Re “John Chiang helped award millions in tax breaks to his developer donors” (Page 1A, Aug. 13): As former executive director for California Common Cause, I know few elected officials as ethical as Treasurer John Chiang. He not only is concerned about following the letter of the Political Reform Act, but the spirit. Having also represented the treasurer on some of the boards and authorities, I can say that there is a firewall between his campaign and the staff who write recommendations on how he should vote. The Sacramento Bee did the easy hit saying that the treasurer received campaign contributions from companies awarded tax credits. It failed to mention that the treasurer was simply voting as staff recommended. The real red flag would have been if he had voted for a contributor and against the recommendation of his staff. John Chiang never did that. He behaved ethically.
Ruth Holton Hodson, Sacramento
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“Doctors and nurses unions fight disclosure. What they don’t want you to know” (Editorials, Aug. 15) The editorial ignored risks to patient safety posed by SB 799. The editorial advances the false premise that requiring employers to report nurses to the Board of Registered Nursing would further patient protection. The law requires nurses to advocate for their patients. This duty often puts them in conflict with employers. For example, California’s nurse-to-patient staffing ratios protect patients by improving the quality of care each patient receives. Nurses must stand up to managers who are violating the ratios and, in doing so, can become targets themselves of vindictive employers who turn around and retaliate against them. SB 799 gives these employers an additional tool to go after nurses who are trying to protect their patients. SB 799 would increase the likelihood of vindictive and retaliatory reporting. Employers could report mere accusations, or trump up charges without being required to substantiate their disciplinary actions. SB 799 provides immunity for reporting and contains penalties for failing to report. It is for all of these reasons that the California Nurses Association opposes SB 799.
Shirley Toy, Sacramento
Re “Marijuana edibles: ‘Start low and go slow’” (sacbee.com, Aug. 9): Instead of only promoting edible marijuana, you should have also espoused the idea of the medicinal benefits of opiates for pain relief and just plain fun, or brought up e-cigarettes that can be used for dabs, in the newer slimmer model. It would not surprise me to find such an article in the Sacramento News & Review. Kids don’t want to just eat weed. They might need to quench their thirst with some booze after. The article’s picture could have shown a child licking the spatula from the newly mixed batch of edible herbals while reading the comics, possibly chasing it down, with a cold frosty in one hand. Decency dictates you do not. Children are already force-fed enough.
Christopher Beck Parsons, Sacramento
Re “Who’s really in pain and who’s popping oxycodone? The tough choices doctors face writing prescriptions” (sacbee.com, Aug. 14): My wife has suffered unspeakable pain due to an incomplete spinal injury and paraplegia because of a car accident. Like most discussions of the opioid epidemic, the article didn’t give patients a voice. If you spoken with my wife or anyone else suffering from debilitating pain, you might have emphasized a point at the end of the article: that reluctance to prescribe opioids has gone too far. The constant pressure to cut back her meds has left her in relentless, unbearable pain, with no end in sight. Clearly, her needs are not seen as a priority.
Corey Finnegan, Oroville
Re “Small water districts get a break on chrome 6” (Viewpoints, Aug. 9): The op-ed says small drinking water systems often face a pick-your-poison dilemma between serving unsafe water or raising rates to unaffordable levels. A better choice is to ensure all California communities can afford any needed drinking water treatment. For years, the State Water Resources Control Board and drinking water advocates have called for a new sustainable funding source to help small communities with the high ongoing operations and maintenance costs of drinking water treatment. Sen. Bill Monning, D-Carmel, is authoring legislation Senate Bill 623, to create a new Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund and help solve this problem. No community should have to make a choice between meeting safe drinking water standards and going bankrupt.
Jonathan Nelson, Sacramento
Re “Fifty men commit most gun crimes in Sacramento. Could money, mentoring get them to stop?” (sacbee.com, Aug. 7) I support bringing Advance Peace to Sacramento. This organization, headed by DeVone Boggan, has reduced gun violence in Richmond, and helped shooters to learn peaceful means of settling conflicts. As a volunteer at San Quentin State Prison, I met men who have been released and are risking their lives in Richmond to save others’ lives. Perpetrators relate and listen to parolees and convicted gun felons. Having Advance Peace in Sacramento will reduce firearm assaults and homicides, lessen violence on the streets and bring hope.
Kathleen Jackson, Sacramento
Re “Tech workers are fleeing state government. Would raises tempt them to stay?” (State Worker, Aug. 4): Adam Ashton’s 4 article shines a much-needed light on a chronic problem. State IT workers and managersare underpaid no less than 30 percent compared to their peers in county and federal governments. One in five state IT workers left for private lucrative opportunities. I fault elected officials and CalHR for failing to develop and implement an effective and transparent strategic plan for attracting and retaining a skilled IT Workforce. We should focus on good-faith collaboration with the trusted workers’ union, on the interests of IT workers rather than contractors, and on revamping archaic human resources rules.
Mike Arakji, Sacramento
Re “How a white woman from Minnesota raised Sacramento’s first black police chief” (Marcos Breton, Aug. 13): Thanks for providing details on the life of Sacramento’s new police chief, Daniel Hahn. We loved him in South Natomas when he was our captain, and hated to see him go. Lets hope his very remarkable mother Mary is still around for many more years to help guide him in his challenging days ahead.
Lorraine Gervais, Sacramento
Re “Is a tour of Nixon’s past a peek into Trump’s future? Activists pushing impeachment hope so.” (Foon Rhee, Aug. 10) Foon Rhee’s column was an excellent summary of the parallels of Watergate and today’s troubling in Washington. History repeats itself, with variations on the general theme. Nixon, who was ruthless, was intelligent enough to see the writing on the wall of his likely demise. Rhee urges Trump to visit the Nixon Library so he would gain a better appreciation history and some little humility. Unfortunately, Trump has proven his ignorance of history. His most glaring flaw is lack of humility and the ability to acknowledge mistakes. Let’s pray that Trump will resign and save the country from the emerging nightmare of himself.
Jerry Delezenski, Wilton
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