Letters to the Editor

Letters: Mental health care + homelessness + Trump’s tweets + Puerto Rico + Farm-to-fork

Mental health care

Re “Was this man a threat to the CHP officer who shot him? Newly released video raises questions” (sacbee.com, Sept. 27): This is another all too frequent, perhaps preventable, tragic event involving a mentally ill person. I’ll bet he was not participating in psychiatric treatment. Unfortunately, current law virtually prohibits involuntary treatment. It assumes mentally ill individuals have the capacity to rationally decide whether they need treatment. Ask any family with a mentally ill loved one or any cop if they think involuntary mental health treatment should be required. I’ll bet they would all support laws that forced people with severe mental illness into treatment. It would be in everyone’s best interest to be able to require mentally ill loved ones to participate in treatment. How many more deaths will occur before we get the desperately needed legislation?

Rich McKone, Lincoln

Word choice

Re “He tried to stay alive to testify against the officer who shot his son. He didn’t make it” (sacbee.com, Sept. 20): Decades ago, we rejected words like “retarded” and “cripple” to describe people with disabilities. But societal insensitivity persists in the use of language involving mental health. This article called the dead son of a pastor “a schizophrenic” in the first sentence, defining the young man by his disease. Referring to people by their diagnosis makes their condition their primary identifying factor. It’s stigmatizing, perpetuates stereotypes and is not how we refer to people with cancer, heart disease and other illnesses. News reports can have a huge impact on public perceptions about mental health, and with that power comes responsibility. I encourage The Sacramento Bee to swap harmful labels for more thoughtful language.

Tina Wooton, Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission, Sacramento

Don’t ban gasoline

Re “California lawmaker wants to ban gas car sales after 2040” (sacbee.com, Sept. 29): Oil companies have an interest in putting up gas stations. Who pays for the charging stations? Will charging stations require larger lots for cars to wait while they are being charged? Diesel and gas will still be needed for semi-trucks, buses, large construction vehicles and garbage trucks. What happens when tourists come to California in gas-powered vehicles? What about Californians who travel to states without charging stations? This goal would require all 50 states to participate and probably take 50 or 75 years to accomplish. Don’t be fooled by China. Its oil consumption has more than doubled since 2000.

Frank Isaac, Roseville

Ban gasoline

Re “California lawmaker wants to ban gas car sales after 2040” (sacbee.com, Sept. 29): Yes, California needs to ban gas- and diesel-powered cars. It sounds difficult, but CO2 emissions from gas-powered cars will warm the earth. Which is a worse option? As we attempt to limit warming, let us remember the ultimate goal. The world needs to stop global warming and sea level rise. That requires each of us to emit less CO2.

Bruce Burdick, Carmichael

State pensions

Re “California pensioners: Your COLAs are safe, for now” (sacbee.com, Sept. 20): Reporter Adam Ashton’s article contained useful information regarding two letters I wrote to CalPERS in July, but parts of its text were misleading, as was the headline. The article said in one letter I asked CalPERS to look at reducing benefits for current workers and retirees by moving them into the less generous plans public agencies began offering in 2013 through the California Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act. The letters I sent were requests for actuarial data on the cost impacts of temporary cost-of-living freezes and moving classic employees into Pension Reform Act plans prospectively. The letters specifically pointed out the actions contemplated would not affect current employees or active members. Changing COLAs can only be done prospectively for people who are not currently retirees. As the Sept. 19 Finance Committee hearing at CalPERS showed, the pension crisis is getting worse for cities. Reviewing data is a critical step in assessing this most significant of fiscal concerns facing our state and its municipalities.

Sen. John M.W. Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa

Help Puerto Rico

Re “Puerto Rico angry at Trump official ‘good news story’ remark” (sacbee.com, Sept. 29): Unfortunately, little surprises me these days out of the Trump administration. However, I was aghast when I heard acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke say Puerto Rico’s devastating hurricane response time is a “good news story.” Please tell that to the thousands of Americans who have no potable water, food, medication, housing or roads. But you can’t. They have no communication due to the lack of power.

Todd Gearou, Citrus Heights

Cheeky

Media are blasting FEMA for not efficiently taking care of the U. S. territory of Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico waits for the U. S. after a disaster, doing very little if anything to prepare before. And this from a land that sits squarely in the path of hurricanes. Disaster response and recovery preparations, training, education and building codes should be done before to mitigate the future disasters. California does this. Puerto Rico waits for the event, screams for rescue, then has the cheek to criticize FEMA. And the media pile on.

Bill Sanders, Gold River

Trump’s tweets

There was a break from President Trump’s tweeting during the hurricanes. What a relief. If only he could focus on what is urgent, instead of inciting protests and tension. Get off your phone and start acting like a president.

Alice Schnaidt, Sacramento

NFL protests

There are a number of sides to this issue of kneeling during the national anthem. I think it all comes down to prudence and respect. Even though you have freedom of speech, you don’t yell “fire” in a movie theater because of the adverse reaction that will cause. The act of kneeling during the national anthem causes the same kind of visceral reaction among a large segment of the citizenry, especially veterans. Let me pose an obvious question: Who do you think has done more for the cause of freedom, military veterans or NFL players? Seems to me the players at the very least owe the vets respect which, in their eyes, they are denying when they kneel. It would be much more prudent and respectful for players to chose a different venue for their protests. I don’t know where their protest will end up but, they are creating a wound that will be a long time healing.

John Petkovich, Roseville

Free speech

We have a president who puts our democracy in jeopardy by colluding with a foreign government. And now he curses African Americans who exercise their free speech by not standing for the flag he so willingly desecrated. All this comes a month after Trump said there were “good people” marching with Nazis.

Richard Nano, Roseville

Scoundrels

Samuel Johnson’s quote describes Trump’s use of sports to divide the country. “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”

Joyce Hassan Williams, Sacramento

Farm to what?

Re “Lose ‘Farm-to-Fork’, Sacramento, or you’ll only get farm-to-forklift jobs” (Viewpoints, Sept. 23): I feel that my city’s identity has been hijacked. In my early years, we were the Camellia City. I remember Camellia parades. Later, we became the City of Trees, an image equally pleasing. Along came Farm-to-Fork, which carries confusing meanings. I don’t want a farm on my fork. Prongs of a fork are sharp. I can’t relate to a farm, no offense to wonderful farmers. This imposed slogan is more faddish than enduring. A brand should be clear, fresh, simple, direct and offer shared meaning.

Kimberly A. Edwards, Sacramento

Fairgrounds

Re “This old fairground could get the biggest indoor sports facility in the Sacramento region” (sacbee.com, Sept. 25): Improvements to the Placer County fairgrounds will create a traffic problem for those of us who live near the county fairgrounds. We live in a mobile home park a couple blocks away, and have one way in and one way out. The traffic is so bad that it is difficult getting into and out of our community. Perhaps someone will have to fly in food and medicine because we wont be able to get out.

Gary Miller, Roseville

Bottleneck

Re “This freeway bottleneck angers everybody. Caltrans says: Hold tight, we’ll fix it.” (sacbee.com, Sept. 25): The plan is to spend $500 million to replace or widen the Capital City Freeway. In the early 1970s, a full freeway bypass was approved for what is now the Capital City Freeway, and construction started. Showing great wisdom, the city canceled this project.

Richard Quinley, Sacramento

Homeless

Re “Homeless shelters are coming. And this neighborhood is furious” (sacbee.com, Sept. 22): North Sacramento neighbors should be furious. Mayor Darrell Steinberg campaigned on fair share integration of affordable housing throughout Sacramento. Research supports integrating smaller equitable percentages in more communities. But cramming into a few fragile areas continues. One Sacramento neighborhood shoulders 751 units of dilapidated public housing and the city added 75 more low income. The wealthy, powerful areas get none. Voters should be furious.

Craig Chaffee, Sacramento

Taxpayers

What about serving the hardworking class of people by protecting them from the needles, urine, litter and vicious dogs? Tax-paying citizens have to put up with indignities and pay taxes that support the homeless. We also pay for providing food and shelter for them. What is wrong with this picture? I can see why the homeless population is growing in the Sacramento area.

Carole Caplan, Sacramento

Safety net

I often drive along Folsom Boulevard near Watt Avenue, and the number of homeless people living in the area is astounding. The name should be changed to Homeless Highway. What ever happened to the social safety net?

Mark Collen, Sacramento

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