Letters to the Editor

Sacramento transit, Trump, prison costs

RT should seek outside help

Re “RT faces critical year for ridership, revenue” (Page A1, March 14): Regional Transit’s problems won’t be solved by a board of locally elected office holders.

Political decisions compromise transportation realities and public needs. Like the nature of the new development that puts automobiles ahead of station operations and passenger needs at 29th and R streets.

Look at the makeup of the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority for what’s needed.

Michael Garabedian,

Rocklin

System’s lack of leadership

Re “Light-rail system to hire 30 to catch fare cheats” (Local, March 10): As a former rail commuter, I find it offensive that Regional Transit is now cleaning things up in light of a looming increase in ridership due to the new downtown arena. Perhaps if RT leadership would have been providing clean and safe transportation all along, ridership and revenues would have been steadily increasing.

As for fare cheaters, why is it that it costs a rider the same fare to ride for three stops, or 30? Maybe a better idea would be to emulate the BART fare system and charge by the distance traveled. Riders would be more inclined to pay if the fare were 50 cents rather than $2.50, thus eliminating the need to increase the RT staff and payroll. Or, is that the intent?

Richard Jensen,

Sacramento

Stage set for President Trump

Re “Trump rally canceled as supporters clash with protesters in Chicago arena” (Page A1, March 12): These supposedly nonviolent protesters are only helping Donald Trump’s chances of being the GOP nominee.

These protesters block major roadways, disrupting people’s lives. They attack Trump supporters and struggle with police who try to calm the situation. They destroy property, quell free speech and complain that their civil rights are being violated. Keep up the disruptive, violent protests, please, and watch Trump glide to the presidency.

Dave Putman,

Citrus Heights

Profits expand at our expense

Re “Plastic bag ban is overdue for county” (Editorials, March 11): I agree tht the ban probably would save the environment. But there remains a problem in that businesses can charge a dime for bags that were previously free of charge and for customer convenience.

Paper bags deteriorate when wet and rip easily. Has anyone tracked the money in why the Legislature decided to let businesses charge per bag? How much are the businesses racking in?

James Kelley, Sacramento

Pulling bags over our heads

I hope I’m not the only one falling through the looking glass over The Sacramento Bee editorial board urging local government to disenfranchise voters on the forthcoming plastic bag ban referendum.

The decision on paper or plastic or reusable containers should be determined in November. But many voters are already, or will be, effectively silenced by nanny local governments. Is it any wonder why voter turnout continues to decline?

Tom Buck, Gold River

Curb those bloated prison costs

Re “California prisoner count drops, spending increases” (Dan Walters, March 12): The only way the state will see significant and sustainable reductions in its prison costs is by closing prisons. To do so, without exacerbating overcrowding or shipping people to private prisons thousands of miles away from their families, the state must begin reducing sentences for those who remain incarcerated.

Now that realignment and Proposition 47 have diverted those with low-level convictions, more than 90 percent of our prisoners have a conviction for a violent or serious crime. Many are serving sentences that are far too long to provide any benefit to public safety, yet devastate lives, families and entire communities.

To lower the economic and social costs of our bloated prison system, we must continue to reduce incarceration, close prisons – like the deteriorating prison in Norco or the remote and notoriously brutal High Desert State Prison – and redirect resources to community-based solutions.

Lizzie Buchen, Oakland

Turning clocks ahead is ridiculous

It’s much cheaper to turn on the lights in the evening than running that air conditioner on extended hot summer afternoons. Let’s stop fooling everyone and stay on standard time from now on.

Gary Sodervick, North Highlands

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