“Sacramento County declares homeless shelter crisis. Here’s what that means” (sacbee.com, Oct. 16): The county and city of Sacramento should offer businesses incentives to hire the homeless, including paying for training as well as rehabilitation costs. Don't try to economically drive away successful businesses with socialistic punishments, such as taxes for the homeless the way San Francisco is proposing in November.
“So what if Sacramento declared a ‘shelter crisis’? If homeless people keep dying, blame NIMBYs” (Erika D. Smith, Oct. 22): I agree that Sacramento people need to take action to support our homeless population. A lot of residents will agree that something needs to be done, but will not choose to do it. I regard this sentiment as actively choosing to cripple the homeless population. There is no place to go for homeless people. They live in dangerous and pressuring conditions, which can lead to detrimental behavior. We have to choose to support the homeless population because we, as a community, are responsible for the injustices they suffer each day and the choices they make as a result of those challenging circumstances. The choice of inaction is another way of continuing class inequality. Those who beg to differ are frankly, avoiding the truth. We must move forward with providing the homeless shelter.
Michelle Dela Cruz, Sacramento
Yes on Measure E
“For Folsom, these 3 are the clear picks for City Council” (Endorsements, Oct. 8): I wish to express our disagreement with your support of a “no” vote on Folsom's Measure E. The measure committee finds it impossible to understand your action as it appears that you have endorsed the same type of measures in all surrounding areas. I ask all the Folsom residents to vote for Measure E and prove The Sacramento Bee wrong. Let the people speak.
Vice Mayor of Folsom
Sac City Unified
“Sacramento City Unified has a busted budget. These 3 school board candidates can help” (Endorsements, Oct. 16): Anna Molander is my choice for Sacramento City School Board. She’s been deeply engaged with our schools and understands complex budget issues. She doesn’t quit, and won’t compromise our kids’ education or play favorites. Anna has smart ideas to build long-term budget stability, and the skills to successfully implement them. She’s pushed back when board decisions weren’t good for families, and led a collaborative effort to mitigate the negative impacts of the board’s decision to close seven schools. There’s no better choice for Sacramento City Unified School Board.
“California schools race sets record for most expensive” (sacbee.com, Oct. 23): Although the office of the state Superintendent of Public Instruction has "no legislative authority," that does not mean the holder cannot affect public policy. The superintendent has an ex-officio seat on the UC Board of Regents, and is part of the small group that will determine the direction UC takes in the future. The board is already populated almost entirely by wealthy, big business leaders, and the system has increasingly taken a privatizing, profit-driven turn. Marshall Tuck – a partisan of semi-private, mostly unaccountable charter schools – on the board will strengthen the movement in this direction. Tony Thurmond will advocate for the UC system to fulfill its mission to bring quality, affordable (preferably non-tuition-based) higher education to all qualified state citizens. Your vote for this office does make a difference.
Kathryn A Klar, Richmond
Kanye vs. Taylor
“The tale of Taylor Swift and Kanye West is no ‘Love Story’” (sacbee.com, Oct. 11): Many people are worried that politics and our government system will be “celebrified.” I have similar thoughts, Kanye and Taylor have done certain things in the past that make me question whether they should be taken seriously or not. This matters because they both have huge followings of young people. We should all consider what we choose to listen to because people can always be influenced. Young people don't find it important to vote and they should vote based on their beliefs, not what their favorite artist likes.
Natomas High School
Kids and cannabis
“How California’s new pot regulations put kids at risk” (sacbee.com, Oct. 12): Growing up in Del Paso Heights, I’ve always been aware of what pot was. It can be really bad if small children get a hold of it. Children shouldn’t be exposed because it will not only affect their lungs, but also make then high, which can really bad for development of the brain. I agree with the writer that every individual case of pot given to the community should be child-proofed. Just because we made pot legal in California doesn’t mean we should put our children's lives at risk.
Natomas High School
"California needs a tax system for the new economy" (sacbee.com, Oct. 21): Dan Schnur and Steve Westly are right to call for revisions to California's tax system and propose solid ideas about lowering sales tax rates and applying those more broadly to services and online sales, and cutting tax loopholes. Their proposal to reduce dependence on income taxes and broaden the base of people that pay those taxes, however, is unfortunately regressive and fortunately unnecessary. Instead, the state could apply tax rates to several years of income to smooth out peaks and valleys for high-income individuals. And it could apply lower tax rates to young people just starting out.
Tim Tutt, Sacramento
“Was PG&E right to leave thousands in the dark to prevent wildfires? The jury is still out” (Editorials, Oct. 19): Wildfires are a serious problem in California and most people know that. While there should be more procedures put in place to prevent sparking a fire, PG&E shouldn’t completely cut people’s power to do so. There are other options that will have the same effect. PG&E could temporarily limit power rather than cut it off altogether. This will decrease the inconvenience and possibly save lives, such as in the case of someone who needs a life-support machine. PG&E’s current actions are unfair to customers who are paying for reliable electricity. If you want to limit fires, improve the electric poles sooner rather than later. When there is a fire threat, that’s that. Those paying for service should at least be entitled to limited electricity for emergencies.
‘Public charge’ rule
“California’s family doctors say Trump’s proposed immigration rule threatens public health” (sacbee.com, Oct. 15): The latest proposed “public charge” rule perpetuates a climate of fear that discourages immigrant survivors of domestic violence from seeking critical, life-saving services. It is well-documented that survivors face significant health and safety threats, both acutely and chronically. Survivors depend on access to services like prenatal care through Medicaid, and they rely on health care assistance to treat common medical issues like memory loss, headaches, depression, chronic pain and others. The rule will also result in more costly and inefficient emergency room visits, further impeding survivors’ access to health care. Even our clients who are eligible under the law to waive their fees are hesitant to document the benefits they are receiving out of fear of future consequences. We must provide a bridge to safety and access to health care services so survivors can get back on their feet.
Morgan Weibel, San Bruno
“What happens if you win Mega Millions’ $1.6B jackpot?” (sacbee.com, Oct. 22): A few years ago, the Legislature, in its wisdom, allowed the California State Lottery to participate in multi-state games such as "Powerball" by lowering the state's share of gross bets. Although Mega Millions players will spend $1.6 billion in prizes, that spending will no longer be in California. It will no longer be subject to California income tax. It also represents more than $2 billion that is wasted by primarily poor households on the idiots game rather than being put into the state's economy. The respected Legislative Analyst’s Office notes the lottery supplies less than 1 percent of education funding in California. We might as well buy a ticket for that high speed rail they said was going to open next year.
Thomas Busse, San Francisco