Letters to the Editor

Football gladiators, twin tunnels, business priorities, etc.

Oakland Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler is tackled by the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Mike Wagner for a 12-yard loss during the first period of the AFC championship NFL football game in Oakland on Dec. 26, 1976.
Oakland Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler is tackled by the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Mike Wagner for a 12-yard loss during the first period of the AFC championship NFL football game in Oakland on Dec. 26, 1976. Associated Press file

We’re just like ancient Romans

Re “Another Super Bowl, another brain trauma casualty” (Editorials, Feb. 5): The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board wrote: “Football is thrilling, and it’s hard to separate its mix of skill and violence and patriotism and marketing and nostalgia.”

Patriotism? The NFL has as much to do with love of country or family, this year’s marketing tool, as the Koch brothers. It’s just about money. Team owners? White. Players? Mostly black. Head trauma, a minor issue the league, owners and fans have ignored for years.

Wow, I think I contradicted myself; football does reflect the U.S. As an ex-Raider fan, I mourn Kenny Stabler, but he’d be the first to call your stance garbage. We are just as enthralled with gladiators as Rome was. Face it, football is an ugly game.

Jerry Tuck, San Andreas

Laird wrong on Delta twin tunnels

Re “To make most of rain, state needs Delta tunnels” (Viewpoints, Feb. 5): California’s secretary of natural resources, John Laird, flatly states that without Gov. Jerry Brown’s Delta tunnels, the state cannot maximize storage of extra water in wet years. This statement is simply not correct.

It is true that California’s present conveyance system for moving water through the Delta from north to south should be improved. But the governor’s plan, which would pipe massive amounts of Sacramento River water through twin tunnels under The Delta, would do great harm to the Delta ecosystem and Delta farming interests.

An alternative conveyance system, which would allow this water to flow naturally through the Delta and then be pumped south from the west side, is much preferable. Such a system would protect the Delta and allow more water to be pumped south during wet years.

Craig M. Wilson,

Carmichael

Steinberg has business priorities

Re “Mayoral race could surprise” (Insight, Marcos Breton, Feb. 3): As an active Darrell Steinberg supporter, I’m concerned that either candidate faces the prospect of choosing between advancing “neighborhood priorities” or “investment in Sacramento.” If there are some in the community – whether they’re business interests or others – that wrongly believe these are mutually exclusive, the next mayor has a bigger challenge than any of us thought.

Similarly, the suggestion that Steinberg’s focus on mental health issues constitutes a “red flag” concern for business interests is flat-out ridiculous.

Do you know how many times a week business people express to me their concern that more must be done to enhance mental health and homeless services? It is a subject that affects their bottom lines, where they do business and where their employees work.

Improved mental health and homeless services are inextricably connected to economic development, and Steinberg is best equipped to apply creative solutions that move the city forward.

Phil Serna, Sacramento

County supervisor

We can provide a bit of dignity

Re “Backpack doctors take health care to homeless” (Insight, Feb. 5): One of the reasons that people become upset with the homeless encampments scattered around the city and county is the trash they leave behind, both in human waste and garbage.

The cost to the city and county to clean up after them is absorbed by taxpayers. But there may be a simple solution. Why not provide dumpsters and portable toilets in the areas frequented by the homeless? By giving the homeless a sense of dignity and a choice to clean up after themselves, governmental agencies could help lessen the stigma and reduce the costs associated with cleaning up.

Eileen Glaholt, Sacramento

We’re charged too many extra fees

For the last few years, we have been swamped with extra fees on all of our utilities: from water, electric and gas.

On some of the bills, my extra charges are more than my usage. My electric bill this month was $34.50, which included an $18 system infrastructure fixed charge, a 24-cent solar surcharge, a 25-cent hydro generation adjustment and 5-cent state surcharge.

This month, I used $1.74 for actual water usage but am charged a service charge of $5.68 and a capital facilities charge of $3.10, bringing the total fee to $10.52.

My natural gas bill includes a $6.80 public purpose program surcharge and a CPUC inspection charge of 21 cents.

Compared to many people with larger homes, my charges are still low, but I do not think that all of these extras are fair or reasonable.

Barbara Fimple,

North Highlands

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