Letters to the Editor

LETTERS Anti-Muslim smear, Hall of Fame, water merger, etc.

A federal appeals court on Wednesday overturned Barry Bonds’ 2011 obstruction-of-justice conviction over his testimony in the BALCO steroids scandal more than a decade ago.
A federal appeals court on Wednesday overturned Barry Bonds’ 2011 obstruction-of-justice conviction over his testimony in the BALCO steroids scandal more than a decade ago. Associated Press file

Concerned about anti-Muslim smear

Re “Religious smear is an ugly surprise in board race” (Marcos Breton, April 22): Chills ran up the backs of many Japanese Americans upon reading about the anonymous flier accusing Basim Elkarra, candidate for Twin Rivers school board and a Muslim, of ties to terrorism. Haven’t people learned from the mistakes of the past?

In 1942, the government forcibly removed our families – 120,000 innocent Americans – to be imprisoned in American-style World War II concentration camps. The actions of Japan bombing Pearl Harbor fueled the same type of unjust smears against Japanese Americans as seen in this recent flier.

The suspicions, fears and backlash that Muslim Americans face after the 9/11 terrorist attacks are too similar to the ones that victimized Japanese Americans after Dec. 7, 1941. They greatly concern us.

Our Florin Japanese American Citizens League chapter has personally known and worked with Elkarra for more than 10 years. He has consistently spoken out against terrorism, promoted understanding of Islam, brought diverse groups together, trained law enforcement and served the Greater Sacramento community. What more could you ask?

Have we learned from our past mistakes? This anonymous flier shows some apparently have not. We know that Americans overwhelmingly reject this bigotry. We judge each person by what they say and do. Isn’t that the American way?

Andy Noguchi and Marielle Tsukamoto, Sacramento

co-presidents, Florin Japanese American Citizens League

Utmost respect for Elkarra

The recent mailer depicting Basim Elkarra, who is running for Twin Rivers school board, as a terrorist sympathizer is appalling and should not be happening in today’s society. Where has common decency gone where people can put out unsubstantiated rumors and put targets on people’s backs because of how they choose to worship?

Having been a neighbor of Elkarra, I know him to be an honest, caring person who genuinely wants the best not only for all of his children, but for the children in the community as well. I know him to be an upstanding citizen, and I have the utmost respect for him as a leader in my community and as a human being.

Suzanne E. Ajnsell, Sacramento

Time doesn’t erase flaws

Re “These guys belong in the Hall of Shame” (Editorial Notebook, April 24): Foon Rhee was spot-on with his analysis of the tainted careers of baseball players Pete Rose, Alex Rodriguez and Barry Bonds. Gambling and/or the use of performance-enhancing drugs should represent fatal flaws.

Rhee’s sports commentary was a refreshing shift from that offered by shills in the local media whose editorial souls belong to the Kings organization or whose perspectives are seemingly shaped to fit the agenda of Mayor Kevin Johnson and his staff.

Tim Worley, West Sacramento

Bonds is not innocent

Re “Does Bonds ruling tip scales?” (Sports, April 23): I realize that Marcos Breton is a huge fan of Barry Bonds and that he believes Bonds should be admitted to the Hall of Fame and that his chances may have improved due to a court overturning the 2011 conviction. I disagree. The evidence remains strong that Bonds did not reach the record books through his own natural abilities, but utilized the assistance of performance-enhancing drugs. This constitutes cheating, and a cheater does not belong in the Hall of Fame impugning those who reached the Hall honestly.

Walter Graviet, Sacramento

Water districts merger a good idea

Re “Merger makes more sense during drought” (Viewpoints, April 23): The proposed merger of the Sacramento Suburban Water District and the San Juan Water District is a common-sense, good-government move that will provide ratepayer savings, operational efficiency and opportunities for better water management in the region. It makes sense in all years, wet or dry. The previous merger of the Arcade Water District and Northridge Water Districts showed that such a merger can be beneficial in all these respects. The natural advantages of a San Juan-Sac Suburban merger are even better.

It is rare that government entities decide to vote themselves out of existence. The boards and management of both agencies deserve due credit for putting the public first to the exclusion of self-interest with this proposal.

Byron Buck, Sacramento

Koch brothers do good deeds

Re “Koch Industries subsidiaries” (Jack Ohman editorial cartoon, April 23): Jack Ohman needs to know a few more facts about the Koch brothers. The Kochs provide jobs to more than 160,000 people across America. They donate millions for educational programming on PBS. Last year, the Kochs gave $25 million of scholarship money to the United Negro College Fund.

Doug Hinchey, Lincoln

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