Letters to the Editor

Education, bus service, hatchery problems, Iran and oil

Eagle Lake strain of Rainbow trout in a raceway at Mt. Shasta Fish Hatchery in Mount Shasta on Tuesday, June 16, 2015. Darrah Springs is believed to be the site of the original whirling disease outbreak.
Eagle Lake strain of Rainbow trout in a raceway at Mt. Shasta Fish Hatchery in Mount Shasta on Tuesday, June 16, 2015. Darrah Springs is believed to be the site of the original whirling disease outbreak. rbenton@sacbee.com

Education policy takes it on the chin

Re “Leaders further devalue diploma” (Editorials, Sept. 10): Like the proverbial has-been boxer, California educators too often lead with their chin. The knockout blow this time is administered with the elimination of the state’s exit exam. Really?

This exam is not that hard and has tested basic competency skills since 2006. We all should be ashamed that the state is going back to awarding “seat work” diplomas, which will diminish the achievement of graduating. Unfair? Students can take the exam multiple times while in high school, are fully informed of its importance and are given extensive help to meet the rather low bar set for passage.

But I guess we can go back to a system of winks and nods while state graduation rates improve in every school and district in the state. Brilliant.

When will the state get real leadership for our schools?

Dan Rott, Woodland

Problems with bus service

I have noticed that transfers on public transit in Sacramento County have been eliminated. In Seattle, you pay $2.50 and get a transfer for three hours.

Among the less affluent, if people were given the opportunity to complete their business in this amount of time, they would be far better off. As it is, riders in the Sacramento area must pay $2.50 each time they enter a bus. This forces one to pay at least $5 for short round-trip errand, and $6 for longer trips.

Light rail runs longer, but connecting buses to neighborhoods end at 7:30 or 8:30 p.m.

For people wishing to seek entertainment downtown or in other areas, they can get there, but they have no ride home. This bus service is not fair to the average passenger.

Laura A. Johnson,

Gold River

Hatchery failure reveals problems

Re “200,000 trout die as gunk clogs hatchery” (Local, Sept. 9): The fish die-off at the American River hatchery is just the latest in a number of problems for this hatchery.

As an avid fisherman I have seen my recreational fishing severely impacted by the hatchery’s failures. The upper Central Valley along Interstate 80 has seen a reduced planting season for the past several years. The Department of Fish and Wildlife website’s map reflects a significant void in the midstate planting season due to reliance on this problematic facility.

Certainly the ongoing drought is a contributing factor, but I’m convinced management and budget cuts have compromised the hatcheries’ mission. With the continued threat of global warming and an inability to effectively manage water temperature at the Nimbus facility, it may be time to close the hatchery and reallocate state efforts to expanding and improving other hatcheries to ensure an adequate supply for recreational fishermen.

Ronald W. Wynes, Lincoln

GOP hurting business on Iran

While the Republican Party’s opposition to the Iran nuclear deal is simply aimed at satisfying its Jewish donors, Germany, Great Britain and France have reopened their embassies in Tehran, staffed by commercial attaches ready to steer their nations’ businessmen into the arms of Iranians anxious to cut deals.

Airbus Industrie, not Boeing, is negotiating with Iran Air. Shell Oil has already signed a significant contract with Iran for updating drilling and refinery infrastructure, and Total is negotiating for new exploration leases. European businessmen are jostling each other in Iran with nary an American in sight.

As with their numerous government shutdowns, and more to come, GOP politicians are playing for short-term political advantage instead of doing what’s right for the nation.

John Garon, Placerville

Why would we export U.S. oil?

Re “American oil could take trip overseas” (Insight, Sept. 5): At the urging of the oil industry, momentum is building in Congress to lift the ban on exports of U.S. oil. What’s going on here?

Ever since the Arab oil embargoes of the 1970s, the United States has been striving for energy independence. And, we’re still importing one-fourth of the oil we use.

Why not continue the export ban, achieve energy independence and put more of our tax money into repairing our roads and bridges instead of fattening the bottom lines of oil companies and Wall Street money-changers?

Charley Roberts, Roseville


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