Letters to the Editor

Letters: Voting, Dickinson, police state, racism, Rhee, shooting threat, etc.

Touch-screen votes unverifiable

I saw California secretary of state candidates Sen. Alex Padilla and Pete Peterson debate at UC Berkeley earlier this month. I was shocked to hear Peterson say an acceptable technological advance for voting machines is paperless touch-screen voting machines.

Padilla understood that votes must be auditable, and that we must have paper ballots. Paper ballots give you the ability to audit and recount an election. Touch-screen voting gives a memory card with no way to verify that the machine counted correctly.

I’ve been a programmer for more than 30 years. Anything showing on screens has absolutely no connection with how the machine counts or miscounts votes internally. Paperless voting would be an election protection disaster and a huge step backward.

Richard Tamm, Berkeley

Dickinson for good government

Re “Attack on Dickinson leaves out key context” (Capitol & California, Oct. 22) I was a member of the Sacramento County grand jury that released the Child Protective Services report alluded to in the TV and mail ads attacking Assemblyman Roger Dickinson. We also investigated the library. Dickinson headed the joint public authority at the time.

It is true that both reports were unanimously rejected. The Board of Supervisors and the JPA called for our reports to be redone. They were. Our findings and recommendations were upheld, even expanded upon, and implemented.

It was indeed annoying to be rejected, and then satisfying to then be upheld by the same folks. This is to the supervisors’ and JPA’s credit.

A good public servant does what is right and needed. I testified against Assembly Bill 622 and was glad to see that Dickinson was as flexible about changes as he was to learning that our reports were accurate.

To his credit, he came to a past Grand Juror’s Association meeting and answered questions. I found this to be admirable. I don’t always agree with him. I do find him forthright and clear and on the side of good government. He has my vote.

David Feldstein, Sacramento

Police presence felt at protest

On Oct. 22, a protest rally proceeded up the sidewalk toward the Capitol decrying a police state.

This small band of protesters was flanked by an even larger gathering of uniformed police officers on bikes and horses and paired up in marked cars and trucks, with a few unmarked units positioned around the area as well.

Was the massive police presence there to make a point in reinforcing the protesters’ message, or was there a different purpose? Numerically speaking, I found it a touch ironic.

Justin Masters, Fair Oaks

Stop racism, racial profiling

Re “Stop throwing the race card” (Letters, Oct. 22): A young man who was headed to college is shot dead by a police officer after a confrontation initiated by the officer because the young man was jaywalking in a residential neighborhood.

The police circulate a video, later discredited, that purports to show the young man committing a crime. The officer involved in the shooting was not even aware of the alleged crime at the time of the shooting.

Why do these types of videos get circulated? To demonize the victim and throw doubt upon the eyewitnesses whose testimony can discredit the officer.

And what is the end result? People who watch the video assume that the dead man was an obvious criminal and want-to-be gangbanger. Releasing information in this manner is intended to program us to believe that the police are not racist and that their shootings are justified.

People will stop throwing the race card when there is no more racism and racial profiling. Until then, stop trying to convince people that they should roll over and take it.

Dawn Wolfson, Cameron Park

Rhee not a Sacramento voter

Re “Rhee, Hansen spar over strong-mayor donations” (Our Region, Oct. 22): I find it very interesting that Michelle Rhee, first lady of Sacramento, is not registered to vote in Sacramento. Despite living here and being married to our mayor, she has not changed her registration. She feels it is important to campaign for his agenda but not actually vote for it. Very revealing.

Gary Cascio, Sacramento

Children protected by chance

Re “Shooting threat found at school” (Our Region, Oct. 22): My daughter attends Rio Americano High School. The threat written on a bathroom wall last Friday, a week ago today, said that the school would be shot up on Wednesday.

There has not been a lockdown drill at the school since my daughter arrived there as a freshman. She is now a sophomore. The fact that they didn’t have a drill on Monday or Tuesday is incomprehensible to me.

Chances are really good that she is not in danger at school today nor will she be tomorrow. According to the live tally on Wikipedia, there have only been 69 (69!) school shootings since Sandy Hook. But it is disconcerting that chance is protecting my daughter rather than proactive leadership, discussion with students and lockdown drills.

Abby Rosenblum, Sacramento

Did parents know of girls’ plan?

Re “3 teens planned to join Islamic State, reports say,” (Page A6, Oct. 22): The story that was covered extensively by the national news about these three girls from the Denver area prompts me to ask the following questions:

Where did they get the money to purchase the tickets? Did they pay cash for the tickets? Who took them to the airport? Where was the parental supervision? Did they have United States passports, and if they did not, how did they plan to re-enter the U.S.?

Did the money come from ISIS? These types of one-way tickets are very expensive. My main concern is that the parents knew of the plan.

Anton J. Ponzo, Rocklin


Find them at:



Online form (preferred):


Other: Letters, P.O. Box 15779,

Sacramento, CA 95852

150-word limit. Include name, address and phone number. Letters may be edited for clarity, brevity and content.