Letters to the Editor

Budget vote, fresh food, renewable energy, vaccinations, etc.

In a 6-3 vote, the Sacramento City Council endorsed a budget that spends more than $6.9 million more than the city manager’s proposed plan and includes five additional employees for Mayor Kevin Johnson.
In a 6-3 vote, the Sacramento City Council endorsed a budget that spends more than $6.9 million more than the city manager’s proposed plan and includes five additional employees for Mayor Kevin Johnson. rbenton@sacbee.com

Shame on theCity Council

Re “Mayor wins budget vote that bolsters his office” (Page 1A, May 28): The six members of the Sacramento City Council who approved a budget that will eventually lead to a deficit by fiscal year 2016-17 should be ashamed. I voted for Measure U as a temporary increase to ensure that the city could return to fiscal balance.

Do these council members not understand that you do not fund long-term commitments with temporary money? I do approve of spending for an additional firetruck and ambulance for Natomas as those residents have been paying for this service. However, using temporary money to fund staff positions will ultimately result in layoffs when the city incurs another round of deficits.

To fund five additional positions for the mayor at a cost of $700,000 disrespects the voters who disapproved the strong-mayor proposal last fall. Thank you to council members who had the courage to vote no.

Sharon-Jane Matthews, Sacramento

Fresh food should taste good

Re “Put more fresh food on the dinner table for poor families” (Viewpoints, May 27): Every day or so there is a call for increasing the availability of fresh food for poor families – from politicians, educators and others. Suppose by some sort of magical thinking, we could actually get that healthy, fresh produce onto the dinner tables of the poor. The dirty little secret about most so-called fresh food in the U.S. is that it is about as tasteless as the plastic bag you put it in.

Small organic farmers could not possibly supply the need, nor could they get their products to most buyers. And most of us can’t grow our own food. Big Ag gives us produce that looks amazingly like cantaloupes, avocados, peaches, pears, tomatoes, asparagus, etc., but tastes like nothing. Anyone who has shopped for produce and cheese and chicken in, say, France, can tell you how fresh food should taste. But most of us have to shop here, in supermarkets.

Margaret Cardoza,

Sacramento

Another renewable energy resource

Re “Geothermal is key to clean energy future” (Viewpoints, May 22): As California moves to 50 percent renewable energy by 2030, we agree that geothermal will play an important role, and that reliability and affordable rates are paramount. However, the op-ed implies that geothermal is the only renewable source that helps achieve a balanced and stable portfolio.

The reality today is that wind and solar energy are producing more than 10 percent of California’s electricity, which is being reliably integrated onto the power system using tools that grid operators have used for decades to address sudden failures at conventional power plants and changes in electricity demand.

As we move forward, the wind industry supports a transparent and proper valuation of all energy attributes to competitively select a cost-effective and reliable portfolio of renewable energy resources.

Nancy Rader, Berkeley

executive director, CalWEA

How do physicians manage their end?

Re “Doctors must not aid suicide” (Viewpoints, May 26): During my medical career, which including training that spanned well over 40 years, I have had the opportunity to visit long-term care facilities in which I asked staff, “Have you ever had a doctor here as a resident?” And the responses were invariably in the negative. And I have asked many people, “Have you ever seen a doctor in the end stages of a chronic illness such as diabetes or pulmonary disease or heart disease?” with the same results. While I don’t have a proper scientific study, these simple observations force me to wonder if physicians make their end-of-life plans well in advance, and if there is a useful lesson there for the rest of us.

Dr. Alfred P French, Roseville

Autism studies prove flawed

Re “Parents are right to have doubts on vaccinations” (Viewpoints, May 26): I thought Elizabeth Bell’s strongest point against required vaccinations was that “A study by Stony Brook University Medical Center in New York found that newborn boys vaccinated for hepatitis B had three times the odds for autism compared to boys who weren’t vaccinated or were vaccinated after the first month.” I looked up the study and found four reviews showing how flawed it was. They’re listed at http://tinyurl.com/l3cqu93. The lie about the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suppressing evidence about the MMR vaccine and autism in African American boys was exposed long ago at Snopes.com: http://www.snopes.com/medical/disease/cdcwhistleblower.asp. Surely The Sacramento Bee can find a more thorough researcher to defend the anti-vaccination position.

Robert Todd Carroll, Davis

Hope vaccination bill fails

Finally, a published viewpoint in The Sacramento Bee that brings more balanced information concerning the vaccination issue. Elizabeth Bell has done her due diligence and brings up some very compelling evidence that vaccinations are not totally safe as has been reported in the past.

As a grandmother with another grandbaby on the way, I pray this bill fails, and we stop giving away our energy to fear campaigns that serve powerful corporations that have unlimited resources to push through their agendas.

Sandy Penley, Gold River

Dangerous liaisons

Re “Marriage equality victory in Ireland” (Letters, May 26): Upon seeing the headline one might have mistakenly thought that the impossible had happened; that the local Protestant and Catholic parishes had both announced they were now amenable to interfaith marriages.

James McCandless, Roseville

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