Letters to the Editor

LETTERS Budget surplus, Heald students, building permits, equality stand, etc.

Former pro football player Bob St. Clair poses with his bust after being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, on Aug. 4, 1990. Letter writers praise St. Clair and his 1951 USF football team for their integrity in refusing to play in the Orange Bowl because the team’s black players weren’t invited.
Former pro football player Bob St. Clair poses with his bust after being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, on Aug. 4, 1990. Letter writers praise St. Clair and his 1951 USF football team for their integrity in refusing to play in the Orange Bowl because the team’s black players weren’t invited. Associated Press file

A paradise for liberals

Re “Tax surge in the billions” (Page A1, April 25): So California is getting a revenue windfall in the billions of dollars, and the liberals have it already spent. Instead of doing something forward-thinking and fiscally prudent, there’s already talk of increasing welfare benefits and pouring more into a school system that is completely failing us. Why not build more dams and desalinization plants to ensure we have water to drink and water our crops?

There is a constant push from Sacramento to coddle and subsidize everyone except for those who actually contribute. We’re left to pay for all of this mess.

Zachary Sanders, Rocklin

Tackle senior poverty

Many advocates for a variety of well-deserved programs addressing health, education and welfare for those in greatest need are lining up to ask for restoration and expansion of services in light of the California tax revenue windfall. The Older Women’s League in Sacramento supports the Legislative Women’s Caucus package because it ameliorates greater poverty for the aging, especially older women. But we are most interested in adjusting and increasing the SSI/SSP (cash assistance for blind, aged and disabled persons) cuts that were put into place in 2008.

California now has the great distinction of being No. 1 in the U.S. for senior poverty. According to poverty measures that take into account housing costs, 1 in 5 older people are impoverished or unable to meet monthly expenses. Like the drought, this issue should be on everyone’s mind – it is the moral test of government leadership.

Clare Smith, Sacramento

When you see a red light, stop

Re “Bee is right about traffic fines” (Letters, April 28): A red light means stop. It’s just that simple.

In your example of a traffic ticket and fine, rolling through a red light, even at 1 mph, is not stopping. It does not matter how financially well-off the person may be. One would think that if a person cannot afford to get such a ticket and fine, that they would pay more attention to obeying the law. The driver made the poor decision to not stop. That driver needs to take full responsibility for that decision. If the driver had stopped, there would be no ticket, no fine and no police overtime.

The practice of blaming anyone else for one’s poor decision needs to end.

Don Schmidt, Elk Grove

Additional forgiveness

Re “Extra fees added to traffic fines are an unfair burden” (Editorials, April 27): To add on to Sen. Robert Hertzberg’s proposal, how about a “one-time-only” forgiveness. That is, if the driver receives a citation for a broken taillight or license tags being out of date or other non-moving violation, they get the taillight repaired or the registration brought current. This action must be completed and signed off by a law enforcement officer in, say, 60 or 90 days, and the person cited would be relieved from paying any fine.

Gary Smith, Sacramento

Greater oversight needed

Re “Heald students angry” (Our Region, April 28): Californians are in shock over what happened to the now-former students of the Corinthian colleges and related affiliates. Through no fault of their own, these students were abruptly kicked to the curb, victims of alleged predatory business practices of a profit-motivated institution.

We applaud the work of the California Community Colleges in their assistance of these students and call upon state and federal regulatory agencies to increase their oversight of proprietary schools. This situation demonstrates that the lack of accountability in the for-profit college industry endangers the public, and steps must be taken to ensure it never happens again.

Jonathan Lightman, Sacramento

executive director, Faculty Association of California Community Colleges

Good approach to permits

Re “Building permits in a day: 2 cities try new tack” (Business, April 26): Congratulations, Elk Grove and Rancho Cordova, for a progressive approach to building permits. I’ve been a general contractor throughout the Sacramento region for more than 20 years, and the biggest issue by far has always been the time frame it takes to get a building permit.

When this process is delayed, it costs customers and my company thousands of dollars to make up for that lost time and make that end date. What most people don’t understand is that the dates we set in the beginning start a chain of events with so many different entities, that to push out the end date just isn’t an option.

“Permit simplicity” is a huge game-changer. It will allow businesses to be able to lock in a start date and know construction efforts can start on time, without delays, and create a partnership with local agencies. It’s about time.

Jeff Deming, Rancho Cordova

The right to destroy?

Re “Violence and looting spike in Baltimore” (Page A1, April 28): On Monday, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake called those who have been looting and burning in Baltimore thugs. Yet two days before, she gave the green light for the violence and looting when she said she was “giving space” to those who needed to express their free-speech rights to protest. She has a lot to answer for.

Janet Quesenberry, Elk Grove

Thanks for the memories

Re “49ers great took part in historic stand for equality” (Sports, April 26): Thank you for the article by Matt Barrows about Bob St. Clair and the University of San Francisco Dons in 1951. I was a junior at USF at that time and knew Bob as a classmate. For a football player and a great athlete on a great team, he was “one of the guys” you could talk to as a mere student. Same goes for Gino Marchetti, Ollie Matson, Burl Toler and Dick Colombini. Dick was in our ROTC officers’ training course at Fort Eustis, Va., and entertained everyone with his antics.

USF’s decision not to accept the Orange Bowl invitation brought nothing but praise for the football team’s integrity and was really the first time that most of the students were confronted with racism. We were united in our reactions and did not regret that decision. After all, USF then and now stands for equality and honor in all aspects of its teachings. May Bob and all other teammates who are deceased play in the Super Bowl!

Andrew P. Reshke, Sacramento

A truly great read

I am not a sports page reader. I am, like many, a scanner. Every so often, something interests me, so I read it.

In announcing the death of Bob St. Clair, writer Matt Barrows tells the amazing story of the University of San Francisco 1951 football team voting to reject an invitation to the Orange Bowl because their black players were not invited. It was truly a great read.

Tom Sweetman, Sacramento

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