Letters to the Editor

Letters: Toddler and health care costs, sheriff’s deputies and appeal costs, Common Core, EpiPens

Israel Stinson was declared brain dead in April after he suffered a severe asthma attack.
Israel Stinson was declared brain dead in April after he suffered a severe asthma attack.

At what cost to keep toddler alive?

Re “Brain-dead toddler taken off life support” (Page 1A, Aug. 26): As an RN, mother and grandmother I extend my deepest sympathy to the family of Israel Stinson. As a strong proponent of quality of life over quantity, I feel immense relief that this child is no longer being tormented by tubes, needles and hopeless interventions.

While I have profound sympathy for his parents, I have to wonder how they could afford all these months of intensive care for Israel, including moving him to a foreign country.

I admire the Superior Court judge who ended this prolonged agony for Israel and his parents.

Ellen Wildfeuer,


Health care lesson from travesty

This was a case of complicated grief with legal system entanglement. Thankfully Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and the judge had the compassion to end this travesty. The parents have suffered the greatest loss that can be borne and can now start the healing process.

Each time this case came to media attention, the question should have come up: Who is paying for all this? A day in a pediatric ICU costs $20,000 to $30,000. Custodial ventilator care costs a portion of this. This has been going on for five months.

Health care costs $3 trillion a year and one-third of that is wasted – no benefit, futile and possible harm. This case was emotionally charged because the patient was 2 years old. If there had been hope, then sure, let’s give it our all. That said, we as a society must come to grips with saying no to wasted health care.

Dr. Kevin Keck,


Who’s at fault for poor schools?

Re “Students gain slightly on Common Core tests” (Local, Aug. 25): Once again, a number of Sacramento schools failed to meet Common Core educational standards. By any measure, these schools are simply miserable.

In any organization, public or private, the person in charge is directly responsible for the organization’s performance, and all its personnel. It’s called leadership. Here, that person is the school principal.

Schools and teachers lament low scores as being everyone’s fault but theirs. They’re wrong. It is their fault. And it is the fault of each school principal. Tenure rules make it all but impossible to remove subpar teachers. Maybe so. But those rules don’t apply to principals. If teachers don’t know to do their job, then it falls on the principal to train them. Far too much is at stake with the lives of students inadequately prepared for the future.

No more excuses. Principals must do their job, or be replaced.

Robert N. Austin,


Appeal is wasting taxpayer money

Re “Deputies suit victory appealed” (Local, Aug. 19): I would like to point out to the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors, county officials and Sheriff Scott Jones that it was a jury of local taxpayers that awarded four female sheriff’s deputies a multimillion-dollar award in their retaliation lawsuit, and I think it’s about time you stop wasting our taxpayer money on your mistakes. We are not your piggy bank.

Gene Davenport, Galt

Sheriff, crew, pay for your own crime

Somebody please explain to me who is, and who is not, legally responsible for their own actions. For instance: Let’s imagine an average guy, who may have worked for the same company for the last 10 years or so, and one day it’s discovered that he’s been embezzling something on the job. He is, of course, fired and arrested. Upon being sentenced for his deeds, he can expect an order for restitution along with some very large fines and legal fees.

Do you think the company he was working for will pay the bill for him? Do you think they are obliged to pay it for him? No. So why do we, who employ Sheriff Scott Jones and his deputies, pay for the crimes they’ve committed on the job?

The burden should fall on the perpetrators, not taxpayers.

Michael A. Perez,


Here’s how to beat Pharma’s greed

Re “Another black eye for Pharma” (Editorials, Aug. 25): A 1-milliliter vial of epi costs about $4.50 and a syringe is pennies. Teach parents and adults with allergies to fill their own syringe and quit buying the EpiPens.

Jamie Klein, Orangevale


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