Letters to the Editor

Pensions, wrong-way drivers, juries and birds

Most CalPERS retirees stay in California, but for the 15 percent who leave, Las Vegas is the top draw.
Most CalPERS retirees stay in California, but for the 15 percent who leave, Las Vegas is the top draw. St. Louis Post-Dispatch file

Public employee pension bias

Re “Why CalPERS retirees flee state” (Insight, May 12): No one hits the pension jackpot. No one is gambling when they take a public service job and agree to a specific set of benefits including pension benefits. Public employees have a contract with their respective public agency and provide service for 20 to 35 years in return for agreed-upon compensation including a pension benefit.

The Sacramento Bee should try reporting news instead of trying to create news. What a poor representative of the public interest. This is tabloid reporting at best and an embarrassment to Sacramento.

Michael Bloom, Roseville

Pension story is not news

Less than one-half of 1 percent of CalPERS retirees lives in Las Vegas; how is this news? It sounds more like sensationalism. How many non-PERS retirees move out of state?

Nancy Bougher, Sacramento

One way to stop wrong-way drivers

Re “A wrong-way trip to death” (Page 1A, May 13): With 14 wrong-way driver-related deaths on Sacramento-area highways in the recent months, isn’t it time to take immediate actions to prevent them? While it won’t be a quick fix, is the feasibility of installing one-way parking lot spikes on highway off-ramps being explored by Caltrans?

I understand it would be a major project to install on all ramps, but possibly above-ground spike assemblies could be a quick fix and recess them later as a longer-term project.

Wouldn’t most drivers be fine with the possibility of some spilled coffee as they become accustomed to the bump while exiting the highway? That seems a small price to pay to avoid the certain carnage of a head-on collision at closing speeds of 120 mph or more.

Peter Stern, El Dorado Hills

Magna Carta endorses juries

Re “Too many of us are skipping jury service” (Viewpoints, May 12): Tom Scott captures well our disdain for jury duty, but it is not new. Even in Monopoly we lose one turn if we draw the related card. Perhaps making money is more important than making good governance. Sad evidence, too, of civic ignorance.

Next month marks the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta (June 15, 1215). The document speaks to investigations by “twelve sworn knights” chosen by “honest men of the county” and decisions by “lawful judgement of (one’s) peers.” Along with “all men are created equal,” this notion of fair judgment became a central American ethic.

So, if we truly loved our American flag, we would embrace our jury obligations with gusto. We owe it to each other.

I just received a summons to appear for jury selection at Superior Court in Sacramento on June 1. I’ll be there.

Richard Davis, Elk Grove

Cap and trade just about the money

Re “Jackpot seen in carbon funds” (Page 1A, May 11): California lawmakers are rejoicing over the sudden jackpot of money that they can spend however they please from their cap-and-trade scam. They have not established any method to gauge their success or inevitable failure to affect the climate one iota, except with more computer models.

Why should they? It was and is only about the money, after all.

James Cronin,

Rancho Cordova

Obama’s wrong move on the Arctic

Re “Shell gets OK to drill again in Arctic” (Business, May 12): The Obama administration has shown real commitment to address climate change during his second term. Last year, President Barack Obama ordered the EPA to mandate a 30 percent reduction in fossil-fuel emissions at coal-fired power plants across the country and has been championing clean energy in the run-up to the Paris climate summit later this year.

Unfortunately, Obama’s recent actions to allow oil exploration to begin in the Arctic and to promote the climate-killing Trans-Pacific Partnership are moves in the wrong direction. Earth’s polar regions are most impacted by global warming. The peer-reviewed journal Nature recently published a finding showing that avoiding the worst impacts of climate change will require keeping 100 percent of Arctic oil and gas in the ground. Instead of rewarding polluting corporations like Shell, our government should be empowering companies that are committed to producing clean energy.

Ted Hamilton,

San Luis Obispo

Birds suffering from drought, too

After I turned off an outside hose one morning, I saw a scrub jay land and try to get a few drops of water from the end of the hose. It occurred to me that our feathered friends must be having a hard time of it, especially now with chicks in the nest. I put a small bowl of water out that I’ll refresh every day. It’s the least I can do.

Lorraine Gervais, Sacramento

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