Letters to the Editor

Health workers, minimum wage, backroom budgets

Faith Hidalgo 12, of Meadow Vista, is examined by Dr. Roger Gallant at the Weimar Institute in April. The rural health clinic opened in March with the goal of serving Medi-Cal patients.
Faith Hidalgo 12, of Meadow Vista, is examined by Dr. Roger Gallant at the Weimar Institute in April. The rural health clinic opened in March with the goal of serving Medi-Cal patients. rbenton@sacbee.com

Freedom needed for health workers

Re “California can train enough health care workers” (Viewpoints, Oct. 28): California could train even more health care workers if the systematic harassment by government of “for-profit” schools was ended. They should not be subjected to the ideological test that no good outcome be permitted if anyone is allowed a return on investing in health care.

Richard E. Ralston, executive director, Americans for Free Choice in Medicine

Minimum wage doesn’t add up

Re “Group still pursuing $15 wage in capital” (Page 3A, Oct. 29): At 72, I can relate to all of the other old curmudgeons who question the increase in minimum wage.

I hear that most of the workers who receive that wage are college students. I thought back to my final years at San Diego State when I worked for minimum wage – $1.65 an hour. I added up what I spent for tuition and fees, half of a small apartment, a pound of hamburger, a gallon gas, and a package of frozen peas. My total was $101.13. After doing a bit of research, I found that the total for the same line items would be about $3,996 today. Holy moly! Even without the tuition line, the difference was $509 versus $51.

Minimum wage should be at least $16.50 an hour, effective today. We also need to do something about the cost of education, but that is another argument.

Lorraine Doig, Sacramento

Budgets shouldn’t be done in secret

Re “Fresh starts as GOP taps new speaker, approves budget deal” (Page 8A, Oct. 29): Once again, the Washington cartel has blindsided the American people with a bloated, self-serving budget bill negotiated in secret by a handful of ruling-class politicians. It was drafted without any committee meetings, without any congressional hearings and without any input from the bulk of our elected representatives.

Time and time again the so-called leaders in the House and Senate have abused their power by shoving bills down the throat of their members. It saddens me to say this, but the United States of America is no longer a representative republic. It’s mob rule and it’s immoral.

Jim Williams, Antelope

Mining law isn’t about clean water

Re “Mining law protects water” (Letters, Oct. 27): How nice of Sen. Ben Allen to pat himself on the back for his bill, SB 637. The bill, which is now law, is not about clean water. It is about regulating and controlling suction dredge mining.

This became clear in April, when the bill was modified to remove the words “water quality” from its subject line. The bill also was sponsored by the Sierra Fund, which is dredging around Lake Combie legally, courtesy of a federal grant, while the general public is now prevented from doing the same anywhere in the state. Hypocrisy at its finest.

Roger Bendix, Fair Oaks

Registrar of voters needs a real audit

Re “Sacramento County elections office needs a real review” (Editorials, Oct. 28): I was very concerned about the errors made by the Sacramento County elections office back in 2014. I’m now outraged to learn that a group that’s closely involved with Registrar of Voters Jill LaVine has been hired to do an audit.

I am so disappointed with the county supervisors. That they continue to defend their decision calls into question whether they truly want an impartial audit. It is past time for them to cancel the contract with the Election Center and award it to a truly impartial auditor.

Alice Hendrix, Orangevale

Look at more data for story of salmon

Re “Winter salmon run decimated” (Page 1A, Oct. 28): The use of a single data point for the number of winter run salmon is a poor reflection of what is really happening in the waters up north. It does not take into account the incredible coordination and actions of water users, fishery agencies and regulatory agencies to protect salmon.

As an agency that relies on the Sacramento River, we have made great efforts to help protect salmon through careful water management these past two critical years. Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District’s own fish trap has seen a 25 percent increase in winter run this year compared to last. Additionally, most young salmon are still rearing in the upper river and have not yet migrated downstream. So when the fish move with coming storm events, we fully expect to see higher numbers than in 2014, which will indicate success of our coordinated operations.

Clearly there is more to the story than one data point.

Thaddeus Bettner, Willows

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