Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor | Monday, Aug. 5, 2019: City trees, a killer’s thoughts on guns, and overpopulation

Urban forest deserves more support

Re “Underfunded forestry division even affects Modesto officials” (Page 3A, July 29): Chuck Gilstrap, former superintendent of the city’s urban forestry division, said trees give back much more than money, if properly maintained, in better air quality, shade and simple beauty. How right he is!

City leadership is very short on vision by not realizing the inherent value in fully funding the forestry division in order to take care of tree maintenance now. I’ve noticed, with grave concern, that trees are removed but not restored; for example, those cut down on Tully Road.

RJ Moriconi, Modesto

Killer tries to shift blame

Re “America’s love of guns creates killers – I’m one of them” (Page 6A, July 25): I found Joe Garcia’s commentary eerily ironic that we have reached the point where we give a convicted killer, a murderer, any credence to judge our culture or society. I read his essay as a gimmick to shift the blame for his crime to our culture by pointing out so many people have died in the last 50 years, implying that his one murder shouldn’t count. He said, “During the last 50 years, more … civilians have lost their lives to firearms than those killed in …all our wars combined.” This is true to a point, but he conveniently left out that more than 60% of those killed by firearms were suicides, and 3% were killed in a lawful manner.

The number of people killed in a society is not an excuse for Garcia to take a precious life. Garcia should have consulted with the late Arnulfo Garcia, the former editor of the San Quentin News. He would have learned that personal responsibility for one’s actions in life is more causative than the culture of our society. Garcia should sit and ponder what he has done until he gets it right.

James Wells, Modesto

What’s this world coming to?

During World War II, my mom served as a nurse at Bethesda Naval Hospital and my dad joined the Army and fought in Europe. I was born in 1946 and observed part of the world during the 1950s and 1960s.

When viewing my world today, I see communists, socialists, Nazis, anarchists and millionaires who abuse women. I see political parties who have abandoned their mission to represent their electorate. Malice, hatred, and abandonment of anything honorable or sacred seems to be the norm for too many. Everyone is reported to be racist by the evening news, except a select few. Very dishonest and not helpful. It appears that Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” is the book of the month.

I am ashamed of those who condemn the United States. Let’s not turn our country into a socialist sewer. The America I grew up in has been greatly damaged and many of our leaders can’t wait to quietly dismantle our Constitution. More than ever we need to pray for our nation, acknowledge that every American citizen has a moral obligation to vote, and begin loving our neighbor once again.

David Lee Messinger, Modesto

Just too many people

Re “This is why people leave California” (Letters, July 29): The letter writer’s frustration over local residents’ “attitude” against the development of its “precious” farmland is misplaced and shortsighted. Hundreds of thousands of acres of the best farmland in the world have been lost due to attitudes like his. The problem is not that locals want to preserve a way of life, which they do, it’s that California simply has too many people. Water is in short supply, freeways are bumper to bumper, and lakes and parks and coastline are crowded to capacity. Perhaps the writer should dust off a copy of Donella H. Meadows’ 1972 bestseller “The Limits to Growth.”

The governor thinks we can build our way out of this housing shortage, and he may be right. But at what cost? What will each of us have to sacrifice to see that dream realized? And after the 3 million new housing units are full and the population climbs to 47 or 48 million, then what?

Jerome Handley, Turlock