Letters to the Editor

High-speed rail, Kings, Folsom Lake, sentencing policy

Real cost of high-speed rail

Re “High-speed rail detour smart but tricky politically” (Editorials, Feb. 22): The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board states, “The whole, statewide system, at last count, was about $64.2 billion.” In fact the real number is hidden by always using this cost, which is only from San Francisco to Los Angeles (520 miles). The entire 800-mile statewide system, including Sacramento, the Inland Empire and San Diego, is about $99 billion.

Rather than being a “tug-of-war between the laws of politics and the laws of engineering,” it’s about laws of money. The 2016 HSRA Business Plan has so many myths that it would take an entire page to just get started.

Ted Hart, Rancho Murieta

High-speed rail is a mirage

Those pushing high-speed rail tout the economic growth benefits of giving Central Valley residents better access to Silicon Valley jobs and Silicon Valley residents access to less expensive housing.

Most of the Central Valley’s under- or unemployed, lower-paid workers are not the highly paid Silicon Valley workers. To suggest that less affluent workers can afford to commute to a Silicon Valley job is absurd.

William C. Grindley, Atherton

You have to be kidding

Kings win NBA title. High-speed rail comes to California. Pick your fantasy because neither of these scenarios is going to happen anytime soon.

William J. Hughes, Sacramento

Locals should manage lake level

Re “Flow from Folsom will surge again” (Page 1A, Feb. 23): We have elected two senators and 53 representatives to resolve problems related to California and the United States.

Folsom Lake releases are mandated by a flood-control regulation drafted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1987. Because we are in a severe drought, it seems that now is time to revise this regulation to reflect our current water conditions, and it is time for our lawmakers to introduce legislation to enable local water managers to have more control over our critical water resources.

Gene Cirillo, Gold River

Base sentencing on fact, not emotion

Re “Political acts can backfire” (Dan Walters, Feb. 22): Columnist Dan Walters cites “unintended consequences” for Gov. Jerry Brown’s change of heart on tough sentencing guidelines for felons.

Brown should require the state Board of Corrections to develop sentencing algorithms that would provide an objective statistical basis for the factors that drive all sentencing and violation decisions, risks and stakes.

Corrections officials have used risk data since the 1970s. Stakes have never been statistically analyzed, increasing the likelihood of low risk, high stakes and offenders being allowed back into the community prematurely. Making sentencing and violation decisions based on statistically measured factors would reduce the likelihood of high-stakes offenders being returned to the community prematurely. It would also focus attention on data rather than emotion.

Richard Mckone, Lincoln

Graduation roadblock

Re “Sacramento State hopes ‘graduation czar’ can help” (Local, Feb. 16): Most Sacramento State students don’t expect to graduate in four years. This is said to be due to lack of classes in their majors, classes filling up so quickly that many of them cannot enroll in prerequisite courses they need, and too few professors available.

A major problem is the confusion about what is needed to graduate. The list of graduation requirements available online is befuddling, even to those of us who are college graduates. Perhaps if the requirements were listed in a straightforward manner, the students would have a better idea of what they need and could plan accordingly. Let’s hope the university’s new “graduation czar” can resolve this problem.

Eileen Glaholt, Sacramento

A traffic-study shell game

Re “McKinley Village developers seek to connect with neighbors” (Local, Feb. 19): The city is using flawed information to conduct traffic-impact studies by understating the vehicle count by as much as 50 percent.

Promises of providing additional pathways in the future are almost never kept. There are several land-locked subdivisions such as South Natomas that had additional egress options that were never fulfilled by the city and developers. In the Home Sweet Home subdivision there are four exits that remain fenced in and never connected. This has forced the entire area to exit on two streets.

I am not surprised by the court challenge by those affected by McKinley Village. The city should balance the developer’s contributions with the needs of the neighborhood.

Brian McCarthy, Sacramento

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