Letters to the Editor

Tobacco money, air bag recall, oil spill, etc.

Patriot Environmental Services employees bag oil-contaminated sand on the shoreline at Refugio State Beach near Santa Barbara last week.
Patriot Environmental Services employees bag oil-contaminated sand on the shoreline at Refugio State Beach near Santa Barbara last week. Los Angeles Times

Does not take tobacco money

Re “Legislators must break tobacco money addiction” (Viewpoints, May 19): In the commentary by Jim Knox of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, I was mentioned as accepting campaign funds from a tobacco company. My campaign does not and will not accept funds from tobacco companies. This is a policy I had in place during my campaign last year and one I continue to follow.

Recently, a tobacco company made a contribution under the name Altria. The check was mistakenly deposited, but per my policy, the contribution was flagged and returned, just as I have returned checks from other tobacco companies.

Assemblywoman Catharine Baker, Dublin

Head restraints would save lives

Re “34 million vehicles join air bag recall” (Business, May 20): The federal government’s action to recall Takata airbags will save lives. Many more lives would be saved and injuries avoided if the government required automakers to provide adequate head restraints for every vehicle passenger.

Currently, you can buy many GM vehicles with 4G wireless service for all passengers. However, you do not have the option to purchase life-saving head restraints for all passengers. Thousands die every year, and millions of lives are at risk every day, because automakers refuse to allow customers to purchase adequate head restraints for all passengers.

David Lerman, Berkeley

Reconsider assisted suicide

Re “Doctors group goes neutral on assisted suicide” (Editorials, May 21): Attitudes can change slowly for the worse. Recently a Pew survey on religion found that our nation is struggling to retain its Christian identity. We are more deeply divided among those with faith and those who have no faith. Now the California Medical Association seems to be washing its hands of the Hippocratic oath. The editorial indicates this is for the better. Doesn’t a lack of faith predispose one to assisted suicide?

We need to consider the consequences of causing our own death and making others an accessory. We need to discover the value of suffering at the end of life.

Richard Connors, Sacramento

Delusional about oil problems

Re “Santa Barbara spill underscores need to quit oil” (Editorials, May 22): What frightens me most is not the oil spill at Refugio State Beach, but the editorial board at The Sacramento Bee. I do not want to live in its world.

If everyone bought an electric car tomorrow, there would not be enough electricity to power them. The board is against nuclear power, coal-fired generation, oil-fired generation and new dams. How about you just ride your bikes, drive your Priuses and leave the rest of us alone.

The oil problem you fear is a self-curing problem. We will run out of oil, technology will step in and make new ways to produce energy. You just need to sit in your air-conditioned office and write about something important like Governor Moonbeam’s train to nowhere.

Dale Scribner, Sacramento

Trans-Pacific T-shirt, anyone?

Re “A good deal for farmers, waterfowl” (Viewpoints, May 21): Thanks for showing how increased exports of rice under the Trans-Pacific Partnership won’t mean exporting more water. Speaking of benefits, we still have some T-shirts left over from last month’s TPP rally. They say “Support the Trans-Pacific Partnership” on the front; on the back is a picture of a middle-class American eating garbage out of a dumpster, captioned, “Hunger: the Great Motivator!”

To get your T-shirt, go to OutsourceMyFamily. All donations go to the American Enterprise Institute and the Chicago School of Economics.

David Barrett, Sacramento


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