Letters to the Editor

Road usage tax, climate change denial, Alzheimer’s patient care

A special session called by Gov. Jerry Brown to focus on raising billions to fund road maintenance will end Wednesday. And once again, California lawmakers will prove that they are unable to carry out the basic function of filling potholes.
A special session called by Gov. Jerry Brown to focus on raising billions to fund road maintenance will end Wednesday. And once again, California lawmakers will prove that they are unable to carry out the basic function of filling potholes. Sacramento Bee file

Privacy not concern in road usage tax

Re “California roads worsen as legislators make excuses” (Editorials, Nov. 22): The Bee’s editorial was too quick to dismiss fees based on vehicle miles traveled, also known as a road usage charge because of privacy concerns. More than 65 percent of the 5,000 Californians currently participating in the California Road Charge Pilot Program opted for a GPS option.

In the Oregon road usage charge program, where participants actually pay road charges, unlike the California pilot program, more than 75 percent of participants opted for a recording technology with GPS.

I don’t know if the road charge should replace gas taxes, or be added as a new fee to ensure electric car drivers pay for road upkeep, but I am certain that privacy is not the reason to avoid consideration of the road usage charge.

Irvin Dawid, Burlingame

Still in denial on climate change

Re “Trump moderates stances on torture, climate and Clinton” (Page 1A, Nov. 23): President-elect Donald Trump moderated his stance on climate change by saying he will keep an open mind, but also claimed that a lot of smart people disagree on the subject. My colleagues and I have published two papers finding a 97 percent consensus in peer-reviewed climate science research on human-caused global warming. A few disagree, but giving the outliers equal weight to a 97 percent expert consensus is extremely unwise.

A Trump adviser has also said he wants to scrap climate research at NASA, which does some of the best climate research in the world, and Trump appointed a climate denier to lead the EPA transition. We can’t go back to the dark ages of science denial. Denying a problem doesn’t make it go away; the problem just gets worse while our heads are in the sand.

Dana Nuccitelli,

West Sacramento

Could be a basket full of gullibles

The starry-eyed red state voters who are waiting for the good jobs promised by Donald Trump are expecting high-paying union jobs with benefits. After the Republicans make “right to work” the law of the land and get rid of the prevailing wage, they will be left with minimum wage jobs with no benefits at all.

The exploding deficit due to the infrastructure tax scam will cause another economic collapse. After Congress has gutted Social Security and Medicare, they will be left with nothing. Time to plug in the scooter, dig the funny hats out of the closet and hit the streets. The promise to protect Medicare will be among the first of many campaign promises to be broken.

Dianne Dobbs, Roseville

Better care for Alzheimer’s patients

Re “Dementia drops even as U.S. population gets older” (Insight, Nov. 22): Even with the recent news regarding a possible small decline in the rate of Alzheimer’s diagnoses, the prevalence of this scourge as the American population ages threatens to overwhelm our health care system and cause undue suffering for patients and their loved ones.

The federal Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act would increase palliative care and hospice training for health care professionals, launch a national campaign to inform patients and families about the benefits of palliative care, and enhance research on improving the delivery of palliative care.

I urge Sacramento area members of Congress – Doris Matsui, Tom McClintock and Ami Bera – to support this important step forward in relieving the suffering of so many.

Howard Posner, Sacramento

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