Letters to the Editor

Family leave, cop cams, Delta tunnels, women artists

A bill by state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, would strengthen California’s paid family leave program.
A bill by state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, would strengthen California’s paid family leave program. The Associated Press

Family leave hurts small business

Re “Fix California’s paid family leave for Mother’s Day” (Editorials, May 10: Obviously state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson has never tried to run a small business. Her career has been in some form of government. In the real world, businesses need to make a profit to exist. It’s that simple.

We run a small service-oriented business. Each person in our firm generates a portion of the income that keeps the doors open. The profit margin is relatively small. When an income-generating member of the firm takes four months off for paid family leave, it is devastating for the firm finances.

Life is full of trade-offs. Sometimes it is important to be home. Maybe that new car, new TV, iPhone 6 or bigger home is not as important as being home with the family. Individuals should plan and manage their lives accordingly. The burden of financing family time should not fall on employers.

James W. Rushford,


The need for police body cameras

Re “Rushing to pass body cam bill was bad policy” (Another View, May 10): Using body cameras to give a cop’s-eye view of confrontations could help police and the public: With the current situation in Baltimore so chaotic, people are looking for an answer as to how we can ease the tension between police and citizens.

Many people at this time feel police are not being held accountable for their actions and are able to do as they please. Minority groups are feeling singled out by police, and the numbers seem to prove their point. Body cameras on police officers have already been implemented in some cities, and we can see a drop in the number of complaints placed against officers as well as the use of force. Body cameras are our only way to ensure our police are doing what they swore to do – to serve and protect.

Robert Anthony Perez,


Time to say ‘no’ to twin tunnels

Re “Gloves come off in Delta fight” (Forum, May 10): Dan Morain’s disjointed column on the Delta tunnels explored Gov. Jerry Brown’s mind and came up with nothing. That was predictable. But at the end, he writes: “Perhaps the tunnels are the best solution for the Delta and California’s 39 million residents.”

Obviously he still can’t let go of his fixation on the tunnels. Other Northern California newspapers have editorialized against the tunnels, but Morain can’t bring himself to face the facts: The tunnels can’t solve the drought because they can’t make new water. Hello? Dan? It’s OK to be against the tunnels.

Burt Wilson, Sacramento

Pipe dream in the Delta

Before Gov. Jerry Brown pursues his pipe dream of building tunnels to send Delta water south, he should try to figure out where that water is going to come from. This is certainly putting the cart before the horse.

Currently our three major reservoirs are at their lowest levels in many years. Since the last major dam was built, the population in this state has doubled and yet nothing has been done to increase our water storage. You can only conserve so much.

Instead of kowtowing to the unions and special-interest groups in the south, Brown and the legislators should be looking to create more water storage. Then they can consider sending water south.

Richard Gemignani,

Walnut Grove

Stop sending water to China

According to the National Geographic, California sends a lot of water to China by way of alfalfa exports. National Geographic reports that alfalfa is California’s largest agricultural water user and the amount of water used for growing alfalfa would supply 800,000 households.

California can’t control world economics, but it can stop subsidizing the farmers who have made the U.S. into a net exporter of its water. Households should pay a low rate per occupant for basic, stingy water use, then pay on a steeply rising curve for all excess. Crops matter more than lawns. We can always subsidize milk, like the Chinese do, if market economics drives up its cost.

Mary Ann Bernard,


Legislature, governor cowardly

Cowardly is the most apt term for describing the behavior of the governor and Legislature in dealing with agricultural interests and the oil industry. About 80 percent of our developed water supply is used by farming and ranching interests. Yet there has been no urgent, substantive move to control or limit water used for agriculture.

Additionally, there are thousands of wells around the state, and no one really knows how much water is being pumped out of the ground. This pumping needs to be regulated and controlled now. The state needs the power to order cutbacks in drilling and pumping.

The pumping of wastewater from fracking back into the ground also has to be very carefully examined, as it could contaminate our scarce groundwater.

The agricultural and petroleum interests are very powerful, much more powerful than hapless homeowners facing draconian cutbacks.

Stan Jones, Sacramento

Our daughters are worth it

Re “Take aim at a bigger legacy” (Forum, April 26): Let us have a vision of this being more than a downtown arena that has a sculpture of something that looks like a pig and balloon. Let us have a vision of something great that we can be proud of that will last centuries; let us have a vision of all women laughing centuries from now about how funny it was that women artists weren’t treated equally and something called a downtown arena started it all. Let us grace the grounds, the buildings, the concessions, the billboards, expensive box seats and anything else that will remind us that our daughters are movers and shakers that make history. All women artists that encompass the globe should be invited to this conversation.

Georgia Graham, Sacramento

Ohman the new Dave Barry

Re “Dealing with the drought, but dreaming about water” (Forum, Jack Ohman, May 10): Keep up the good work, Jack. You are going a long way to making me miss Dave Barry less and less.

Mary Anne Kirchner,