans. Terrorists want us to live in fear. It seems so does the GOP leadership.
They use fear to try and win elections because they can’t win nationally on their merits and message. It is distressing to see these voters gleefully cheering hatred and bigotry. The Republican “message” now is to fear Mexicans, Muslims and question our black president’s birthright. It is simply alarming to see what the modern Republican Party has become.
Stephen Farr, Folsom
Obamacare vote was a waste of time
Re “House sends Obama bill to kill health law” (www.sacbee.com, Jan. 8): Instead of addressing urgent and long-languishing issues like gun violence, campaign finance reform and a tax system that unfairly favors the very rich, the House of Representatives chose – as its first legislative act of the new year – to try to repeal the Affordable Care Act for the 62nd time.
While such votes continue to be a colossal waste of time, at least now maybe Republican members may feel they have “kept the faith” and can actually reach across the aisle to get some important work done. This may be too much to hope for in an election year, but hope springs eternal and the views of the electorate need to be heard and acted on.
New dietary rules miss an opportunity
Re “Lean meat OK, cut the added sugars” (Page 1B, Jan. 8): For those of us working on the front lines of public health, these new dietary guidelines represent a missed opportunity to advance environmental sustainability and long-term food security. Industry pressure may delay the federal government from acting on evidence linking the American diet to broader health and environmental issues. But California is uniquely positioned to act on the science.
The state has a long history of leadership on health and challenges to long-term environmental sustainability. We must find new ways to work together to support local, sustainable agriculture and focus on communities that have been hardest hit by our food system’s shortcomings.
Juliet Sims, Oakland
All cities must help protect homeless
Re “Homeless protest continues as second Web video surfaces” (Page 3A, Jan. 9): The homeless have made their point by sleeping outside Sacramento City Hall. But they seem to have overlooked other cities in the county that can address their issues: Rancho Cordova, Elk Grove, Fair Oaks, Citrus Heights and others.
Can you imagine camps at another city’s government building? Where are the county supervisors? Not all the protesting homeless were born and raised in Sacramento city. All government entities need to work together for a solution. Help.
Falcon F. Lee, Sacramento
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