Why a ‘black’ man?
“Black man shot by police was carrying cellphone, not ‘tool bar,’” when he was shot, department says” (sacbee.com, March 20): “Police shoot 22-year-old black man holding ‘toolbar’” was the bold headline on Tuesday’s front page. Had the victim been a white man, that inconvenient detail would’ve been withheld. In other words, it would not have fit the race-baiting agenda slavishly followed by the liberal media.
He’s not innocent
Re “Police fired 20 times at South Sacramento man fatally shot while holding a cellphone” (sacbee.com, March 20): You people a make criminal look like a choir boy with a lovely photo of Clark holding his two kids on the front page. You are somewhat responsible for whipping up hate against the police by playing on emotion rather than a criminal breaking into homes with a tire iron. Twenty shots are too many, but police put their lives on the line every day.
Doug Hinchey, Lincoln
I was both disappointed and concerned reading coverage of Stephon Clark's death. I was appalled to find the reporters not only went to the trouble of searching court records for a victim of police gun violence, but felt it necessary to publish the findings of that search. Clark was killed by police in his own backyard with a cell phone in his hand. No part of his personal life is relevant. Moreover, this type of reporting aligns with centuries of racist journalistic practices that criminalize people of color who are victims of police brutality. This victim-blaming shifts public focus from the real work of examining structures that continue to allow police to operate as judge, jury, and executioner.
Kealy Jaynes, Loomis
No reason to cheer
Re “Undocumented immigrants get posts in California as Trump administration cracks down” (sacbee.com, March 15): My whole life, I have made every effort to follow and live within the letter of the law. What a fool I have been! Just live in California, which makes a mockery of the laws of our land. Dan Reeves says that Lizbeth Mateo is not really working for the state as it is only an advisory position. But I’ll bet she’s getting paid out of state coffers and that she is receiving all the same benefits. I have never read any statements from Ms. Mateo as to why she has never tried to become a U.S. citizen. She apparently had time for everything else, except that.
Brian Koepp, Davis
It is disgraceful that Kevin de León appointed Lizbeth Mateo, an undocumented immigrant, to a state post. There are plenty of U.S. citizens who are dreamers, too, and are just as qualified for the position. Ms. Mateo vows to fight for immigrants seeking their rightful place in this country. If you are here illegally, you have no right to be in this country. No wonder so many people are fed up and leaving. California caters more to illegal immigrants than it does to taxpaying legal citizens.
Deborah Hall McMicking, San Francisco
Toys R Us, a bully
“With Toys R Us primed for extinction, playtime is over at 10 Sacramento-area stores” (sacbee.com, March 16): One customer, waiting in line at Toys R Us, eulogized the store by saying, in part: “I grew up somewhere with lots of toy stores.” No one seems to remember or care that, at one time, there really were numerous small toy stores and that Toys R Us killed most of them. Yes, the bully was often pretty and fun, but it was still a bully.
Anita Ravenscroft, Elverta
Blame on pensions
“How pension costs clobbered one California city” (Dan Walters, March 18): This column makes the same analytical mistakes made in previous opinion pieces about public pensions. CalPERS is an administrator. CalPERS did not select the pension formula for Santa Cruz; the city of Santa Cruz negotiated that with its employees and hired CalPERS to administer the plan that it selected. The cost of the plan is the cost of the benefits the city chose. I suspect that if Dan Walters, or a resourceful reporter, did some research, they would find the city of Santa Cruz’s benefit formula is much more generous than what’s offered by the state of California. As a consequence, it costs more. Walter's column is replete with blame for CalPERS and no suggestion that Santa Cruz bought more than it could afford. Get the facts straight.
Linda McAtee, Sacramento
Duties of sheriff
“He took on the NFL. Now he’s after California’s ‘primitive’ sheriff-coroner system” (sacbee.com, March 16): Sacramento County used to have the dual office of sheriff-tax collector. This was in effect from about 1860 to 1898. The sheriff was given a 10 percent commission on most of the taxes he collected to fund his operation. In 1898, B. N. Bugbey, challenged the dual roles when he ran for tax collector and won. Legal challenges on behalf of the elected sheriff, aided by Hiram Johnson, did not prevail in court. Bugbey went on to serve as tax collector and the two offices were separated after that on the ballot.
Kevin Knauss, Granite Bay
People over bears
“Tahoe bears are breaking into homes with people inside. Should the animals be killed?” (sacbee.com, March 16): If a bear broke into our home I would shoot it. I’m not sure what I would do if I found someone splashing red paint on the house. It’s too bad these activists don’t understand what Nevada wildlife people know: People are more important than animals.
John Thomas West,
“Everybody poops. Sacramento must make sure homeless people can do it in a toilet” (Editorials, March 19): There is rarely, if ever, any position The Bee takes that I agree with. However, I totally support providing more public toilets in the downtown area. An excellent option are the self cleaning toilets used in other cities and countries. This shouldn't require a two year study. Just do it.
Roger Sharrer, Elk Grove
They aren’t victims
The Bee insists we spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to put toilets on the streets. And businesses are supposed to open their doors to people who shoot heroin in the bathrooms? Instead, let’s move all transients from our sidewalks, shopping centers and parks, and put them in barracks-style shelters, and require drug and mental health treatment and job training. Are we simply going to let the situation get worse? These people are not victims. Until we start expecting people to take care of themselves and be responsible for their behavior, we will sink further into the cesspool this country has become in the last 40 years.
It’s not about laws
“How two smart California laws kept the 2008 mortgage crisis from being far worse” (sacbee.com, March 13): Mr. Gabriel and Mr. Lutz absolutely over-thought their analysis. Laws didn't stop the bleeding of home prices. Prices getting crushed did. In Fairfield, homes that sold for over $400,000 were selling for $100,000 when they cost $250 to rebuild (not including land). The invisible hand was the factor here, not some stupid California law.
Walt Phillips, Fairfield