Letters to the Editor

Streetcar vote, tax credit, hash oil labs, climate change

Portland’s streetcar runs through downtown, from Nob Hill to the Willamette River at RiverPlace, on a loop of track that shares the street with cars and people in Portland, Ore.
Portland’s streetcar runs through downtown, from Nob Hill to the Willamette River at RiverPlace, on a loop of track that shares the street with cars and people in Portland, Ore. The Seattle Times

Flexible buses, not streetcars

Re “Streetcar voters lack vision of a rising city” (Local, Marcos Breton, June 7): Marcos Breton’s theory that the fear of passing on tax increases to renters is the rationale for rejecting the Sacramento-West Sacramento streetcar line apparently ignores more practical reasons. Perhaps voters considered these reasons:

Financing interest-bearing bonds – $30 million for a financing district and $7 million for Sacramento – and future subsidies could be a deterrent. Isn’t Sacramento already projecting a $2 million-plus deficit?

Wouldn’t it be quicker, easier, less expensive and more flexible to add/change bus routes to service the area? Aren’t bus routes more adaptable than fixed streetcar lines to service growth areas? Properly designed bus routes are excellent for moving people short distances. We used them last year in Chicago, Boston and Baltimore.

Why would it be easier to keep a streetcar line cleaner and safer than the current rapid transit system?

Ron W. Loutzenhiser, Galt

A streetcar named disaster

As usual, Marcos Breton attacks those who don’t agree with him rather than their ideas.

I speak from experience in North Sacramento about the failure of light rail going through our community. None of the political promises happened. During the long construction, many businesses failed from lack of parking and obstruction caused by construction. New businesses, offices and apartments that light rail was supposed to make happen never materialized. What would a trolley do to businesses along its route in the central city?

Why would anyone take light rail from the suburbs and then take a trolley to West Sac to go to a baseball game?

Why go through this incredible expense to put in a permanent system on rails? Just operate a fleet of electric buses that look like trolleys, and the city would have all the flexibility anyone could ever want.

Kenneth Lauszus,


Earned-income tax credit helps

Re “A bipartisan way to help working families” (Viewpoints, June 3): Growing up as one of six siblings and now as a working mother of four teenagers, I know how much money it takes to support a family. Unfortunately, the dollar doesn’t seem to go as far as it used to, and sometimes it feels like you can’t catch a break.

As Sen. Andy Vidak says in his op-ed, a state earned-income tax credit would be a big help, keeping more money in their pockets to provide for their families. The EITC rewards work and would especially benefit the struggling working single mothers in our communities. For them, a couple hundred dollars each tax season would go a long way.

I’m glad to see lawmakers agree on a program to help lift hardworking families out of poverty and look forward to more bipartisan support of hardworking Californians.

Jackie Jang, Carmichael

Revive bill on hash oil labs

Re “Hash oil burns are exploding danger” (Page 1A, June 7): Hudson Sangree’s article underscores the need to crack down on illegal hash oil labs.

These labs are ticking time bombs that could maim or kill not just the hash oil makers, but anyone in close proximity to them, including children. Hash oil lab explosions across California over the last three years have injured 10 children and left one dead.

That is why I authored Senate Bill 305 earlier this year that would add a penalty enhancement against those who manufacture butane hash oil in the presence of children. It also would allow prosecutors to seek further enhancements when a child suffers great bodily injury.

Even with broad law enforcement support, the Senate Appropriations Committee held SB 305 in May. The Sacramento Bee article emphasizes the need for the Legislature to act without delay.

Sen. Patricia C. Bates,

R-Laguna Niguel

Listening and thinking

Re “California keeps talking climate change – but who’s listening?” (Insight, June 8): We were told the spotted owl was on the edge of extinction until the logging industry was destroyed. The ozone hole in the atmosphere was going to create an epidemic of skin cancer until freon was banned in the U.S. Are we to think these problems just went away after laws were passed? Were they ever real problems?

I believe we have been led astray by our politicians and news media. Carbon tax? Solar rebates on systems that only last 20 years? Some people won’t be happy until we are living in mud huts and riding ox carts. If we start now, we can build spaceships to save the believers and telephone sanitizers from our dying planet. The rest of us will follow later, I promise.

David Brown, Sacramento


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