Letters to the Editor

Vaccines, traffic fines, immigration, drought and angels

State Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, left, talks with Senate Education Committee member Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, about the concerns she had about the measure he and Sen. Ben Allen, D-Santa Monica, right, co-authored, requiring California schoolchildren to get vaccinated.
State Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, left, talks with Senate Education Committee member Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, about the concerns she had about the measure he and Sen. Ben Allen, D-Santa Monica, right, co-authored, requiring California schoolchildren to get vaccinated. The Associated Press

Protect the children

Re “Foes delay vaccine measure” (Page A1, April 16): I was disappointed to learn that the Senate Education Committee is blocking SB 277 to eliminate the personal-belief exemption to the vaccination requirement. I am concerned about the rights of children who cannot be vaccinated for health reasons or are too young to be vaccinated.

Not vaccinating one’s children is child neglect. We do not allow Christian Scientists to refuse medical care for their minor children or Jehovah’s Witnesses to refuse transfusions for their children. We do not allow parents to starve their children or leave their very young children unsupervised. Children are not property and have rights independent of their parents’. Being a parent does not automatically make them the best judge of what is best for their children. Please protect these children and advance the bill.

Jack Kashtan, Sacramento

Punishment should fit crime

Re “Small traffic fines can mushroom” (Page A1, April 16): While I agree that the fees added to basic traffic-violation fines are out of control, why only reduce the fines for poor people? Their criminal conduct is exactly the same as other people’s, yet their punishment would be less under Sen. Bob Hertzberg’s bill. You encounter them every day running red lights, speeding and driving recklessly.

But now it is proposed that they get a break on their punishment? Why not extend this to shoplifting, burglary and all criminal activity? The punishment should fit the crime, not the income level of the person committing the crime.

The fees and assessments added to basic traffic fines should be reduced for everyone, not just those with low incomes.

Larry Pilgrim, Sacramento

Bill the Mexican government

Re “Immigration bill advances” (Capitol & California, April 16): I have a suggestion on how to fund health care for the Mexican citizens living in California. Maybe we should send an invoice to the Mexican government for the estimated annual cost. As soon as they send their payment, Medi-Cal will have the funds available to start paying the medical bills for Mexico’s citizens. If the Mexican government can’t pay up front, maybe the health care providers could just send their bills on a per-patient basis to Mexico instead of sending them to Medi-Cal. Either way, the government that should be responsible will be paying for the health care for its citizens.

Katy Pridy, Jackson

Prohibit lawn irrigation

Re “Area water agencies push back against level of cuts” (Page A1, April 15): Local water agencies’ response to the State Water Resources Control Board’s directive to cut water use by 35 percent displays an arrogance bordering on criminality. To argue that their customers should be exempt because they have large lots ignores the reality of the situation. It’s time to get real about the drought.

Significant water savings can be achieved with a simple, egalitarian solution: prohibit turf and lawn irrigation. Simply put, turf and lawns have no place in the desert.

Faced with a similar situation, Australian government and water agencies prohibited turf irrigation in response to a historic drought. Of course, there was lots of grumbling, but by and large Australians complied with the restriction and learned to live without lawns, and Aussies really loved their lawns. It’s time we all face up to the fact that we’re living in a desert and prohibit turf irrigation.

Mike Keesee, Sacramento

Turn off the spigots

Last year, we removed a third of our lawn, cut back on watering and invested in drip irrigation. We installed a recirculating water pump so as not to have to let the water run to get hot. We have more water-saving measures to initiate this month.

I get really frustrated when I drive around town and see sprinklers going during the day and water running into the gutter. The lawns at the Carmichael post office are very green. The lawns at Carmichael Park are green. The greenbelts at Howe and Fair Oaks are green. I was in West Sacramento recently and it is green there, too. Then I see our American River with sand bars protruding and with very little flow. I see photos of the reservoirs and lakes depleted like the drought in the 1970s.

Before the regulators decide how many gallons my household may use, they should turn off the spigots for all.

Ellen Wildfeuer, Carmichael

Angels in Sacramento

Re “‘Dignified’ life in new apartment” (Our Region, City Beat, April 13): I read Ryan Lillis’ article on Janice Moore, who I have been following through his other two columns about her.

I would like to thank Sacramento police Officer Michelle Lazark; Emily Halcon, the city’s homeless services coordinator; Robin Wussow and Heather Carver, staffers for Volunteers of America; and Gina Knepp, who runs the city animal shelter, for being angels for helping this woman and her dogs.

It was the best ending for this story. Well done.

Toni Cartoscelli, Sacramento

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