Letters to the Editor

Fighting wildfire, Capitol riot, developing riverfront

Special to The Bee

A better bill to fight wildfires

Re “Preventing forest fires is in hands of Congress” (Editorials, July 3): The Bee rightly decries the self-defeating practice of raiding forest fire prevention funds to pay for escalating firefighting costs. Sadly, it focuses its support on a Band-Aid while taking another pot shot at me for a “plan that has gone nowhere.”

Actually, the bill supported by The Bee has gone nowhere, for good reason. While HR 167 allows fire costs to be spent off-budget, it maintains the forest management policies that are causing an endless spiral of more fires and higher costs.

The Resilient Federal Forests Act, produced by the Federal Lands Subcommittee, permanently fixes the financing problem by accessing the FEMA Disaster Relief Fund within the budget while vastly increasing the acreage we can treat to prevent future fires. HR 2647 passed the House on a bipartisan vote last July, but is currently blocked by just six Senate Democrats.

Perhaps The Bee would want to light a fire under them.

Rep. Tom McClintock,

Elk Grove

chairman, House Federal Lands Subcommittee

Separate funding to fight wildfires

I appreciate the editorial on fire dangers in our Sierra Nevada forests and the stalled bill in the House, HR 167. I live only a few miles from where fire crews stopped the 2013 Rim Fire in Yosemite. I could see the flames from my neighborhood.

Since then millions of trees have died as a result of the bark beetle, 26 million of these in the last nine months. These trees, some over 100 feet tall, are only a lightning bolt away from sparking more catastrophic wildfires. They must be removed. In addition, removal of fire-prone brush and controlled thinning requires dedicated federal dollars.

HR 167 would provide the U.S. Forest Service separate funding to fight wildfires, freeing up the operational budget for smart scientific forest management.

I want our grandchildren to see Yosemite and the Lake Tahoe basin as we know them, and not stare at charred remains.

Robert W. Derlet, Twain Harte

Cops will always get criticized

Re “Why didn’t officers keep neo-Nazis, anti-fascists apart?” (Forum, Joyce Terhaar, July 3): I was inside the Capitol on June 26 and watched the riot from the third-floor windows. Things moved so fast it was a wonder that more people were not hurt.

When I got to the Capitol that morning, it was obvious that there was going to be trouble – lots of anarchists hiding their faces and carrying large sticks. Perhaps they should all have been loaded into vans and taken away before the neo-Nazis got there.

But as to the police response, if they had waded into the melee swinging their batons and cracking heads, the story would have been about police brutality as we have seen in other cities. The police are damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

My advice is, next time, swing away; you are going to be criticized anyway.

Bill White, Sacramento

Capitol kerfuffle was overblown

I’ll tell you what’s strange about this so-called riot. Joyce Terhaar believes that opposing political factions should be able to commandeer police and CHP officers as their personal security details when they decide to hold shouting matches in a public square.

Since when do we pay law enforcement personnel to babysit protesters? These highly trained and well-compensated individuals are paid to “keep the peace,” and that is exactly what they did.

Not one person was shot. No one was killed. By her own admission, the “worst” of the melee lasted “about an hour.” One group came ready to fight and there were some serious injuries – to less than 3 percent of those participating.

The anti-fascists could not bring their game. If they had, there would have been 35 cracked skulls on the Capitol steps – and that would have been a news story.

Martin Edward Kaelli,

Sacramento

Riverfront plan is a great idea

Re “It’s time to rethink Sacramento’s riverfront” (Forum, July 3): Former Sacramento Mayor Heather Fargo’s plan for our riverfront is a great idea. Very encouraging as to all the possibilities for our riverfront from Miller Park to Discovery Park with all the museums: auto museum, Crocker, railroad museum and the future Science Center. A jogging-walking bike trail too would do so much for all citizens of this city.

I hope this gets started in planning because it will take many years to complete. Let’s all join Heather Fargo in this effort.

Kathleen Green, Sacramento

Vision of riverfront is but a dream

After all the strange twists and turns of Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, it was nice to be reminded of our former Mayor Heather Fargo and her concern for Sacramento’s waterfront. Alas, her vision can best be described as a vision quest – only found in dreams.

William J. Hughes, Sacramento

Hypocrisy in coverage of Steyer

Re “Billionaire Steyer sets out to stop a supposed billionaire” (Forum, Dan Morain, July 3): I read a rather flowery and supportive column about a billionaire, Tom Steyer, who supports liberal causes. When a conservative billionaire supports conservative causes he is portrayed in The Bee’s commentary pages as some evildoer trying to use his money to suppress the will of the people. When a liberal billionaire does it, he is portrayed in a very positive and supportive light.

It seems that the editorial page editor has no problem with using money to buy support as long as someone he supports is doing it. This is hardly unusual, but it sure highlights textbook hypocrisy on the part of The Bee’s opinion pages.

George Alger, Placerville

Sounds like they’re from San Francisco

Re “Time to get rid of 2nd Amendment” (Letters, July 3): The letter to the editor by a woman in Rio Linda who states it’s time to get rid of the Second Amendment does not sound like a true Rio Linda resident. She sounds like a liberal from San Francisco.

Wayne Ertl, Orangevale

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