Letters to the Editor

Oscars, water meters, climate change, etc.

Immigrants’ history of abuse

Re “From equal pay to ALS, politics was Oscar costar” (Editorials, Feb. 24): Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu may be an excellent filmmaker, but he is certainly not a student of history. Apparently, he missed the first installment of the excellent PBS series “The Italian Americans” last week. Had he viewed the documentary, he might reconsider his plea that new immigrants “… be treated with the same dignity and respect of the ones that came before. …”

Dignity and respect were certainly not afforded Italian immigrants in the early years of the last century. Italians were considered undesirable and subjected to inhumane treatment in the mills of the Northeast. I suggest he review the case of Sacco and Vanzetti to see the “respect and dignity” offered to these gentlemen. Be careful what you wish for.

Robert Franceschi, Rocklin

Oscars audience is receding

So glad the editorial board enjoyed the Oscar telecast. I, for one, am more than fed up with Hollywood’s love affair with political rhetoric during this program. I tune in to be entertained, not lectured to. Enough already!

By the way, I heard that the TV audience this year was much less than last year. Next year, they’ll be minus one more.

Renae Radovich, Folsom

Metered versus flat rate

Re “A smarter way to install water meters” (Editorials, Feb. 24): I have a water meter, and my bill has gone up about $30 a month. I have never seen any customers touting lower bills from having a meter. If the city can get everyone on meters, they could increase their revenues.

There has to be information on usage, average bills and the extra amount of revenue collected by meters. Until the program is complete, homes with meters should be able to choose between the metered rate and flat rate.

John Fierro, Sacramento

Water leaks going unrepaired

The editorial board expressed its concern over the slow pace of installing water meters and the inherent unfairness of some paying a flat rate while others pay for actual usage. It failed to mention that leaks reported to the city go unrepaired for weeks. I’ve been reporting two leaks on my block since Jan. 16 that are unrepaired. Where’s the concern over that?

Jack Quartaroli, Sacramento

Scientist is hurting planet

Re “Funding ties cast doubt on climate scientist” (Page A1, Feb. 22): Wei-Hock Soon, the Harvard astrophysicist who has secretly taken millions of dollars from corporate interests and a foundation linked to Charles G. Koch to cast doubt on climate change, should go to prison for misleading humanity on this issue. By stalling action on this urgent situation, he has wasted money and time and done more to harm the future of our planet than any living person. What is the proper penalty for this deception?

Adam Bearson, Sacramento

Climate ‘facts’ aren’t settled

Re “Big Oil must pitch in on climate” (Letters, Feb. 24): Nothing twitches my mustache faster than the phrase “the facts are clear and the science is settled,” as one Bee reader stated regarding man-made global warming.

Nope. Far from true. I’m a scientist, and be assured a roomful of scientists cannot agree on what to have for lunch.

Factoids don’t dictate scientific “law.” But here’s one to chew on: Antarctic sea ice is now more than 20 million square kilometers and growing, a record size. Scientific experts are “puzzled.” Look, people have been around for about 200,000 years. Dinosaurs were here for about 165 million years, during which many species became extinct for various reasons, none involving people.

Get back to me with the “science is settled” story in 150 million years, when there is a long enough timeline and enough data to support a reasonable theory.

D.W. Collum, El Dorado Hills

Do more about emissions

Re “Leading on carbon pricing” (Letters, Feb. 23): California’s climate-change efforts, though laudable, aren’t nearly enough. We need national legislation, and not the kind that will hurt consumers or taxpayers. With a revenue-neutral carbon pollution fee that’s paid by all fossil fuels, not to the government, but to us – every American, every month, in equal amounts – we can cut carbon emissions by 52 percent over 20 years while creating 2.8 million jobs and adding $75 billion annually to our GDP.

Just as important, we can cut global emissions with the same carbon fee on imports from polluters such as China. Rebated to Americans, that money will allow us to buy U.S. products again. Eight Nobel Prize economists agree. It’s been successful in British Columbia for six years.

Lynn Goldfarb, Northglenn

Some kids need group home

Re “At-risk children shouldn’t be an industry” (Dan Walters, Feb. 22): I was dismayed to read Dan Walters’ column about group homes for children, since he is usually more accurate in his research. Instead, he simply recited a number of misstatements as some sort of condemnation of these facilities.

First, he criticizes group homes for being operated as nonprofits, apparently unaware that this is a requirement for federal funding of these facilities. Next, he criticizes their financial operations, even though they are governed by strict accounting standards and required to obtain independent financial audits. Then he criticizes them for being more expensive than foster care, even though they care for children who are too disturbed to be placed with foster parents. He also criticizes these children for being prescribed too much medication by their doctors, which actually underscores their need for group home placement.

Placement of these children with relatives or foster parents is always the first choice for county placement workers, but a minority of children require a more structured environment involving intensive therapy and round-the-clock supervision.

John W. Bersinger, Fair Oaks

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