Letters to the Editor

Suicides and mental health, RT, Jones and guns, presidents and slaves

In 2016, the U.S. Treasury announced that Harriet Tubman would be the new face of the $20 bill. This concept art shows what the bill might look like.
In 2016, the U.S. Treasury announced that Harriet Tubman would be the new face of the $20 bill. This concept art shows what the bill might look like. Women on 20s

Mental health treatment needed

Re “Suicides in U.S. hit 30-year record” (Insight, April 22): Since the 1970s, government has been waging war on mental health options in California and elsewhere. First our mental hospitals were closed, and the patients were released to fend for themselves. Now our parks and city streets, as well as prisons, nursing homes and emergency rooms, are filled with the mentally ill who cannot take care of themselves.

On the rare occasion that a real psychiatrist is allowed to treat someone, the patient is given a few days’ worth of psychoactive drugs and maybe a bus ticket, and let go without a plan for follow-up.

Even working people with insurance are rationed away from psychiatric treatment and given mind drugs by their general practitioners, with very few if any counseling options.

Having folks kill themselves to escape the pain is a result of insurance companies and the government cutting corners to cut costs.

Carol McElheney, Elk Grove

RT has been mismanaged

Re “Regional Transit must improve, but needs money” (Viewpoints, April 22): Roger Dickinson’s op-ed got it all wrong. Throwing more money at Regional Transit won’t fix the problems. RT has suffered from decades of inept management while RT board members like Dickinson have paid no attention.

Board members must recruit and install competent management at RT. Then we can talk about additional funding.

Stephen Green, Fair Oaks

A mistake in voting Jones for sheriff

Re “Jones raises money, slays zombies” (Capitol & California, April 21): I remember when Scott Jones first became our sheriff and said he wanted to push more guns into our community by increasing the issue of concealed-carry permits. He made mention that danger was out there.

Well, it is our fault as citizens that we did not fully explain to Jones his job description. It is a little late, but here goes. The idea is, we hire a sheriff and pay him so that the citizens don’t have to play cowboy with guns. If Jones is going to give us all a gun to shoot people or defend our turf, then we don’t need a sheriff.

Sorry, Scott, for being lax in explaining why we hired you. Our bad.

Larry Trathen, Orangevale

Finding practicality for bathrooms

Re “Court backs transgender student in restroom case” (Page 9A, April 20): This concept is new to us but certainly not new to the rest of the world. About 20 years ago, I discovered the concept in an airport in Paris. They already had “transgender” restrooms. These were not built to address the transgender issue. It was much simpler than that. It saved a lot of space and cost considerably less to build one restroom for all of us.

On one side were the urinals with large dividers providing privacy. And the toilets were in traditional stalls and used by both sexes. The sinks were in the center and used by all. Pretty simple, isn’t it?

We should open our doors and allow everybody to use one restroom regardless of sexual identification or preference.

Tim Sawdey, Lincoln

Encouraged by new massage laws

Re “Massage certification could ensure that worker is a therapist and not a prostitute” (Local, April 20): The California Chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association is pleased to see an article that attempts to give a proper survey of the massage regulation problem. For many years in California, massage therapy businesses have been subjected to local controls intended to deal with prostitution and human trafficking rather than the actual practice of massage.

We are encouraged to see many new ordinances leaving behind the antiquated idea that massage is adult entertainment and increasingly seeking to regulate the practice of massage while creating proper barriers to criminal activity. Significantly, one of these proper barriers is the requirement for a certified professional.

Jeannie Martin, Novato

president, American Massage Therapy Association,

California Chapter

Other presidents owned slaves

Re “With Tubman, U.S. currency is more current” (Editorials, April 21): The editorial points out that Harriet Tubman “will replace Andrew Jackson, the slave-owning former president, at the center of a redesigned $20 bill.”

Not to criticize that decision or to defend Andrew Jackson, it should be remembered that 12 of our presidents, including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, who are prominently featured on U.S. currency and the American political pantheon, owned slaves. Surprisingly, the last president who owned or at least had control over slaves was none other than Ulysses S. Grant, the highest-ranking general in the Union Army before he became the 18th president.

Robert M. Murphey, Davis


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