Letters to the Editor

Ferguson forums, water meters, UC tuition hike, immigration

Reform won’t solve problems

Re “Local forums tackle issues of Ferguson, justice and race” (Our Region, Dec. 1): Mayor Kevin Johnson is to be congratulated on the community forums he led concerning questions about the criminal justice system that were raised by recent events in Ferguson, Mo. But the problems go much deeper than that. What about the system that condones robbing a store and assaulting an employee? What about the system that tolerates looting and burning that destroys the livelihood of owners and employees and further restricts the consumer choices of residents? What about the system that turns a blind eye to the failure of public education and fights all attempts to reform it? No amount of reform within the criminal justice system will solve these problems.

Janet Quesenberry, Elk Grove

Where are water savings?

Low flush toilets, drip irrigation, new washing machine. After all this, my water bill is more than before, doubling during the summer and still high during the winter months. Where are the savings?

Fifteen percent of water used is for residential purposes. If we save 20 percent, that is still only 3 percent of total water used. Agriculture uses way more water, and they want me to help pay for sourcing big business water? The drought, however severe, will always be able to handle domestic use. Agribusiness needs to address groundwater use and develop sources to keep their model running without making it my problem.

John Fierro, Sacramento

Punishing students

Re “UC protesters plan walkouts” (Capitol & California, Nov. 24): As a college student, it is already expensive enough as it is right now. Many students graduate college and work just to pay off outrageous student loans. We all know that student loans will follow you for the rest of your life, basically haunting college graduates. The way these students protested at UC Davis and had their voices be heard was peaceful, handling it very well. Holding up signs that said “Education is not a debt sentence,” yet for most students it is. It makes it terrifying to go to college because of the tuition being such a significant amount of money.

In my opinion, college tuition should not increase. It needs to decrease. It’s as if California is punishing students for wanting to further their education above high school. In other countries, education is free or at a lower cost, benefiting students.

All in all, the cost in California for education is expensive, leaving alumni in debt for years.

Denise Villanueva, Lodi

Failing the master plan

The University of California system is now more of a business than it is a public institution. All of the regents are businessmen and women with similar backgrounds. The California Master Plan calls for the California higher education public institutions to be diverse, affordable, accessible and of exceptional quality. However, the UC regents continually fail to deliver the very objective of the UC system.

The right to as much as a 5 percent tuition increase each of the next five years that has just been approved by the UC Board of Regents is unreasonable. The UC has just increased salaries for its administration. How can there be enough funds for a salary increase and yet the UCs cannot afford to freeze tuition? I can no longer afford to attend a UC because it is too expensive. Continuing to attend a UC would only mean digging myself in a deeper debt than I’ve already consumed to receive a quality UC education. UCs are failing to fulfill the objectives of their so-called master plan.

Valiyah Martin, Manteca

Immigration and the GOP

Re “GOP wants immigration bill” (Letters, Nov. 29): Letter writer Douglas Hinchey says the Republican Party “very much wants to settle the immigration issue” and “They want a bill that is brought forth like our founding fathers described in the Constitution.” The GOP has had that bill, brought forth like our founding fathers described, since June 27, 2013. An immigration bill was voted on and passed by a bipartisan majority in the U.S. Senate on that date. Speaker of the House John Boehner has refused to bring the bill to a vote in the House of Representatives. So who is not following our founding fathers’ wishes in this matter?

Timothy A. Shull, Sacramento

So much disrespect

Re “Imperial presidency threatens our republic” (Viewpoints, Nov. 29): Obama made a bold decision on immigration and called Congress’ bluff. Republicans claim he’s trying to be an emperor or a king, and his decisive actions must be ridiculed. No other president has had to endure so much disrespect and vilification. His birthplace and heritage were questioned; he was called a liar out loud during a State of the Union speech; his ideas and proposals were obstructed constantly, all because he was a black man daring to take control, too “uppity” for their austere assembly. Columnist Ben Boychuk hearkens back to the days before Woodrow Wilson, when the government was run by powerful white men, and black and brown people were safely “in their place” in the fields chopping cotton or picking beans. I prefer a diverse democracy to an all-white Republic.

Marcella Lorfing, Sacramento

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