Letters to the Editor

Drought bill, Panama Papers, tax laws, women’s issues, fines and fees, etc.

Julie Faris, with her job coach, LaRee LaRose, at Sacramento Works.
Julie Faris, with her job coach, LaRee LaRose, at Sacramento Works. dmorain@sacbee.com

Drought bill would benefit state

Re “Better water plan would yield billions of gallons a year” (Forum, Another View, April 10): The authors write that a drought relief bill should benefit the entire state. That’s exactly what the comprehensive drought bill introduced in February would do.

In the long-term, this bill authorizes $650 million for recycling, desalination and water efficiency projects. Of that, $100 million is for desalination projects to help drive costs down and reduce environmental impacts, and another $200 million for water recycling and reuse. All told, 137 projects are identified in the bill, capable of producing enough water to supply 2.7 million homes.

There’s a lot more in this bill that all of us can agree on. For example, we need to do more to fix our aging water infrastructure like cracked canals and unlined channels, which cost us millions of acre-feet each year. That’s why the bill authorizes $150 million for the WaterSMART program and another $200 million in reclamation loans and loan guarantees that can go toward these easily attainable solutions.

I also agree with the authors that we must be smarter with water and stretch our existing supplies. That’s why the bill provides additional funding for an EPA program to label water efficient products, a program that has already led to water savings of almost 3.1 million acre-feet since 2006.

I believe this bill offers a balanced solution to address the current drought and also help California weather future droughts, through both short-term and long-term provisions. And it’s done entirely within current environmental laws and biological opinions.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.

Don’t blame rich, change tax laws

Re “Panama Papers, Campbell Soup and the American way” (Forum, Dan Morain, April 10): I, too, worked many years for Campbell Soup Co. My perspective on Dan Morain’s article is slightly different.

I am one of those fortunate enough to have retired from Campbell. I am sorry for those who lost their jobs when the company moved production to other plants; however, this is the American way – the way of doing business in today’s world.

Today, greed is the top priority of the wealthy, and we have little control over it. John Dorrance IV was blessed with having been born into a family that built Campbell Soup. What he does with his fortune using today’s tax laws is his business. And don’t blame the company. Let’s try to keep companies here by changing the tax laws.

Thomas C. Eyman,

Fair Oaks

A different view on Campbell’s

Dan Morain’s column is fascinating. Evil John Dorrance creates an innovation and becomes wealthy selling condensed soup. He leaves his wealth to his kids who move the family to Ireland for more favorable tax treatment. That’s bad? No. It was a smart move. After all, it’s their money.

Somehow that connects to Julie Faris losing her job at Campbell Soup because her union priced her out of the labor market. Hello? That’s how a free market works. Charge too much for your work or your products and the market will find them elsewhere at a better price. Wait for the havoc a $15 minimum wage brings. Faris is a smart lady who wisely trained for another career field. She will succeed wherever she works. That’s the American way.

James Rushford,

Sacramento

Don’t refer to it as ‘women’s issues’

Re “Mayoral hopefuls should focus on women’s issues” (Forum, April 10): Kate Kapilow rightfully states that political candidates should focus on so-called women’s issues such as equal pay and child care, but I’d like to suggest that we not use the word “women” when discussing them.

These are important issues that affect everyone, men and women. When they are referred to with the word “women,” some wire in the masculine brain clicks off and doesn’t seem to hear anything beyond the “W” word. “Oh, a woman’s issue, that doesn’t have to take priority,” men tell each other. Semantics makes a difference, sad to say, and if we don’t want our important problems marginalized and ignored, we must define them clearly as mainstream issues with major economic impacts.

Marcella Lorfing, Davis

You’re an adult, take responsibility

Re “Kicking the criminal fine, fees habit” (Editorials, April 10): Again, another editorial about people not taking responsibility for their own actions and expecting special treatment and/or concessions for these actions. The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board took up a half page of newsprint to opine its skewed view of a basic moral ethic most of us teach our children starting at a young age: Take responsibility for your own actions.

The editorial board says that LaShanya Braezell should be able to exceed the posted speed limit, drive on a suspended license and suffer no or lesser penalties because she can’t afford the fines. For starters, Braezell would have had to pay exactly nothing if she would have just obeyed the speed limit.

As far as targeting the poor for not being able to pay their bail, then don’t commit the crime. It’s pretty simple.

Linda Wallace,

Rancho Murieta

Ashby is gifted, honest, energetic

Re “Angelique’s Ashes” (Forum, editorial cartoon, April 10): Jack Ohman’s cartoon tops a week of unfair and biased reporting and opinion on the Angelique Ashby campaign to be mayor of Sacramento.

I know and worked with many elected officials on city issues. Angelique Ashby is by far the most gifted and honest, and she gives voters the chance to choose a forward trajectory for the city. She is young and energetic and thoroughly schooled in today’s city problems. Voters who look at Ashby and what she brings to the city leadership will likely find some of The Bee’s coverage puzzling, as I do. Perhaps Ohman’s ridiculous cartoon will stimulate close examination of her credentials and qualities of leadership.

Judith Lamare, Fair Oaks

Educate others on fair pay

Re “Fair pay act putting stop to gender bias in salaries” (Viewpoints, Feb. 28): It was nice to stumble upon some news from Anita Chabria and her article. Aileen Rizo got her employer, from the Fresno County Office of Education, to raise her salary by $10,000. This update of her case shows the effects of equalizing the gender pay gap with the new California Fair Pay Act.

Rizo is the perfect example of a gender pay gap, where a woman working full-time in California is only able to make at least 84 cents for every dollar earned by a man, and maybe even lower if they are of color. I believe communicating amongst friends and family through social media outlets, about the victory Rizo has achieved, can certainly manage to educate others about the gender pay gap.

Jay Yang, Fresno

Don’t blame Reagan for traffic

Re “Crazy traffic, blame Gov. Reagan” (Letters, April 10): Leonard Jones’ letter asked the question, “Didn’t Gov. Ronnie Reagan sell the land and say Sacramento would never need a beltway?” Jones did not blame Gov. Reagan.

I heard from several old-timer Caltrans engineers that the beltway was ready to be built. The inner and outer loops were in the plans. When I asked then why weren’t either of them built, I was told and I quote, “The Caltrans director said if we build the beltways, then no one will ride mass transit.”

Ken Ashworth, Folsom

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