Letters to the Editor

Homeless people + NAFTA + Campaign money + Sierra forests + Proudly uneducated

Large swaths of brown dead trees contrast against the green of the living trees found on the Western slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, in 2015.
Large swaths of brown dead trees contrast against the green of the living trees found on the Western slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, in 2015. TNS

A marred city

Wow, what a beautiful city, even with the crazy traffic. There is no reason why Sacramento is not on any top 10 of any list to reside. I was curious to see why this town gets such a poor review compared to other locals in California, and set out for a 10-day exploration with my grown daughter. We hoped to find a new place to live, a thriving mecca of bicyclists, professionals, with greenways accenting the rivers.

We wanted a place where we could walk to dinner, go to a dog park, and have the best of both worlds: urban life in natural setting. Living in midtown or possibly within minutes of downtown. Someone on the plane said Sacramento was nicknamed “tree city.”

What we found were homeless people in the streets and parks, and lining most green spaces along the river. They were homeless because of drug or alcohol issues, and many were obviously mentally ill. I thought Sacramento would be more progressive and would find these folks temporary housing, and reclaim your city. It is an ugly situation; these people have been neglected by the masses.

Mental health care is a necessary function of local and state government. Whether it’s a closed military base or a tent city where these folks could work toward a step out of this nightmare and get the rehabilitation and medical care they deserve. I see what Sacramento could be. It has so much potential. Quit ignoring the pink elephant in the room. This is just one person’s view who doesn’t live among you, but had hoped to.

Theron Teagle, Columbia, S.C.

Campaign money

Re “Campaign finance reformers are ready to battle Trump” (sacbee.com, Sept. 27): A large number of members of Congress were willing to pass a hastily concocted health care bill that could have harmed millions of Americans. Their very wealthy donors used campaign money as a threat. That should set off alarm bells to the entire nation.

It demonstrates who exactly runs this country. It’s the money. Campaign finance reform would help solve many of the problems that plague our government. I believe campaign finance reform should be a major part of any candidate’s platform and that, we as citizens, should speak loudly regarding its importance.

Nancy Glatt, Roseville

Forest solutions

Re “Finally, a focus on saving the great forests of the Sierra. Is it too late?” (Editorials, Sept. 23): The Sacramento Bee got it right on Sierra forests, which are at dire risk from high-severity wildfire and a bark beetle epidemic that threaten all the values that healthy forests provide people and nature. Fortunately, there is reason for hope.

There is growing agreement on the need for ecologically based forest management, as evidenced by the California Forest Watershed Alliance, a coalition including conservation groups, rural counties, forest landowners, water utilities and the timber industry. The state is stepping up to fund forest work through a variety of sources.

Many promising projects are underway, like the 29,000-acre American River Headwaters/French Meadows Project, where alongside our partners, we are using innovative governance and funding approaches to restore forests more effectively. Finally, the just-launched Tahoe-Central Sierra Initiative, covering 2.4 million acres, provides the opportunity to restore healthier, more resilient forests at a large scale. Working together, we can solve this problem.

David Edelson, The Nature Conservancy, San Francisco

McClintock’s view

The dire condition of our forests requires us do something drastically different than what we have been doing. It is obvious that the current policies of “wise management,” being spearheaded by the environmental left, have failed. The results include millions of dead trees in our forests and an ever-increasing forest fire danger.

It is time that we tried going back to an era when we were able to manage our forests by cutting out sick and dying trees through invigorating the timber industry.

Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Elk Grove, has legislation, the Resilient Forests Act, that is a great example of how we need to manage our forests, and its urgency cannot be understated.

Kenneth Payne, Carmichael

NAFTA

Re “What America has to lose by killing NAFTA” (Viewpoints, Sept. 19): The North American Free Trade Agreement is in dire need of revision if we want to create a global economy that benefits working families, instead of just corporate elites. Californians deserve a better deal.

The U.S. Labor Department has certified 406,000 California jobs as lost to either direct off-shoring or displacement by imports under just one narrow program since NAFTA was enacted. NAFTA should be replaced with a pact that includes labor and environmental standards that are strong enough to protect worker rights in the United States and abroad.

We need to raise the floor for wages in all countries that are part of NAFTA. A replacement should remove controversial “Investor State Dispute Settlement” provisions which gave corporations the power to attack environmental, labor and consumer safety laws. We can’t forget why so many people in this country and in Mexico have grown dissatisfied with NAFTA, nor can we neglect the fact that it has been devastating to working people.

Robert Longer, Communications Workers of America, Sacramento

‘Uneducated’

Re “Trump’s U.N. speech” (Letters, Sept. 24): Letter writer Mr. Mark Basgall, retired professor, reinforced my decision of not going on to higher education. I would have been one of his students who skipped his lectures, rather than listen to that indoctrination. The professor thinks Donald Trump should have called out Russia over the annexation of Crimea. That happened in 2014 under President Barack Obama’s watch.

Even I, an uneducated despicable, know that. This higher education stuff is really something. Like, it’s way over my head. I don’t get it, and consider myself lucky.

Dale Scribner, Sacramento

Cold, dead hands

Re “No more gas or diesel cars in California? State considers ban” (sacbee.com, Sept. 27): I will give up the keys to my Corvette when the government pries them from my cold, dead hand.

Dick Manford, Sacramento

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