Some say it helps
“Tobacco companies target kids. Will our leaders stand up to them?”(sacbee.com, April 16): I have been a tobacco smoker for over 20 years and have tried everything including smoking cessation. None of it worked. I almost gave up until I came across the Juul, which changed my life. My lungs don’t feel terrible anymore and my smoker’s cough is gone. Even my doctors say my breathing sounds good. I need my mango and creme brulee Juul to keep me away from smoking cigarettes. I hate the taste of tobacco now and need vaping to help me stay on the right path of qutting smoking altogether. Vaping is my step towards eventually being nicotine-free and I am so grateful for Juul to have a product for us adults who struggle with tobacco dependency.
Kids lose now and later
“Sports, gifted programs could face cuts in Sac City Unified budget crisis, board told”(sacbee.com, April 05): By cutting early learning programs from the Sacramento City Unified District, we are doing a disservice to young children and their families. The more exposure children have to early learning programs, the better prepared they will be for their educational experiences moving forward. Early learning programs are designed to help build the foundation for a child’s development. As many early education teachers would likely agree, we teach and build skills for the future. We want the skills learned in early education programs to follow children and continuously build upon them throughout the child’s educational experiences and lives.
“Residents worry about proposal to make Capitol Park Hotel a shelter”(The Sacramento Bee, section 1B, April 22): So, Sacramento City Councilman Steve Hansen has this great idea to solve the problem of homeless people living on the streets in his neighborhood: Use the half-empty Capitol Park Hotel as a homeless shelter. To do this, he will throw out the existing 90 single room occupancy residents. These people are living on Social Security and include seniors and the disabled. No other support exists for them, so they’ve formed self-help groups within the hotel aiding each other. Wait a minute,won’t kicking them out create new homeless people? Hansen says no, they will find new, better places to live somewhere else. Sure, heard that before. That’s why they live there now.
Everyone gets a cut
“Seeking equality for all staff, restaurants changing how they collect tips from customers”(The Sacramento Bee, section 1B, April 23): The work done by every employee at a restaurant contributes to the tip left by customers. Servers should realize this. A spotty glass, soiled or missing flatware, an incomplete order, improperly prepared food, an unwelcoming host or slow service can drive that 20 percent tip down. It’s good that restaurants are insuring those non-server contributors are rewarded. I suggest percentage tip-outs, the precise percentages depending on the particular staffing makeup of the restaurant. Here is a sample for a similarly staffed restaurant: Bar percent, kitchen (includes dishwasher) 15 percent, busser 10 percent, host 5 percent. This leaves the server 60 percent of the table tip. There should be no surcharge for back of the house. Every staff member's effort went towards that tip in the first place and they should share in what the customer decides the service was worth. After working in food service for 42 years, I think this is a good solution.
Let school’s handle it
“Who gets to skip vaccines? California plan would put the state – not doctors – in charge”(sacbee.com, April 23): Schools who are aware of doctors writing multiple medical exemptions should report those doctors to the Medical Board of California for potential disciplinary action. Reports are confidential and there’s no risk to the person reporting as long as no false information is reported. The board should aggressively pursue these doctors the same way that they pursue doctors prescribing opiates inappropriately. Dr. Richard Pan should introduce a bill that would mandate that schools report the number of medical exemptions they receive, with the names of the doctors writing them and how many each doctor writes. No patient information should be included. This would be preferable to having a state public health official make a decision.
Dr. Jack Kashtan ,
End plastic use
“Recycling won’t save us. Let’s phase out the scourge of plastic pollution.”(sacbee.com, April 22): Our addiction to single-use plastic creates a staggering source of waste here in Sacramento and across the state. Recycling alone won't solve this mess. Consumers are already starting to choose more reusable products with less packaging, which is a great way to help at the individual level. However, our state needs to do much more. To produce concrete solutions, California must take bold action to reduce single-use plastic items, including requiring changes to product designs and creating strong incentives for manufacturers to use recycled materials from California. Senate Bill 54 and its companion bill, Assembly Bill 1080, help accomplish the goal to address this pervasive problem. Environment California urges the legislature to pass these measures. These bills bring us closer to our goal of a cleaner, greener and healthier future for California.
Boarded up, but useable
“Homeless shelter proposed for downtown residential hotel”(sacbee.com, April 18): There is a boarded up warehouse on the corner of 16th Street and North B street that looks like it could house several people. I guess bathroom facilities would need to be built as well as individual rooms. It happens to be close to Salvation Army, Volunteers of America and it is also near the light rail. Why don't we look at that as a possible location for the homeless?
Laws won’t change it
“SB 230 is fake deadly force reform. Senate should shelve it in committee”(sacbee.com, April 23): I was a police officer on Long Island, New York. Senate Bill 230 and Assembly Bill 392 won't affect police use of deadly force. You can't legislate or train for those instant human decisions a police officer can encounter while on duty. Fear and confusion while armed is inherent in the job. This doesn't in any way excuse the police killing of an innocent victim, but it’s just the truth that the police aren't much different from most of us.
William J. Hughes, Sacramento