Letters to the Editor

Parking meters, plastic bags, drought, voter turnout

New parking meters near Sacramento's City Hall and elsewhere in downtown Sacramento will take a bigger bite from motorists’ wallets.
New parking meters near Sacramento's City Hall and elsewhere in downtown Sacramento will take a bigger bite from motorists’ wallets. RBenton@sacbee.com

Parking meter stickup

Re “Sacramento City Council OKs proposal for extending parking meter hours downtown” (Local, March 23): If you thought the new arena would benefit local businesses, think again.

I don’t go to Kings games, and I resent subsidizing their new palace, which I never got to vote on, through extortionate city parking rates. If the parking fees went to city parks, libraries or schools, that would be fine. But to support a rich man’s private business, no, thanks.

After being soaked $22 in a city parking garage just to see a play, I rebelled. Instead of paying through the nose for parking in Old Sacramento, we went to Placerville. It was a pretty drive, the gas cost less than parking would have, and Placerville welcomed us with interesting antique shops, good restaurants and lots of free parking.

I like to support local businesses, but I won’t be robbed, and so Placerville got $250 that should have stayed in Sacramento.

D.F. Clement, Sacramento

Discouraged coming downtown

The extension of parking metering to 10 p.m. was inevitable once we sold our souls to the devil in exchange for the downtown arena.

Parking rates have already skyrocketed, and now the little parking there is will be unavailable to those of us who attend live theater that lasts more than two hours. I attended “The Book of Mormon” on Thursday afternoon and tried two lots that were full. One friend was late due to the lack of parking. Imagine when there’s a sold-out performance on the evening of the innumerable basketball games.

Several ladies are unable to walk a half-mile, leaving their driving friend no option but to drop them off and walk alone in the dark once she found a parking spot. The 10 p.m. extension means an even farther walk from wherever unrestricted parking is found. We may have to reconsider our season tickets next year.

Valerie McDonald,


Added cost to consumers

Re “County to ban plastic bags July 1” (Local, March 23): How much will this change cost consumers? Retailers who used to provide bags for free will now charge for them. Or else we will have to buy bags and take them to the stores.

Nice little windfall for the stores. What happened to customer service?

Jim Lynch, Chico

Sensible water solution

Re “Practical, plus high-tech solutions can ease California’s water crisis” (Viewpoints, March 21): I am glad to see that not all Republicans are insecure carnival barkers. Thomas Del Beccarro has some very good ideas concerning our water problems.

He mentioned Singapore as an example of a country that handled its water problem with desalinization. Aruba is another island that has done the same. It would be nothing but a desert island with a large population of iguanas but for its desalinization plant. Nowadays it is a large tourist attraction. I believe they also get electricity from the desalinization plant as well. We need these practical solutions.

Sharyn Obrigewitsch,

Fair Oaks

Voter discontent is very rational

Re “Low voter turnout a big puzzle” (Insight, March 22): The puzzle that columnist Dan Walters speaks of won’t be solved by altering the voting process. Amnesty may help temporarily until immigrants find they are no longer represented.

Once elected, our representatives become more interested in being re-elected, enriching themselves and influencing foreign countries. Unless politicians turn their focus to solving domestic problems, voter motivation will remain low.

Donald Trump is capitalizing on voter dissatisfaction and is turning out the vote.

Robert Reark,

Granite Bay

Better road to diabetes control

Re “Lifestyle changes are key to California’s diabetes crisis” (Insight, March 21): One of the progenitors of the diabetes crisis is our increasing dependence on vehicles for all of our transportation needs, even the short trips of less than a mile that we used to walk.

Designing cities for cars has made many streets unsafe and inconvenient to use unless you’re inside a vehicle. So we don’t walk and bike and we’re not as physically active as we were 50 years ago. The data show that cities that make walking and biking easy have lower rates of diabetes than cities in which car travel is more prevalent.

In lieu of continuing to pay for health care for the growing number of diabetics, part of a more sustainable solution is to develop a safe walking, biking and public transportation environment.

Teri Duarte, Sacramento

A nominee to please GOP

Re “Sarah Palin plans court TV show” (Names & Faces, March 23): I’m sure that staunch Republicans were heartened to see that Sarah Palin has landed yet another spot in America’s cultural landscape as the next Judge Judy in 2017.

Perhaps she will be a candidate for the high court if a Republican takes the White House. That is, if she isn’t Donald Trump’s vice president.

Chris Fenstermake,



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