Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor | Sunday, May 5, 2019: Democrats, Trump, air quality and fracking

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke, right, in Yosemite National Park, Calif., on April 29, 2019
Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke, right, in Yosemite National Park, Calif., on April 29, 2019 AP

Down with the Dems

Earlier this month Gov. Gavin Newsom announced he was suspending California’s death penalty. He did so after the law was twice approved by statewide voter majority. He claimed during his campaign he would not let his personal bias against the death penalty overrule the will of the voters, yet he did just that. Now comes a conga line of liberal California politicians and socialist elites claiming to be so enlightened and intelligent that it justifies their self-assumed authority over all of us to ensure we live our lives according to their rules.

In a single week, California’s own Kamala Harris joined Bernie Sanders in demanding convicted felons be given the right to vote while incarcerated. Scott Peterson, who murdered his young wife, Laci, and unborn son, Conner, just got a two-run homer: suspension of his well-deserved date with death, and the right to cancel another person’s vote.

Democrats in Sacramento will soon impose a mandatory rule that prohibits disciplining any student who willfully defies any teacher or principal. And a 1 percent tax is about to be imposed on the bill of every California restaurant patron to save the planet from climate change.

Democrats always know best.

Rick Raef, Modesto

Audit controversy lives on

Re “Modesto mayor takes dispute with council to Facebook” (Page 3A, April 28): Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah for Mayor Brandvold! I can't wait for the May 7 meeting to hear your auditor findings. Bravo!

Rita Matthews, Modesto

Unjustly punishing the poor

I recently researched the cost of an echocardiogram for a friend. Doctors will request this test to check for heart problems. If you have insurance, they are generally covered at 100 percent without a deductible because they are diagnostic. Without insurance, if you can make a one time payment of $380, that’s all you will be charged. If you can’t pay $380 up front, and need to make monthly payments, you will be charged $900, an increase of $520 or 137 percent. Just one more way that poor people in America pay more for many things.

If you maintain a lower bank balance, you will pay more for banking services. Lower-income neighborhoods often don’t have banks, resulting in people using check-cashing businesses that charge outrageous fees. Often grocery stores in low-income neighborhoods charge higher prices than stores in higher-income areas.

Banking, healthcare, food, etc. — we punish the poor for being poor. We can and should do better.

Gaetana Drake, Modesto

Is air quality plan junk science?

Re “New campaign to ‘unmask’ Fresno, cut air pollution. ‘We are the canary in the coal mine’ (Online, March 15): The Bee has reported on air pollution in the Valley and the recent multibillion-dollar State Implementation Plan proposed by the local Air District. As part of that Plan, the district claimed there has been a dramatic decline in air pollution: “Emissions from stationary sources have been reduced 85 percent, cancer risk from exposure to air pollutants has been reduced 95 percent, population exposure to elevated PM 2.5 levels have been reduced 85 percent, and population exposure to elevated ozone levels has been reduced 90 percent.”

If true, there should be health studies that show a dramatic decrease in mortality and morbidity in the Valley. The district spent $60 million on “scientific” studies, but said it was prohibited from conducting health studies!

The district will also implement enhanced air quality monitoring and compliance measures as part of the $80 million statewide AB 617 program. Two heavily polluted Valley communities will be targeted. The district said there will be no attempt to study actual health outcomes. What is the point of having enhanced air monitors and expensive pollution control measures if we do not study actual health outcomes?

Ned Leiba, Stockton

Sunshine is only cure for Trump

Good morning, America. How are you surviving our great national nightmare — the reign of King Donald?

Every day we are assaulted by the ramblings of this bigoted, racist homophobe. Each day we hunger for some sliver of truth. The orange dough boy has forced the truth tellers into darkness. He has told over 10,000 lies so far. Our ability to cope is getting harder each day. The stress level in this country is up dramatically. To ignore the reason is to give this cartoon president more power. He thrives on the division he has espoused. His power of dividing us is to the point that if you don’t worship at the alter of Trump and wear a MAGA hat, you are the enemy.

The cure for this national malady is sunshine. Shine more light and expose this tumor of evilness. Sunshine is the greatest disinfectant. Sunshine and the truth will restore our country to its true course. Maybe our political discourse will improve.

Dennis Thomas, Modesto

Fracking could ruin Yosemite

Re “Trump plan for fracking on a million acres in California bad for Yosemite, opponents say” (Page 3A, April 30): So our slimeball president has discovered a way to put California out of business. He is going to encourage fracking around our National Parks, including Yosemite. Fracking has brought numerous earthquakes to Oklahoma, a state which had rarely or never previously had earthquakes.

You evangelical Trump worshipers might want to relocate to a state not likely to slide into the Pacific Ocean. Hallelujah!

Ken Garst, Turlock

Congressman supports young people

Recently I observed how Congressman Josh Harder interacted with students when he visited our pathway programs at Enochs High School this week. As an educator of 27-plus years, I believe our elected leaders should spend significant, quality time with students listening to their concerns. This benefits learners as well as elected officials.

I was happy to welcome Harder to my class. He listened to each student in the room, took time to ask their plans for the future and cared about what mattered to them. I know that Congressman Harder serves on the education committee and that he knows one of the best ways to understand the work we do as educators is by seeing it firsthand and talking to students.

This accessibility and transparency is a hallmark of the congressman’s tenure so far. I know that he is fighting to protect education funding from proposed cuts.

Dave Menshew, Modesto