Letters to the Editor

Letters: Prisons, Ebola, gay marriage, symphony, loud motorcycles

Prison guards part of drug flow

Re “Keeping drugs out of prison will stop gang threats to families of inmates” (Viewpoints, Oct. 14): Corrections Secretary Jeff Beard describes the gangsterism and violence that flows from drugs in prison like a man who cannot see an elephant in his own living room. If something is smashing lamps and breaking up the furniture, it must be those sneaky mice.

The elephant in this case wears the green uniform (prison guards). That elephant passes in and out of prisons without being searched, carrying phones and drugs with impunity. The mice (visitors) may try to bring in drugs, but are frequently caught in searches and by surveillance video. They never bring in cellphones because those set off the sensitive metal detectors.

Beard does not breathe a word of the elephant because if he does, he knows it will squash him. Until that changes, the prisons will remain out of control.

– Laurance S. Smith, Sacramento

Nurses need to be accountable

Re “Nurses warn they aren’t prepared to treat Ebola cases” (Page A1, Oct. 14): I was dismayed to read the remarks of Diane McClune, a nurse complaining that Kaiser Permanente is not doing enough to educate nurses. Maybe she needs to be reminded of the hallmarks of professional accountability.

Nurses themselves need to have meaningful input into policy development and operational management of safety and clinical outcomes. This does not include standing cap in hand waiting to be told what to do. First and foremost, nurses must assume responsibility and accountability for their own nursing practice. Really it comes down to the simple fact that professionals do not whine that someone else should fix a problem. They do it themselves.

– Siobhan Parry, Sacramento

GOP cuts stalled Ebola vaccine

Dr. Francis Collins, head of the National Institutes of Health, said: “NIH has been working on Ebola vaccines since 2001. It’s not like we suddenly woke up and thought, ‘Oh my gosh, we should have something ready here.’ Frankly, if we had not gone through our 10-year slide in research support, we probably would have had a vaccine in time for this that would’ve gone through clinical trials and would have been ready.”

House Republicans continually cut the budget for disease research and prevention. They blocked nominees for surgeon general. House Republicans will continue to block anything Obama does regardless of the effect on the American people.

– Susie Priest, Elk Grove

Another wall coming down

Re “New kind of judicial activism on gay marriage” (Viewpoints, Oct. 9): In Margaret A. Bengs’ article, she said “the will of millions of additional Americans is being swept into the dustbin of history. Thirty-one states have a law or constitutional amendment restricting marriage to one man and one woman.”

In 1860, a majority of Americans in some parts of the country thought slavery was OK. In 1865, the will of millions of American racists was swept into the dustbin of history. In 1920, a majority of Americans in some parts of the country did not think women should have the right to vote. Fortunately, the will of millions of American misogynists was swept into the dustbin of history. In 1967, a majority of people in some parts of the country thought interracial marriage was not OK. In 1967, the will of millions of American racists was swept into the dustbin of history.

The sooner we sweep bigotry away, the better.

– Barry Dye, Camino

Amazing experience at ‘1,000’

Re “Quite an instrumental undertaking” (Ticket, Oct. 10): A big shout-out to Michael Neumann, Sean Bianco, Beth Ruyak and all the volunteers for providing 1,000 musicians an amazing experience at the Symphony of 1,000. Ages ranged from four to 80-plus and abilities from very advanced (post-graduate fine arts students) to pretty inept (haven’t picked up an instrument in 50 years.) We all had a blast.

The idea of this large symphony was a dream of Maestro Neumann, and I hope that it will become an annual event in Sacramento. In fact, there were jokes to the effect that maybe next time we could have a symphony of 10,000. Well, as my fellow trombonist Emma suggested, maybe we could try for 2,000 next year and bump it up every year until we reach 10,000.

Maestro Neumann, thank you and let’s keep the dream alive.

– Mary Ann Karrer, Sacramento

No need for loud motorcycles

Re “Loud pipes save riders’ lives” (Letters, Oct. 14): The American Motorcycle Association says that “few other factors contribute more to misunderstanding and prejudice against the motorcycling community than excessively loud motorcycles.”

I ride a motorcycle. It won’t wake you from a deep sleep like a Harley or be heard from miles away like some stupid windy sport bike. No one has a right to create this kind of noise pollution regardless of how much in need of attention they might be.

– Linda Meeks, Rancho Cordova

A safety device? That’s absurd

Letters suggesting that loud motorcycle exhaust noise is a safety feature are absurd. Following this logic, vehicles should be fitted with devices that blow the horn every 15 seconds to alert others. Perhaps drivers of automobiles with obnoxiously loud sound systems are performing a public service.

Realistic laws against sound pollution can be enforced. California’s law is so vague that it is almost unenforceable. Disturbing noise pollution is not confined to neighborhoods or highways. Modified dirt bikes, ATVs, snowmobiles and pickups destroy the sound-scape away from populated areas. Apparently neither peace nor quiet have become obtainable goals.

– Tom Nelson, Chester

Make all vehicles really noisy

If loud pipes are truly a safety issue for Harley riders, should we make loud pipes mandatory for all motorcycles? And what about bicycles? Should they have some type of extra-loud noise makers, also? And those little smart cars are hard to see. Better make them really noisy, too.

This is ridiculous. Where will it end? Very loud motorcycles (and there are quite a few) are simply rude and part of the increasing noise pollution problem.

– Jim Nelson, Carmichael

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