Letters to the Editor

CHP and Caltrans have no excuse for delaying report on woman’s death

No good excuse for CHP stonewalling

Regarding The Bee’s article (“Homeless woman dies during Caltrans cleanup,” Page 1A, Aug. 30) on the homeless woman killed during a Caltrans cleanup operation, I was disturbed by the refusal of the CHP and Caltrans to release any substantive information about the circumstances of her death.

It has been a month since law enforcement determined the death was not the result of a homicide. Yet the CHP still cites its ongoing investigation as a rationale for withholding information. In instances such as this, where there is no victim of a crime and no potential perpetrators, there is little justification for withholding information from the public. What CHP is referring to as an “investigation,” could be more accurately described as “fact-finding” for the purpose of preparing a report.

Given the relatively small number of witnesses and the confined area of the accident scene, it’s hard to understand why CHP didn’t complete its report three weeks ago. It is even harder to understand what information CHP has acquired that would jeopardize its “investigation” if it were released to the public.

C’mon CHP, open the windows and let some fresh air in. Failure to do so results in the aroma of stonewalling and cover-up.

James Holden, Modesto

Want fewer fires? Do more logging

Logging is defined as the removal of mature trees (over 20 inches in diameter) to reduce the fuel load in the forest. Logging also provides jobs in mountain counties and lumber to build homes, which currently is mostly imported from Canada.

The political buzz word now is forest management. The environmental community claims global warming is the cause of more intense fires.

Let’s use you fireplace for an example. Put two logs on it and it makes your house nice and cozy, put 10 logs on it and you burn our house down. So is it global warming or forest mismanagement causing the fires?

Forty years ago an old logger told me these trees will leave the forest in one of two ways, either on the back of a logging truck or up in a cloud of smoke. How true that remains.

The enviros have two choices, either remove your head from where it is stuck or install a picture window in your stomach so you can see where you are going.

Tom Gookin, Oakdale

Kavanaugh has a right-wing agenda

The confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh are in process as I type. The Democrats, in the minority, fiercely object to him. Why? That’s easy. First, he was handpicked by Donald Trump from a list created by a very conservative group with an extremely conservative agenda. He has written papers stating he does not think a president, while in office, should be indicted or required to appear in court for questioning – no matter what he/she may have done.

The Senators don’t have all his pertinent papers, especially from his time in the George W. Bush administration.

A year ago, Kavanaugh wrote a dissent in which he argued an immigrant girl who wanted an abortion should not be allowed to have it while in custody. Kavanaugh knew Texas allows abortion only up to 20 weeks, and his restrictions would have stopped abortion because of time limits. He followed a very narrow line between the law and trying to achieve his personal beliefs. The court ruled 2-1 in the girl’s favor, saying she didn’t need permission to proceed with the abortion.

Republicans are rushing to confirm this judge because they care more about their majority power, not the majority of people’s opinions and evidence.

Diane Kroeze, Modesto

All children deserve to live

I’ve been getting requests by different anti-abortion groups to include prayers in the liturgy so that the Senate will confirm Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. They are praying for a judge who will protect the lives of the unborn.

The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to combat HIV and AIDS globally has been slated for cuts by the Trump administration even though infant mortality has been drastically reduced. I wonder why I haven’t received prayer requests by anti-abortion groups so that this program will continue to be funded? Is it because some of these babies come from “s---hole countries” in Africa, as the president puts it?

On the other hand, pro-abortion groups are urging the Senate to reject any nominee who is presumed to oppose Roe v Wade. While the Catholic Church is committed to the protection of all human life, it “does not support or oppose confirmation of particular presidential nominees.”

Whether you are for or against abortion, I pray one day we can all agree that all children deserve to live. It doesn’t matter if that child is in Africa or you just think it is an embryo.

Fr. Misael Avila, Riverbank

5 reasons to vote for Josh Harder

I’m voting for Josh Harder and I hope you will too because:

▪ Josh will support consumers. Jeff Denham has a “0 percent” voting record in support of consumer associations. Denham has supported legislation sponsored by the chamber of commerce 90 percent of the time.

▪ Josh has promised to support health care for all Americans. Denham has consistently voted to reduce and/or repeal The Affordable Care Act while offering a deceitful alternative plan and claiming he supports health care.

▪ Josh will support women’s rights. Denham votes against Planned Parenthood and women’s rights.

▪ Josh will support immigration reform and The Dreamers. Denham supports “The Wall.”

▪ Josh will serve as a check on Trump’s extreme policies and behavior. Denham supports Trump’s agenda 98 percent of the time.

Vote for Harder

Peter Macfarlane, Denair

Disputing Denham claim of ‘local’

Re “Harder’s money comes from SF” (Letters, Sept. 1): The writer states a need for Jeff Denham to stay as our Congressman because he lives “here.” Well guess what, Denham lives in Washington D.C., has a house in Turlock but I doubt he or any of his family stays in it for any length of time. He certainly does not “understand our lives here,” as the writer wrote.

He has voted for every possible bill that will hurt – not help – folks here! Small and large donations have come from all over our district as well as from others who care enough to help our Congress get something done for a change by electing Democrats!

Where does Denham’s money come from? I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot came right out of Trump’s pockets!

Myrna Wachs, Turlock

At least Harder has time for us

My family has participated in Rep. Jeff Denham’s “Telephone Town Halls,” if calling in, hearing him repeat the same phrases many times during the hour he allows and hearing only his cheerleaders’ questions is actually participation. Are they even real constituents? His staff knows who is not registered Republican. We are ignored. He has even ended his fake town halls early pretending we were not still waiting.

He claims it’s because he respects our time, but anyone can hang up whenever they want. He sure does!

My husband grew up in Oakdale. He was not invited to Denham’s private “town hall” on Crane Road, where his parents lived and farmed a small orchard and my husband picked peaches as a boy. Denham doesn’t care about our disappeared family farm, because like most who were farm laborers in this Valley, my veteran husband votes Democrat.

We will have to watch youthful, energetic Josh Harder debate an experienced politician on Facebook because Denham always wants to keep most constituents at a distance. One of many reasons I will vote for Turlock native Josh Harder.

Rossie Hunter, Oakdale

Where’s that tax cut you promised?

The tax bill was advertised as a tax cut for us, the middle class. Jeff Denham told us that with a straight face. He went further, saying we will be able to file our taxes on a postcard- size form. How simple!

It turned out to be a tax cut for the very rich, crumbs for everyone else and a deficit increase of about $2 trillion. Fiscal irresponsibility. Trump recently shot down a scheduled pay raise for civilian Federal employees, citing a fiscal emergency. Hypocrisy!

Jeff Denham is watching this and never saying anything. He has not had a face-to-face town hall meeting in nearly two years. He replies with canned emails and his phone representatives are message takers. What is Denham afraid of?

It’s time to choose a congressman who is accessible and can speak his mind. Denham has not represented us in years! Josh Harder will. Join me on Nov. 6 and vote for adequate representation!

Julian Bentayeb, Newman