Letters to the Editor

Phil Serna shows leadership on American River Parkway. Other politicians do not.

Sacramento County Supervisor Phil Serna walks through the American River Parkway, where homeless people are living in dangerous conditions.
Sacramento County Supervisor Phil Serna walks through the American River Parkway, where homeless people are living in dangerous conditions.

Unsafe parkway

Re “Violent crimes rise on American River Parkway. ‘He took issue with me just being there,’ cyclist says” (sacbee.com, Aug. 10): The American River Parkway is completely out of control, and Supervisor Phil Serna is the only elected official who has shown leadership on this issue. It is obvious what needs to be done. A complete sweep by law enforcement and related agencies. No one can use this public area safely. Mentally ill people need to be treated. Sex offenders and parolees have no right whatsoever to use this public land as a campground. No more of this feel good activity having volunteers clean up after people who think they have a right to wreck public land.

Andrew Mattson, Roseville

Naming rights

Re “Sacramento to sell convention center name. Gun and tobacco companies need not apply” (sacbee.com, Aug. 7): Instead of boring street names like J Street or 43rd Avenue, corporations would probably pay big bucks to sponsor new street names. Drivers could come into town on Chevron Street. Corporate sponsors, no doubt, would be motivated to keep their street in good repair. Why not sell the naming rights to Sacramento. Renaming Sacramento, say, Amazon, might bring in enough money to take care of that pesky homeless problem. On second thought, the state would probably sell its naming rights to Amazon to provide funds for those tunnels and the high-speed rail. No matter.

Dennis Bonge, Sacramento

Traffic fines

Re “A single speeding ticket shouldn’t be a ticket to bankruptcy” (Editorials, Aug. 7): I'm so tried of trying to dumb down the rules to accommodate people who do not wish to obey the laws. Has anyone considered telling people who can't afford a ticket that they should obey the speed limit or not let their meter time expire. If we think driving habits are awful now, they will get worse when there is no real penalty. It would be informative to see how many people who can't pay their fines are one-time offenders or multiple time bad players. Penalties should not be on a sliding scale.

Sheila Sanders, Sacramento

Obey the law

How low will California go before the fine no longer is a deterrent to violating traffic laws. It seems that California is willing to tax what it considers bad behavior such as smoking, but considers fines on dangerous activities that endanger the lives of other people to be too much of a burden on low income people. Obey traffic laws, and you will never have to pay a fine.

Albert Kammerer, Sacramento

Cop’s eye view

We are put at risk by other people’s poor behavior and by legislators’ feel good social engineering experiments. As a police officer with a local agency, I can tell you that Senate Bill 185 will cost us all money, make the streets less safe and will do nothing to curb reckless driving. You do not loose your license for having tinted windows. You loose it after numerous moving violations, refusing to appear in court as promised or failure to make minimal monthly payments after a conviction. Moving violations are primary collision factors. A large percent of hit & run accidents are committed by persons with suspended licenses or none at all. If a person cannot be responsible to drive safely why must we enable them by reducing the penalties?

Sean Saylor, West Sacramento

Be reasonable

As a former county probation officer, I received many referrals for pre-sentence reports to be written for people with little to no prior records, but who were now facing lengthy jail sentences for failing to pay their speeding tickets. How does this happen? First, they don't think the criminal justice is serious about having the offender pay the fine. The offender ignores paying it, and ignores the summons for failing to appear in court. This turns into a contempt of court, with another fine commensurate with the offense. By then, the amount owed has grown beyond most individual's ability to pay. If the offender still fails to take care of the ticket, a warrant will have been issued for the speeder's arrest. It is time that the Legislature looks at more reasonable ways of dealing with people who don't have the money to pay the initial fines. License suspension should be for only the most egregious situations. Taking away someone's lifeline to work is self-defeating. How are they going to work all this out from a jail cell?

Sharon Ileen Phippen, Orland

Litter

Re “Litter” (Letters, Aug. 5): I do not believe it is the Department of Transportation’s job to clean up litter. I do not believe it should be in their job description, unless it is a major problem like after an accident. How about people stop littering? Maybe it should be in the parents job description to teach their children better when they are little and also they need to stop doing it themselves.

Chris Kern, Fair Oaks

More litter

I agree with letter writer Gloria Rolak regarding the amount of debris on the freeways. The median divide coming from Marysville is filled with trash for miles. The amount of trash is appalling on the the 39th Street exit from Highway 50. I've picked up trash along the American River as a volunteer and would be willing to do the same if the Department of Transportation doesn't take care of it soon.

Jay Andrews, Sacramento

Climate change

Re “US scientists contradict Trump's climate claims” (sacbee.com, Aug. 8): Did we really need another report to warn us of the dangers of climate change? As Al Gore has stated repeatedly, watching the television news is like taking a nature walk through the Book of Revelations. Sacramento broke a historic record for most consecutive days over 90 degrees. The governor of North Dakota requested a federal emergency declaration because of drought. We once again witnessed destructive flooding in New Orleans, while Seattle is struggling with air pollution from raging Canadian fires. The Northwest is coping with an unprecedented heat wave. Every month Mother Nature sends us a new batch of extreme weather event warnings. To quote the old song: “When will we ever learn, when will we ever learn?”

Harold Ferber, Elk Grove

Rep. Post Office

Re: “Tom McClintock” (Letters, Aug. 5): Letter writer Jeffrey Freeberg claims that the voters of Congressional District 4 should be proud of Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Elk Grove, because of his adherence to policy over party politics. McClintock consistently votes the Republican Party line, including his recent vote for the Republican health care proposal, his vote to allocate $1.6 billion in tax revenue toward a fantasy border wall, and his countless votes to remove protections against dumping pollutants into our air, streams, and rivers. McClintock's legislative accomplishments have been naming two post offices and a mountain.

Barbara Smith, Auburn

Tom McClintock

A recent letter writer wants voters to be proud of Rep. Tom McClintock’s policies, but almost all of his votes are not in his constituents’ best interests. McClintock, R-Elk Grove, votes against for federal funds that would benefit his district through road and infrastructure improvements, and associated job creation. He has voted to take Medicaid away from over people in his district, hurting his own voters in rural areas. However, the congressman does excel at naming post offices, if that’s all you expect from your elected officials.

Stephen Farr, Folsom

Al Gore

Global warming is not about whether you are liberal or conservative or what you see as the role of government as being. It's not about whether you prefer to live simply or luxuriously. Global warming isn’t even about whether you like or dislike Al Gore. The issue of global warming is about the answer to the question: “What is the evidence for what is happening to the planet?” People believe it’s about other things because, as author Will Durant said, we think with our hopes and fears and wishes instead of with our minds.

Terry Hansen, Oak Crek

Pets

Re “How your pet is contributing to global warming” (sacbee.com, Aug. 2): It’s not surprising that our 163 million U.S. companion animals leave a significant carbon footprint. However, the main contributor to global warming is human over-population. Dogs are considered omnivores, meaning they can do well on a vegetable-based diet, but they are also individuals so some dogs may do better on a strictly vegetarian diet than others. Cats are obligate carnivores. Please consult your veterinarian when thinking about diet changes for a pet.

Erin Hauge, Sacramento

Consequences

Maybe traffic fines a bit too high. However, they are designed to change driving habits. If you speed, the chances are good that you might cause a serious accident. If you obey the rules, you will not have to worry about how large traffic tickets are. Actions equal consequences.

Dan Farquhar, Roseville

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