Letters to the Editor

Bottled water, assisted suicide, school breakfast, free speech

Debbie Ziegler displays a photo of her daughter Brittany Maynard while urging the Senate Health Committee last month to support an assisted-suicide bill.
Debbie Ziegler displays a photo of her daughter Brittany Maynard while urging the Senate Health Committee last month to support an assisted-suicide bill. Associated Press file

Thanks for the water, California

It recently came to my attention that you folks in California are shipping water to Alaska. Although I appreciate your efforts to help us out, you probably need the water more than we do. Nestle Pure Life bottled water showed up on a food tray in one of our local hospitals. According to the label, the sources included a well in San Bernardino County, a well in Riverside County, and/or Public Water Supply Sacramento.

It seems a little odd. Just sayin’.

Gregg Hanson, Palmer, Alaska

More bark than bite

I noticed a building on Whitney Avenue overwatering on a daily basis, so I decided to send a note in to the proper authorities. I researched the address and I sent the email to Sacramento County 311 Connect. They replied and wrote that I needed to send the information to Sacramento Suburban Water District and provided a phone number but no email.

In this case we have a concerned citizen trying to report a problem only to have the government tell me to contact someone else with no email address. It seems like it would have been easy enough for the city to notify the correct agency instead of replying to me, right?

I just don’t think any of our local agencies are actually serious about saving water, and Gov. Jerry Brown needs to get them working together to solve this crisis, rather than the normal pass-the-buck mentality.

Kenneth Firl, Fair Oaks

Disabled, not disadvantaged

Re “Assisted suicide and disability a deadly combination” (Viewpoints, April 24): With all due respect to Joni Eareckson Tada’s concerns, I strongly object to her assertions that “death with dignity laws,” and Senate Bill 128 in particular, will be used to pressure people with disabilities to elect to end their lives.

The bill does not enable people to just decide to end their lives; it requires a person, whom a doctor has determined is within 6 months of dying of a disease, and who is deemed competent to make a request, to ask their physician twice verbally and once in writing, in the presence of two people who do not have any vested interest in the person’s death, for aid in dying peacefully.

SB 128 is an option to extensive suffering at the end of life. It does not undo our ability to pursue “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” It simply allows people to end their lives when there is only agony and suffering as an alternative. This is the liberty to have a death with dignity.

Suzie Cohen, Sacramento

No more on the school’s plate?

Re “School day breakfast bill feeds more kids” (Editorials, April 23): Assembly Bill 1240’s good intentions – serving breakfast after school starts – will hurt schools by burdening teachers with more non-instruction-focused responsibilities. Most importantly, this encroachment on classroom time will hurt already disadvantaged kids. In addressing the problem of hunger for the disadvantaged, the AB 1240 solution is to educate them less. Is that really a trade-off that we can afford to make?

Michael Miller, Carmichael

Criticism is free speech

Re “Criticism is anti-Semitism” (Letters, April 24): By Ezra Amir’s logic, the author of the Another View “Criticizing Israel is not anti-Semitism,” who is Jewish, is an anti-Semite. By the same logic, Jewish groups that oppose Zionist policies are anti-Semitic, and Americans who oppose some U.S. policies are anti-American. Such arguments only serve to inflame passions and deflect attention from the real issues.

If Israel’s activities cannot withstand inspection, how is silencing criticism of those activities going to effect change? Stating that those who advocate for Palestinians are making things worse for them is ridiculous. What is making things worse for Palestinians is hatred and violence such as was committed on April 19 by Jewish extremists who, while accompanied by police, marched through Jerusalem chanting “death to the Arabs,” as well as similar actions on the Palestinian side. Things are much more complicated than Arabs bad, Jews good.

Let’s not dumb it down or whitewash the deplorable actions of either side.

Dawn Wolfson, Cameron Park

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