Letters to the Editor

Vaccines, youth prisons, Armenian genocide, water and drought

Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, talks with Sen. Sharon Runner, R-Lancaster, after she voted last week against his measure requiring California schoolchildren to get vaccinated.
Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, talks with Sen. Sharon Runner, R-Lancaster, after she voted last week against his measure requiring California schoolchildren to get vaccinated. rbyer@sacbee.com

Listen to your pocket

Re “Fear of doctors, vaccines trending globally” (Forum, April 19): Vaccinations are safe. Vaccinations are effective. Vaccinations had nearly eliminated polio, measles and other diseases. Vaccinating our children is part of our responsibility to our fellow Californians, in protecting their children. Vaccinations save lives.

Unfortunately, those opposed to Senate Bill 277 won’t listen to any of this, but maybe they’ll listen to their pockets. An outbreak of measles or another vaccine-preventable disease can have an enormous fiscal impact on our state. The monetary cost of such an outbreak includes medical treatments, lost productivity and missed school days.

It is unfortunate that those of us born after the development of the polio vaccine have never witnessed the horror of such a disease. The only problem with vaccinations is that they are so effective that they have erased any trace of such a past.

John Paul Aboubechara, Elk Grove

Vaccine safety?

I question vaccine safety because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other government health agencies, vaccine manufacturers and researchers are interconnected through study funding, consulting and speaking fees.

The American Academy of Pediatrics document “Vaccine Safety: Examine the Evidence” from April 2013 links to journal articles in support. American journals require authors to disclose a financial relationship with the subject of the study, and 16 of the 40 scientific journal articles are available in full text to the general public. Of those, nine have authors with financial ties to the vaccine industry and three were funded by state agencies promoting vaccines. Only two listed no conflicts.

Nancy Fellmeth, Fair Oaks

Vaccination aversion

One of the reasons some are averse to mandatory vaccinations is a healthy and justified skepticism of Big Pharma. Many feel physicians are mere shills for the drug pushers and view the push for more vaccines as just Big Pharma lining their greedy pockets.

John W. Borsdorf, Sacramento

Send them to youth facilities

Re “Reform laws to cut flow of youths to adult prisons” (Viewpoints, April 19): I agree with Elizabeth Calvin that youths should not be sent to adult prisons or tried as adults. While the juvenile correctional system is certainly flawed, most juveniles, even gang members, mature by the time they reach their 20s when peer pressure and cruelties subside. Also, they are able to make better decisions and take advantage of rehabilitation opportunities than if they were buried for years in an adult prison culture.

Nikki Sandars, Sacramento

Armenian genocide voices

Re “Tragedy of Armenian genocide: A story of rebirth in California” (Forum, April 19): Writer Mark Arax states, it left “no storytellers of the first hand.” My cousin, Pea Holmquist, is a documentary filmmaker from Stockholm. Thirty years ago, noting that opportunities for firsthand accounts would soon vanish, he traveled to Armenia and filmed interviews of survivors. He snuck in and then smuggled out the precious film.

His documentary, “Tillbaka till Ararat,” won Swedish awards. He came to Los Angeles to show his film with seven promises of venue but in the last weeks, these dwindled to but one in Glendale.

Gerald Holmquist, Roseville

Take back my water

Re “It’s time for an honest discussion about water” (Viewpoints, April 19): Paul Wenger said that farming only uses 40 percent of California’s water, the environment gets 50 percent and humans use 10 percent. Using his math, that still means farming uses four times more water than the 39 million residents of California. And farming accounts for 2 to 3 percent of the state’s economy and 3 percent of the workforce. Why should 39 million people be asked to give up a large portion of their water, for an industry that has a small impact on California?

Why doesn’t the farm industry go after the 50 percent for the environment? That would mean farmers would have a huge fight with the Sierra Club, the EPA and fishermen – a fight farmers may not win. It’s much easier to go after a group who doesn’t have a lobby group protecting their interest.

Bill Kinnaird, Rancho Murieta

What about Nestlé?

Re “Media must make a difference in coverage of California drought” (Forum, Joyce Terhaar, April 19): While I appreciate Executive Editor Joyce Terhaar’s spirited argument that the media must lead the charge in covering California’s drought, perhaps she ought to first turn her attention to her own newsroom. Terhaar articulates examples of The Bee’s drought reporting, but doesn’t cite coverage of the Nestlé Waters bottling plant in Sacramento. Environmental activists claim Nestlé benefits from a sweetheart deal engineered with the city of Sacramento.

Steve Caruso, Carmichael

Drought insight

Quoting from Barron’s magazine: “If cotton farmers paid the retail price charged to households, they would pay $750 for the water needed to grow $150 worth of cotton.” And the advice: “Keep calm, California: At the right price for water, determined by supply and demand, the state can survive any drought.”

Alan Chisholm, Roseville

Delta needs adequate flows

Re “Brown shouldn’t leave eco goals out of new Delta plan” (Editorials, April 19): The Bay Delta Conservation Plan was greenwashing in its most egregious form. Now the truth is out: The tunnels are a water grab. The answer: Recognize the limits of water exports. The Delta will only heal with adequate flows.

Rogene Reynolds, Stockton