Re “Later start times in California schools could save sleep, complicate family life” (sacbee.com, July 30): I commend the parents who acknowledged that later start times would be healthier for their children, even though there could be inconveniences adjusting to new schedules. When teens are sleep deprived, their bodies and minds suffer. Their ability to learn is undermined, adversely affecting their success in school and beyond. The evidence from internationally esteemed research institutions is rock-solid. Children’s health policies should not be based on unscientific community outreach efforts or left to a patchwork of school boards to be decided by district. This article underscores the need for statewide legislation so all students can benefit. It defies logic that after more than 20 years of teen sleep research, students are still mandated to go to school at times that are known to be unhealthy and counterproductive to learning.
Susan Gylling, Sacramento
As the leader of a multi-high-school parent group, I see the life-altering effects of chronic exhaustion on teens and their families. School start times before 8:30 a.m. are out of sync with teens’ naturally later circadian rhythms and are the main cause of the teen sleep deprivation epidemic. It is the ultimate government overreach for public school policy to force millions of California children to wake at a time that our doctors say is unhealthy and unsafe. And our most vulnerable children are hurt the most because they have to wake even earlier to get to school for their free or reduced breakfast, often walking, riding or driving to school in the early morning darkness. The evidence is irrefutable: teen health, safety, attendance and graduation rates improve with 8:30 a.m. or later start times.
Joy Wake, Carmichael
Re “Who’s really lying on climate change? Hint: Their first names are Jerry and Arnold” (Viewpoints, July 25): As a retired scientist, I am continually dismayed that reputable media publish columns by climate change deniers such as Ben Boychuk. Human-induced climate change is an established fact supported by over 99.99 percent of scientists. It ranks with a round planet, sun-centered solar system, 4.5 billion-year-old Earth, and biologic evolution as established cornerstones of science. Do you intend to give flat-earthers, geocentrists, and creationists equal time on your opinion pages? By giving climate change deniers, who know nothing about the subject, editorial space, you are implying that there is a scientific controversy when in fact there is none. Their opinions are based on ideological beliefs rather than observable evidence, the essence of science. Climate change is an urgent problem requiring immediate, strong action. Otherwise, as Stephen Hawking said, we better look for another planet.
Leigh Mintz, Lincoln
Cap and trade
In criticizing Jerry Brown and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s support for cap and trade, Ben Boychuk’s column adopts the “Doubt is our product” motto of the tobacco industry, describing global warming as hypothetical. Sure, an iceberg the size of Delaware just broke off Antarctica, but that’s just a coincidence, as are recent record storms, floods and droughts. And look: Brown and Schwarzenegger want to address warming. Sure, cap and trade is not as good Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s carbon tax whose proceeds are refunded to the population. But any moves to address global warming are illegitimate, and politicians are notoriously liars. Pay no attention to them. I’d guess that on planet Boychuk, even if more than 97 percent of scientists believe it’s real, gravity remains an article of faith too.
Mark Dempsey, Orangevale
Re “This millionaire might be California’s next governor. How Gavin Newsom got connected” (Page 1A, July 30): Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom is an empty suit. His history is that of a lucky guy born with a huge silver spoon in his mouth. Both parents were wealthy and politically connected to people in leadership roles. The only things politically that Newsom can point to is his energetic leadership to legalize pot. We will get the stoned drivers killing our kids and families. He also brags about his leadership for acceptance of same-sex marriages, which had been going on for years. His successful business, a wine shop, was financed by a loan from the Getty billionaires and is run by Newsom’s sister. The only thing evident that Gavin Newsom has accomplished is his Hollywood-esque hair.
Bill Sanders, Gold River
I was totally appalled by the remarks made by President Donald Trump to the Boy Scouts Jamboree in West Virginia. His cheap shots at the media, Barack Obama, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the cesspool in Washington demonstrate that he is devoid of the values and principles of the scouting movement. Trump’s use of this event as a crude, thinly disguised political rally with impressionable boys clearly demonstrates he is limitless in desire for personal adulation. He should be informed that narcissism is not a scout value. I am glad that the CEO of the Boy Scouts apologized for Trump’s statements at the event. He should also apologize for the response of the scouts to Trump’s attacks on President Obama as well as the failure of the scouts to fully embrace diversity over the years.
Jim Arack, Sacramento
Re “ ‘There’s a political earthquake happening here,’ but it may not shake Republicans in 2018” (sacbee.com, July 24): The voters of California’s 4th Congressional District should be proud of their representative, Tom McClintock, and his dedication to policy over party politics. McClintock proposed an amendment that would have allowed for a new round of base realignment and closure that the Pentagon and administration have requested. The Pentagon puts military base excess capacity at more than 20 percent. This extra infrastructure diverts limited taxpayer funds from our strategic national security priorities, threatening the efficiency of our fighting forces. During times of political upheaval and partisan politics, McClintock stands as one of the few who looks for common-sense reforms.
Jeffrey Freeberg, Windsor
Re “Homebuilders want high school students for construction jobs” (sacbee.com, July 31): The article states there is a shortage of construction workers, and describes efforts to entice teenagers to look at careers in the industry. Cosumnes River College has provided training for construction workers for more than 40 years. It would seem prudent for the construction industry to work with the college to increase the number of students being trained in the field. Internships with the college to help defray the cost of tuition, more hands-on training in home construction, and offering jobs when students graduate would all help ease the shortage. Why not create a unified program that would benefit students and the industry?
Eileen Glaholt, Sacramento
Re “As rents soar in the region, Roseville looks to add affordable housing” (sacbee.com, July 28): I find the word, “affordable,” attached to the new Mercy Roseville Apartments at odds with the project costs. At a cost of $24 million, the 52 units are being built for an average cost of $461,000 per unit. In contrast two Roseville luxury apartments sold last year: The Phoenician sold for $227,000 per unit and the Villages at the Galleria sold for $153,000 per unit. Those apartments were fully leased at market rates and purchased for their income for one-half to one-third the cost of the Mercy Apartments. Why does it cost so much for new construction? Compare the itemized cost of construction for similar size projects in California, Texas, Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma and Arizona and find out why it costs so much more for the same end product in California.
Bruce Wirt, Fair Oaks
Re “If you can’t take the heat, try the pool instead” (Page 1A, Aug. 1): Too bad those of us living in Rancho Cordova can’t enjoy a community pool. More than 10 years ago, the citizens of Rancho Cordova voted to become a city and we voted for increased school taxes. And yet we do not have a public pool. Why is that? Why do I not have a place to cool off and do laps? Why does the swim club have to go to Rosemont High School to practice? Why, oh why, Cordova Park District, did you let the citizens of Rancho Cordova down?
Diana Burdick, Rancho Cordova
Re “Two more intersections in Citrus Heights get red-light cameras” (sacbee.com, July 28): Collisions were cited as a reason for red-light cameras. At the Parkoaks intersection, Citrus Heights continues to ignore an important potential factor in these collisions. The city continues to change the arrangement of the lights on the fire station emergency signal at this intersection. For most, moving the position of the lights isn’t important because they only use the color. For the colorblind, we depend on the position of the light, not the color. These frequent changes to the light patterns mean that it is difficult for us to know what color the lights represent.
David Sloan, Citrus Heights
My husband and I drove across the country to Michigan this summer, including Detroit and Flint, and did not encounter the amount of debris that we saw upon returning to Sacramento. We were appalled at the litter along Business 80 and 99. Shame on the Department of of Transportation. Our beautiful city deserves better.
Gloria Rolak, Elk Grove
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