Letters to the Editor

Congress, aid in dying, scientists, wine train, roads

The Napa Valley Wine Train, in 2011.
The Napa Valley Wine Train, in 2011. Associated Press file

Forget the white horse fantasy

Our nation is in a time of political and economic malaise. A normal reaction of many citizens is to look for the next president to ride in on a white horse and resolve all of the nation’s problems. This fairy tale-based viewpoint ignores the complexity of our government with its multiple checks and balances.

The majority of today’s problems can be traced to our ineffective Congress. Extreme partisanship and pandering to lobbyists are endemic in Washington, D.C.

We desperately need honest, principled men and women to step up and stand for Congress. Don’t expect change emanating from future presidents if they must deal with our ineffectual congressional representatives.

Ross Clayton, Rocklin

Dying should be a personal choice

Re “The fine print of assisted suicide” (Marcos Breton, Aug. 26): No patient has to die. No doctor has to participate. It’s called freedom of choice.

Assembly Bill X2-15 allows terminally ill patients who want to end their life on their own terms, and doctors who want to help them, such a choice. This bill’s opponents use the power of government to enforce their personal morality on the rest of us. Conservatives and liberals alike should be appalled at this use of government power.

John Abbott, Sacramento

In support of choice in dying

Having given considerable thought to, and done a great deal of research about, death and dying since my 95-year-old mother asked me to help her end her very good life before she had to suffer, I strongly support the End of Life Option Act.

I am among the 70 percent of Californians who polls show strongly support making medical aid in dying available for terminally ill adults at the end of life. The court has said it can’t make the decision to allow medical assistance in dying; the Legislature must decide. It will take a long time for the people to speak through the initiative process; the Legislature could allow the process in a matter of weeks. I urge our Legislators to support the End of Life Option Act and send it to the governor’s desk for signature right away.

Those Californians who are dying and suffering can’t and shouldn’t have to wait.

Suzie Cohen, Sacramento

State scientists deserve pay equity

Re “Unhappy California state scientists plan pay protest” (Capitol & California, Aug. 25): Yes, California state scientists are unhappy about being paid about 25 to 40 percent less than comparable scientists in federal, state and local governments.

The situation is so bad that state scientists in jobs requiring doctorate degrees in technical fields like toxicology, pharmacology or biochemistry are paid less than geologists or engineers working in the same department with only a bachelor’s degree.

Pay inequity for state scientists also affects the motivations of many students in science programs from elementary school to college.

Why go to the effort and expense to train in science if pay is lacking? Equitable pay for California scientists is needed to recruit and retain highly trained scientists required to address complex scientific issues and protect California’s people and environment.

Jimmy Spearow,


Wine train was justified in actions

Re “ ‘Boisterous’ black women are kicked off wine train” (Capitol & California, Aug. 25) Is obnoxious behavior condoned when you are black?

The lack of respect for others in the train car was evident when they were approached in a pleasant manner to tone down the volume. But they reacted defensively, calling on the race card.

Luckily there was space at the other end of the car when we requested to be moved. We could still hear them at our new location, but it allowed us to visit. Several of the boisterous group stopped by a couple tables as they were leaving and said something to some people. We only received a hand signal of disrespect.

Deanna Green, Carmichael

Truckers do pay their fair share

Re “Make road wreckers pay up” (Letters, Aug. 25): The letter writer suggests that big trucks need to pay more since they seem to be the cause of the bad roads we all share. The truth of the matter is, they do. All commercial vehicles in California are now charged based on their weight, and as such, the more they weigh, the more they pay. The real question the letter writer should ask is “where does all of this fee money really go?”

John Drury, Sacramento


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