Letters to the Editor

Minimum wage, big government, farmland, names in history, etc.

David Lazo, 5, center, next to his father, Francisco, raises a dollar bill as workers await the Los Angeles City Council’s vote in June to raise the minimum wage in the city to $15 an hour by 2020.
David Lazo, 5, center, next to his father, Francisco, raises a dollar bill as workers await the Los Angeles City Council’s vote in June to raise the minimum wage in the city to $15 an hour by 2020. The Associated Press

Chamber is wrong on minimum wage

Re “Raising minimum wage is a bad idea at the wrong time” (Viewpoints, July 22): Sixty-four studies done show that raising the minimum wage does not cause unemployment. Economies grow when profit earned by hardworking employees is shared with them because they spend it locally. There is less job turnover, less time spent on training and better morale.

Crazy liberal ideas? No, not according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Web page on minimum wage. The Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce should do the teensiest bit of research before issuing short-sighted opinions based on fears and not on facts.

Scott Beatty, Rocklin

Lawmakers fix your own mess

Politicians are ignorant to the unintended consequences and burdens they keep piling on small businesses. Mandatory laws, like sick leave requirements, minimum wage raises and health care, put undue economic strains on us that we can’t afford.

If politicians ran a business, they wouldn’t cater to union interests or pass laws that would choke their businesses. Politicians need to leave the private sector alone and concentrate on protecting us.

Frank Isaac, Roseville

Too much big government

Re “State board looks to fine Delta-area water district” (Capitol & California, July 21): Only in California, the control center of all humanity, could the non-elected bureaucratic State Water Resources Control Board fine a water agency for providing water to human beings while another non-elected U.S. Bureau of Reclamation decides to drain Folsom Lake so that fish will have cooler water to swim in – not just water, but cooler water.

I have one question for the all-knowing saviors: What did the fish do before the dams and levees were constructed when the rivers would all but dry up?

All of you out there who think that your time is too important to pay attention to the actions of this totally dysfunctional state will someday be gravely impacted by these bloated over-regulating bureaucrats, and it will be too late to do anything about it.

Randal Riley, Sacramento

Gas tax funds misspent

Re “California can’t wait any longer to fix roads, bridges” (Viewpoints, July 21): If there’s a shortfall of funds for road repair, it can be traced back to Gov. Jerry Brown’s first term in office in the 1970s when he changed the California Division of Highways to Caltrans. Seemingly innocuous at the time, the name change soon diverted gas tax money into everything from bike lanes to BART to buses and other mass transit projects, most of which depend on taxpayers to finance the money they lose on an annual basis due to low ridership. If roads and bridges are falling down, it’s not because of too little money spent, it’s because road tax money has been taken to pay for pet projects.

Tony Rohl, Grass Valley

El Niño: A cautionary tale

Re “Would likely El Niño make a difference?” (Insight, July 21): A new study of the impact of the drought on California agriculture predicts that 560,000 acres of farmland could be fallowed this year because of inadequate water supply, costing the farmers $1.8 billion with another $900 million impact through the food supply chain. The article states that relief from the drought could come this winter as a so-called El Niño weather pattern appears to be developing in the Pacific Ocean.

While all of us in California are keeping our fingers crossed that the drought will soon end, it is worth noting that the urbanization of California farmland is having a recurring impact from which we can never recover. The development of more than a million acres over the past 30 years has a multiplying economic impact every year because that land isn’t just fallowed, it is gone forever. It is time to get as serious about conserving California’s farmland as we are about conserving water.

Edward Thompson Jr., Sacramento

Remember stories behind the names

Re “History revisions now taint names honored in the past” (Insight, July 22): If there’s one thing I learned from writing a book about Sacramento-area street names, it’s the human propensity to use naming to honor people who turn out to be, well, human.

The blemished honorees are not just from way back, like John Sutter and Junipero Serra. I can show you a street named for a CHP officer who died while doing something he wasn’t supposed to; a street that joins the names of a developer and his wife ... who later got divorced; and one that honors a biologist who often thwarted development.

Name changing isn’t a slippery slope. It’s a seesaw. We will take problem names down, but we will put others up, and there will be new problems. I don’t care if we change the names, but let’s remember the stories behind the names – the tragic stories, the illustrious stories and, especially, the funny stories.

Carlos Alcala, Sacramento