Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor | Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019: Rent, special ed, climate change and quid pro quo

Gouging renters is shameful

I want to thank The Modesto Bee for their series of articles about rising rents in our area and for emphasizing that people are being outpriced. I wish there had been more interviews with people who are living on the edge to show how they can get by.

Why are rents rising? I have to say it’s greed, pure and simple. The representative from Liberty Property Management said people who have lost everything from the fires are relocating. I do not believe it’s rising rents in the Bay Area, since we’ve been dealing with Bay Area transplants for years.

Shame on every landlord who is doing this. Some of these people have lost everything and now they are taken advantage of because they are desperate for homes. It’s sad that landlords are allowed to get away with gouging people.

Terri Coleman, Modesto

Letters to the editor provide real value

What I would like to see on the editorial page are letters from area residents regarding local, regional, national and international issues. Letters let us know what members of our community are thinking about a variety of subjects. Sharing thoughts through letters to the editor may help us all to better understand members of our community. An example is the annexation of Wood Colony by Modesto.

There are problems such as water, homeless people, and pollution, which affect us locally and are also worldwide problems. We often hear the phrase “think globally, act locally.” May we all learn to do so.

Jeanine Clarke, Salida

Special education is teetering

I am a paraprofessional in special education. I have worked with them for eight years. Over the past four years, the need for special education classrooms has grown and the lack of staff and training has increased as well. The children are not being taught anymore because we are understaffed and the district is doing nothing to fix this. They aren’t telling the parents the truth about what is happening in these classrooms.

As someone who has a personal investment in special education, it saddens me. I think this needs to be brought to light and changes need to be made in order for the students to be able to learn and get the help they are entitled to. It is at the point of putting the children in danger because we aren’t able to keep a close eye on them at all times because there aren’t enough adults. Goals aren’t being worked on because it becomes a just-stay-afloat kind of work week.

Marissa Ann Cupples, Modesto

Why fight climate change?

I’m tired of all of the hand wringing about global warming. If this is a reality and will continue unless we cut way back on our lifestyle then we had better start thinking about what cutting back really means.

Air travel? Nope. Multiple cars for a family? Nope. Grocery stores full of processed food? Nope. Large homes with few occupants? Nope. Yachts, travel, sports cars, water sports? All nope! Our entire society depends on energy-driven consumption. “I’ll start consuming less the day our leaders do” — fat chance.

But wait, there’s more.

Unemployment out of control? Yep. Brutal energy conservation regulations? Food and gasoline riots? Yep. Countries that depend on our high level of consumption for their own economies to thrive? Sorry.

And finally, if the U.S. becomes a second-rate power in order to save the planet I can hardly wait to see what Putin and Xi Jinping do.

When the population of the world settles around 1 to 2 billion, then we might have a chance. Otherwise I’m going to keep eating ice cream.

John E. Arnold, Modesto

Context is everything

Re “Climate change deniers are the sane ones” (Letters, Oct. 27): I am appalled that The Bee would print this letter without providing perspective on the issue.

David Tucker, Riverbank

Housing for extended families

The 1980s and ‘90s saw an explosion of giant houses — the McMansion — aimed for a specific market: couples with only one or two children.

As our population becomes more diverse, the housing needs of a community change. The return of the family — multi-generational and more than the “accepted” number of children — is impacting society as a whole. It is time we encourage developers to acknowledge this change by encouraging a different type of neighborhood design.

Children do not need their own room as much as they need a sturdy roof over their head. Seniors do not need to be shuffled off to a specific area to live. More importantly, families need to be able to afford housing, whether it be through home ownership or rental, that allows them to be just that — a family.

It is time for us to consider how we can, through attraction, convince developers to switch gears and look at how they can provide affordable housing that promotes healthy families. We should stop shaming families for living together in order to support each other spiritually and financially; rather, we need to give them more opportunity to do so.

Leslie Shaw Klinger, Modesto

Let’s truly address mental health

The rate of youth suicides is increasing sharply. Gun violence at schools is widespread. At the same time, funding for school counselors and mental health counselors is inadequate.

Improperly managed mental health issues and substance abuse is on the rise. Hospitals and community clinics are in need of psychiatric services and, if they can afford it, telehealth services. However, these services are often limited in scope and availability.

Without adequate services in schools, students are marginalized, leading to poor performance and potential harm to self and others. Without proper community access, patients are pushed out of support systems leading to job loss, and again, harm to self and others. With more investment in mental health services we minimize social destruction and encourage and maintain a productive workforce.

Todd Imura, Oakdale

Reflections on quid pro quo

In high school I took a civics class where we studied the Constitution. We learned that the Founding Fathers were concerned about foreign influence on our government and that a president could be removed from office if found guilty of committing “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” Recent events suggest that a significant number of government officials, including the president, may not have taken a civics class, or possibly slept through theirs.

The current impeachment inquiry is based on a simple premise: the president committed a crime when he asked a foreign government to help him politically by investigating a potential rival. As a defense, some have said that the president did not request a quid pro quo, or something given or received for something else. However, the president committed a crime when he asked for help.

When the president asked China to investigate a political rival, the investigation did not have to occur to be a crime. The president committed a crime when he asked.

So let’s keep it simple. It doesn’t matter if something was received in return. The president committed a high crime when he asked for foreign interference in an election.

Michael A. Clarke, Salida

Just follow the rules

I really have to admit that I am baffled by current events in Congress. How could such a simple process be turned into such a mess?

Whether it’s a grand jury or a congressional inquiry the process is almost exactly the same except that our representatives seem to be much less disciplined and more childlike. Each process requires secrecy to protect both the witnesses and the subject until it can be determined if the evidence supports charges. If it does then the evidence is presented to the court, or in this case the House, where a vote is taken to determine if a jury, the Senate, needs to be convened.

This process happens many times each day in grand juries around our country. The accused doesn’t get to question witnesses. The accused doesn’t get to have an attorney present. The accused doesn’t get to present a defense.

That’s the grand jury system. Are Republicans in the House of Representatives proposing that we do away with this system because it’s uncomfortable or inconvenient?

David Ablett, Modesto

He’s really not that great

You’re telling me this draft-dodging, cowardly, California-hating, “Let’s blow-up Yosemite by fracking,” self-appointed genius is a great president? It reminds me of the book entitled The Wit and Wisdom of Spiro T. Agnew. The book consisted of 150 or so blank pages. Hallelujah!

Please tell me he isn’t quite dumb enough to build a dam on the Colorado River at the border with Mexico and Arizona.

Ken Garst, Turlock

Hurrah for Honor Flight

My husband, Sgt. Charles Rowland, retired, was honored with a trip to Washington, D.C. The organization called Honor Flight takes qualified veterans to our capital to visit all the military service memorials there. He traveled with 27 other vets on a whirlwind, three-day trip. Each vet has a guardian who cannot be the spouse. So our retired Air Force daughter, Phyllis, became his guardian for this momentous event. They were treated royally, with police escorts everywhere they went, and received deferential treatment at SFO, at their Washington hotel and on the Capitol grounds. He said he couldn’t believe how wonderfully they were respected, and how very well planned was the whole event. So much was packed into this short visit. He said it will be among the very top memories in his lifetime.

I am so proud of my husband’s service to our country, and think it is important that people everywhere know that Honor Flight provides this experience to so many veterans from all the armed forces, including people of Modesto.

Marilyn Rowland, Modesto

In good hands with Gray

For some months my husband and I had been dealing unsuccessfully with a tax issue involving Covered California. Frustrated and close to calling it quits, we contacted the office of Assemblymember Adam Gray, 21st District. They took up the fight on our behalf and finally brought about a satisfactory resolution, much to our relief.

Paula Hale McNett, Modesto

Kind people saved my life

Thank you to the five good passersby who came to my aid at a railroad crossing on Oct. 6 at Sylvan and Claus roads. Thank you for calling 911 and moving me off the tracks to the side of the road. The concern and compassion in your eyes gave me confidence in your actions and confirmed the goodness present in humankind. Your attention calmed me. Thank you, Chris, for offering to take my bike home.

John Herrick, Modesto