Why help trucks?
Re “State may tear down major Sacramento bridges to build bigger ones for mega-trucks” (sacbee.com, March 5): It seems to me the new Caltrans director isn’t following the governor’s directions. Spending the 12 cent gas tax to rebuild bridges so that large trucks don’t have to detour doesn’t solve two of the most serious problems facing the public today: crumbling highways and worsening congestion. The public isn’t stupid and they will see that, too.
John Thomas West, Sacramento
Bypass, not bridge
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Caltrans’ proposal to replace the twin bridges over the American River to accommodate heavier oversize trucks is absurd. The current congestion, pollution and safety problems on this section of I-5 is only going to get worse, even without bigger trucks. The freeway should never have been built through downtown Sacramento. Instead of rebuilding the bridges, would it not make more sense to put the $1.5 billion toward building a new I-5 bypass east of the Yolo Bypass?
John Briggs, Sacramento
Re “Don’t fall for this latest scare tactic on criminal justice reform, governor says” (Letters to the Editor, Feb. 26): Gov. Brown’s letter falsely asserted that Proposition 57 does not allow early releases of sex offenders. To hear him tell it, the initiative “explicitly protects the public and bars such releases.” Of course, the governor did not cite any language in the initiative, because no such section exists.
President of the Association of Los Angeles Deputy District Attorneys
Bad housing rules
Re “Some old ideas can help solve housing crunch” (sacbee.com, Feb. 27): Mayor Fargo’s final point about fixing the painful process homeowners go through to modify existing houses resonated with me. The City Council recently passed an ordinance that makes the citywide design review rules for new and remodeled single family houses more restrictive, adding both time and as much as $5,000 to the cost of construction with no benefit to the owner. Additional restrictions make it more expensive to build the affordable housing we need. The council should repeal these rules as soon as possible.
Jim Bob Kaufmann,
Shelter is worth it
Re “City claims massive winter homeless shelter has made North Sacramento safer” (sacbee.com, Feb. 27): Amazing that homeless people being able to have a place to live with pets and stay as couples has attracted 260 people. Homeless people have basic needs, no matter how unrealistic this may seem. As City Councilwoman Angelique Ashby said, public funding for shelters is expensive. But what is the cost of humanity for our homeless? If having a shelter is the cost, it is well worth it.
Lori Potter, Sacramento
It could be cheaper
I applaud the effort of Sacramento to address the homeless situation that has become a community problem. Triage for people and their animals, and homeless people helping to clean up the area are laudable ideas. But the cost for 200 people is $400,000 per month. That is government at its worst. There are many working poor households that don’t earn that much. Use government-owned properties, and give tax credits or college credits to those who provide services. There has to be a better way.
The hidden costs
Sacramento’s winter triage center costs $401,453 a month to operate with a maximum capacity of 200 people. Ask the community around this center about other costs to their neighborhood to more fully measure the impact. Now our mayor wants to make this a permanent facility and says “we can’t just turn 200 people back out to the streets.” Such a great deal for the lucky 200. Not so good for the taxpayers, the neighbors and the homeless who can’t get in.
Dean Dal Ben, Sacramento
North Sac cares
Re “Care about Sacramento? This is why we can’t let the homeless-hating NIMBYs win” (Erika D. Smith, Feb. 28): You treat this issue like we’re childish. The things we want are simple: transparency of elected representatives and distributing the burden of homelessness financially and geographically. We have been the forefront of managing chronic homeless issues in our neighborhood and business district. I am angry because our representatives say one thing and then do the opposite. Just because we want our neighborhood to not bear the complete burden of eradicating homelessness does not mean we don’t care.
Re “ ‘A basic human right.’ Group calls on Sacramento to provide more bathrooms for homeless” (sacbee.com, March 5): I took a picture in front of Bloem Décor on 10th Street that shows a homeless person sleeping in the doorway. On the sidewalk in front of him, there is a pair of pants soiled with excrement. I made an online report to the city and followed up with a phone call to 311. I was told the city will not clean it up, that the sidewalk is private property and it is up to the business owner to take care of it. I work downtown, and this is not the first time I’ve reported feces on the sidewalk. The last time it took more than two weeks to be removed. Public safety is paramount. If the city cannot provide housing, it needs to provide public restrooms.
Julie Bauer, Sacramento
Don’t just walk out
Re “Local schools gird for student walkout over gun violence” (sacbee.com, March 4): If students are truly concerned about gun violence and want to stop it, perhaps they can do something more impactful than just walk out of class. Are they willing to throw away their violent video games and not buy any more? Will they choose to stop listening to music that celebrates violence? Can they stop watching violent movies and television shows? We cannot accept and finance virtual violence and then express dismay when it is played out in real life. What will these students do to reach out to those who feel alone? What steps will the students take to strengthen their own families? These are the meaningful steps that high school students can take every day to have influence on reducing future violence in our communities.
Tiffany Coleman, Roseville