Letters to the Editor

Mental illness, Alzheimer’s, Ami Bera, gun lawsuit

Michael Lehmkuhl in a recent mug shot after he was arrested while homeless in Sacramento. A Sacramento State alum and building contractor, he began to hear voices when he was in his early 50s.
Michael Lehmkuhl in a recent mug shot after he was arrested while homeless in Sacramento. A Sacramento State alum and building contractor, he began to hear voices when he was in his early 50s.

Rethinking care for mental illness

Re “All-too-common dereliction” (Editorials, Aug. 8): The Lanterman–Petris–Short (LPS) Act of 1967 virtually prohibits any involuntary treatment. While the LPS Act eliminated excessive involuntary treatment, it has been a disaster for mental health.

It assumes that mentally ill individuals have the capacity to rationally decide whether they need treatment. Ask any family with a mentally ill loved one or any cop who has been forced to deal with the mentally ill or even neighbors who have to live near a mentally ill neighbor if they think involuntary mental health treatment is required.

They would all probably strongly support involuntary mental health treatment.

Rich McKone, Lincoln

Join fight against Alzheimer’s

Re “Alzheimer's research has hopeful progress” (Page 1A, Aug. 7): I am hopeful that significant help for sufferers of Alzheimer's disease and their caregivers will be found soon. Let's just be careful to distinguish between hope and proof. For an Alzheimer’s drug to be proven effective, the FDA requires clinical trial data from hundreds or even thousands of people.

Scientists say that one of the hurdles to finding a cure is getting enough people to participate in clinical trials. The Alzheimer’s Association offers a website, trialmatch.alz.org, where healthy volunteers and people living with Alzheimer’s can search for clinical trials and sign up to participate. We can all help in the fight against this devastating disease.

Jennifer Harrington, Roseville

A solution to surrogates

Re “Demand is booming in state for surrogate birth mothers” (Business, Aug 6): I have a solution for the demand of surrogate mothers. Don't have that abortion. Babies can be adopted and we put the brutal act of abortion out of business.

Suzan Hunt, Lincoln

Gun owners try to bully legislators

Re “Firearms coalition sues over blog post removal” (Page 6A, Aug. 6): The only reason the gun rights blogger chose to post the names and home addresses of lawmakers who supported gun control legislation was to intimidate them.

He or she wants them to be afraid, to wonder if someone might show up at their door and threaten them and their families for courageously taking a stand on a controversial issue. When that blog was taken down, the Firearms Policy Coalition sued, claiming this violates the First Amendment rights of the blogger. Who is the blogger whose rights have been so abused? The Coalition would not reveal its identity. The hypocrisy of this situation is disgusting.

Joe Manes, Sacramento

Bera’s father should pay big fine

Re “No prison for Bera's dad, judge is advised” (Page 1A, Aug. 6): I agree with the probation officer’s advice that Ami Bera’s father, Babulal Bera, should be spared from prison. Putting a physically harmless 83-year-old in jail would likely be a life sentence.

He poses no threat to the safety of our community. However, his fine, at a minimum, should be the $268,726, the amount he gave to the straw donors. Furthermore, the 90-plus straw donors should be exposed, prosecuted and fined at least the amount of their fraudulent campaign contribution.

One last question remains unanswered. Can you really believe that 90-plus friends and family members of Ami Bera colluded together and participated in this huge contribution scam – and yet Ami Bera had no clue?

Chris Smith, Rocklin

Prosecutors should back off elder Bera

Prosecutors want Rep. Ami Bera’s dad to go to prison. He’s 83 years old. He made stupid decisions out of misguided love for his son. No one was killed. No one was punched. No one was bullied.

People gave money willingly if not in an informed manner. Sending this man to prison is the antithesis of rational jurisprudence. Who will be safer with this foolish old man in a cell?

Prosecutor have become modern day inquisitors: rigid, merciless, punitive, single minded slaves to a brutal interpretation of law, wholly incapable of compassion or critical thinking even within the parameters allowed by law. They replace the double scales of justice with double handcuffs. Someone needs to explain to them that another notch on their career belts is not the same thing as justice. Sending an old man to prison to suffer and die? Who is the enemy of civilized behavior here?

Michael R. Gorman, Sacramento


Find them at:



Online form (preferred):


Other: Letters, P.O. Box 15779,

Sacramento, CA 95852

150-word limit. Include name, address and phone number. Letters may be edited for clarity, brevity and content.