Letters to the Editor

Letters: Ice bucket, veterans, right to die, Prop. 47


Veterans suffer from ALS

The press did an excellent job of reporting about last summer’s ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, the wildly viral campaign during which millions of people doused themselves with buckets of ice water to raise awareness of ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. But how many people who accepted the challenge realize that they also were supporting our nation’s military veterans? That part of the story was not reported in the press.

Studies have shown that military veterans are about twice as likely to die from ALS as people who have not served in the military. It doesn’t matter when or where they served in the military; home or abroad, peace or war, from World War I to Afghanistan. Those who served are at greater risk.

So as we honor our military heroes this Veterans Day, your readers should know that if they had a bucket of ice water dumped on their heads this summer, they did their part not just to support ALS, but also to support our veterans.

I encourage your readers to visit the Wall of Honor at www.alsa.org. There they will see the faces and read the stories of the military heroes who are fighting ALS and those who have been lost to the disease. Their stories of courage are an inspiration and worth your attention this Veterans Day.

Rene Hamlin, Sacramento

Don’t forget veterans

Re “Mexico orders immediate release of Marine veteran” (Page A4, Nov. 1): Now that Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi has been released due to his suffering post-traumatic stress disorder, will Congress step forward and appropriate more funding to treat these vets?

Remember, it was some members of Congress who were calling on President Barack Obama to pressure the Mexican government to release him. Since it was mainly faux news criticizing the president over this, will they step up to the plate and contribute for the care for him and the rest of those suffering from PTSD?

Nope, didn’t think so. It was all about criticizing the president.

Mike Barrow, Citrus Heights

Don’t resuscitate

Re “Suicide puts end-of-life issues back on agenda” (Page A1, Nov. 4): At the age of 90, it’s not death I fear, but dying, as I believe Woody Allen once said. I’ve seen too much of it.

A specialist revived my mother-in-law for two more miserable years of life. My father threw himself out of bed after a year of frustrated existence, unable to speak intelligibly and held down by tubes and wires.

My nephew endured a couple of years of dragging a tank around for his emphysema while he struggled through endless sessions of therapy to restore some capabilities after his stroke.

So while I was filling out the POLST – Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment – forms that give me more control over end-of-life care, and getting a new Medic Alert bracelet that says “Do not resuscitate,” my daughter, Carla, and I revised a childhood poem for use by aging baby boomers:

Now I lay me down to sleep; I pray the Lord my soul to keep; And if I die before I wake; Please do not resuscitate

I once had a premonition that I would die in Roseburg, Ore. Maybe I will.

William C. Dillinger, Sacramento

Bring right to die to California

I was extremely shocked to hear that Brittany Maynard, a very beautiful woman, was dying from brain cancer. She moved out of California to Oregon to take advantage of the right-to-die law.

I feel that if people in California have a terminal disease, the state should give them the right to die. California should give them the respect and dignity to die at home with their family.

Roy Cervantes, Stockton

Grover Norquist’s fingerprints

Re “UFW, labor board are hurting workers” (Viewpoints, Oct. 20): The Bee noted Matt Patterson and his Center for Worker Freedom are affiliated with Americans for Tax Reform. Both groups are controlled by radical-right icon Grover Norquist.

They do slick PR supporting giant Gerawan Farming, claiming that the Agricultural Labor Relations Board is biased toward the United Farm Workers. Yet no proof of this claim is offered, except their opinion.

Patterson cited a Fresno judge who in 2013 said the ALRB and UFW are “in cahoots,” his opinion. Patterson didn’t reveal that the same judge issued two court orders prohibiting Gerawan from coercing workers into signing petitions to get rid of the union.

A hearing is underway before an administrative judge over five complaints accusing Gerawan of flagrant violations of the law. Gerawan’s bias claim is like someone accused of a crime who criticizes the district attorney for being biased toward victims.

Supervisor Phil Serna, Sacramento

Bee was right on Prop. 47

Re “Prop. 47 victory is repudiation of lock-’em-up policies” (Editorial, Nov. 5): Crime Victims United of California would like to commend The Sacramento Bee editorial board for taking the time to study and understand the consequences the passage of Proposition 47 would have on innocent, law-abiding citizens. We absolutely agree that of all the six measures on the statewide ballot, Proposition 47 has the most potential for dangerous unintended consequences.

Crime Victims United of California will continue to monitor our state’s criminal activity, and our doors will always be open to those seeking justice against wrongdoers. We can only hope that the number of crime victims does not dramatically increase in the coming years. In the meantime, we will continue to be vigilant and offer our services where we can and maintain our political presence across the state of California.

Harriet Salarno, Auburn


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