Costly single payer
Re “Will California fail financially without single-payer health care? Candidates for governor disagree” (sacbee.com, April 24): Newsom proposes single-payer health care for citizens and non-citizens in California. This would double the state budget,which would also require taxes to be dramatically increased. Federal and state budgets continue to spend more than is generated by taxes. Citizens have followed this trend by living beyond their means and paycheck to paycheck. This is a cultural change that cannot sustain itself.
Pat Whittington, Citrus Heights
Re “California needs more water storage as the climate changes. Yes, that means dams” (Dan Walters, April 8): An expansion of Pacheco Reservoir near Casa de Fruta is one of the most promising water supply projects in the state. When built, Pacheco will be the largest reservoir in Santa Clara County, providing a wide range of benefits to the Bay Area, the Delta and throughout the state. Walters noted that climate change will have a massive effect on our future water supply. With more frequent drought years, we have got to make big changes now. An expanded Pacheco Reservoir will be a huge step in the right direction.
President & CEO,
Silicon Valley Organization
Sites is the best bet
Re “Voters OK’d billions for new reservoirs in 2014. California is about to start spending” (sacbee.com, April 20). Sites dam will not be sitting astride any stream. The Sacramento River will be the sole source of supply. The Sites project will require huge gulps of water to be pumped out of the Sacramento River on the rare occasions when excess water is available, transported miles by canal to the Sites site and then pumped up hundreds of feet by a mighty array of pumps into Sites Reservoir. A mighty array of electric power will be required to run those pumps and you can’t wait for inexpensive off-peak power. Timing is crucial. I entered the California water scene in 1951 as a young civil engineer. Unfortunately, speaking from an engineering background, there may not be anything better than Sites. It is scary.
Seward L. Andrews,
Re “Stephon Clark’s brother arrested after threatening to kill roommate, court papers says” (sacbee.com, April 20): Disgraceful, disrespectful and profoundly out of bounds for respect for the human condition. Shame on The Bee for this blatant, unworthy reporting of a personal tragedy. The Bee has rapidly been descending in quality, its historic journalistic integrity greatly compromised. This latest headline grabbing stunt has reached an all time low.
It was a non-story
The headline in Friday’s paper left me unsettled. I’m curious why staff felt that Stevante Clark’s arrest for a fairly banal charge – one that might make an appearance in the Sacto 911 blog otherwise –warranted front-page, above-the-fold coverage. It is unrelated to his brother’s death. If the accused wasn’t Stevante Clark, it wouldn’t even be news. What purpose did it serve other than to discredit Stevante and the Clark family? I expect better from the Bee than cashing in on a non-story.
Kathleen A Forrest,
Be wary of Phillips
Re “DA candidate accused of 'secret deal' with murder defendant for lighter sentence” (sacbee.com, April 20): Such unethical conduct by candidate Phillips should be of grave concern to anyone truly interested in justice for victims of crime and those accused. No prosecutor gives their questions for cross-examination of a defendant to the defendant’s attorney, unless they want to give them a break. From past Bee stories, Mr. Brace's client was the actual killer. By failing to share the inside information with the three co-defendants' attorneys, Phillips committed prosecutorial misconduct. Because of that, the convictions of Mr. Wise’s client and the other co-defendants likely will be overturned and taxpayers will have to fund a new trial. Worse, the victim's family will have to endure another trial.
David Gupton, Antelope
DA is on right track
Re “Whom do you trust to investigate cops for Stephon Clark's death? Not Schubert” (Marcos Breton, April 20): Breton states that Sacramento’s district attorney should step aside because she is “too mistrusted to have the last word on whether Clark’s killing was a crime.” Before your article, I was stupid enough to think that the DA’s office was on the right track by not letting protesters or journalists influence the completion of their investigation. You know, utilizing that crazy innocent-until-proven-guilty theory.
Re “Giving gropers a break? How California state workers stay employed after big payouts” (sacbee.com, April 19): What happened to “Time’s Up”? In one of the cases cited, lawsuits were payed for with our tax dollars, and people were shuffled around from one place to another, ending up at the DMV with raises and promotions. I am appalled, not surprised. I have reached my limit of words, but not my scorn and disappointment at the lack of justice. I would think the clock is running out.
Kathy Neuhaus, Roseville
Cops back at work
Re “Sacramento police officers who killed Stephon Clark are back at work, but not on patrol” (sacbee.com, April 20):The Bee’s intent was to inflame rather than inform the public when the paper felt it necessary to make news of the officers’ return to work. One of the complaints about the killing of Stephon Clark is that he wasn’t denied due process. So why did The Bee identify the officers and tell us about their return to work before the investigation is complete? This information is of no benefit and releasing their names undoubtedly puts them at great risk.
Bonnie M Jacobson,
Blame the county
Re “The system keeps failing mentally ill black men. Stevante Clark is just the latest example” (Erika D. Smith, April 20): Stevante Clark, brother of murdered Stephon Clark, was arrested due to demonstrating bizarre, disturbing behavior indicative of a serious mental health disorder. Mayor Steinberg launched a task force last weekend to recruit volunteer mental health professionals to work in neighborhoods with a high population of black citizens. The Bee ran an expose last October on how Sacramento County hoarded $44 million from in Proposition 63 funds. What has the county done since then? The typical wait time just to get an intake appointment can take three months. And now that a high-profile murder of a black man has set our community on fire, mental health professionals are expected to work for free in low income black communities.
The cost of therapy
“Sacramento mayor calls on mental health workers to volunteer in black communities” (sacbee.com, April 21): Although I appreciate the leadership of Mayor Steinberg, the suggestion that mental health workers volunteer their time to assist black communities is not a sustainable solution. If it is a systemic problem, we need a systemic solution. I currently work at a non-profit as a social worker. I do both individual and group therapy and work largely with formerly homeless people. About half of my caseload for individual therapy is African American. I have a master's degree and make less than $20 per hour, which is typical. Many social workers do not make a living wage. For retired social workers, volunteering may be an option. For most of us, our inferior pay reflects our sacrifice and dedication to the community.
Gail Marie Erlandson, Sacramento
Housing for locals
Re “If the California Legislature can't compromise on housing, rent control is in our future” (sacbee.com, April 18): You lament a Senate committee’s failure to approve SB 827, which would have empowered big developers to build high-rise condos and apartments within a quarter mile of every frequent bus stop, without even providing on-site parking. The bill was being pushed by corporate CEOs who want more housing for the millions of new workers they want to import. Instead of overrunning existing neighborhoods with such high-rises, jobs should be added where there is room for new housing. In that way, employees could walk to work.