“The mayor has a plan to fix Sacramento’s housing crisis. If this happens, it could actually work” (Editorials, July 16): Like many in Sacramento, my family is concerned about the effect rising rents are having on our region. We live in the Pocket area and our rent has gone up almost $500 in the last two years. One of us is disabled and we are both on fixed incomes. Although we are already in the process of looking for other housing, the difficulties we have had trying to find an accessible place to live have made our search nearly impossible. We will likely be priced out of our apartment very soon and we do not know where to turn for help. We are left wondering if there is anywhere else to turn for assistance.
Dylan Stute, Sacramento
Changes to zoning
As the debate on affordable housing heats up, the biggest step toward a solution has gotten insufficient attention. Sacramento, like many cities, has residential neighborhoods “commonly zoned” for low density. This zoning designation is “R-1” for single-family residential. Development in these zones is limited to detached, single-family homes. With the housing crisis, R-1 takes on a darker meaning: reserved, for 1st-class citizens only. Sacramento has pyramidal zoning. Want to build a mansion in a mixed-use or high-density zone? Single-family homes are allowed with few restrictions. See the perfect spot for a small apartment complex in an R-1 zone? Sacramento is saving that spot for somebody who matters. It's past time for lawmakers across California to commit to reforming zoning for efficient access to housing and transportation. Europe and Japan provide examples of more liberal urban planning and the benefits it could bring to the people and economy of the state.
Joseph Galamba, Davis
Addicted to taxes
“Why California business leaders are fighting to save the gas tax increase” (sacbee.com, July 16): I am a small businessman who's business depends on using the roads, and I am going to vote to repeal the gas tax. Here's why: California has long been like an addicted family member. Multiple times, we have given them money on the promise that they will “get clean” and multiple times, the addict has spent the money on things that were expedient instead of useful. Well, I won't do it again. This state needs to hit bottom. That is why I will vote to repeal and then move my business, family and our tax money to a state with a part-time Legislature that actually spends earmarked funds on what they are supposed to be spent on. I am done with the lies.
Brian Bainter, Elk Grove
More than words
“‘He doesn’t have a filter.’ Dixon vice mayor has a history of offending readers” (sacbee.com, July 14):I was a 7th grade teacher for 36 years. During that time, at different school districts where I taught, two children killed themselves because they were gay. Later, a young who had been a student of mine was killed in a gay bashing incident while still in his 20s. The Bee is mistaken, Vice Mayor Hickman is not offensive. He is deadly.
Mike Kelley, Sacramento
“Want more reasons for police reform in California? How about 172 civilian deaths” (Editorials, July ): This editorial is only one side. We also need citizen reform. There are too many people putting themselves in situations in which they are under the influence of alcohol and illegal drugs. They are making very poor decisions, disobeying police commands, running from police on foot, getting into car chases or fighting with police. If citizens would take responsibility for their actions, those encounters with police wouldn’t escalate. People need to start using common sense.
Steven L Warner, Elk Grove
No on Prop. 3
“The Valley floor is sinking, and it’s crippling California’s ability to deliver water” (sacbee.com, July 13): Californians should not pay to repair a federal canal that provides water to rich agricultural interests. The farmers who overpumped the groundwater, or those who receive the water from the canal, should cover the repairs instead of getting a bailout from taxpayers. Proposition 3 is a bad deal for all Californians. This bond measure robs the people to provide millions in profit to those who are funding the bond measure campaign, and lacks any real oversight protection. The math doesn’t add up. If the Friant-Kern Canal repairs will cost approximately $350 million, why will the initiative give the agency $750 million? California has serious water issues, including drinking water for those who can’t access it. We should work collaboratively on a smaller, targeted measure that addresses public problems rather than line the pockets of campaign contributors.
chair, Sierra Club California Executive Committee,
Helping state parks
“California state parks are on the comeback trail” (sacbee.com, July 13): All Californians deserve access to the natural, historical and cultural treasures our state parks offer. But as Stephen and Caryl wrote, the Department of Parks and Recreation needs partners. With 280 parks and nearly 57 million visitors, our state parks system is huge and its needs great. At California State Parks Foundation, our members, advocates and volunteers know that parks need a community of dedicated supporters to thrive. We’ve partnered with the department and nonprofit park operators to keep parks open, support needs on the ground, use our voice to improve the system and work to ensure everyone has access. California’s population has doubled since our founding in 1969. After nearly 50 years as the only statewide nonprofit for our state parks, it’s time for collective support for these precious parks to double, too. Welcome, Parks California. We’re ready to work together to give Californians the best parks possible.
California State Parks Foundation, Sacramento