Letters to the Editor

Homelessness, bail bonds, Bera and trade, Trump and refugees

The plight of Lynne Guensler and her son Brannon Reyes, who had been homeless for months, was a litmus test for what can go wrong with homeless services in Sacramento.
The plight of Lynne Guensler and her son Brannon Reyes, who had been homeless for months, was a litmus test for what can go wrong with homeless services in Sacramento. aseng@sacbee.com

Get competent on homelessness

Re “Family’s troubles expose failures in homeless services” (Forum, March 27): Anita Chabria’s piece on the absurd series of difficulties Lynne Guensler and her son are having in getting housing was terrific at informing the public about the continual problems in our city and county that homeless folk have at getting themselves on track to “a life more ordinary.”

Sacramento is far behind other cities – and the entire state of Utah – that have put their homeless citizens in housing, and because of that, are saving boatloads of money. “Don’t dither; do good; save many, many millions” is an idea our sleepy City Council members and county supervisors should awaken to and embrace.

A piece in the current issue of Homeward Street Journal, “Letter from the Redding jail,” makes for a nice companion piece to what Chabria wrote. A homeless man, Charles Patrick Smith, writes of his heavy burdens and the tormented lives of his homeless tribe.

Please, Sacramento. Be wise. Do good.

Thomas Armstrong,


Respect the law, no need for bail

Re “Bail, the next step of criminal justice reform” (Editorials, March 27): Regardless of anyone’s financial status, there wouldn’t be a need for bail bonds if people respected the law and didn’t get into trouble.

Doug Hinchey, Lincoln

‘Free trade’ is a misnomer

Re “Globalization fight turns local, and bitter” (Forum, Dan Morain, March 27): The term “free trade” is used much too freely in the Trans-Pacific Partnership debate. It is actually heavily managed trade since the international agreements restrict or require actions by governments and trade partners.

To improve the debate about the TPP, it would be helpful to identify the specific TPP trade rules that are opposed. Opponents may simply doubt that any trade deal will work, or doubt that the rules will be enforced, or that retraining the rule in impacted U.S. industries is not effective.

Jay Abbott, Sacramento

It’s all about the economy

“It’s the economy, stupid” is the famous quote from the 1992 presidential election when a Democrat beat the Republican incumbent. Unless the Democrats have forgotten this and want to hand the Republicans another seat in the House, they’d better get Rep. Ami Bera straightened out, or they’ll be handing the election to Republican Scott Jones.

Dr. Bera’s comment that the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement “has to be a good deal for American workers” because “it has to open up exports” is at best naive, and at worst pandering to his elitist financial backers. America has lost more than 2 million jobs. The TPP will cost more jobs, endangers our sovereignty and trumps our Constitution.

If it is so good for American jobs, why is it so vehemently condemned by labor organizations whose jobs would benefit according to Bera?

Good for America? Free trade? Ha!

Bill Jurkovich,

Citrus Heights

Losing perspective on UC admissions

Re “Let’s keep perspective in fight over out-of-state students” (Editorials, March 31): The Sacramento Bee’s editorial attacking the state auditor’s report on admissions to UC schools is illogical, unsupported and mean spirited.

The editorial board states the report feeds a “canard” about out-of-state admissions although The editorial admits that admissions grew 82 percent between 2010 and 2014 and that the report’s charges are “disturbing” if true. Without evidence, the editorial asserts one of the reasons students pick a college is to meet out of state students.

The editorial says decisions about UC should not be made in a “crossfire.” Apparently only one side is entitled to present evidence: The UC. The editorial states the report was ordered by an assemblyman whose son is a UC applicant. Unless there is evidence this influenced the audit, it is unfair to everyone. I don’t know whether UC or the auditor is right, but I think the editorial board has lost perspective.

Rosemary Kelley, Sacramento

It is time for Feinstein to go

Re “A model for one who would follow” (Insight, March 31): Dan Morain’s column gushing over Sen. Dianne Feinstein was over the top. At one time Feinstein was someone to look up to but, as Morain said, she is of an earlier generation. As senator she has lost touch with most citizens of California.

With her support of H-1B visa’s, allowing cheaper workers to take American’s jobs; NAFTA, resulting in manufactures easy transition to Mexico and now her support of TPP, Feinstein has become a stooge of global companies.

On water issues, she has made privatization of California’s water a priority. Can you say Westlands Water District? And she has advocated for spying on Americans.

Feinstein needs to go.

Michael Santos, Antelope

Irony is lost with Trump supporters

Re “Just more liberal name-calling” (Letters, March 27): I have often felt that Donald Trump supporters lack critical-thinking skills, and that belief was reinforced when I read the letters to the editor.

In response to another’s portrayal of Trump supporters, the letter writer explained his support for Trump by writing, “I refuse to support Hillary Clinton, who I think is untrustworthy, arrogant, unethical, power hungry and an elitist who lacks integrity.” How anyone would believe that any of the candidates, let alone Clinton, embodies those traits more than Trump is beyond me.

Richard Elliott, Elk Grove

Refugees don’t just walk in to U.S.

Re “Ohman is wrong about debates” (Letters, March 27): Neither Donald Trump nor the letter writer seems to know anything about the arduous and lengthy screening process which applicants for refugee status must go through before being allowed to enter the United States.

The process involves 14 distinct steps, of which five are increasingly arduous security screenings. The last screening involves the FBI, Homeland Security and Department of Defense. The total process takes a minimum of two years, often longer. Visitor visas, business visas and tourist visas provide much easier and faster ways for people to enter the United States. Trump’s demands for further screening are entirely unrealistic and costly, and serve only to demonize already traumatized people and grab headlines.

Maurine Huang,