Letters to the Editor

Regional Transit, homeless, auto insurance, Charlie Hebdo

RT one big failure

Re “Arena provides spark for fixing Regional Transit” (Editorials, Jan. 16): Enough of the wonderful talk about rapid transit. The system was flawed from day one. Sacramento tried to reinvent the wheel and failed.

The system was built to reduce emissions from cars clogging our roads and to give transportation to the masses. On both counts, Regional Transit has failed to the point where maybe the system can never be what it was intended.

RT built a light-rail system at ground level and has caused auto traffic to back up for blocks at major intersections. Some of these have been fixed, such as Howe at Folsom and Watt at Folsom. The system should have been elevated for most areas at the onset.

Then you have all the stations that are full of trash, panhandlers and RT employees who hate their jobs. They care less about the condition of the train and won’t even pick up trash in front of them. Now the arena is being built, and we have started to be a little concerned. Who wants to ride a dirty, smelly train with panhandlers and gangbangers? No one.

The facts are this: dirty trains, dirty stations and employees that don’t care. RT needs to clean up their act along with all the other problems. If you don’t do right, please don’t do it at all.

Craig Lattin, Sacramento

More security on Mather RT line

I ride Regional Transit light rail out to Mather Field. The editorial is correct in saying that the system needs a face-lift; most notably, on the Mather Field line, more security is required.

The editorial also suggests that the system has to be improved before any well-heeled Kings fan will get on board for the new arena. The day I see a well-heeled Kings fan boarding light rail at Watt Avenue and Folsom Boulevard, I’ll know the Kings have arrived.

William J. Hughes, Sacramento

Letter writers lack compassion

Re “Homeless out, developers in,” “Homelessness fatigue” and “Fortune is fleeting” (Letters, Jan. 15): I’m with letter writer Del Jack. I know who I would want to have on my side if I ran into a crisis.

Barbara Ramm says it costs less to leave people homeless, which is wrong. Studies have shown that it actually costs society less to provide housing for the homeless than it does to cover health care, jail and other costs that result from leaving them homeless. If humanitarian arguments don’t win her over, perhaps the savings to the taxpayers will.

Janet F. Malley suggested that a homeless man is selfish for keeping his child. I feel only disgust. Apparently, letting a rich person adopt the child is preferable to leaving him with a father who loves him and helping the father get back on his feet. Take the child away instead of helping the parent. After all, he is an adult who has made bad choices. No second chances. We are supposed to feel admiration for this person who works 12 hours a day but has no compassion for a homeless man who has made mistakes. Apparently, since she is perfect, she feels perfectly comfortable casting stones at others who aren’t.

Dawn Wolfson, Cameron Park

Homelessness not going away

Re “Homelessness fatigue” (Letters, Jan. 15): To most people who are homeless, it is not a choice. People often lose their homes for reasons beyond their control. Wage cuts, job losses, catastrophic medical expenses and rent hikes are just a few causes of homelessness.

I have personally experienced this. For a parent to have to give up their child just because they had a turn of bad luck is not the right thing for the child or the parent. Families need to be together during hard times.

A large number of homeless families need our help instead of being judged by others who assume they made poor choices. It is a big challenge to overcome homelessness because rent deposits are often very excessive.

Combine that with the fact that wages for many working people are not going up, homelessness is not going away anytime soon.

Eric Stanton, Sacramento

Prop. 103 protections needed

Re “Politics, regulations are ruining state insurance market” (Viewpoints, Jan. 14): Proposition 103 bars insurance companies from overcharging consumers and requires them to base auto premiums primarily on a driver’s risk of getting into an accident, not on arbitrary characteristics such as income or ZIP code. These reforms have saved California drivers more than $100 billion and made the marketplace fair. No wonder the insurance lobby has never stopped complaining about the law.

These days, the industry badly wants to start micro-targeting premium increases based on your shopping habits, hobbies and other personal characteristics that are unrelated to risk. The industry can glean this information from the vast storehouse of data compiled on every consumer by data companies such as Google, which wants to enter the insurance business in California. Proposition 103’s consumer protections are more important than ever.

Harvey Rosenfield, Santa Monica

Bee mocks conservatives

Re “Support freedom of the press” (Letters, Jan. 14): In regards to letters calling for The Sacramento Bee to print the Charlie Hebdo cartoons, it is time for this newspaper to show solidarity in support of free speech, even if it’s distasteful.

This calls for brave action. Immediately it must get back to printing cartoons bashing and mocking Republicans, conservatives and tea partiers.

Richard Wilder, Rocklin

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