Letters to the Editor

Train hazards, police panel, banks and smokers

Kiemchai Saechao waits to cross the tracks at I Street after a train had been stalled in midtown on Tuesday.
Kiemchai Saechao waits to cross the tracks at I Street after a train had been stalled in midtown on Tuesday. rbyer@sacbee.com

Stalled train a stark reminder

Re “Train trouble: City’s got no pull” (Insight, Sept. 14): The train that stalled in midtown last week is a stark reminder of the dangers we face from trains carrying extreme explosive oil through Sacramento. If Bay Area refineries get their permits, we could soon see several 100-car oil trains daily.

When an oil train explodes, the evacuation zone is at least a mile. In Sacramento, a quarter of a million people live within that zone. Sacramento City Unified School District has 17 schools with 13,000 students located within the evacuation zone. If a minor train incident caused such great confusion and disruption, imagine what would happen if an oil train derailed.

350 Sacramento is working with other organizations to stop these dangerous oil trains. They are too risky for our city. We were lucky this time.

Laurie Litman,


Police panel needs transparency

Re “Sacramento police flirting with disaster” (Editorials, Sept. 16): If the Sacramento Community Police Commission was organized around an investigative model and composed entirely of civilians, we could ensure a level of transparency that would go a long way toward justice. It would also ensure that honorable police have space to flourish.

The wall of secrecy and militarization that surrounds Sac PD needs to be torn down.

Rebecca Sharad,


Those lawyers are at it again

Re “Judge affirms county on hook for $5.3M legal fee” (Local, Sept. 16): The judgment for $3.6 million awarded to the four women to compensate them for alleged retaliatory behaviors by their superiors at the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department is “dwarfed” by the $5.3 million the court has granted to the lawyers who represented the aggrieved women. Typical.

When the attorneys make more from a judgment than his or her client, has justice been served or swerved?

Donald Walker,


Bank put sales above integrity

Re “Wells Fargo cuts sales goals after $185M fine” (Business, Sept. 14): As a Wells Fargo customer for many years, I chose to use them when I owned Steady Eddy’s Coffee House in Winters a few years ago. Their Personal Banker sold me four accounts to run one business. My bookkeeper later told me “You don’t need all this stuff” and told me to cancel three of the accounts.

The Personal Banker asked me to wait one month before canceling the three accounts, so that she could get her bonus. I regret waiting that month. Yes, Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf has a lot of explaining to do.

Jack Schwab, Fair Oaks

Smokers should get taxed

Re “Who will get taxed after smokers?” (Letters, Sept. 15): Roy Hecteman asks who should get taxed after smokers? Simple answer: no one, after people stop smoking. While people are still smoking, smokers should pay for the burden they impose on society.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates the cost of smoking at $6 per pack. Smokers oppose paying even a $2-per-pack tax. Smokers expect non-smokers to pay the entire $6 per pack health burden. A tax increase of $2 per pack may reduce the number of smokers. But there will still be smokers. And, if you believe CDC estimates, non-smokers will continue to subsidize smokers.

If the tax increase prevents smoking, health problems from smoking cease. So there is an end to health problems from smoking.

Richard Boyd,

Browns Valley

Playing both sides of Clinton’s health

Do you remember when Hillary Clinton fell a little more than a year ago and sustained a concussion which forced her to cancel her appearance before the House Investigation Committee on Benghazi? At that time all of those “hanging judges” on the far right, Fox TV and Rush Windbag, were crowing that she was just faking the seriousness of her fall to get out of testifying.

Seems like the far right now wants to have it both ways by playing up the seriousness of the adverse after-effects of that concussion in order to influence the voters’ choice in the coming election.

Gene Cirillo, Gold River

Trump harm already done

Re “Some in GOP exhale as Trump shows discipline, focus” (Insight, Sept. 14): David Lightman writes that Donald Trump has become a more disciplined candidate in recent weeks. But the consequences of his heedless campaign of ugly verbal assaults has already taken its toll. He has changed America and not by making it greater.

John Adkisson, Sacramento


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