Letters to the Editor

Letters: Mental illness + homelessness + Amazon + Midtown condo + TrumpCare + Tom McClintock

Amazon bid

Re “Does Sacramento have a real shot at Amazon HQ2?“ (Foon Rhee, Oct. 19) Sacramento’s otherwise deft political and business leaders have the Amazon HQ pursuit all wrong. Landing the 50,000 jobs and activity would be a Trojan horse. Does Sacramento want to be Seattle II, with ramped-up congestion, even less-affordable housing and a smothered history and identity, or should it continue to be a wonderful, unique town becoming a great city? We don’t need to be slaves to a corporate vision. We need to be true to ourselves. We are better off as a beacon at the confluence of two great rivers rather than an outpost on the Amazon.

Steve Schnaidt, Sacramento

Mental illness

Re “Sacramento County just found millions of extra dollars to spend on homelessness. Time to cash in” (Editorials, Oct. 17): Funds earmarked for severely mentally ill people in Proposition 63 cannot legally be used to house homeless addicts and other people who are not mentally ill. That’s a misappropriation of funds, like using money earmarked for veterans to pay for services for people who aren’t veterans. And even it if were legal, it would be shortsighted. Proposition 63 funds are desperately needed to treat severely mentally ill Californians. Housing problems tend to solve themselves if the severely ill stay in treatment, and get worse if they don’t. Equally inexcusable, however, is Sacramento County’s failure to fund housing and treatment for people who are homeless and severely mentally ill with accumulated Mental Health Services Act funds, particularly prevention funds which have historically been wasted on nonsense. “Housing first” is quintessential prevention and a far better use of those funds.

Mary Ann Bernard, SACRAMENTO

Homeless shelters

Re “In fight against homelessness, Sacramento has no time for NIMBYs. That includes you, Land Park” (Editorials, Sept. 29): I am a resident of Woodlake and am writing with regard to Mayor Darrell Steinberg’s proposed homeless shelters at Railroad Drive and Arden/Evergreen Way in North Sacramento. As first time buyers my wife and I purchased our house in Woodlake this June after almost a year of hunting in a red hot real estate market. Mayor Darrell Steinberg announced proposed shelters and the market here crashed immediately. Now we could not sell our house if we wanted to, and with these shelters coming we would sell if we could. I estimate that we have already lost around 10 percent equity which is equal to about $40,000 and we will lose more in the future if these shelters are built. We are actually considering selling and losing our life savings and going back to renting. It is a terrible position to be in after working so hard to save this money. After attending three council meetings and three community meetings I have heard no evidence to support the efficacy of these shelters. Nor have I heard of any solutions that will mitigate the grave risk these shelters pose to the neighborhoods they will border. Besides health and safety hazards, there are obvious economic concerns which have not been addressed. I put to you that the loss of residential and commercial real estate value in the area may be equal to the tens of millions of dollars. The mayor’s office has offered $500,000 towards commercial development which is a figure so tiny by comparison that it’s barely worth mentioning. My question: How do you justify asking us to sacrifice so much?

Stuart Gow, Sacramento

Disgusted

I am a resident of District 2, and attended the recent community meeting which never would have happened without community outrage for lack of transparency in homeless shelter planning, with majority burden in one area. I attended the meeting with the mindset of being against this proposal. When Mayor Darrell Steinberg made introductions and his overall plan, he changed my mind. I was disgusted at people yelling at others who shared their experiences of homelessness and lacked empathy. I was disgusted at people yelling at Steinberg. I was disgusted at the mayor and Councilman Allen Warren who wouldn’t answer questions directly. Most of all, I was disgusted by Steinberg and Warren, who insulted a homeless advocate who didn’t agree with them. The only reputable person in the room was Councilman Jeff Harris.

Lauren Santillano, Sacramento

Midtown monster

Re “Judge clears the way for condo building that would be midtown’s tallest” (sacbee.com, Oct. 19): New development if done right complements a neighborhood. The 15-story tower proposed for 25th and J streets takes a precedent-setting sledgehammer to the heart of midtown, clearing the way for more intrusive towers in a neighborhood of small businesses and classic Victorian homes. There’s a perfect place for high-rises like this one. It’s called the railyard.

Steve Lawrence, Sacramento

GOP budget

Re “Senate backs GOP $4 trillion budget” (Page 4A, Oct. 20): I was disappointed that the headline didn’t read “Republicans propose $473 billion cut to Medicare.” It is time that a light was shown on what the impact of Republican policies will mean. Whether it be the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, regulatory reform, bloated Pentagon spending, immigration or tax policy, we need facts. Their tax reform proposals would suggest major cuts to safety net programs. And though we don’t know the specifics, the outlines are there, including Medicare cuts. So while the proposal is being touted as a big savings for middle class taxpayers, many in “donor” states who deduct state and local taxes may be left with higher tax bills. Wealthy individuals and “taker” states will likely benefit most.

Joseph Slabbinck, Citrus Heights

Subsidies

Re “Trump’s latest attempt to gut Obamacare takes direct aim at 650,000 of our neighbors” (Editorials, Oct. 16): The Sacramento Bee editorial board took a position of a child yelling at other children. Using phases of “mean-spirited executive order” or stating “not that he seems to care,” does not convince people that there is a problem. What you did not point out in your opinion piece is that President Donald Trump’s executive orders only impacts 1.65 percent of the total California population. So the question I would like answered is why should the 98.35 percent of the population be responsible for paying the insurance of the 1.65 percent?

John M. Warren, Foresthill

What is left?

Re “Democrats need to move left” (Viewpoints, Oct. 15): We must chose our labels carefully. The “extreme left” is fading signage over the door of an empty building, the floor littered with dust-covered radical tracts. The so-called left today is historically most mainstream, embraces no Marxist platform, call for government overthrow, capitalism’s destruction, or hippie anarchy. There is scant history of advocating the murder of those who are pro-life or racists. Bernie Sanders’ proposals on health care are similar to those espoused by both parties dating back to Teddy Roosevelt. His call for free public higher education is what we mostly had once in California. He will happily accept achievable reforms on the road to those better. Right-wing extremism is a presently ruling privileged plutocracy shredding humanist gains, reversing planet health and egalitarian goals, plus, ironically, maybe even taking marching orders from Moscow.

Spencer P. Le Gate, Sacramento

Speech

Re “Crowds shout down white nationalist gathering in Florida,” (Page 4A, Oct 20): What happened to the right to freedom of speech? Now, people who don’t like what people say shout them down to disrupt and silence them. At one time, people disrupting another’s person’s speech would be arrested by the authorities, protecting the speaker’s right to freedom of speech. Now, the disruption to go on unless physical violence occurs, leaving the speaker and supporters no choice other than to resort to physical action. People have the right to speak. Our authorities should protect that right, no matter how vile the speech. Don’t listen to it, or give your own speech.

Bill Jurkovich, Citrus Heights

Tom McClintock

Re “Tom McClintock’s accomplishments” (Online letters, Oct. 11): I just read Michael Bilodeau’s letter about Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Elk Grove. According to Bilodeau, McClintock is divisive, shameful and pathetic because he stands firmly for conservative principles of limited government, economic growth and the constitutional rights of his constituents. If you support big and intrusive government, you’re a uniter. If you stand for the principles that make our country great, you’re a divider. What hogwash.

Bonnie Williams, Fair Oaks

EXTRA LETTERS ONLINE

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Sacramento, CA 95852

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