Letters to the Editor

Fracking, food trucks, mentally ill, Koons art

John Laird, California’s secretary for natural resources, told a Senate hearing this week that the state Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources is reviewing underground injection wells while prioritizing those that pose the greatest risk of contaminating aquifers used for water supplies.
John Laird, California’s secretary for natural resources, told a Senate hearing this week that the state Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources is reviewing underground injection wells while prioritizing those that pose the greatest risk of contaminating aquifers used for water supplies. AP file

Ban fracking now

Re “State officials will review wells for wastewater risks” (Capitol & California, March 11): For all the talk about enacting environmental protections in California, it appears one of the major offenders – the oil industry – is being policed by Keystone Kops. Tuesday’s state Senate hearing on the Underground Injection Control program made it clear that oil companies have been operating with little or no surveillance from corrupt or incompetent regulators.

Gov. Jerry Brown has proven time and again that he is an environmental leader, but it is time for our governor and state regulators to stand up and stop the oil companies who are illegally injecting toxic oil industry waste fluid into protected aquifers, especially as we face one of the worst droughts on record. Brown should shut down all illegal injection wells immediately and ban fracking. It is endangering our water supply and our health.

Daniel Jacobson, Sacramento

Change bad food truck laws

Re “Panel urges new food truck rules” (Our Region, March 11): Sacramento’s decision to rethink its regulation of food trucks shows that it’s never too late to change bad policy. A big problem with the current regulations is the 30-minute parking limit, which is nowhere near long enough for most trucks to set up. So most food trucks stay away from downtown altogether.

There’s no possible health or safety rationale for this restriction. Rather, its purpose is protecting restaurants from competition. No wonder, then, that some vocal restaurant owners are resisting the proposal to repeal it. But the government should not be in the business of deciding where hungry customers can buy their lunch or dinner.

For that reason, the full City Council should follow the lead of the Law and Legislation Committee and decide that time’s up for the 30-minute parking limit.

Ari Bargil, Arlington, Va.

Smoke and mirrors

Re “Aid for mentally ill people shows some success” (Editorials, March 12): After close examination of former state Sen. Darrell Steinberg’s report, the findings are much more suspicious than “encouraging,” as stated in the editorial.

Proposition 63 was sold to California taxpayers as a mechanism to expand mental health services to serve those with serious mental illnesses who historically were difficult to treat. Nowhere in Steinberg’s report is there evidence that the data come from these individuals. To the contrary, the findings suggest Mental Health Services Act programs are not targeting the intended population. For example, only 21 percent of the adults included had a psychiatric hospitalization the year before enrollment.

The number and percent of the seriously mentally ill who are incarcerated have increased since the MHSA. The percent of the homeless population who have serious mental illnesses has remained flat for the past decade. Using these as metrics, it’s clear that MHSA is not working as intended.

Jeffery L. Hayden, Camarillo

Look closely at sculpture

I was a San Francisco resident when the Transamerica Pyramid was proposed, much discussed, much criticized and ridiculed. I was skeptical, as was the late, great San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen. They built it, and today it is hard to imagine the San Francisco skyline without it. It relieves the monotony of all those tall boxes.

If public art and architecture are not controversial, probably the artist or developer did not try hard enough.

In any case, open up the next significant local art opportunity to robust, local competition. Piglet will always be welcome in Sacramento, but he should not be our art statement.

Robert C. Buckley, Elk Grove

More heat on Koons’ sculpture

Please consider how much heat the Koons sculpture would generate when it’s 110 degrees in Sacramento. Remember the heat and glare problems with the stainless steel Walt Disney Concert Hall?

I appreciate the generous privately funded donation, but maybe the sculpture belongs inside the arena, undoubtedly scaled down, but perhaps visible from the outside through windows, and a more weather-friendly sculpture or artistic work could be outside.

If, through research, it’s determined the Koons can’t be outside, I like my husband’s idea for a fountain constructed with two confluent waterfalls bringing to mind our two great rivers, and adding a few artistic fish appearing to swim upstream. There would be seating along the perimeter of the waterfalls (recycled water), welcoming people to the area, and our Sacramento trees for shade and beauty.

Barri Freeman Gilbert, Fair Oaks

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