Letters to the Editor

Vaping, drought, grit, parent volunteers

Mario Weaks, a sales associate at The Vapor Spot on J Street in Sacramento, exhales vapor from his e-cigarette. California health officials say electronic cigarettes are a health threat that should be strictly regulated like tobacco products, joining other states and health advocates across the U.S. in seeking tighter controls as “vaping” grows in popularity.
Mario Weaks, a sales associate at The Vapor Spot on J Street in Sacramento, exhales vapor from his e-cigarette. California health officials say electronic cigarettes are a health threat that should be strictly regulated like tobacco products, joining other states and health advocates across the U.S. in seeking tighter controls as “vaping” grows in popularity. rpench@sacbee.com

Tax e-cigarette manufacturers

Re “Officials campaign against vaping” (Page A1, Jan. 29): In parts of Asia, e-cigarettes have been banned because of their potential for promoting drug abuse in addition to nicotine addiction, since marijuana and other illicit substances can be vaped as well. In some countries, e-cigarettes are only available with a prescription and not sold over the counter.

E-cigarettes have ignited fires in homes, on airplanes and in high school gymnasiums. Research into e-cigarettes is expensive and increasingly consuming the budgets of state tobacco control agencies. The burden of proof of e-cigarette safety and efficacy should have been required of manufacturers before they went to market. It could now be offset by a tax on e-cigarette companies to subsidize ongoing research.

John Maa, San Francisco

A teen’s perspective on e-cigs

Re “Bill would raise California smoking age to 21” (Capitol Alert, Jan. 29): If you don’t have the commitment to actually smoke, then give up the vape life. Being a teen, I have witnessed the harm that cigarettes cause. I know people who just can’t stop smoking, and I feel really bad for them because that seriously hurts them later on. I think increasing the age at which people can smoke might deter hundreds of potential smokers. But I think the better idea is a high tax on cigarettes because it would stimulate the economy and instead of buying cigarettes, people could invest that money into curing their addiction. Teenagers don’t always have cash, so making the product totally unreasonable to buy is a solid idea. Also, e-cigarettes stink.

Alex Gardner, Sacramento

Pass a national carbon tax

Re “Sierra snowpack looks bleak for end of drought” (Page A1, Jan. 30): Matt Weiser reports that the Sierra snowpack is now at just 25 percent of normal levels. This has consequences for the winter sports industry and also for California’s water resources. The Sierra snowpack acts as California’s natural water storage system, refilling our reservoirs as it melts in the spring and summer. At such low levels, California will likely once again face water shortages in 2015.

Global warming contributes to the decline in the snowpack by making more precipitation fall as rain and less as snow, and by melting snowpack more quickly. It also exacerbates drought by increasing water demand and evaporation rates. We have to tackle global warming to protect California’s snowpack and water supply. California is leading the way with its carbon cap-and-trade system, but on a national level, the proposal with the best chance of being implemented is a revenue-neutral carbon tax.

Dana Nuccitelli, West Sacramento

A win-win for Republic FC

Re “Kings buying stake in Republic FC” (Our Region, Jan. 29): The recent decision by the Sacramento Kings and Republic FC serves as good publicity for both sports franchises as well as a way to bring financial stability to both.

In the rough times that Kings fans have had with changing coaches, player trades and struggles to win games, what people need is something to attract more sports fans to games. Although Republic FC had a very successful season last year, the MLS spot hangs in the balance. A supportive investment from the Kings puts both teams in a good light and will certainly bring me in to see both teams.

Daniel Haidinger, Sacramento

It’s practices, not attitudes

Re “Students scored on attitudes along with academics” (Page A1, Jan. 27): The so-called successful practices in our school district’s new report card are just that: practices. Labeling them “attitudes” or “personality attributes” implies they cannot be taught or measured, but they can.

These research-based practices teach children to learn from failures rather than succumb to them. We can measure the times a child asks questions to explore new learning and track the number of times a child attempts a different way to solve the same problem. We can teach the concepts of struggle and successful completion in the face of challenge. As a joint effort between our district and our teachers’ union, I embrace this work and believe it will allow each child’s talents and interests to blossom fully. For more, I recommend the TED Talk by Eduardo Briceño on mindset and success.

Teresa Burke, Sacramento

Making parents volunteer

Re “Schools can’t make parents volunteer, state says” (Capitol & California, Jan. 30): What does it say about our school system when it is considered a good option to deny a child their field trip just because their parents can’t find time to volunteer? This is a perfect example of good intentions going wrong in education. Public education is a wonderful concept, yet somehow we can’t quite seem to handle the execution.

Peter Fredenburg, Sacramento

Visit your child’s class

Re “Grading on personality” (Letters, Jan. 29): Here’s how to know if your child is demonstrating grit or perseverance in school: Visit your child’s class. With notice, parents have the right to observe their child in school. Go sit in the class and see for yourself how much your child invests himself in his own education. Then you’ll at least have a point of reference if you disagree with how your child is assessed.

Bridget Whitted, Folsom

A Scriptural Christian’s defense

Re “Scriptural Christian?” (Letters, Jan. 30): I was and am not hiding behind religion. To again become a “Christian nation” we do have a long way to go, and Christians are going to need to wake up and defend God’s word.

Dale Creasey, Fair Oaks

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