Letters to the Editor

Letters: Election 2014, Yosemite, climate change, etc.

Prefer educated voters

Re “Low voter turnout a good thing to some” (Viewpoints, Nov. 9): While I agree strongly with Mindy Romero’s comments that we need to educate voters, I’m not at all sure low voter turnout is a bad thing.

It is amazing to me how many people I meet that have no idea of current events or even who their elected officials are. Why undertake efforts to herd these people like cattle to the polls and have them vote for issues and people they have no idea about or have no interest in voting for if not pushed to the polls? I would much rather have a low turnout of those actually interested in what’s going on than larger numbers of those who really don’t care.

Frank Michny, Newcastle

Youth turnout due to disillusion

The apathy of our young people shouldn’t be a mystery to anyone, and it shouldn’t be mistaken for disinterest. We are not ignorant, we are nonplussed.

Voting for the lesser of two evils, as we are so enthusiastically criticized for failing to do, feels meretricious at best and a moral transgression at worst. Whether or not abstention is a wise choice, the motto of my generation may well be “fiat justitia ruat caelum”: Let justice be done though the heavens fall.

Shawna Sanders, Sacramento

No-shows a ‘no’ vote

My reading of the low voter turnout by the Democrats was that it was a “no” vote on the policies followed over the past five years. Talk to the person with Obamacare insurance who has a thousand-dollar premium and a $6,000 deductible. Happy? No. Add to that Fast and Furious, the IRS’ lack of integrity and the list goes on and on.

I wonder if President Barack Obama had adults with negotiating skills as Democratic Party leaders in the House and Senate, rather than extreme liberals like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, if the legislative results and the whole image of Obama would have been far more successful. As it is, the past five years make the president look like the weakest in modern history.

I think that is the real reason Democrats stayed home on Election Day.

Sanford Kozlen, Carmichael

Much of Yosemite affordable

Re “Yosemite entry fee hikes will keep everyday people out” (Viewpoints, Nov. 9): Yosemite National Park can’t be had both ways. There are still many affordable parts of Yosemite for all. Sanders LaMont claims to have traveled the “less crowded” portions of Yosemite. There are plenty of hiking trails, campsites and places to cook and eat the food you pack in, only a short distance from a good road in many cases.

Those who wish to observe Yosemite through their car windows, eat at restaurants and sleep in soft beds with sheets and warm blankets should have to pay extra for that privilege. Perhaps entrance fees should be based on whether a party has hotel reservations or just wants to “look” or camp.

Ben Smith, Lincoln

Taxes are better than fees

Yosemite fees to increase. Sacramento to raise administrative fees to inspect the sidewalks in front of homes. Elk Grove residents to pay a first-responder fee to the fire department if the EMS is called. Pedestrians and bicycle riders to pay to use the Golden Gate Bridge. Where did I get the idea that our taxes paid for public facilities and services?

Furthermore, taxpayers have no say whether or not these fees are levied. To take just one proposed fee increase: If our taxes pay the salaries of city inspectors, why must we pay a second time for their services? In addition, if the inspector determines your sidewalk must be replaced, then in many cities the homeowner must pay the cost of a new sidewalk. If that happens to you, I do hope you set up a toll booth and charge anyone who uses your sidewalk.

Government employees and officials who have advocated “no new taxes” have provided a back door to recoup any revenues lost due to decreases in tax revenue. It appears we will have to file a class-action lawsuit to get some attention. Can it be legal to charge twice for the same services? Is there such a thing as economic discrimination?

Patricia Furey, Galt

Climate a public issue

Re “Election losses leave activist undaunted” (Forum, Dan Morain, Nov. 9): Tom Steyer is to be applauded. Our public must get involved to effect all-around positive changes in our energy usage. Steyer has said that “anyone who thought this was going to happen without a struggle is naive,” and he pledges to remain involved through 2016 and beyond.

We do know for certain that the oceans are absorbing most of anthropogenic global warming gas emissions for now. No one knows the ultimate outcome of this process. That is why we must get real control of our own activities regarding energy usage. A carbon fee and dividend program over a 20-year period will not only enhance employment and the economy and the health of most of our United States citizens but also cut our carbon emissions in half. Congressional leaders will learn about this during presentations sponsored by Citizens Climate Lobby.

Roger Longden, San Luis Obispo