Letters to the Editor

AT&T breakup, estate taxes, drought assistance, Kennedy apology, etc.

A massive fire roars through San Bruno after a PG&E natural gas pipeline exploded in 2010. The state recently levied a record $1.6 billion fine against the utility for the disaster.
A massive fire roars through San Bruno after a PG&E natural gas pipeline exploded in 2010. The state recently levied a record $1.6 billion fine against the utility for the disaster. Associated Press file

Remember AT&T?

Re “Record penalty a good start, but PG&E is too big” (Editorials, April 15): A lot of people are too young to remember what happened when the government said AT&T was too big and broke up the company into a lot of smaller companies, saying that it would help the customers in the long run by lowering costs. Well we all know that isn’t true; look at the high prices you pay for phone service.

We had the best company in the world before the government stepped in with their great wisdom and destroyed it by breaking it up. And now the same will happen if PG&E is divided into smaller companies. Your rates will increase. And how do you know if anything will improve?

The smaller companies will have less revenue to do improvements on existing pipelines. Leave the company as it is; just put more demands on PG&E to upgrade their system of pipelines.

Gary Sodervick, North Highlands

The party of the rich

Re “House GOP pushes to eliminate estate tax” (Business, April 14): While Republican presidential candidates cry crocodile tears over income inequality, their true priorities are revealed in the Republican-controlled Congress.

The House recently passed a budget which proclaimed that the rich pay too much in taxes, and the poor and middle class have too many benefits. Now the latest effort which will benefit only 5,500 families (0.2 percent of Americans) will be voted on in the House.

If you have less than $5.43 million to leave to your heirs, you already avoid the estate tax. But that’s not enough for the GOP. Their goal is to eliminate the estate tax completely, thus costing this country $269 billion over the next 10 years.

The lock-step votes of Republicans prove that no matter which GOP candidate is elected, the goals are the same – lower taxes for the wealthy. They are truly the party of the rich, by the rich and for the rich.

Marlene Aderman, Roseville

They’re no help on drought

I am an average, responsible citizen of Carmichael, and I appreciate that the current lack of water in our state is an actual physical crisis. So, I decided that it may be time to re-landscape our front yard with drought-tolerant plants.

After perusing the Internet for suggestions, it dawned on me that the Carmichael Water District would be a perfect place to obtain information on replacing my lawn, since the agency was going to be reducing our water allotment by a 35 percent.

I asked the woman in the front office of the Carmichael Water District if they had a list of approved and qualified landscapers and was told that the office is not allowed to recommend commercial businesses for such an undertaking. I then realized that the Carmichael Water District is not designed to help citizens cope with the necessary water limitations.

James Ritchey, Carmichael

Baseball’s green grass

I’m no meteorologist, but California’s rainy season is over. That said, it’s time everyone gets serious about conserving water. This includes Major League Baseball.

Right now, fans are excited to watch their team play. That’s because no matter where it ended up last season, there is new hope in 2015. Rosters are full, statistics mean little after a handful of games, and the stadium grass is as green as ever.

Wait. What about the drought? Haven’t cities been ordered to cut back water consumption by 25 to 35 percent? Is it true brown is the new green? So, how long will California’s five Major League Baseball teams continue to water their outfields like it’s 1999?

Everyone knows optics are critical when delivering a message. It’s no different for baseball. How long will the teams keep up appearances? I guess until a water-conscious public demands change. Until then, play ball.

Denny Freidenrich, Laguna Beach

Good advice on Alzheimer’s

Re “We must take the next steps on Alzheimer’s” (Viewpoints, April 15): As the daughter, granddaughter and niece of women who died of Alzheimer’s disease, I am acutely aware of how important it is to have this disease diagnosed in a timely manner.

I strongly suggest that if anyone suspects their loved one is having memory problems, do not hesitate to contact your primary care physician, and, at the same time, serve as an advocate to insist that you be referred to the appropriate specialist.

It may be a difficult process, but the earlier one is tuned in, the more time you have to spend learning about how to care for your loved one, as well as learn how much help you have in this process from the Alzheimer’s Association in your area.

The advice from William H. Fisher is spot on.

Merry Norris Geil, Carmichael

Now just add some facts

Re “Apology for citing ‘holocaust,’” (Letters, April 14): Robert F. Kennedy Jr. deserves credit for his straightforward apology for thoughtlessly using “holocaust” while discussing the incidence of autism. He avoided the weaselly “if I offended anyone” statement and simply declared he was sorry. Good for him.

I’ll give him even more credit if he starts basing his comments about vaccines on facts instead of unsupported and unscientific allegations. We have enough anti-vaccination fanatics already. We don’t need a member of the Kennedy clan adding to disease-promoting activism.

Anthony Barcellos, Davis

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