Letters to the Editor

Corporate greed, internet gambling, teacher tenure, daylight saving

The cost of EpiPens has exploded from $94 in 2007 to more than $600 now.
The cost of EpiPens has exploded from $94 in 2007 to more than $600 now. Associated Press file

Greed run amok over EpiPens

Re “Another black eye for Pharma” (Editorials, Aug. 25): This editorial is sadly spot-on regarding Mylan’s decision to hold the health and well-being of countless people, many of them children, hostage to their corporate amorality and greed.

Their decision is something akin to finding a dying person in the desert and refusing to provide lifesaving water unless he can pay. It almost seems as if too many pharmaceutical companies are saying, “The rich can afford to pay for our product, and the poor and middle class are welcome to suffer and die.”

If a child dies as a result of this greedy decision, perhaps these corporate executives should be charged with criminal offenses – something in the order of crimes against humanity.

Stephen R. Hoover,

Sacramento

Internet gamblers need protections

Re “Internet poker bill is a losing hand” (Editorials, Aug. 23): The Bee’s editorial on Assembly Bill 2863, my internet poker legislation, missed the point. Millions of Californians are engaging in gambling in various legal and illegal forms at this very moment. California is the high-tech center of the world, yet our antiquated gambling laws hardly recognize the internet.

We can continue to endure the status quo, where internet gambling goes unregulated, untaxed and where no consumer protections exist, or we can try to bring some sense of order to the entire gambling industry in the state.

If The Bee deems the current situation to be in the public’s interest, then say so. If The Bee believes gambling should be outlawed, then say that, and editorialize for state and local law enforcement to be given the resources to stop it. But stop trying to have it both ways. The editorial board sounds like the politicians who promise to cut taxes but expand programs at the same time. The voters, and your readers, are not that naive.

Assemblyman

Adam C. Gray, Sacramento

Vergara case not about students

Re “Teacher tenure debate ends with too little noise” (Editorials, Aug. 22): This hyperbolic blast against California’s teachers would lead one to believe that the state’s crisis in education is one of a breathtaking supply of insufficient educators hired by districts that cannot discern this nor offer professional development or employ personnel actions of any sort to protect students.

This storyline follows a corporate reformist script with great fidelity. But the job of an impartial media is to analyze facts, not sidestep them. Vergara v. California was not about nine school children who brought this action. It was about Silicon Valley multimillionaire David Welch and his corporate lawyers and PR cronies. The five laws under attack weren’t just defended by California’s teachers. They were defended by a group of civil rights organizations, legal scholars, and education policy experts and researchers. Despite your editorial’s assertion to the contrary, the five statutes do not in any way prevent districts from making personnel decisions.

Laurie Wimmer,

Portland, Ore.

Unions profit at public’s expense

California’s teacher tenure rules – so harmful to students’ well-being that it “shocks the conscience,” according to a Superior Court judge – is a truly shameful example of how unions profit at the expense of others.

These terrible laws are the result of the special-interest effect: Lawmakers serve those who can provide the most support – unions like the California Teachers Association – over the public interest.

Californians should ask themselves which is more important: unions or their children.

Robert Fellner, Las Vegas

Crops don’t care what time it is

Re “State Senate defeats daylight saving bill” (Page 9A, Aug. 24): At first, I thought the quote from state Sen. Jim Nielsen was a joke. “Our crops have gotten accustomed to that. They’ve in fact been bred to deal with that longer harvest season,” Nielsen said.

I find it difficult to believe the senator does not understand that crops do not care what time it is. The harvest season depends on how long the sun is up, and the angle and distance from earth, not what the time the farmers or anyone else’s watch says it is.

Franklin Dotson, Antelope

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