Letters to the Editor

LETTERS Citizen terrorists, police practices, marriage equality, Big Pharma, etc.

At the intersection of North and Pennsylvania avenues, police attempt to disperse a group of media and civilians after the 10 p.m. curfew on Tuesday in Baltimore.
At the intersection of North and Pennsylvania avenues, police attempt to disperse a group of media and civilians after the 10 p.m. curfew on Tuesday in Baltimore. TNS

End the terrorism in Baltimore

Re “Violence and looting spike in Baltimore” (Page A1, April 8): When are we as a civilized people and government, going to use common sense and sound logic to deal with street violence?

The destruction of others’ property and violence against people are unlawful and criminal acts, and should be treated as such. These acts should never be considered as a form of protest. When street bullies, criminals and gang members terrorize public streets, chaos and evil prevail.

We reacted with superior force when foreign terrorists destroyed property and took lives on 9/11. It’s time to take like-minded action toward citizen terrorists of our own country. When criminals control the streets, it’s time they were stopped and removed from the streets with the superior force of law enforcement agencies.

Are we going to be a country of law and civil order, or full of chaos and disorder?

J.B. McClain, Fair Oaks

Change police patrols, beats

Re “No quick fix to the slow-rolling crisis of brutality” (Editorials, April 29): On each large city block, there should be one corner designated as a police station. Officers would come to work in their own car, park in a lot and pay the fee or ride the bus or carpool, like others.

Each officer would be required to police that area of the city daily, on foot. They would be required to get to know those who live and work there. They should get to know them personally, where they live, where they work, and their kids. Driving around in the suburbs hoping to spot a stolen car or a crime in progress is not proper use of our police. It isn’t working.

Norma Loudenslager,

Citrus Heights

A proposal for marriage

Re “Gay marriage is a fundamental right” (Editorials, April 29): The institution and rituals of marriage have taken many forms in various cultures, religions and social contexts over the millennia. Marriage has, and will, evoke great passion and emotion based on strongly held personal beliefs.

Government would do well to separate individual belief from communal law. I propose that all government entities and all legal interactions replace the word “marriage” with the term “civil union.”

The law may then give unbiased consideration and legal rights to all who are seeking to unite, while our religions, sects, communes and friends may continue to define and celebrate their unions as they please.

James Ritchie, Truckee

Follow the money

Re “Bill gets chewed up, spit out” (Capitol & California, April 28): The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids is properly motivated to oppose tobacco at ballparks.

However, when it comes to electronic cigarettes, you would think the American Cancer Society and the American Lung and Heart associations would support a product that helped some stop smoking. They get their nicotine fix; however, they are not smoking. It is a good first step.

These groups receive money from Big Pharma, the companies that make the highly profitable nicotine gum, patches and pills.

Electronic cigarettes are the competition. So if the cancer groups want to keep receiving the money, they must oppose the e-cigs that have helped so many smokers quit smoking but do not enrich pharmaceutical companies.

David Weil, Sacramento

Who’s getting rich?

Re “Don’t blame Big Oil for price spikes” (Another View, April 24): Philip Verleger may say he represented the oil companies at a hearing on gas prices, but here is what he said at the March 24 Senate hearing: “I am appearing for the Western States Petroleum Association at their invitation. What I say is my opinion, not necessarily endorsed by them.”

Verleger pinned price spikes on our isolated market and price volatility triggered by refinery outages and accidents, but skipped the explanation that Gordon Schremp of the California Energy Commission actually gave:

“It should be noted that when it goes up, it’s the refiner’s margin that goes up. Are there costs and profits in that margin? Yes. Did their cost change when prices rose for the ones who didn’t have a problem? No, they did not. So they are earning additional rents in the marketplace because they’re operating and selling into the marketplace at much higher prices.”

Translation: oil refiners are getting rich.

Jamie Court, president

Consumer Watchdog

Harris helped destroy Heald

Re “Heald students angry” (Our Region, April 28): Attorney General Kamala Harris sued the owners of Heald College for misleading recruits about job placements during the recession.

She cooperated with the U.S. Department of Education to cut off students’ education grants so Heald couldn’t collect tuition and continue operating. The Education Department also assessed a $30 million fine. Instead of simply ensuring that Heald College complied with federal reporting standards by correcting its job placement data, she helped destroy a decades-old institution.

Heald’s employees lost jobs, its creditors are stuck with unpaid bills, its investors are wiped out, and thousands of students are unable to take advantage of a recovering economy.

Marcia Fritz, Orangevale

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