Letters to the Editor

Air quality, SB 32, Katehi

We must curb diesel exhaust

Re “Zero emission vehicle program needs a tuneup” (Viewpoints, Aug. 9): The op-ed says more than 80 percent of Californians live in areas with poor air quality, and tailpipe emissions are a major contributor to air pollution.

Actually, tailpipe emissions from law-abiding California drivers with well-maintained cars or light pickups are only a tiny fraction of Sacramento’s problem for ozone and fine particles, about 6 percent on average, from the site www.arb.ca.gov.

In addition, almost half of all tailpipe emissions are caused by a small number of owners of “gross emitting” cars and pickups, including smog check cheats, out of state, tampers, etc., none of whom are likely to go electric.

Yes, there are all sorts of reasons to continue to encourage highly efficient gasoline, hybrids and plug-ins, and zero-emission cars, but we must not let this divert us from important actions to reduce more dangerous air pollutants such as diesel exhaust from heavier vehicles.

Thomas A. Cahill, Davis

Don’t give up climate fight

Re “Time running short for extension of California climate law” (sacbee.com, Aug. 9): Senate Bill 32, which sets the target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below the 1990 level by 2030, provides economic benefit while helping the environment for all of California.

The bill stalled last year in the Assembly because of lobbying from the oil industry and the oil-friendly Democrats elected to the Assembly with petroleum industry backing.

California programs to move the state to a modern clean energy economy have benefited each district in the state by providing local investment, jobs, and local projects funded by cap and trade.

California cannot wait to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, because putting off emissions reduction increases our future costs and worsens global warming.

Clair Brown, Richmond

Katehi secures a golden parachute

Re “Katehi will get a year off with full salary” (Page 1A, Aug. 11): There are two sets of rules for UC Davis – one for normal employees and another for the chancellor.

Will Linda P.B. Katehi have to repay the University of California for luxury travel reimbursements like other employees would? I doubt it.

Will she have to repay the UC for money expended improving her reputation? Very unlikely. Does this situation corrode the employees’ confidence in the system? Absolutely.

James Rose, Arbuckle

Questions linger about Katehi

There are important lessons to be learned from Linda Katehi’s resignation as UC Davis chancellor. We see a pattern of our leaders not accepting responsibility or admitting their failures. Katehi’s legal team called the whole thing a misrepresentation, and Hillary Clinton claimed she misspoke about her emails. Such linguistic abuse makes us skeptical of what we read or hear.

It seems essential that we fully examine the self-governance policies and correct the balance between the teaching versus research expectations, a pressing demand from our students.

Subodh Jain, Davis

Katehi departs with plenty

Of course Linda Katehi finally resigned as chancellor. She read the writing on the wall as the investigation was coming to an end. Could the salary that Katehi continued to collect while she was suspended have had something or, more likely, a lot to do with her refusing to go away?

Katehi would have made herself disappear in no time if the UC powers suspended her without pay, if they could have done so legally.

Don Crisafulli, Sacramento

How would a man have been judged?

Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi was hired as a rainmaker, and the campus has been the major beneficiary. She saw no reason not to collect a small percentage for her own use. It would be interesting to see comparable statistics on travel, outside employment, and institutional donations for men in comparable positions.

Louise Mehler, Sacramento

Imagine what Ben Franklin would say

This is the time for all citizens to remember that Benjamin Franklin told a woman when asked what had happened at the convention. He said, “We have given you a Republic, if you can keep it.” Sage advice.

Ramona Lavelle, Sacramento

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