Letters to the Editor

Stronger arts, death penalty, inspiring woman, conservative icons, etc.

The Sacramento Ballet and other arts groups struggle to survive on ticket sales, while they beg and plead for individuals to give what they can.
The Sacramento Ballet and other arts groups struggle to survive on ticket sales, while they beg and plead for individuals to give what they can. mcrisostomo@sacbee.com

Working together will strengthen arts

Re “We must stop starving the arts” (Editorials, June 14): As chair of the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission, I applaud The Sacramento Bee’s editorial. Private sector funding and audiences are critical to establishing and nurturing a healthy art community, but they are only two components. Jobs for artists, a strong commercial art scene, arts writers and critics, higher education institutions with strong arts programs, venues for artists to show and perform their work, arts education programs in schools and affordable working spaces for artists are also critical.

For those who know that the arts contribute to the vitality of our region, we must collaborate and be innovative in how we support the arts in Sacramento. With this in mind, SMAC has begun work on a cultural planning process to engage the community, including developers, politicians, businesses, neighborhood associations, students, workers, artists, educators and philanthropists.

If we work together, the result will mean stronger arts organizations and ultimately a healthier region.

Cheryl E. Holben,


Inspired by Candice Barton

Re “Pushing to get past her record” (Forum, June 14): I applaud Candice Barton’s integrity in sharing with us her journey and challenges in obtaining employment with a criminal record. Making re-entry a priority in our state would help relieve some of our budget challenges that lean heavily on expensive incarceration and shine light on cost-effective rehabilitation.

Thank you, Candice, for reminding us of the resiliency of the human spirit and the ability to turn things around for the good. With the support of Women’s Empowerment and others, you are making a positive difference in our community.

Gail Marie Erlandson, Sacramento

Death penalty? Which one?

Re “Confront reality and end death penalty charade” (Editorials, June 14): The real charade is the media and society’s portrayal of the death penalty as a choice between life and death. It is not.

The death penalty is a choice between a humane one-minute, relatively painless injection and a lifetime of hopelessness and fear of natural death. Victims often cry out for vengeance and harshness. Give it to them by giving the murderer a lifetime of misery culminating in an isolated death by natural causes.

Larry Mayer,

West Sacramento

Surprise! Liberals doesn’t like Rush

Re “Creators of politics as a blood sport” (Forum, June 14): Alan Miller’s complaints about Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich were about as enlightening as watching paint dry.

Of course he doesn’t approve of Rush and Newt. His views and the politicians he likes are the target of their jabs. Politics was a tough business long before Rush or Newt or Miller came along. As the host of the highest rated talk show in the United States, I can’t imagine Limbaugh is worried about negative comments from a liberal junior college teacher.

So what’s next from Miller? A column about what a great job President Barack Obama is doing and how a bunch of bad Republicans are making it hard for him to save the country? Spare me.

James Rushford,


In defense of Rush, Newt

With typical liberal animus, Alan Miller unleashes his fury against conservative icons Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich.

His so-called thoughtful commentary reeks of the tone of moral superiority that so often clouds the vision of liberals when responding to criticisms of their agenda. Thanks to Limbaugh and his many conservative media contemporaries, the grandiose and often unproductive schemes proposed by liberal politicians are brought into sharp focus by his penetrating, incisive and witty analysis.

Donald J. Ziehm, Lincoln

State workers are vital to Sacramento

Re “State worker survey: And the answer is ...” (Forum, Jack Ohman, June 14): The Sacramento Bee pokes fun at state employment while forgetting that this community, and The Bee itself, would not exist without the thousands of state employees like myself who live in the region.

Want Sacramento to recruit well-educated millennials who will support the region’s burgeoning restaurant scene? Let’s provide state employees with wages and benefits that keep up with the cost of living. Want to protect state and local finances? Expose flawed pension reform ideas that take hard-earned money from Sacramento families while giving it to New York hedge fund managers and the politicians they purchase.

The answer to economic development in Sacramento is neither sports venues nor trolleys. It’s the hardworking state employee and their families.

Jason Orta, Sacramento

What about our poor citizens?

Re “State needs an immigration action plan” (Viewpoints, June 14): I totally disagree with Angelica Salas that our state needs an immigration action plan. As part of its final budget negotiations, the Legislature is considering a $20 million proposal to help undocumented immigrants who broke our laws to coordinate citizenship and immigration assistance. This is insane, especially when we are trillions in debt, have homeless Americans who need help and other poor citizens who need help.

Maria E. Hansen, Lincoln

Arts need help, start with schools

Re “We must stop starving the arts” (Editorials, June 14): Two articles about arts in Sacramento bring home the message that we have our priorities skewed away from developing arts education in the Sacramento area.

An elementary school that starts an after-school drama program that elevates the children’s self-esteem and motivation gets attention for being novel. The editorial urges us to consider that the arts needs a reliable funding stream beyond ticket sales to maintain solvency.

What is wrong with this picture? Can we draw a straight line from lack of arts offerings in our public schools to the lack of arts funding in our city? Why do our public education system and city cultural groups always have to fight for arts funding?

We need to offset all the bad news we hear with beauty and hope. Once our political leaders find the will to fund the arts, only then will society value their importance for feeding our collective soul.

Theresa Lown, Sacramento