Letters to the Editor

Recreational gold panning under attack; State Fair a pleasant surprise; rent control needed

Gary Shaver of Sacramento puts material from a mud pit into a sluice box secured in the Bear River in June 2015 in Colfax.
Gary Shaver of Sacramento puts material from a mud pit into a sluice box secured in the Bear River in June 2015 in Colfax. rpench@sacbee.com

‘Hands and pans’

For more than 40 years, I have enjoyed recreational gold panning near the confluence of the north and middle forks of the American River. Several years ago, a law was passed that that was intended to limit recreational gold mining to the use of common hand tools, gold pans and other non-motorized methods of extracting gold from state lands. Someone in state government decided to strongly enforce the “hands and pans” guidelines to the point that it is now almost impossible to pan for gold in the Auburn State Recreation Area. It is sad to see that a place so close to the original California gold discovery site has been made unavailable to recreational gold seekers. People have routinely asked me to show them how to pan for gold and I have happily done so. No one has ever complained that I was polluting the American River. I ask the people of the gold country to stand up and tell our Legislature that it is not right to prevent people from recreational gold seeking in the home of the Gold Rush.

Anthony Farley, Auburn

State Fair

We were pleasantly surprised by the State Fair. We had a blast. We did not feel targeted, or unsafe. There was security presence, and police were talking to the patrons. We had the pleasure of running into the chief executive and expressed our gratitude. He looked busy, though not too busy to say hello. I am telling everyone: Go. Have fun. Bring the kids, your parents, or go on a date night. Lots of exhibits, and great food. Don’t try to get drunk though. The beer is priced high. Anyway, our experience was a very positive one. Good job for getting the fair right.

Dionna Pancoast, Acampo


Re “Sacramento district can’t find enough teachers, so it turns to Philippines for help” (sacbee.com, July 16): Meeting the needs of students is our mission at Sacramento City Unified School District. However, this work does not come without challenges. A Learning Policy Institute report found that in a survey of 200 California school districts, 88 percent face the same challenge we do: not being able to fill vacant special education teaching positions. Our long-term solution is to quickly advance a dual-credential program in partnership with Sacramento State. A total of 11 individuals are enrolled in the program and will be eligible to enter district classrooms this fall. This partnership was two years in the making and we look forward to the benefits it will bring. As we continue to grow these innovative partnerships, I urge everyone to welcome the newest members of our community who have made tremendous sacrifices to leave their home country to help us meet the immediate needs of our students.

Jorge Aguilar, Sacramento City Unified School District superintendent

Rent control

Re “Rents are rising faster in Sacramento than any other part of California” (sacbee.com, July 26): As more Californians flee the rapidly rising residential lease payments in the Bay Area, Sacramento city government should give serious consideration to the imposition of rent control measures. Homelessness is on a dramatic rise, in direct correlation to the rise in rental costs. Desperate times call for the consideration of extraordinary measures.

Mark T. Harris, California Fair Employment and Housing Council member


Re “Trump wants to reinstate hate in the military” (Editorial, July 26): Draft 1: “All those who identify as binary gendered, heterosexual and male are no longer allowed to serve in the U.S. military, in any capacity, due to the high cost of Viagra and-or vasectomies.” Draft 2: “Donald Trump is banned from the United States indefinitely due to his burdensome and distracting choices that threaten the founding principles of our country.” Final Copy: “To our transgender military service people: Thank you for your brave and selfless service to our country. You are true Americans who deserve nothing less than unwavering gratitude, respect and the freedom to serve.”

Angela F. Luna, Sacramento


Oh, the power of the mighty send-button. Major policy decisions riffed off the cuff. I used to live in the U.S.A. Now I live in the USC, Unhinged State of Chaos, with motto embossed in brilliant gold lettering: “Destroy, Denigrate, Defame, Dilute, Dismiss, Divide, Donaldize.”

Claudia Simpson, Roseville


I enlisted in the United States Navy at 17, went through Aviation Officer Candidate School, and served as an officer for 25 years. I have deployed from the Persian Gulf to Antarctica. I have served with thousands of service members of almost every conceivable background and have lived and worked with them in situations ranging from mind-numbing boredom to stark terror. I know some LGB and transgender service members, and probably served with many more who I didn’t know. The only issue in all that time and in all those situations with all these people was: Can they do the job? This ban on transgender service, like previous blanket bans on lesbians, gays, women, African Americans and others accomplishes only one thing. It makes the armed forces of this nation weaker. Our strength is in our diversity.

Eric Milstein, USN-Ret, Sacramento


Re “Getting people out of jail. How’s that for a worthy bipartisan cause?” (Editorials, July 28): Bail reform for low level offenders is not some difficult subject that requires $10 million dollars in studies to figure out. It’s simple. Monetary bail is to encourage released persons to return to court, and not commit another crime while released. If people are released on their own recognizance, they would be encouraged to return to court and not commit another crime by having a sentence of one-year in jail for not returning, and double the penalty if convicted of a crime, whichever is longer. The government could fund agents to bring in evaders by using savings from not having to hold so many people in jail who can’t afford monetary bail.

Bill Jurkovich, Citrus Heights


Re “Want to fight climate change? Have fewer kids” (Viewpoints, July 26): Thanks to writer Karin Klein for revealing inconvenient truths about continuing global population growth, over-consumption, and their impacts on climate change. Global population grows at 200,000 per day. The nonprofit group Population Connection has determined that if the global fertility rate were reduced by just half a child per woman, the earth’s population would begin to decline by 2050. This goal is within reach by reducing unplanned pregnancies, by empowering women globally, and by voluntary family planning decisions.

Evan Jones, Sacramento


Re “UC Davis to co-lead $14.7 million study of dementia in U.S. Hispanics” (sacbee.com, July 25): It was exciting to read about the study at UC Davis, focused on Alzheimer’s and other dementia among Latinos. Hispanics are about 1.5 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than whites. Ensuring that Alzheimer’s research studies involve more diverse populations will help scientists determine whether strategies for prevention, treatment or a cure will work equally well among different groups. There are more than 250 Alzheimer’s studies recruiting for subjects, including those for people living with the disease, caregivers and healthy adults. TrialMatch, www.alz.org/trialmatch, is a free service to help individuals learn which studies might be a good fit. By getting more individuals enrolled in trials more quickly, we can take less time to learn what is going to make a difference.

Michelle Johnston, Sacramento

Regina Bateson

Re “Tom McClintock” (Letters, July 26): Letter writer Ken Campbell wrote that Regina Bateson moved into the district, went to a town hall meeting and claimed to know all about the district. Not true. Unlike McClintock, Bateson is a proud native of the 4th Congressional District and attended Granite Bay High School. She left for college, Stanford and Yale, served in the U.S. foreign service and is an award-winning professor. Career politician McClintock spent his time in the Legislature representing Southern California before running for the 4th Congressional District seat. Bateson is a fresh alternative for the 4th District.

Diane Haxton, Granite Bay


Re “Is it a restaurant or a tire shop? Firestone Public House sued over name” (sacbee.com, July 27): I was pleased to read that Firestone Tire and Rubber Co. sued the Firestone Public House restaurant. The tire and rubber company claims the pub’s name causes “unfair competition” and “confusion.” The company is correct. Just the other day, I went to the Firestone Public House for a set of whitewall tires and ended up with a pint of ale. Confusion, indeed.

Michele Rebensdorf, Elk Grove


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