Letters to the Editor

Teachers, water rationing, minimum wage, regional transit, etc.

Editorial reasoning flawed

Re “Solving substitute teacher shortage” (Editorials, Feb. 27): I am always amused when liberals paint themselves into a corner with their questionable reasoning. One of the points made in the editorial concerned the high absenteeism rate of Sacramento City Unified teachers. Yes, that number was slightly above the national average. However, if a proposal were made to give districts the ability to dismiss teachers who abuse their sick leave, i.e., do away with tenure, the editorial board would be the first to object.

We would like to think that our teachers are so dedicated that they do not want to leave their kids throughout the year, but, unfortunately, that is not always the case. One thing the editorial was right about – the kids suffer.

Carol Rose, Sacramento

Water rationing plan stupid

Re “Rising call to ration water” (Page A1, Feb. 26): So the call to mandatory water rationing by our leaders has started. Well, why?

Elk Grove is in the middle of a building boom. Natomas is slated to begin building. Sacramento County supervisors approved 8,000 homes. Folsom does a land grab south of Highway 50. El Dorado County has nonstop building.

This is all approved by our out-of-touch elected officials. Now you want me not to water my flowers, let my yard die and take shorter showers. Yeah, right. Are our officials required to take a stupid pill before they are sworn in? Perhaps the developers have them in their back pocket.

James Taylor, Gold River

Wage campaign about fairness

Re “Ad campaign to boost minimum wage relies on some fuzzy math” (Viewpoints, Feb. 25): The campaign to raise the minimum wage is not about redistributing income from CEOs to workers. It’s about fairness. According to the nonprofit, nonpartisan Economic Policy Institute, CEO compensation adjusted for inflation increased 937 percent from 1978 to 2013. Compare that to the decrease in the real U.S. minimum wage during the last three decades, from $3.35 in 1984 to $3.23.

If McDonald’s were to raise the wages of its workers, it might require a small increase in the price of a Big Mac, but it might also result in more Big Macs being sold since minimum-wage workers are probably major purchasers.

John Briggs, Sacramento

BreEZe system working well

Re “Department was warned of glitches” (The State Worker, Feb. 26): Jon Ortiz’s column about the Department of Consumer Affairs’ BreEZe licensing and enforcement database misses the mark. While the BreEZe project faced some bumps during the initial rollout, the department has worked unceasingly to make the system work well for the 10 boards now using it.

For example, the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology – which serves 557,425 barbers, manicurists and other beauticians – has seen its application processing time fall from four weeks to about a week. Scheduling times for exams have fallen from one week to one day, and license renewals are now being processed twice as fast.

The database is working well for licensees as well. As of December, nearly 400,000 applicants have submitted applications online, more than $84 million in payments have been processed and more than 50,000 complaints have been filed. We continue to work with individuals who use the system daily to ensure that the rollout for the remaining boards and bureaus is smooth, and that consumers and the 3.1 million licensees benefit.

Awet Kidane, Sacramento, director of the California Department of Consumer Affairs

Columnist insulted Catholics

Re “Pope Francis, you should come to California” (Viewpoints, Feb. 26): Joe Mathews’ article was replete with insults to the Catholic faith. It is one of the worst examples I have ever seen.

Laurette Elsberry, Sacramento

Money and greed, again

Re “Carbon auction nets $1 billion” (Business, Feb. 26): There is a primary reason climate change is a hot topic today. Follow the money, as California just received $1 billion for “allowing” industry to continue to operate. Industry doesn’t pay the bill, residents do in higher prices. This is just another tax so that state legislators can spend more buying votes. Money and greed always take precedence over logic and real solutions.

Jerry Pasek, Rancho Murieta

Keep RT riders in mind

Re “Serna envisions RT transformation” (Page B3, Feb. 26): As the Regional Transit system improvement committee works to address the concerns of the downtown Sacramento business community, it must not forget about those who rely on the system as their primary mode of transportation to work, school or their children’s day care.

These riders include low-income families with children, the disabled, students, the elderly and thousands of state workers. This also means providing quality service to areas outside the central city, where many of these riders live. Any current and new funding managed by RT should ensure that these riders will have access to more affordable, convenient, reliable, clean, and safe service.

Jason Orta, Sacramento

Common Core the right path

Re “Majority doesn’t get Common Core, poll finds” (Page A10, Feb. 22): The good news is that the dynamic is much better in the Golden State as school districts work to successfully implement Common Core. Since California adopted the Common Core state standards in 2010, local districts and teachers have been working to effectively engage students and expose them to new learning approaches.

The standards are a set of K-12 learning goals in math and English that require greater use of analysis, critical thinking and real-world skills to better prepare students for future challenges and opportunities. The fact is that we’re on the right path to close the achievement gap and ensure student success. What’s truly at issue is the level of misperception that exists.

Ted Lempert, Oakland,

president, Children Now


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Sacramento, CA 95852

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