Letters to the Editor

Good cops, mental illness, Japanese beetles, Trump diplomacy, Coach Swafford

A letter writer says Sacramento High coach Derek Swafford exemplifies what a great coach should be.
A letter writer says Sacramento High coach Derek Swafford exemplifies what a great coach should be. Sacramento Bee file

Good cops and discrimination

Re “Enough with bad cop propaganda” (Letters, July 20): To the good cop resenting the characterization that all cops are bad – I believe you. I’m sure that most cops are good. But when police departments close ranks to protect bad ones, people are rightfully distrustful. The word “cop” could be changed in your letter to “black person” or “Muslim” or any other maligned group and it would be just as accurate.

Most people are good people. But too often prejudice makes others attribute behavior to skin color, gender, religion, etc. A cop can take off the uniform and not be subjected to “blue” discrimination, but most victims of discrimination can’t walk away from it. Yes, we need to improve our communities, starting with recognizing there are bad actors in any group. Cops can help by acknowledging they are not infallible, and that a few are guilty of overreacting with violence, or worse.

Kate Markey, Davis

Don’t blame mental illness

Re “Don’t blame their vet background” (Letters, July 20): James Reeves complains about media reporting the military background of the two cop killers and goes on to blame their mental illnesses. One could also argue that one should not blame mental illness: Many people with mental illness are not killers. One could also say that about media reporting whether a killer is Muslim, black, gay, etc. There are many in any group who do not commit violent acts.

The issue is not to blame members of those groups for the actions of a few, but to look for factors that might have affected them. If the Orlando, Fla., killer were gay, that would be relevant to know – not to say that homosexuality causes people to murder, but to see how that might have motivated him in this case. If it were a vet with PTSD, maybe we can work on that issue more.

James Adamson, Roseville

Residents grateful, up to a point

Re “Threat of voracious Japanese beetles persists” (Insight, July 16): In the article concerning the Department of Food and Agriculture’s residential pest management program for the Japanese beetle, the reporter correctly quoted me, a Carmichael resident whose yard has been repeatedly sprayed, as saying that most residents appreciate this agency’s decision to choose a reduced-risk chemical for use in 2016 after having used highly toxic pesticides during four prior treatment years.

We are indeed appreciative. However, we continue to question this agency’s practice of conducting pest management operations without an opportunity for affected treatment zone residents to submit formal public comments and without any requirement to use the most updated, state-of-the-art treatment approach endorsed by relevant scientific experts. Without these two features, this agency’s pest management programs will continue to be dogged by controversy and will not be fully embraced by many of the affected residents.

Ellen Sward, Carmichael

We’ll have golf course diplomacy

Re “Trump plays down role of U.S. in foreign crises” (Page 9A, July 21): Since Donald Trump has put NATO countries up for grabs, perhaps the answer would be for each to build a huge golf course with the best suites and with the Trump name emblazoned across the entrance. Then, if any are threatened, the U.S. would be happy to defend them against evil-doers.

Dianne Dobbs, Roseville

More coaches like Swafford needed

Re “Sac High basketball loses its guiding light” (Sports, July 19): Coaching needs more coaches like Derek Swafford. During a high school championship game, he benched the star player for not turning in his homework. I don’t know any other coach that would put responsibility before winning. He exemplifies what a great coach should be! Congratulations for a successful career at Sac High.

Dorothy Missler,



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