Letters to the Editor

Animal abuse, poor people, Pope Francis

Bob Barker, former host of “The Price is Right” and a longtime animal rights advocate, speaks during a news conference in downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday, June 17, 2015. Barker criticized poultry producer Foster Farms after an animal-rights group released video showing chickens being slammed upside-down into shackles, punched and having their feathers pulled out while still alive. California-based Foster Farms says it has suspended five employees.
Bob Barker, former host of “The Price is Right” and a longtime animal rights advocate, speaks during a news conference in downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday, June 17, 2015. Barker criticized poultry producer Foster Farms after an animal-rights group released video showing chickens being slammed upside-down into shackles, punched and having their feathers pulled out while still alive. California-based Foster Farms says it has suspended five employees. The Associated Press

Reagan started highway decline

Re “Our roads are just shameful” (Dan Walters, June 19): Dan Walter hits the nail on the head, but his comment that the decline of our highways began during Jerry Brown's first governorship is not correct.

Although Jerry Brown certainly was a disaster for our highway system, the decline started under Ronald Reagan. I remember like it happened yesterday when, during a discussion on the need to provide more funding for highway pavement maintenance, Reagan made the comment that it was not "the conservative thing to do."

I also recall when I, as a Division of Highways employee, was working to set up a construction engineering field office for one of the US 50 construction projects through eastern Sacramento, word came that the Reagan administration wanted to shut it down. Fortunately, our project was too far along to be stopped.

Gov. Pat Brown was a champion of our highway system. I often wonder what our system would be like today had he been reelected in 1966.

Rich Quinley, Sacramento

Animal abuse happens daily

Re "Foster Farms accused of fowl abuse" (Business, June 18): Your article reported a couple of instances of animal abuse which happened at a Foster Farms slaughterhouse in Fresno, but it occurs every day. An employee who sees the killings day-in and day-out will become desensitized to the suffering around him and will participate in the violence.

In the last few years, several states have enacted so-called ag-gag bills which punish the whistleblowers like Mercy for Animals for exposing the wrongdoing which goes on behind the walls. Fortunately, the California Legislature recently resisted passing a bill which would have done just that.

The old saying, "If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian" has never been more true.

Don Knutson, Sacramento

We let down poor people

Re “Time to end outdated and humiliating welfare law” (Editorial, June 16): The Sacramento Bee’s editorial states: “Poverty is an intrinsically humiliating condition. And nobody rises from hardship by being humiliated some more.”

There’s biblical teaching that reads “Your poor will always be with you.” It could be this thinking that has created policy which degenerates, humiliates and keeps the poor virtually enslaved to lives wasted because of lack of honesty on the part of the policymakers.

Consider the projects built throughout our country during the middle of the last century. They were built to house the poor in areas away from the suburbs, universities and financial districts, creating a “controlled” environment. It was an easy, structured way to care for the less fortunate, and it was a builder’s dream.

Policymakers in Sacramento County were no different. Arden Arcade has pockets of blighted housing that was built years ago with the promise of cheap rent for people on limited incomes, where our poor could be located, not to thrive but to live. In the country club area of Arden, the jobs are minimum wage, public transportation is poor and chances for advancement are limited to a 40-minute bus ride, to Interstate 80 or Interstate 50.

As a society, we have let down generations of families. It’s time to rethink the master plans of yesterday and build low-income housing where the jobs and possibilities are.

Kathy Stricklin, Sacramento

Pope Francis sets standard

Re “Amen to Pope Francis’ historic Laudato Si” (Editorial, June 19): As Pope Francis calls for real efforts against climate change, we must ask why we are still making gasoline-powered cars. Why are we still fighting wars for oil to fuel them? Why do our leaders refuse to acknowledge a spectacular technological revolution which – if we chose to use it – could give us victory in our fights against war, climate change, air and water pollution, and much other human misery?

We have not needed gas cars for some time. Solar technology and electric cars are in production, work well and are reliable. Simple changes to our tax and subsidy structure could make it affordable for people to purchase electric cars and the solar panels to power them, taking millions of gas cars off the roads.

We could stop choking on smog and stop sending children to fight for oil. Rush hour could be quiet and clean. Fewer refineries, pipelines, platforms, tankers and trains would leak or blow up. We wouldn’t have to put up with BP and Chevron’s greed and irresponsibility.

We have the means to make a future without gas cars. Why on earth aren’t our leaders embracing it? Instead of subsidizing oil and gas, we should subsidize solar electric. It is criminal not to.

Emily Roberson, San Francisco

Animal abuse happens daily

Re "Foster Farms accused of fowl abuse" (Business, June 18): Your article reported a couple of instances of animal abuse which happened at a Foster Farms slaughterhouse in Fresno, but it occurs every day. An employee who sees the killings day-in and day-out will become desensitized to the suffering around him and will participate in the violence.

In the last few years, several states have enacted so-called ag-gag bills which punish the whistleblowers like Mercy for Animals for exposing the wrongdoing which goes on behind the walls. Fortunately, the California Legislature recently resisted passing a bill which would have done just that.

The old saying, "If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian" has never been more true.

Don Knutson, Sacramento

We let down poor people

Re “Time to end outdated and humiliating welfare law” (Editorial, June 16): The Sacramento Bee’s editorial states: “Poverty is an intrinsically humiliating condition. And nobody rises from hardship by being humiliated some more.”

There’s biblical teaching that reads “Your poor will always be with you.” It could be this thinking that has created policy which degenerates, humiliates and keeps the poor virtually enslaved to lives wasted because of lack of honesty on the part of the policymakers.

Consider the projects built throughout our country during the middle of the last century. They were built to house the poor in areas away from the suburbs, universities and financial districts, creating a “controlled” environment. It was an easy, structured way to care for the less fortunate, and it was a builder’s dream.

Policymakers in Sacramento County were no different. Consider Arden Arcade. The area has pockets of blighted housing that was built years ago with the promise of cheap rent for people on limited incomes, where our poor could be located, not to thrive but to live. In the country club area of Arden, the jobs are minimum wage, public transportation is poor and chances for advancement are limited to a 40-minute bus ride, to Interstate 80 or Interstate 50.

As a society, we have let down generations of families. It’s time to rethink the master plans of yesterday and build low-income housing where the jobs and possibilities are.

Kathy Stricklin, Sacramento

Pope Francis sets standard

Re “Amen to Pope Francis’ historic Laudato Si” (Editorial, June 19): As Pope Francis calls for real efforts against climate change, we must ask why we are still making gasoline-powered cars. Why are we still fighting wars for oil to fuel them? Why do our leaders refuse to acknowledge a spectacular technological revolution which – if we chose to use it – could give us victory in our fights against war, climate change, air and water pollution, and much other human misery?

We have not needed gas cars for some time. Solar technology and electric cars are in production, work well and are reliable. Simple changes to our tax and subsidy structure could make it affordable for people to purchase electric cars and the solar panels to power them, taking millions of gas cars off the roads.

We could stop choking on smog and stop sending children to fight for oil. Rush hour could be quiet and clean. Fewer refineries, pipelines, platforms, tankers and trains would leak or blow up. We wouldn’t have to put up with BP and Chevron’s greed and irresponsibility.

We have the means to make a future without gas cars. In fact, that future is here. Why on earth aren’t our leaders embracing it? Instead of subsidizing oil and gas, we should subsidize solar electric. It is criminal not to.

Emily Roberson, San Francisco

Regulating fireworks is a must

Re “Man badly burned when fireworks explode” (Local, June 19): After reading this story, I’d like to add revision to the letter I wrote that was published on June 19 (”Drought, bottle rockets don’t mix”). Someone in our Legislature must have a brain and can realize that something needs to be done to stop the sale of Fireworks for the Fourth of July. We are in a severe drought, so we do not need uncontrolled fireworks being set off by someone that has no idea what the results will be.

Just look what happened to this man in Fairfield. A person was making his own fireworks in his garage, and they blew up. These are the kinds of people that are buying fireworks and will cause damage throughout California.

This needs to stop now.

Gary Sodervick, North Highlands

  Comments