Letters to the Editor

Opioid addiction is a bipartisan priority

Recently, Congress passed the 21st Century Cures Act, in which $1 billion was set aside for opioid abuse treatment and prevention grant programs.
Recently, Congress passed the 21st Century Cures Act, in which $1 billion was set aside for opioid abuse treatment and prevention grant programs. Associated Press file

Opioid addiction is bipartisan priority

Re “If Obamacare goes, cheap care for opioid addicts must stay” (Editorials, Dec. 4): I’m writing to express my disappointment with the recent editorial in which the Valley’s opioid epidemic was turned into a partisan issue. Alarmist opinions that cherry-pick facts only serve to sensationalize a serious issue, scare Americans and ignore Congress’ bipartisan collaboration to address this serious issue.

Recently, Congress passed (and President Barack Obama will soon sign) the 21st Century Cures Act, in which $1 billion was set aside for opioid abuse treatment and prevention grant programs. And in July, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 became law, providing broad support for opioid addiction prevention, education, treatment and recovery.

To say that people who need treatment will lose it with the repeal of the Affordable Care Act is a gross overstatement. Congress has worked, and will continue to work, with the administration to find solutions for this American epidemic.

Rep. Jeff Denham, Turlock

Other laws affect health insurance

I wish The Bee’s editorial board luck in getting the Congress to pass any legislation about keeping any part of Obamacare. They would rather stick it to the public and make us pay for everything they do.

Point in question is the Emergency Medical Treatment & Labor Act signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1986. Hospitals that accept Medicare money cannot turn away anyone due to citizenship, legal status or ability to pay. In effect, it gave those who have no assets free medical coverage. The hospitals will bill those folks, but they have no money. To recover the expense the hospitals raise the rate on those who have insurance and the ability to pay.

I feel that this law should be changed so that the federal government is responsible for these bills. Maybe this law should not have been enacted in the first place since it gives noncitizens free medical care at our expense.

Martin Marovich, Rocklin

Ought to be a law for liability

Re “How millions in lobbying watered down legislation after the Berkeley balcony collapse” (Forum, Dec. 4): Unfortunately it is all too common for lobbyists to influence the California Legislature with money to protect their interests in what I call the front end, also known as watering down bills before they become law.

However, at the back end and always after the fact, we are able to counter their influence through lawsuits. But compensatory, punitive, pain and suffering damages do not bring back the lives that were lost due to watered down regulations and good lobbying.

I suggest that in the future not only contractors be liable, but also legislators and lobbyists for their part in watering down these bills.

Steven Bickford,

Sacramento

Construction bill missed the mark

I have worked as an attorney defending contractors from construction defect suits for more than 20 years. While I agree the collapse of the poorly built balcony that caused six young people to lose their lives is a tragedy and the responsible parties should be punished, SB 465 was not the way.

A law requiring all contractors who are sued for construction defects to report a settlement would not make the public any safer. Instead, require contractors to report significant settlements or jury verdicts (say, over $200,000) involving personal injury and follow up with license suspension or revocation for repeated incidents of code violations resulting in serious bodily harm.

Vet applications for new licenses to make sure those same violators don’t reincorporate under new names. Finally, demand that building officials do a thorough job. Let’s hope all involved take this sad story as a call to step up and do better.

Suzanne Tollefson,

Cameron Park

Grand compromise still ruins the Delta

Re “A grand compromise for the Delta outlined” (Forum, Dec 4): The compromises suggested aren’t compromises at all. Even one of the two gigantic tunnels can extract more water directly from the Sacramento River before it can flow through the Delta is more than the Delta can afford to lose.

Second, the pipeline construction project will rip through the heart of the Delta for years, tearing up the estuary, bringing construction through sensitive bird and fish estuaries, and leaving mounds of muck throughout the Delta. Even one tunnel will bring saltwater intrusion, ruining local farms and fisheries.

Instead, alternatives such as recycling projects to clean up the farm water runoff so that it stops polluting the San Joaquin River, and/or a very small pipeline removing water east of the Delta would be true compromises. Yet real alternatives are not being considered.

Taking that water before it flows through the Delta is not a compromise, it is a travesty.

Janet McCleery,

Discovery Bay

Thanks for the powerful words

Re “Hateful behavior emerges again; where will it end?” (Forum, Dec. 4): Thank you Gregory Favre for your quiet, gentle column. I too remember vividly the anguish and confusion the pre-civil-rights era placed on our country’s family.

As a nation, the shock, abandonment and grief felt by so many has needed such powerful words. These words of love, taught to the followers and dissenters of Christ’s time, echo the importance in us all not to fall into the trap of hate. The healing that I find myself searching for remains at bay, given the continuing daily appointments and comments from supporters of the next administration.

As a Unitarian Universalist, I find solace in the words of the many great philosophers and teachers of history, as well as in the inclusionary nature of my faith. So, to the sorrow and pain that remains for the future of our constitutional democracy, these words are timely and insightful as well as comforting. Peace.

Kathleen Stricklin,

Sacramento

Something adults should remember

What do we tell our children? With hate crimes reportedly on the rise, there are more concerns of being teased or bullied based on ones individuality. However, this kind of behavior isn’t new, but maybe it is being exposed.

Working in my parents’ convenience store, we were often the butt of Slurpee jokes, or told to go back to our country. We never engaged in the anger-driven remarks, and I took notice. Of course I was also preoccupied in getting chores done so I could earn my daily candy bar.

As an ethnic person, I learned that being different will always draw attention, good and bad. As a woman, I’ve learned to control my emotions and understand that it’s not always personal. As children we are taught that sticks and stones can break, but words will never hurt you. Something to remember as adults.

Raghni Reddy, Citrus Heights

Sawyer decision vs. 1872 Mining Act

Re “Challenge to state ban on dredging for gold may go to top court” (Viewpoints, Dec. 4): A brief employment in the winter of 1959 at a small, surviving hydraulic gold mining claim above the Yuba River’s middle fork piqued my interest in its history. The once-monumental process of hosing away mountains for pennies of gold per yard, but which buried Valley farmers’ crops in detritus downstream, was halted by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 1884.

It was a landmark case, broadly establishing federal authority over abuses of riverine systems, and often cited as a first government initiative toward environmental protection. The 1893 Caminetti Act permitted hydraulic mining that didn’t discharge debris into waterways. With those restrictions, the industry mostly disappeared.

Named for the presiding judge, Lorenzo Sawyer, once a miner and whose name is soon to be honored on a Sacramento hotel, the 1884 decision should remain the standard by which stream and river mining activities are allowed: their environmental consequences. Not the 1872 Mining Act.

Spencer P. Le Gate,

Sacramento

Letter writer shows why Clinton lost

Re “Disturbed by straw man argument” (Letters, Dec. 4): In penning her vitriolic defense of Hillary Clinton’s remarks that half of Trump supporters are “deplorable,” letter writer Marlene Montalvo demonstrated why Clinton lost and why her supporters are so out of touch with mainstream America.

James Pantalone,

Fair Oaks

Donald Trump deserves a chance

Re “It’s time to accept President Trump” (Letters, Dec. 4): Like it or dislike it, Donald Trump was elected president of the United States. We could scream or scream until we are black and blue. There is no way of getting out of having Trump as president.

Trump deserves a chance to prove himself.

Nou Lee, Sacramento

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