Fight fire with financing
“Build to Survive: Homes in California’s burn zones must adopt fire-safe code” (sacbee.com, April 21): The Sacramento Bee’s Editorial Board hit the mark by highlighting the important issue of hardening of homes in high fire-threat areas to better defend against the threat of wildfire. The challenge is: how? For many Californians who live in fire-prone regions, taking out loans or using high-interest credit cards to pay for fire-safe property improvements is not an option. Last year, the state enacted the Wildfire Safety Finance Act, which allows homeowners to use Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs for long-term financing of wildfire resiliency retrofits. As president of a company that administers PACE financing, I appreciate state leaders acknowledging the need for innovative solutions to support resiliency efforts. It will take all available tools and resources to confront the ever-growing wildfire risk.
Blast from the past
“$4 gas is back: 20-cent jump sends California gas prices to highest in nation” (sacbee.com, April 17): In 2012, Donald Trump tweeted this line: "Gas prices are about to hit a record high during the Labor Day weekend. @BarackObama could have stopped this." Oh? So, with that long-forgotten tweet, is it still Trump's view that the president can call off the oil money mongers? Can he make it so that all Americans, especially Californians, get some relief from the high gas prices? I don't think so. It was just another delusional claim by Trump.
“Update: Luke Walton lawyer blasts Kelli Tennant sexual assault charge. Won’t ‘pay them a dime.” (sacbee.com, April 24): It appears to be the right time for Kelli Tennant to achieve some semblance of emotional and financial balance for her accusation of Luke Walton's sexual assault. His 2014 market value as assistant head temporary coach for a team with such massive talent that didn't need any special coaching to win was likely low. The Kings fans and players deserve an unencumbered team and coach to take this organization out of the twilight and into the bright sunlight. This situation needs to be dealt with fairly for both sides, but also openly, honestly and quickly.
Don’t ruin a good thing
“Capitol Mall needs help, planners and lawmakers say. Here are the changes in the works” (sacbee.com, April 29): Sacramento’s civil engineers apparently don’t understand that the Capitol Mall is not just some city street. It's a classical mall leading to our state's capitol. It’s a monumental, tree-lined grassy area, like the National Mall in Washington, leading to our nation’s capitol. Now, they want to spend millions to change it into a version of the failed K Street Mall, paving it over with two lanes down the center, wide sidewalks on either side scattered with trees, eliminating the monumental view to the state’s capitol building and destroying the existing mall’s use for festivals and rallies. If they want to do something, beautify it further. Improve what it is, don’t destroy it.
It’s about survival, not politics
“Climate change looms over Trump infrastructure meeting with Democrats” (sacbee.com, April 29): I believe that climate change is a nonpartisan issue. It is about the future lives of all Americans. There is no counter-argument to the fact that where we stand with our environment is increasingly getting worse. Yes, it is true that long-term plans for our nation’s infrastructure is necessary. Our climate problem has been a sleeping giant, and we’re only just now starting to see the effects of this in our country and around the world. Hopefully this can lead to a future where we can find more bipartisanship within our politics.
Tune up the DMV
“Get a speeding ticket? California traffic schools are gaming the DMV to get your business” (sacbee.com, April 30): With traffic schools growing in popularity, drivers face a double edge sword. The ability to mitigate one’s minor driving offense by going to a traffic school rather than the Department of Motor Vehicles provides the best benefits for the consumers. Competition will force the DMV to revise their policy and customer care throughout California. The Transportation Committee should be responsible and report licensed traffic schools to reduce the amount of fraudulent businesses. In addition, the state will lose some of its funding by these institutions, which they will likely counter by placing higher taxes on them.
Coverage for donors
“Kidney donors save lives. They deserve job protection and access to insurance” (sacbee.com, May 01): Life insurance companies support the amended living organ donation bill in the California Legislature to ensure kidney donors’ maintain full access to products offering financial and retirement security. The amended bill would not allow a life insurer to make a decision on coverage or its cost solely based on the status of an applicant as a living organ donor. The fact is, life insurers use a variety of factors when assessing applicants who are seeking a policy, and by law must employ sound actuarial principles throughout the entire underwriting process. Life insurance companies want coverage to be as affordable and accessible as possible for everyone. It helps explain why 93 percent of applicants receive a policy from the first company they visit. It also helps explain why they support AB 1223.
President & CEO,
Association of California Life and Health Insurance Companies,