Letters to the Editor

State parks, vaccinations, driver fee

Claudia Rojas watches northern elephant seals at a beach at Año Nuevo State Reserve in Pescadero. A new report urges expanded access to California’s state parks.
Claudia Rojas watches northern elephant seals at a beach at Año Nuevo State Reserve in Pescadero. A new report urges expanded access to California’s state parks. The Associated Press

Improve state park security

Re “An aggressive path forward for our valued state parks” (Viewpoints, Feb. 4): The Parks Forward Commission has emphasized the need for better management and increased revenue streams. I agree. At the same time, however, in the Sacramento region alone, our state parks every day lose customers willing to pay for access for fear that their vehicles will be broken into or vandalized or that they will be confronted by someone they fear. As a recent “smash and grab victim” in a well-established parking area at our state park near Lake Natoma, I can personally attest to the anger and frustration of paying for use of our parks to then ending up as a crime victim.

In my case, as in many, people are finding it worth the extra effort to park in nearby residential areas or in commercial parking and walk into parks without cost.

As a Sacramento County Parks and Recreation Commissioner, I and other commissioners work closely with county staff to encourage additional cameras and security coverage in county parks and recreational areas. Sacramento County is taking incremental steps to improve security in both parking areas and other locations, which I know does not come cheap. California State Parks are treasures. But better security in them is also a must.

Andrew Grant, Folsom

Personal disbelief

Re “Senate Bill would shut vaccination loophole” (Page A1, Feb. 5): Does personal belief allow me to send my child to school in the winter barefoot, or transport a child without a car seat or ride a bike without a helmet? Of course not. These irresponsible decisions represent a threat to the health and safety of the child. Yet we are to respect the personal-belief exemption that puts the child at risk of pneumonia, encephalitis and in rare cases death. Sheer lunacy.

Tim Rooney, Sacramento

Keep parental choice

Lawmakers should pause before passing Richard Pan and Ben Allen’s bill eliminating the personal-beliefs vaccine exemption in schools. The bill assumes schools would be safer if under-immunized children were banned from attending. But an exodus of under-immunized children, many from highly educated families, could hurt those schools in unintended ways. Better to leave the exemption – and with it the personal choice of parents as to how best to protect their children – intact and functional.

Andrew Rubin, Sacramento

Religion vs. personal belief

Exemptions for religious objections should certainly be preserved, but “personal belief” can mean anything, and I suspect one reason for the current measles outbreak is that such objections have been interpreted too loosely.

Gordon Cummings, Rocklin

No need for driver fee

Re “Assembly speaker proposes driver fee” (Capitol & California, Feb. 5): A fee is just another three letter word for a tax. If Jerry Brown really wants to leave a legacy, it should be directed toward overhauling what his dad built.

Andrew G.Mattson, Sacramento


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