Letters to the Editor

Migrant farmworkers, education, firefighters, Sen. Ross Johnson, Chino Hills State Park

Former Sen. and FPPC Chairman Ross Johnson, who died last week.
Former Sen. and FPPC Chairman Ross Johnson, who died last week. Sacramento Bee Staff Photo

Migrant housing

Re “What migrant farmworkers need at day’s end: A decent, safe, affordable place to sleep” (Viewpoints, Aug. 14): Op-ed writer Ilene J. Jacobs argues that the 50-mile Rule, which forces migrant farm workers’ children out of school twice a year, is necessary because space in state-run housing is needed for other migrant workers. But advocates want to amend the rule so that families with children can remain in the school district, not remain in that housing. I second her call for more affordable housing for farm workers, but her need to champion her own work seems to blind her: When she claims the rule doesn’t affect education, she’s wrong. Of farm workers surveyed, 91 percent said the rule hinders education and 97 percent want it changed. No other state has this arbitrary rule. There is no legitimate reason to make families to move 50 miles away, disrupting children’s education and their chance at a brighter future.

Harry Snyder, Santa Cruz

Firefighters

Re “The firefighters union says paramedics are a bad idea. They worked” (Foon Rhee, Aug. 15): Foon Rhee’s column criticizes the hard working men and women of Sacramento Fire Department. These are the same men and women who funded the successful Measure U campaign that restored services to Sacramento. For this fiscal year, Measure U will bring the city more than $43 million, with $13 million funding the Fire Department. Firefighters didn’t fight for a measure that only benefited the Fire Department. We fought for a measure that funds a wide range of service. Did The Sacramento Bee mention that? Of course not. We will continue to lead and show some spine with our elected officials while The Sacramento Bee hides in the dark throwing darts.

Chris Andrew, Sacramento Area Firefighters, Local 522, Rocklin

Ross Johnson

Re “Ross Johnson, former GOP leader, campaign finance reformer, dies at 77” (sacbee.com, Aug. 16): To the accomplishments your obituary detailed, I'd add one more: creation of Chino Hills State Park. Bringing a park to reality requires hours of work plus coalition building, satisfying property owners, meeting environmental requirements, and communicating a vision. Johnson did that and we Californians are beneficiaries.

Jack Hailey, Fair Oaks

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