Step up mental health care
Re “Strike against Kaiser is a last resort to protect mental health patients” (Viewpoints, Jan. 13): It is time to wake up to the reality of the mental health needs of people. Mental health is equally as important as physical health; why aren’t we treating it that way? I am sick of the stigma attached to mental health issues, or the “what will the neighbors think” mentality. We need to take a more serious interest in what we are dealing with, what with suicides, depression, autism and more. Are our children and grandchildren going to be left with shortages of staff in mental health care?
Again, bravo to the providers for taking this action to step things up. Let’s hope that the Kaiser executives take swift action.
Sharon Jennings, Sacramento
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React sensibly to terrorism
Re “In France, many Muslims fear they’ll be next targets” (Page A1, Jan. 11): The terrorist attack in France was a heinous act, but let’s not overreact. While we must deal with those who use religion to justify their atrocities, we must do so without creating more terrorists, as we did in Iraq.
Already, right-wing extremists in France are calling for anti-immigration legislation. Anti-Muslim sentiment is spreading. Immigrants are being blamed for high rates of unemployment, but they are wrong.
Economic instability is the result of globalization. French unions warned of this when capitalism started down this dangerous path. As predicted, it has increased unemployment in developed countries with benefits going to the wealthy.
It’s been nearly a century since another right-wing demagogue used economic upheaval against immigrants, Jews, unions, liberals, gays and others to justify their atrocities. Unfortunately, we can hear the same rhetoric today, both here and abroad. We must reject those voices. Cooler heads must prevail.
Joseph Slabbinck, Citrus Heights
Support freedom of the press
I suggest every newspaper and magazine in the free world should reprint cartoons that the radical Muslims find offensive. The cartoons should be ones that focus on radical actions, not ones that criticize peaceful Muslims.
Sheldon Brown, Carmichael
Where’s outcry for Nigeria?
The Paris terrorist attacks last week were horrific and shocking. Equally heinous was Boko Haram’s attack on the town of Baga, Nigeria, last week. Amnesty International reports that these terrorists murdered more than 2,000 men, women and children in less than 48 hours. Where is the worldwide outcry for these souls?
Rebecca Bolin, Folsom
Innocent until proven guilty
Re “Curbs on police violence sought” (Page A1, Jan. 12): It is repeated like a magical mantra against the looming darkness in every newspaper article and most discussions on police brutality: “The vast majority of peace officers are good people.”
I am reminded of the words of St. Francis of Assisi in Franco Zeffirelli’s “Brother Sun, Sister Moon”: “Words, Bernardo: There was a time when I believed in words.” Saying a thing does not make it so. Given the deafening silence of so-called good cops in the face of blatant, brutal and too often deadly abuse of power, the time for words is long past. It is time for action, and that action is clearly outlined in the Constitution and law: serve, protect, respect. Treat as innocent until proven guilty.
To the mantra chanters, I say: Really? Prove it. Show us. Then maybe the police will earn back the trust they have broken, and we will believe again.
Michael R. Gorman, Sacramento
Obey your officers
Re “Curbs on police violence sought” (Page A1, Jan. 12): The headline of the article is very disturbing.
I have never thought of the police as being violent, and I am fairly certain that there are a lot of police officers in the Sacramento area who feel quite teed off at the insinuation. To reduce the killing of criminals by police officers while doing their duty, I suggest that the criminal do what the officer requests. You can always complain later.
As for Ferguson, Mo., and Staten Island, N.Y., both men resisted arrest. One was shot dead due to his aggressive behavior, and the other died due to his own health issues, which he himself did not consider when he raised his arms in resisting arrest. He was a 300-pound giant of man and if allowed to resist further, one of the officers might have been injured or worse.
John Olsen, Carmichael
Community deserves voice
Re “Hard lesson learned when process is ignored” (Editorial, Jan. 9): Kudos to the Democratic Party of Sacramento County for responding to the concerns of parents and community members whose voices have been routinely overlooked and dismissed by board members who purport to serve and represent them. In not following the process they laid out, the Twin Rivers board shut parents and community out of the process that was to be followed to provide a representative for those very same stakeholders.
In anticipation of a public comment period, district stakeholders had several points of consideration they had hoped the board would take into account regarding the candidates, both in general and specific to each candidate. Specific to Sonja Cameron, stakeholders would’ve liked more information regarding the district’s sponsorship of her organization’s charter schools and her activities in relation to her standing appointed seat on the TRUSD Budget Advisory Committee since the inception of the district. The Twin Rivers board apparently had no interest in publicly discussing these considerations or any others pertaining to the appointment.
Thanks to the DPSC’s support and collaboration with the community, the voters in Twin Rivers will have an opportunity to choose for themselves who is best suited to serve them and have transparency in the process.
Sascha Vogt, schools and community family advocate, Del Paso Heights Community Association, Sacramento
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