Letters to the Editor

Desalination, drought, growth, motorcycle noise, CalPERS, crime, etc.

Desalination neglected

Re “A thirsty state awaits desalination plant debut” (Page A1, Oct. 19): Trillions of dollars have been spent and made on essential products like cellphones, Viagra, video games, microwave ovens, iTunes and more.

Yet desalination, which would produce that most precious of resources, has been ignored. Maybe sometime we’ll get serious about curing cancer, too.

Larry Stonum, Granite Bay

Big ag’s water role ignored

Re “It’s time to get serious about conserving water” (Editorials, Oct. 17): The Bee’s editorial is a timely, well-intentioned reminder to area residents. However, I thought it interesting that nowhere in this piece was there mention of corporate agriculture, which uses 80 percent of all water consumed in California.

Much of what is harvested here is exported. Logically, it seems we would get the best return from water retention efforts by suggesting/requiring cutbacks from this sector, as they use far more water than the residential users targeted by Gov. Jerry Brown and this editorial.

To be clear, I like Brown, we water our lawn two days per week, and I take Navy showers. We take our responsibilities seriously. I am suggesting only that we look at the entire water-usage picture, not just a portion of it.

Fred Baucom, Sacramento

Growth limits are needed

I’ll take the drought seriously when the Sacramento Area Council of Governments stops imposing minimum growth quotas on cities as their fair share of regional growth, and starts imposing maximum growth limits on cities as their fair share of regional water supplies.

Michael J. Saxton, Davis

Let’s hear it for safe driving

Re “Loud pipes save riders’ lives” (Letters, Oct. 14): I have ridden motorcycles for 40 years very safely, using defensive driving. Defensive driving is safer and more effective in saving lives than the loud pipe option, and it is legal.

Motorcycles in Sacramento County often are operated at more than 110 decibels, far louder than the noise limits of 80 decibels. In addition, advocates of the claim that loud pipes save riders’ lives neglect to offer evidence in favor of their claim.

Evan Jones, Sacramento

‘Bloated, corrupt’ system

Re “Wall Street about to win in Stockton at the expense of workers” (Viewpoints, Oct 20): Writer Yvonne Walker does what so many pro-CalPERS writers have done: marry the terms “middle class” with “public employees” to get public support for the mess the public employees pension rip-off has created.

If those employees were truly representative of the middle class, their retirement benefits would reflect that. They don’t.

She says Judge Christopher Klein’s decision regarding Stockton would be devastating to the taxpayers.

Does she think it would be more devastating than the bloated, corrupt pension system those taxpayers have been picking up the tab for?

David Tunno, Valley Springs

A voice against Prop. 47

Re “Prisons train criminals” (Letters, Oct. 16): Letter writer Michael Biggs writes that we need Proposition 47 because prisons train criminals and we send too many people to prison.

Not a problem. Proposition 47 basically is already in place. Most felonies are reduced to misdemeanors, and the arrestee is released from jail after just a few days. Parole violators are normally held for a 10-day flash incarceration and then released.

Trust me, Mr. Biggs, we already are putting as many criminals on the street with you as we possibly can.

George Alger, Placerville

Gascon misguided on Prop. 47

I worry that San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon has so little regard for public safety that he would author Proposition 47. Reducing penalties for criminal offenses might reduce Gascon’s workload and empty prison cells. But I believe the cost to the law-abiding majority of citizens would be not worth the savings.

If Gascon believes that a few dollars thrown at drug diversion programs and mental health programs will protect citizens from the crime committed by low-level offenders, then perhaps he should vacate his office so the public might have a district attorney with the public interest at heart.

It is not a waste of time and money to arrest and incarcerate offenders. Anyone who has suffered burglary, shoplifting losses, or been defrauded would argue that their crimes do not deserve a free pass.

Less than $950 may be chump change to Gascon, but it is a lot of money to poorer victims who are the more frequent targets of these culprits.

Proposition 47 will further weaken our justice system and may save tax dollars for the privileged, but at a cost unfair to citizens less politically connected or powerful.

Steven G. Conover, El Dorado Hills

Help students, not inmates

Re “Pilot funding returns arts to state prisons” (Capitol & California, Oct. 17): It was with amazement that I read about $2.5 million arts projects for prisons. There was only a small study done in 1980s about benefits such as improved self-esteem.

Has the funding for arts in the schools been fully restored? The students would benefit more and they are innocent. Why reward criminals?

A.D. Dopson, Elk Grove

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