Letters to the Editor

Letters: America is nothing like war zones

This isn’t a war zone

“Living in a war zone felt safer than living here now” (sacbee.com, June 8): I live near several schools and parks. When I drive by them I never see people living in fear. The kids play freely on the school grounds. The parks, often with many women and kids having a good time, show no signs of concern. Alarmists like Haykeen are stirring up unnecessary concern. Gun violence is not acceptable and every incident and death is a tragedy. But the truth is that, of those killed by guns, more than half are suicides. People who will likely find another way to kill themselves if they have no gun. In fact, drugs are used far more often than guns in suicide. The number killed by guns also includes accidental deaths. While mass shootings must be stopped, it does no good to mislead by manipulating facts and to spread unnecessary fear. It only makes it harder to solve.

Michael Lamb,

Sacramento

Vote on interest loans and fees

“Bill to cap interest on loans” (sacbee.com, June 12): In a state that wants to give illegals free everything, it’s beyond comprehension how a politician from either party could not vote to cap payday interest loans and fees. These loans redefine the phrase “kicking a person when they’re down” and disregard for the biblical admonishment against usury. This is another example of why politicians are human garbage . Wake up poor and middle class, you are always the ones who get screwed by taxes and fees.

Paul Reid,

Sacramento

Autonomous minibuses? Nope

“It’s time for public transportation to harness private sector innovation” (sacbee.com, June 5): The idea of autonomous minibuses showing up when they choose only to be stuck in the same traffic jams as everyone else is not appealing to me. Getting to work, school or doctors appointments requires having a fixed schedule. It is much cheaper to buy bigger, more efficient buses than a fleet of minibuses. Instead, connecting from a scheduled local bus to a fast train or express bus is better than what any smart minibus stuck in traffic can ever manage. The economics of this does not add up. There is no way that a flotilla of smaller minibuses could avoid the up-front costs of a fleet of much more efficient larger buses. When the elite propose solutions as inefficient and pricey as “smaller, smarter, autonomous minibuses,” you can be sure that, like any luxury good, it will be reserved for those with the means to afford inefficiency.

Benjamin Etgen,

Sacramento

An unjust punishment for the wealthy

“Disgraced Stanford coach gets house arrest, fines in college admissions scandal” (sacbee.com, June 12): The headline should have read “Stanford coach gets off with a slap on the wrist.” Coach John Vandemoer took over $100,000 in illegal bribes from two wealthy families to sneak their unqualified children through the back door into Stanford. The judge fined him just $10,000 and gave him six months of “detention” at home. Looks to me like crime does pay quite well since I’d gladly accept a $100,000 bribe and pay just 10 percent as a penalty. The fine should have been at least five or 10 times the bribes taken. Make it hurt. The same is true for the fines for Lori Loughlin and Singer’s other wealthy clients who paid the bribes in the first place. Don’t send them to jail at our expense - just hit them real hard in the pocketbook.

Chris Smith,

Sacramento

We need good teachers

“Sacramento city schools could save millions on teachers’ health care. Will union play ball?” (sacbee.com June 4): A state takeover of the Sacramento City Unified School District is feeling increasingly inevitable. The district has no choice but to cut important programs and many jobs in order to try and avoid the inevitable. Meanwhile, our teachers continue to fight for not only their rights, but also their students’ right to an education. The negotiation between the teachers union and the district on the teachers’ healthcare is an important one. Teachers have been paid far too little for far too long. Good benefits like healthcare are partially what keeps the profession alive. On top of school resources, students need dedicated teachers in order to thrive throughout their education. And we need our students to thrive. Otherwise we are setting up a generation of young adults to fail in the job market and economy.

Megan Lepage,

Sacramento

We need to do something about our water

“Toxic drinking water is a public health crisis. Here’s a path to urgent action” (sacbee.com June 4): There is no argument with The Bee’s editorial that it is time to fix California’s toxic taps crisis. That’s why community, health, labor and business organizations and families living with contaminated water have come together to support the establishment of legislation to create a sustainable Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund. But we need to make sure that these funds will be in place for years to come. The projects in the Valley required to ensure that one million Californians who do not currently have access to clean water can drink from their taps are costly, and the need is great. We agree: the Legislature can no longer punt on this issue. The governor and State Legislature must have the courage to agree to a sustainable solution in this year’s budget.

Jennifer Clary,

Oakland

The zoo should stay where it is

“Sacramento has real problems to solve. A new $150 million zoo is not one of them” (sacbee.com, June 1): It breaks my heart to think anyone would move the zoo from it’s current location in Land Park. An update would be refreshing, but to take the zoo away from Fairytale Town and Funderland would so deplete the park of one of the most awesome places to take young kids in all of Sacramento. It’s all there, in one festive corner of the park. All within walking distance to each other. Sacramento has a “boutique zoo.” If someone wants to go to a major super impressive zoo, they should go to San Diego.

Mary Reed,

Sacramento

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