Letters to the Editor

Transit sales tax, homeless toilets, tobacco, Alzheimer’s

Beware bait-and switch measures

Re “RT board sets its sights on November sales tax measure” (Page A1, March 16): So the Sacramento Regional Transit Authority is pushing another sales tax increase, presumably to pay for road maintenance.

Mailers are showing up in our mailboxes extolling the virtues of this increase. Be wary of these solicitations. Buried in these measures is usually fine print for a significant chunk of the money to go toward “improvements” like was done with Measure A, passed by the voters in 2004.

From that tax increase we got the brand-new Cosumnes River Boulevard extension and interchange with Interstate 5, which is a boondoggle for developers to reap millions of dollars developing the area south of Meadowview and soon dumping thousands more cars onto I-5 during rush hour. That deception is the reason I’ll be reluctant to ever vote again for a “road maintenance” sales tax increase or bond measure.

Kevin Depies, Elk Grove

Flush out the real toilet costs

Re “Portable toilets for homeless suggested” (Local, March 14): While I believe the concept of test-flush toilets for the homeless is a good one, $15,000 a month seems ridiculous.

How about a well maintained port-a-potty? Nowhere did columnist Ryan Lillis break down the $15,000 monthly cost. My guess is that the city is paying employee(s) $10,000 of the monthly fee in wages and benefits.

Wouldn’t “toilet monitor” be a good job to get a homeless person, or two, off the street at half the cost?

Dave Savage, Sacramento

Disgraceful merchants of death

Re “Tobacco bills spur threats” (Capitol & California, The Buzz, March 15): Today would have been my mother’s 77th birthday had she not died of lung cancer after smoking for 60 years.

Shame on the tobacco industry and its lobbyists for trying to sabotage California’s anti-smoking measures that would raise the age to purchase tobacco products to 21 and regulate e-cigarettes. How dare these special interests continue to peddle their addictive carcinogens?

Michele Limoges-Gonzalez, Sacramento

Tobacco products are poisonous

Re “California smoking age increase, vaping bills move to Jerry Brown” (Capitol Alert, March 10): I strongly urge Gov. Jerry Brown to sign the bills that will enable California to return to a leadership position in fighting against smoking and vaping.

Raising the legal age for purchasing tobacco products to 21, and including e-cigarettes as a tobacco product will go a long way to spare Californians, especially our youth, from becoming addicted to nicotine and suffering serious health consequences. The tobacco control laws will be appreciated not only by the current residents, but by many generations to come, and will serve as an enduring legacy for the governor.

Kit Lau, Dublin

HOPE for Alzheimer’s cure

Re “UC Davis researcher touts synapse health to avoid brain function decline” (Health & Medicine, March 12): John Morrison’s research on the difference between normal aging and Alzheimer’s disease was interesting and hopeful. Proper diagnosis and documentation is also important.

The HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act (HR 1559), endorsed by the Alzheimer’s Association, is a policy reform that will help. It would ensure that people who receive a dementia diagnosis are provided with care planning, that their diagnosis is documented in medical records, and that the Department of Health and Human Services educates health care providers about removing barriers to Alzheimer’s care. It would demand that Alzheimer’s be treated like other diseases. We must diagnose and care for patients until a cure is discovered.

Despite strong bipartisan support, the HOPE Act has not had a committee hearing. Passage of this measure is crucial.

Jennifer Harrington,



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