Letters to the Editor

Small business, criminal justice, Trump, third parties

Small businesses need a break

Re “Hernandez isn’t the only one who needs leave” (Editorials, Aug. 4): This editorial insults California small businesses by claiming that adding yet another protected leave program to the state’s lengthy list would simply create an “inconvenience” for them.

Small businesses are reeling from costs created by other recent mandates, including the minimum-wage hike and paid sick leave. If Senate Bill 1166 were to become law, an employer could face the need to provide up to seven months of leave to some employees when the proposal is coupled with existing mandates.

Amid rising costs, this bill would force businesses to pay even more for hiring, training, overtime and potential litigation. Consider a scenario in which a 10-employee company has several people out on simultaneous protected leaves and it is clear this proposal creates far more than an “inconvenience.” The Bee’s failure to have a balanced discussion of the true impact of this bad idea is irresponsible.

Allan Zaremberg, California Chamber of Commerce

End cap and trade; let’s tax carbon

Re “Can California tune up its climate strategy before it’s too late?” (Editorials, Aug. 1) Cap and trade has not worked. Local land-use policies contribute more carbon by allowing sprawl rather than infill.

Solutions are simple, and in the case of better land use, market-endorsed. “Smart growth” is far simpler to implement than current policies that reward speculation. Citizen’s Climate Lobby proposes a carbon tax so prices would reflect climate costs.

Cap and trade hasn’t been a panacea. Unfortunately, we don’t have the luxury of being satisfied with symbolic, ineffective public policy. We need the results, not excuses.

Mark Dempsey, Orangevale

Rethinking criminal justice

Re “Law professors oppose recall in Stanford case” (Page 7A, July 29): Stanford student Brock Turner’s relatively brief sentence for sexual assault is not the real problem. The truly disproportionate penalties are the decades of incarceration routinely imposed on young men who are not like judges or prosecutors.

Retribution will not help the victim to rebuild her shattered life and psyche. It hasn’t been fully effective, either, in communicating to men that they may not help themselves to women’s bodies, even if they find one unconscious behind a dumpster.

We continue to spend enormous amounts of money and people’s lives on retributive justice, with little to show for it. At last, we are beginning to hear of reforms that will try to get a better return on investment. Let’s hope for intelligent innovation and rigorous evaluation.

Louise Mehler, Sacramento

A courageous personal story

Re “Personal fight with mental illness” (Letters, Aug. 4): I am so very grateful to Steven O’Donnell for sharing his reality of what mental illness is and how it takes good understanding and medical treatment to address the symptoms – just like any other form of illness.

I agree that it takes a community of fellow human beings to adjust the social landscape to be more accepting and understanding of any of us who might have such an illness – or of any of our family members. I commend your dedicated doctors and your support system. And also, I commend you and appreciate you and anyone else who will bring to light their story of mental illness.

I hope more people can feel comfortable in doing so. It is courageous and so much needed. And you are so right: “Remember Mike (Lehmkuhl) and his suffering; but for fate there go you or I.”

Robin Primavera, Carmichael

A Republican voter opposes Trump

Re “Time for Republicans to stand up to Donald Trump” (Editorials, Aug. 3): As a Republican, I am not voting for Trump. He is not suited nor qualified to become president. Trump has demonstrated that he does not possess the character or knowledge of national or world affairs to govern.

Moreover, his past behavior is the best predictor of his future behavior. The world and country are in turmoil, and we need an exemplary leader, not a hot-head who does not possess any prior leadership experience necessary to govern this great country.

Joan Lenk, Sacramento

Third parties offer alternatives

People who do not wish to support Hillary Clinton but feel they must back away from supporting Donald Trump have other options.

If they are disenchanted with career politicians and the establishment, they can vote for Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party, Jill Stein of the Green Party or another candidate of your choice.

I am excited by the possibility that this election will help to move us from a two-party chokehold, under which we have governed for most of our existence, to a multiparty system.

Do not stay home on Election Day. Please vote your conscience while remembering that in many nations that action is forbidden.

Jenifer Campo, El Dorado Hills

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