Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor | Sunday, September 22, 2019: Trump, public health, water, Denham and marijuana

The president’s priority is corporate profits, not public health

The Trump administration is lowering standards for air and water quality. The standards were originally set to protect public health using the best available science. The criterion now used to lower standards is corporate profits.

While increasing the risk to public health, the Trump administration has done nothing to improve access to and service delivery by our health care system.

Every time President Trump tweets about what a rotten national security adviser John Bolton was, one is reminded that Trump appointments are not the best people. Trump is moving water around the swamp, but not draining it.

Trump supporters only offer slogans and empty platitudes for their continued loyalty to a failed presidency. Prediction: The greatest fallout from many bad decisions will be felt after the next election.

Bruce R. Frohman, Modesto

Washington reps saved CA water talks

If you depend on water in California, you have a reason to thank our representatives in Washington, D.C.

Senator Dianne Feinstein, Representative Josh Harder, Representative Jim Costa, Representative John Garamendi, and Representative TJ Cox all worked on behalf of water users to help stop Senate Bill 1, legislation that would have ended any chance for a voluntary approach to water management and ecosystem restoration. Governor Newsom has indicated that he will veto this legislation.

The voluntary agreements are supported by water agencies representing most of California and embrace a generational change in California water management. They represent compromise on the part of a diverse group of water users. They provide ongoing funding for environmental projects, increased water supply reliability for farms, homes, and businesses, and they bring peace to the kind of confrontational water management that has plagued California for decades.

Mike Wade, Modesto

Editor’s note: The author is executive director of the California Farm Water Coalition

Cooperation is the only answer

Re “Trump’s total culture war” (Page 6A, Sept. 19): Why are we so polarized about Trump? Neither side seems to understand the other. Victor Hanson tries to understand Trump as fighting a “total culture war.” But, seeing ourselves as a nation at war with itself is not healthy. Instead, we need to work together to solve our complex issues.

For example, the problem with our flooded immigration system will not be solved by arguing about a wall. We need to calmly and respectfully discuss what can be done at a congressional level to address the real problems that Hanson lists.

Randy Huth, Turlock

Virginia Corridor was a mistake

Re “Modesto needs to support Stockton Airport, for our own economic good” (Page 1B, Sept. 15): I agree with The Bee that more flights into Stockton will improve Modesto’s options very nicely, but as to connecting ACE trains to the airport, I seem to remember that we had the perfect rail system in place before we turned it into a walking trail.

The old Tidewater rail tracks extended from our downtown convention and transportation centers all the way to the Stockton airport. We could have built nice quiet electric light rail cars connecting us to the airport. Think of it — departures from the DoubleTree parking garage, stop at MJC, unload your golf clubs at Del Rio Country Club, a Park-N-Ride for Escalon commuters, wine tasting at Franzia winery (tracks go right inside the buildings,) and finally the Stockton airport.

Could have been a lovely pastoral ride over the Stanislaus River trestle, past peach orchards and fruit stands. The tracks were already in place, but no, we tore them up to make a bike trail.

Norman VanSpronsen, Modesto

Give Jeff Denham a break

Re “Details emerge day after marijuana grow arrests” (Front Page, Sept. 13): It is probably a little premature to link Denham to an unpermitted marijuana grow because he owned and leased out a portion of a commercial building he holds a minority ownership share in. Really no different than when we discovered that a Modesto city councilman had a massage parlor rented out in one of his shopping centers.

I get how it’s newsworthy to equate public officials with possible wrongdoing, but Denham moved to the East Coast quite a while ago and I just think it is a stretch to link him to this. I think he always did his best for us and really this seems more like a city ordinance violation to me.

Mike Noordewier, Modesto

American Kidney Fund is vital

I am very concerned over the passage of AB 290 by the California State Legislature and want to urge Governor Newsom to veto the bill. I rely on dialysis to stay alive and cannot afford to lose my charitable premium assistance if the American Kidney Fund is forced out of the state as a result of this harmful legislation.

I rely on assistance because renal failure cost me my job. As the sole provider of my household, the reality of insurmountable medical costs was terrifying. When I lost my job, I also lost my insurance and subsequently couldn’t afford a comprehensive insurance plan due to my lack of income. Fortunately, I qualified for a charitable donation from AKF so I could have continuity of care.

With AKF’s assistance, I have been able to return to a level of normalcy that would not have been possible without their help. The peace of mind I have gotten from not having to worry about how I will pay my bills has helped me envision a life beyond dialysis.

Taking AFK away would be taking hope away from not only me, but thousands of other Californians.

Bernard Zachary, Modesto

Let’s support better nutrition

I feel the city of Modesto needs more to farm-to-fork restaurants to offer more nutritious options for eating out, especially near schools. That would make them more accessible to students and make it much easier for students to decide to eat there.

Other cities such as Sacramento have plenty of options in various areas, yet for as large as Modesto is, I feel there are not many. I know that some restaurants do offer a few options from local farms, but as a whole they seem limited. These kinds of eateries would help encourage better food decisions. Issues such as obesity and chronic diseases related to nutritional deficiencies are a prevalent issue for youth, and offering more nutritious options may help.

Emmanuel Sanchez, Salida

Castro blew it with Biden attack

Watching Julian Castro attack Vice President Biden during the last debate validated what I’ve known from the beginning. I felt ashamed for him. He is not representative of Mexican-American values and has no ethnic ties to his culture. His lack of support from fellow Texans demonstrates his poor connections, as displayed during the debate.

There are few circumstances in which any man would publicly attempt to shame anyone. Under any other circumstance this would lead to physical conflict, especially in Texas. His attempt to make Biden appear too old to remember what he said moments before removed the phony mask of civility. Julian may have promoted himself on Twitter, but lost thousands. There is nothing about him that’s reassuring. We don’t want to beat Trump by creating another monster.

Jorge Martinez, Newman

Down with rodeo’s animal abuse

America seems on the brink of a sea change regarding public attitudes about the abuse of animals in so-called entertainment. Witness the end of SeaWorld’s orca shows; demise of the Ringling Bros. Circus; bans on use of wild animal acts in circuses in New Jersey, Hawaii, and California; outlawing of greyhound racing in Florida via ballot initiative; current push to outlaw thoroughbred racing due to the thousands of annual deaths on U.S. race tracks.

Can rodeo be far behind? Most of rodeo is bogus from the git-go. Real working ranch hands never routinely rode bulls, or wrestled steers, or rode bareback, or barrel raced, or practiced calf roping as a timed event. Nor did they put flank straps on the horses and bulls, nor work them over with painful “hotshots” in holding chutes. Some “sport.”

Indeed, rodeo is not a sport at all. That word denotes willing, evenly-matched participants. Rodeo does not qualify. Rather, it is a macho exercise in domination. It needs to go, and legislation is in order.

Eric Mills, coordinator, Action for Animals, Oakland