Letters to the Editor

Brad Hudson, child abuse, land prices

Tami Joy Huntsman and Gonzalo Curiel, face up to life in prison on torture and child abuse charges, and are suspects in the homicides of two children. A reader wonders if counseling might have prevented the deaths.
Tami Joy Huntsman and Gonzalo Curiel, face up to life in prison on torture and child abuse charges, and are suspects in the homicides of two children. A reader wonders if counseling might have prevented the deaths.

Hudson’s tenure leaves lessons

Re “Sacramento County’s top exec is quitting” (Page 4A, Dec. 19): While Brad Hudson claims credit for improving county services during a time of general economic improvement, his service to the county appears to be a bit disappointing as he makes an early departure.

Perhaps he should be most famous for his purchase of a $17,000 desk and a shoe polisher for himself – this during a time of economic pain and cutbacks for county employees and programs.

In their quest for a replacement, the county Board of Supervisors should seek to limit the scope of spending freedom of the new county executive while she/he seeks to serve the public.

Stephen R. Hoover, Sacramento

Was child abuse preventable?

Re “Murder charges in kids’ grisly deaths” (Page 1A, Dec. 18): We are all shocked and disgusted at the alleged cruelty of Tami Joy Huntsman and Gonzalo Curiel toward two young children in their care, and the murder of these children.

But I find it very sad that this situation was not prevented. Police and Child Protective Services were called out several times and found deplorable living conditions, but didn’t have sufficient evidence to remove the children. There should be more to “protective services” than removing children. I wonder if this couple was offered help.

As a mental health therapist contracting with Sacramento County some years ago, I experienced a number of families in which I believe that serious neglect and abuse was prevented through the provision, on a voluntary basis, of counseling, anger management, drug abuse classes and other services.

The parents were usually appreciative, and exhibited new positive parenting skills, saving society many dollars in the long run. Unfortunately, the program was cut back several years ago as a “cost-cutting” measure.

Elbert C. Vickland, Sacramento

Blame land prices for high rents

Re “High-rent new apartments price out middle class” (Foon Rhee, Numbers Crunch, Dec. 19): The claim that the construction of high-rent properties prices out the middle class renters is true only if current housing is being destroyed in the process. And it also depends on what type of housing is being destroyed.

Ask yourself, what happens to the old property when the high-end renter moves up? It becomes available to someone lower on the economic scale who wants to move up. That property then becomes available to the next lower rung.

The real problem is that it is next to impossible to build new housing on open space controlled by the county/state/federal government. California construction costs are only slightly higher than in the rest of the country. But the cost of land is exorbitant, particularly in the Bay Area.

John Paul, Carmichael

Proposal has snobbish tone

Re “A modest proposal for that fuel station in Curtis Park” (Shawn Hubler, Op-Image, Dec. 19): I’m just a regular Joe in a regular part of town in a regular neighborhood. I don’t have skin in the game in Curtis Park, but found Shawn Hubler’s article to be so patently snobbish that I have now joined ranks with the developer.

Her article could have been summed up in one acronym – NIMBY. Gas stations are conveniences in many neighborhoods, but obviously unwelcome in “charming, affluent, urban enclaves” like the new development. Even more unwelcome, apparently, would be a Dollar Store and Grocery Outlet, that “junk up the place” and “cater to riffraff.” It seems that Ms. Hubler will acclimate very easily in the new development, one that she paints as elitist and scaled beyond the bourgeois.

In the meantime, I will continue to shop in junk places with my riffraff family.

Dennis Gallagher, Sacramento

Columnist should define ‘riffraff’

Forgive me in this age of political correctness overload, but did I read it correctly that according to Shawn Hubler, the customer base that uses discount stores and other stores that are budget-minded are “riffraff”? Please offer a detailed definition of that term for those who may not understand the reference to “lower-class, criminal, indigent,” etc. Obviously these unsavory characters would offend the NIMBY mindset. Grow up.

Leslie Nelson, Roseville


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