Thank you, Gov. Newsom
“Gavin Newsom apologizes on California’s behalf to native tribes for slaughter of ancestors” (sacbee.com, June 18): As the leader of a Native American tribe in a rural area of northern California, I am thankful Gov. Newsom has recognized, and apologized for, the horrific injustices imposed upon our ancestors by the State of California. Tribes still struggle with the negative impacts caused by the hostile actions of governments.The governor’s actions represent some of the first positive steps toward healing our collective wounds. We’re hopeful other elected and appointed officials will follow suit by including tribes in important policy discussions that impact us, our economies and our way of life. Tribes contribute much to the economy and fabric of California but are often forgotten. I’d be happy to assist ensuring tribal interests are thoughtfully engaged in the best interest of all Californians. I am appreciative of this thoughtful and brave step moving tribal-state relations into a new era of cooperation and mutual benefit.
Why is Regional Transit so expensive for residents?
“Sacramento students will get free transit rides for one year. Here’s how to get your pass” (sacbee.com, June 13): What is it with Regional Transit and fares? State workers pay $10 a month. College students pay $6. School kids will be riding for free. Residents and taxpayers pay $110! Only New York City’s month passes are more expensive. This decision is not good for riders or Regional Transit. School traffic is part of the double-peak when workers and kids travel at the same time. SacRT Forward’s new bus network, in which capacity is being redirected from peak hours to evenings and weekends, will roll out just as kids will swamp the buses and there will be fewer morning trips. RT has never been good at matching its fares to its network. Until recently transfers were not provided in a network that forced you to transfer to light rail. Why can’t we follow Salt Lake City’s lead and allow group travel on weekends and evenings with discounted group passes?
Smokey is the only true fire mascot
“Meet Cal Fire’s new ax-carrying, big-pawed, high-fivin’ mascot: Captain Cal” (sacbee.com, June 18): Cal Fire’s new mountain lion mascot defies logic. It has no connection with wildfire prevention. Apparently, Cal Fire managers believe Smokey the Bear is no longer relevant, or is only the US Forest Service’s mascot. This is nonsense and ignores Cal Fire’s past actions as a member of the National Association of State Foresters. As one of the world’s most recognizable characters, Smokey’s image is protected by US federal law and is administered by the USDA Forest Service, the National Association of State Foresters and the Ad Council. Smokey’s message is as relevant today as it was when created in 1944. Smoky the Bear is used nationwide by other state and federal fire agencies and should remain the sole universally recognized symbol of wildfire prevention.
Gov. Newsom needs to get back to the housing shortage
“$4 billion in state government construction getting underway in Sacramento” (sacbee.com, June 17): Here we go again. The new Governor and Legislature said their primary concern this year was The “housing shortage” in California. They talk alot about it, but have now put it on the back burner. Of course they have no trouble getting approvals and starting $4 billion worth of state buildings! But they can’t find a way to reduce the cost and time for permitting to lower the cost of new housing in the state.
We need to focus on building credit, not destroying it
“Limiting interest rates on loans for poor will only create more problems” (sacbee.com, June 14): California’s legislature is grappling with small dollar lending and the authors of this effort are trying to strike a balance between ensuring adequate consumer protections while allowing for a statutory environment for these lenders to operate. Federal regulators recently acknowledged current regulations discourage banks from offering small dollar loans and are reconsidering their policies to allow banks to offer solutions. We applaud efforts by Assemblymembers Limon and Grayson to advance a measure that adopts safeguards that prevent consumers from getting stuck in a spiraling debt trap. Pursuing reforms where these borrowers can build credit, and have the future opportunity to consider mainstream financial products, is positive public policy.
Stephen G. Andrews
Praise to the Volunteers of America
“Major homeless nonprofit plans to close 90-bed shelter after loss of state funding” (sacbee.com, June 20): The Volunteers of America programs at Mather are a shining example of what our community should be doing to address homelessness. They shelter the homeless, then rehabilitate and return their clients into housing as useful, productive members of society. The success rate in their programs is unprecedented. Our governmental agencies should channel the resources necessary to avoid closing any of their programs down. I also suggest that corporate and individual donors make the effort to discover what VOA is doing at Mather. It is a hidden jewel of success in combating homelessness that the community can be proud of.