Letters to the Editor

State’s finances, chamber’s relevancy, city’s sidewalks, etc.

The Sacramento City Council adopted new rules and stricter penalties for those who ride their bikes on sidewalks. Many details remain unresolved, however, including locations of the ban and what criteria will determine where bikes are allowed.
The Sacramento City Council adopted new rules and stricter penalties for those who ride their bikes on sidewalks. Many details remain unresolved, however, including locations of the ban and what criteria will determine where bikes are allowed. Sacramento Bee file

Prop. 55 critical to financial stability

Re “Will rich finally exit the state?” (Insight, Dan Walters, July 25): When discussing why we need to maintain the current income tax rates on the wealthiest, it’s important to talk about what is at stake.

California is just beginning to move toward financial stability and adequate funding for all the services we want from our government. Vital services cut during the recession are just beginning to be restored. Public education, which lost more than $50 billion, is still not at its pre-recession funding level. If we don’t do anything, schools will lose up to $4 billion in funding and our state will face a deficit of nearly $4 billion. This means that we’ll have to start making cuts again.

Without Proposition 55, we risk going back to the days of thousands of pink slips for teachers, huge budget holes for our health care programs and massive budget cuts that hurt middle-class Californians.

Helen L. Hutchison, Sacramento

President, League of Women Voters of California

Metro Chamber is relevant in region

Re “Civic groups must reboot as mayors change” (Editorials, July 27): As a past board chair of the Sacramento Metro Chamber, I have been disappointed once again in The Sacramento Bee editorial board’s biased criticism of the chamber. The Metro Chamber has been actively supporting businesses in the region since 1885. It has 1,800 members including The Bee. The chamber offers resources, support and tangible benefits to small, medium and large businesses in the six-county area. And yes, through our Metro PAC, the chamber endorses and actively supports pro-business candidates, regardless of party affiliation.

The editorial calls the chamber “insular and ineffective.” I counter that unfair claim with the recent work of the chamber’s Small Business Development Center, which has funded 76 microloans for $16.6 million that directly helped establish 40 new small businesses in the region employing 117 people.

I doubt that these new businesses and other members of the chamber would agree with the editorial.

John Frisch, Sacramento

Bike law worse than sausage

Re “City will ban bikes on some sidewalks” (Local, July 28): Some things you don’t want to see. The Sacramento City Council made a public display of not only wordsmithing the sidewalk bike law, but fundamentally changing the text with their seat-of-the-pants comments from the council dais.

The basic law was already was wrongheaded. Now it is worse.

Despite what many bicyclists may think, all evidence, based on academic studies, shows that riding on the sidewalk is less safe than riding in the street. Every street intersection and driveway puts bicyclists into the path of vehicles.

Pedestrians are certainly less safe with bikes in their realm. Sidewalks should be their haven, not a dodge ’em zone. Allowing teenage and adult bicyclists on sidewalks is especially troubling.

Adults and teens should not be allowed to ride on the sidewalk anywhere in the city. The law makes bicyclists and pedestrians less safe. The consequences could be deadly.

Walt Seifert, Sacramento

Low-income housing a priority?

Re “Want to live near Golden 1 Center? It’ll cost you as upscale housing rises” (Page 1A, July 27): Low-income housing should be a major priority for the next mayor.

Will city politicians fail to support low-income housing in the downtown railyard development? Will they claim there are no funds, while supporting developers and big business?

Meanwhile little communities like Upper Land Park, where my family lives, will probably be saddled with even more public and affordable housing than the huge overconcentration there now. Modern research supports integrating smaller percentages in more good communities (equitable distributions) for best results. Sacramento can do this with leadership.

Craig Chaffee, Sacramento

Reject the plan to consolidate parks

Re “Parks district merger foes don’t see any benefits” (Local, July 24): The proposed consolidation of Mission Oaks and Carmichael park districts deserves the notoriety that The Bee has helped it achieve.

Residents of both districts must fight the proposed consolidation. Only they can protect the character of each district and the effectiveness of the programs that these districts have provided for generations. The gratuitous solutions of cutting staff and raising fees in both districts will eviscerate programs and will lead to a death spiral.

Pay attention: What is likely to be imposed on these two districts now could become the simplistic model for “saving” other moderately sized districts to take the pressure off Sacramento County’s general fund.

Linda Martin, Sacramento


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