Letters to the Editor

Women should have right to choose

Planned Parenthood supporters rally for women’s access to reproductive health care at Los Angeles City Hall in 2015.
Planned Parenthood supporters rally for women’s access to reproductive health care at Los Angeles City Hall in 2015. Associated Press file

Women’s rights in medical decisions

Re “Abortion is central conflict in women’s health access” (Forum, April 23): Molly Selvin’s article is important, especially regarding abortion restrictions suggested by conservative politicians. I served as community college counselor when abortion was illegal in the U.S. in the 1960s, when we received addresses of medical abortion clinics in Canada and Mexico.

One woman shared her teen experience with me. With a self-induced abortion she destroyed her reproductive system. Vice President Mike Pence’s vigorous pronouncements opposing abortion have a tragic ring to it for me and for that woman and many others who could never have children of their own.

I personally succeeded in encouraging some young women not to terminate their pregnancies. However, all these years I have believed in the woman’s right to make their own medical decisions.

Ernest W. Dahl,


City slogan is self-aggrandizing

Re “New slogan highlights neighborhood’s lack of farm-to-fork connection” (Forum, April 23): One hundred seventy years ago, people arriving in Sacramento referred to the city as the “City of the Plains.” We were an area of scatter oak woodland and riparian strips. Realizing how important trees were to cooling and providing shade during the hot summer months’ residents planted trees and soon the City of Plains became the City of Trees. Today we are an internationally recognized urban forest. A reputation well-earned as each tree in our urban forest was planted and cared for over time.

On the other hand, our newly self-christened “Farm-to-Fork Capital” is a result of the politics of simply naming our city as such. When I read such puffery I am reminded that self-aggrandizement is the lowest form of flattery. The “City of Trees” is an earned recognition, whereas the “Farm-to-Folk Capital” is merely a pronouncement of self-aggrandizement.

Bruce Handley,


Only China can influence N. Korea

Re “The face-off on the Korean Peninsula” (Forum, April 23): Kim Jung-un’s first priority is to maintain power in North Korea. His second is to take over South Korea, using his military, and by developing and threatening to use nuclear weapons.

China recognizes the U.S. cannot back off its commitments to South Korea, nor allow itself to be threatened, and that a war on the peninsula would be a disaster, physically and economically, for the Koreas and China.

China is the only one that can stop this disaster. China has kept the Kim regimes in power by their support in the Korean War and economically thereafter. Chinese President Xi Jinping must tell Kim Jong-un that he must back off, dismantle his war efforts and nuclear projects, or China will join a world economic blockade against them.

Bill Jurkovich,

Citrus Heights

It’s about business taxes, not pensions

Re “Split roll property tax proposal is really a pension tax” (Viewpoints, April 23): The burden of public pensions is a legitimate concern, but the author uses that issue as a smokescreen to conceal his true purpose: protecting corporations from property taxes that ordinary citizens pay.

We pay higher taxes whenever ownership of our homes changes while values have risen. But not corporations. They can cycle through multiple changes of ownership while their property values increase, but new stockholders are protected against higher property taxes, because it is a corporation.

The “split roll” reform would eliminate that corporate exemption, and place corporations on an equal footing with homeowners. That’s all.

Sales taxes also fund pensions, but the author is silent about them. Why? Because his only concern is the property tax advantage that corporations enjoy under the current “split roll.”

Paul D. Jordan, Volcano

Prop. 54 proving to be a failure

Re “Prop. 54 worked for gas-tax bill, but don’t celebrate yet” (Viewpoints, April 23): Prop. 54 has accomplished one thing: It has established a new 72-hour “secret deal” period.

The public had no idea about many of the behind-the-scenes deals that were struck. Most never would have been needed had Legislative leaders and the governor been able to hold a vote and strike while the iron was hot. Now, the public is left completely in the dark.

Written and financed by a right-wing billionaire with no legislative background, it’s no wonder that Prop. 54 is quickly proving to be a failure.

Steven Maviglio,


School is not a 9-to-5 job

Re “State’s idea of full school day doesn’t make the grade” (Viewpoints, April 23): While starting the school day a little later might get somewhat more attentiveness in first period in high school, the flip side is that sports practice and other after-school activities would end that much later.

Regarding high school, the mention of longer hours does not mean quality learning, only quantity of time spent. As a student or as a person attending training workshops, do you remember what it is like to sit for six or seven hours of classes, no matter how interesting? Attention spans, especially when sitting, are only so long, and then very little is being absorbed.

B.D. Miller, Sacramento

Local actions drive water innovation

Re “These policy changes will help prepare for the next drought” (Forum, April 16): Ellen Hanak and Jeffrey Mount hit the mark.

The Sacramento region is the state’s vanguard when it comes to modernizing our water infrastructure and operations to meet the public’s needs and create a sustainable ecosystem in the lower American River. For example, our region has planned for and invested in innovative projects to balance our surface and groundwater sources. This work keeps our groundwater basins stable and available for use during the drought without overdraft – a big win for local communities and businesses.

As the Legislature debates water policy again this session, it’s important to recognize that locally developed actions, driven by local innovation, are the best path forward to creating a sustainable water future for California.

Andy Fecko, Auburn

director of

Resource Development,

Placer County Water Agency


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