Opinion

Letters Pain pills, crude oil, teachers, Roger Dickinson, strong mayor, etc.

Stop insanity on pain meds

Millions of Americans rely on hydrocodone-combination products to ease debilitating pain. Until recently, doctors could fax or phone refills to a pharmacy. Now, regardless of age or mobility, sufferers must pay a doctor for a handwritten prescription. The cost of relief has increased by the cost of an office visit.

Sadly, some people may have to choose between food and pain relief. Additionally, HCP patients now must pass an annual urine test. Grandma must prove she’s taking, not selling. Another increase for those who can least afford it. Recently, a Bee obituary told of a young man who’d long suffered with excruciating back pain. When his pain medications were withheld, he ended the suffering himself.

The government, starting with Obama, is punishing Americans with real medical needs while easing penalties for recreational users. Stop this insanity. In November, vote for honesty, integrity and change. Forget party affiliation and special interests.

Richard Isherwood, Lincoln

Greater risk from oil transport

Re “Crude oil station halted” (Page A1, Oct. 23): Once again, environmentalists have created a potential environmental problem while claiming to protect the environment.

The California Air Resources Board, under an environmental organization lawsuit, has withdrawn the permit allowing oil to be offloaded at Mather and shipped to the Bay Area via a pipeline safe from spills.

So how will that oil get to the Bay Area refinery? More oil trains will now chug through downtown Sacramento and other towns, subjecting homes along the rail line to a potential hazard if a train derailment occurs.

There’s always another side to every coin.

Joe Dobrowolski, Fair Oaks

Teachers not money-driven

Re “California is failing its schoolchildren with too many layers of bureaucracy” (Viewpoints, Oct. 23): Lawyer Robert Wilson says the real problem with our school system is varied, but one is that “our teachers’ $68,500 average salary is fifth highest in the U.S.”

Our state has the sixth highest cost of living. Does Wilson want to further impoverish people most responsible for our children’s academic welfare? How many teachers do we know who, despite their post-baccalaureate degrees, live frugal lives and contribute monetarily to their classroom and students?

Wilson says, “Teachers may not be overpaid, but are the teachers unions really fighting for our children?” Is there a statement here beyond his weasel words?

Let’s trot out the word “union,” which Wilson, and others use to scare people. From what? Collective bargaining for that treasure-trove salary? Maintaining creativity beyond mind-numbing mandated testing?

One thing it still protects teachers from are lamebrained ideas of experts who have barely stepped into a classroom. That there should even be an argument that $68,500 makes California teachers interested in money and not students is ludicrous.

David Kuchera, Sacramento

Not backing Dickinson

Re “Dickinson for good government” (Letters, Oct 24): David Feldstein, a member of the same grand jury as me, has a wholly different view of Roger Dickinson than I do.

Dickinson’s leadership on the Joint Power Authority overseeing the library was negligent. He opposed the grand jury at every turn in its investigation of the library and its leadership.

When faced with the validity of the report, the criminal convictions of the offenders, and the removal of the library director, Dickinson’s response was to submit legislation changing how the grand jury operates.

Dickinson’s general responses to questions about the JPA and his legislative proposal showed he refused to accept the role of a civil grand jury as a valid overseer of government.

He is not the kind of legislator I want representing me.

James Spagnole, Sacramento

Too many teachers on board

Re “McKibbin, Paulo for San Juan schools,” (Endorsements, Oct. 16): As an involved parent in the San Juan Unified School District, I know that all of the candidates for school board are well-educated and thoughtful. However, if The Bee’s endorsed candidates, Michael McKibbin and Greg Paulo, are elected, four of the five board positions will be held by retired teachers.

The San Juan Teachers Association’s influence on district decision-making is pervasive, and teachers don’t need even more representation on the board. Instead, active district parents, Michael Alcalay and Michael Miller would speak up for students and parents, adding much needed balance to the SJUSD Board.

Sue Gylling, Sacramento

Kudos for Winkler prosecutor

Re “Winkler gets guilty verdict” (Page A1, Oct. 23): There was an audible sigh of relief among victims of domestic violence when the abuser and killer of Rachel Winkler was convicted of first-degree murder.

Having been present for some of the trial, I would like to thank El Dorado County Deputy District Attorney Lisette Suder for an outstanding job representing the people in this complicated and emotional case.

She presented the evidence in a logical, intelligent and organized format. She was fiery and aggressive during her cross-examinations but also compassionate toward Rachel and her family. May all victims of domestic violence be represented by an attorney as talented as Suder.

Lori Siemens, Diamond Springs

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