Letters to the Editor

School start times, guns, carbon, climate change, drought

Disappearance of the American pika from the northern Sierra Nevada range is signlaing the dangers of climate change.
Disappearance of the American pika from the northern Sierra Nevada range is signlaing the dangers of climate change. AP file

Pampered high school kids

Re “Later start times in high schools deserve an A+” (Editorials, Feb. 18): So The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board thinks school should start later because “kids today are exhausted.” Instead, I would submit that kids today are pampered.

If they have trouble rousing from bed in the morning it most likely was the result of the activity the previous night, such as watching TV, playing computer games, texting friends or smartphone activities. Give me a break.

Part of a high school education is preparing for college or the job market. You don’t get to sleep in when your job dictates you start at 6 or 7 a.m. Rather than pamper kids today, I would suggest preparing them properly for the future is more beneficial. If your child has trouble waking up in the morning, I would suggest he or she does what has worked for generations of hard-working Americans: Go to bed earlier.

Douglas Schuch, Carmichael

Good luck with that

Re “Schools consider starting classes later” (Page A1, Feb. 17): We have known for years that starting high school after 8:30 a.m. would be beneficial for students and parents. Kids would get the sleep they need to perform better, and teens would not be roaming the streets in the afternoon looking for something to do.

The district I worked for tried very hard to change the high school hours at its six schools. The teachers’ union reared its ugly head and threatened to strike if the plan went through. I would suggest all the school districts in Sacramento County send their superintendents to a meeting of the minds and try to tackle this together. Oh, and good luck.

Arlene Kozub, Roseville

Teens need more discipline

A recent study has shown that teenagers are surly, don’t listen to parents, think they know everything and some don’t like doing homework. The solution is to let teenagers do anything and everything they want.

How many readers of the article went to high school at 7 a.m. or 7:30 a.m. and became successful citizens? I would hazard to guess more than one.

High school is a time where teenagers are learning to become adults, learning skills such as discipline, mental strength, critical thinking and how to apply it. Now the world must adjust their schedule to fit these tired teenagers. Really.

Our society has become a place where adults placate the young by answering their every whim and forgetting that one day these youths will become adults without the skills necessary to navigate the adult world.

Michael Santos, Antelope

Responsible use of firearms

Re “Guns on campus?” (Letters, Feb. 20): The basic concept of carrying a concealed weapon is for self-protection. I wholly support this. But the bigger picture is being responsible for the safe control and use of any firearm.

As an instructor of firearms and use of force, I realize that guns do not belong in everyone’s hands. The responsibility of carrying a concealed weapon is knowing the use-of-force laws, safe handling, proficiency, control, storage and constant awareness of one’s surroundings. Above all, the carrier of any firearm, by law enforcement or private citizen, should be a reasonable person. Sadly, not everyone embraces the community policing aspect of reasonability. A firearm in the hands of anyone impaired by drugs, alcohol, mental disorder or someone unreasonable is irresponsible.

Terol McCullar, Galt

Leading on carbon pricing

Re “Big Oil targets carbon limits” (Business, Feb. 20): Although the oil industry isn’t happy about it, California’s new low-carbon fuel standard is doing its job helping our state transition away from dirty fossil fuels. California is also leading the way with its carbon cap-and-trade system for power plants. We’re one of the few states that make polluters pay for their carbon emissions, and ours is the most comprehensive system in America.

However, to tackle the threats posed by climate change, we need action on a national level. California is leading the way as usual on environmental issues, but we can’t solve the problem alone. We need our representatives to support national carbon pollution pricing legislation, like a revenue-neutral carbon fee. I know Rep. Doris Matsui is among the many members of Congress who support such a system, but we need our representatives to hear from their constituents and heed the public will on carbon pricing and climate change.

Dana Nuccitelli, West Sacramento

Pika and climate change

Re “Climate change imperils tiny pika” (Page A1, Feb. 20): Maybe it will be the tiny 6-inch pika that is disappearing from its Northern Sierra range. Maybe it will be the sick and dying sea lion pups. (“Warm ocean blamed for sea lion woes”; Page A4, Feb. 20). Maybe it will be the two enormous cyclones that have just hit Australia. Maybe it will be the September Audubon Society report about 314 climate endangered and threatened bird species, or the study published in January noting that “humans are on the verge of causing unprecedented damage to the oceans and the animals living there.”

Maybe all of these will combine with the droughts, flooding and wildfires occurring locally and globally to waken us to the extraordinary threats posed by climate change and mobilize us to action. Personally, I’d like to think the pika did it.

Harold Ferber, Elk Grove

A drought solution?

Our West Coast is parched and lakes almost empty. Our East Coast is suffering under one of the worst winters ever. I watched a caravan of dump trucks taking excess snow to a melting station, which then overburdens the sewer system. Seems to me a viable solution is to get the snow from east to the west before it melts, but then I am a simple man, a mere mortal, and as such perhaps think too logically.

Bob Smith, Roseville

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