Letters to the Editor

Water protest, assisted suicide, prison reform, performing arts, etc.

People protest outside Nestlé Waters in Sacramento on Wednesday to stop bottling California water during the drought. But what about the water beer makers use?
People protest outside Nestlé Waters in Sacramento on Wednesday to stop bottling California water during the drought. But what about the water beer makers use? rbyer@sacbee.com

What, no protest against beer?

Re “Protest at water bottling plant” (Local News, May 21): Some environmentalism is driven by politics and popularity. Protesting Nestlé plants that bottle California water is easy to get the public’s attention. But I have not seen any concern over another big user of our water, the Anheuser-Busch bottling plant in Fairfield.

Can you imagine an environmentalist telling America that no one should be drinking beer from California?

Jeff Van Slooten, Carmichael

Harm includes allowing suffering

Re “Aid for suicide gets big boost” (Page 1A, May 21): A doctor’s fundamental rule, “First, do no harm,” is still valid, but the medical profession needs to understand that in some cases prolonging a patient’s suffering, even by doing nothing, is inflicting harm.

Steev Schmidt, Sacramento

More prison reforms needed

Re “Brown can savor an accomplishment as crime falls” (Editorials, May 20): It is a mistake to suggest that Gov. Jerry Brown is to thank for California’s lower crime rate and decreasing prison population. Right now he is rapidly pushing forward with plans to build thousands of new prison beds. This doesn’t sound like an accomplishment to savor.

Time and again he has blocked smart ideas to reduce the state prison population from the same communities that have received very little funding to support re-entry but have been the primary sources supporting people when they return home from prison or jail.

Doesn’t it seem odd to build more prisons when crime is down? We need a realistic plan that closes decaying prisons and redirects funds toward a plan that includes aggressive parole and sentencing reforms.

Diana Zuniga, Inglewood

The big lies about Iraq invasion

Re “Question remains: Would Bush still have invaded in 2003?” (Page 6A, May 17): It’s odd that The New York Times article makes no mention of the Bush administration’s obsession to make a connection between Iraq and 9/11.

Richard Clarke, the former lead counterterrorism adviser for the National Security Council, testified before Congress that after the 9/11 attacks, Vice President Dick Cheney, “Scooter” Libby and Donald Rumsfeld would haunt the halls of the CIA demanding they produce evidence of Iraqi officials meeting with lead hijacker Mohamed Atta. None could be found. They kept pushing for a connection using their own sources that were being paid by the Bush team for information that was bogus.

They lied repeatedly to invade Iraq, so the answer to the question in the headline obviously is “Yes.”

Harry Cowan, Mount Aukum

Other performing arts coverage

Re “Sacramento Ballet halts season, lays off dancers” (Page 1A, May 20): Like many readers, I am saddened to hear about the halt to the Sacramento Ballet’s season, and particularly the dancers who have been laid off after working so hard. I find it very curious that The Sacramento Bee publishes articles regarding the negative side of the performing arts (i.e., Sacramento Ballet, Sacramento Philharmonic) but does not cover the successful and financially solvent groups such as the Sacramento Choral Society & Orchestra.

The SCSO is very financially solvent and is the only group to create its own CDs and travel around the world as Sacramento’s cultural ambassadors. They performed at the Vatican two years ago, and in two months will represent Sacramento at Notre Dame in Paris; the American Cemetery and Memorial in Normandy, France; and St. Paul’s in London, all self-funded.

Doug Wagemann, Sacramento

A one-horse town?

It is fine to have a new downtown arena for sports, but if athletics is the only game in town, we remain just provincial “Sacratomato.” The City Council, the mayor and the citizens of Sacramento must realize that a vital destination city needs to develop, promote, support and fund the arts.

Elizabeth Pataki, Sacramento

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