Kiley sold his soul
“Trump endorses Kevin Kiley for California’s 3rd Congressional District seat,” (sacbee.com, May 14)
One has to give up a lot to get a Trump endorsement these days, starting with personal honor. You have to say you believe in the Big Lie — though Kiley knows the allegations of widespread voter fraud have proven to be false. He knows by now that Jan. 6 was a coordinated violent insurrection facilitated by Trump’s loyal operatives and heartily egged on by the Orange Man himself. He knows it was, in fact, Trump trying very hard to steal the election by any means necessary. But he can’t say otherwise and risk alienating Trump’s fan base because he desperately needs their vote. That’s why he’s a no-show at debates and forums and sticks to “I Hate Newsom”’ speeches. Don’t expect this anti-vaccine vaccinated guy to defend personal choice either. Women of District 3: This poser is not on your side. Vote for Dr. Kermit Jones instead.
AQI passing grade
“Sacramento among California cities with filthiest air in the US, new study says. What to know,” (sacbee.com, April 22)
The American Lung Association’s “State of the Air 2022” report does not specify that extreme but short-term impacts from wildfires cause high readings, resulting in a misleading picture of Sacramento’s air quality. Air quality and public health are absolutely impacted by wildfires, but to assign an “F” grade without naming the reason unnecessarily undermines public confidence and denies true progress tackling air and climate pollution. Thanks to innovative initiatives by the Sac Metro Air District and our regional partners and stringent rules and regulations, air quality in Sacramento (minus wildfires) has improved significantly over the past several decades and will continue to improve. Our region has made great strides in moving toward meeting strict health-based ambient air quality standards. That is no small feat for the public and private sectors and certainly worth a passing grade.
Dr. Alberto Ayala
“CalPERS audit found widespread violation of laws meant to curb pension ‘double-dipping’,” (sacbee.com, May 10)
I was dismayed to read that, for years, CalPERS has been rehiring retired staff who continue to collect a pension along with their wages. Finally, in response to a state audit, CalPERS is beginning to address this unethical practice. CalPERS often seems to bank on its huge financial assets and on the trust of its members to operate without being questioned. The agency is a major player in the finances of California, but that doesn’t mean it gets a free pass on questionable practices. We are still uneasy about the fact that former CIO Ben Meng resigned abruptly over conflict of interest violations that CalPERS ignored. Just yesterday, a new report revealed that CalPERS has consistently exaggerated the costs of divestment to the state legislature. CalPERS members who are counting on a secure retirement deserve accountability and honesty, not hand-waving and stonewalling.
“California needs a controller to challenge Sacramento’s establishment. This candidate can,” (sacbee.com, May 11)
The recent controversies regarding State Controller Betty Yee compel me to speak out about the public servant I’ve known and worked with for almost 30 years. I worked closely with Betty when she was chief deputy at the Department of Finance, the director of finance, during her many years with the Board of Equalization and as controller. No one I know works harder. In all those years, I’ve never seen an instance where she didn’t put the public’s interest first. I have rarely met a public official with more integrity than Betty Yee.
Mayor of Sacramento
“Placer County CEO acknowledges he was driving vehicle that fatally struck teen in Rocklin,” (sacbee.com, May 13)
I was very surprised to read that after an almost two month delay, the Placer County CEO, Todd Leopold, has acknowledged he was the driver who tragically struck and killed Anthony Williams. While Mr. Leopold may have many reasons why he didn’t want his name made public, transparency is warranted, especially with someone in his position. The optics are bad.
“California forum letters: Bee readers respond to local and state elections endorsements,” (sacbee.com, May 15)
In a May 15 letter to the editor, Alicia Hamann introduces a conspiracy theory that Mendocino’s World-Famous Skunk Train, operated by Mendocino Railway, is interested in transporting coal. How she reached this conclusion is unknown. In the railroad’s 137 years of service, the train has never transported coal, nor does it have any intention of doing so now or anytime in the future.
Robert Jason Pinoli
Mendocino Railway, president
“On the issues: Candidates for Placer supervisor Shanti Landon, Paul Joiner, Scott Alvord,” (sacbee.com, May 7)
I’ve received requests to clarify my stance on racism. To be clear, I absolutely condemn and denounce racism, neo-Nazi and white supremacy extremism. Diversity is our community’s strength, and I absolutely oppose viewpoints that degrade, threaten or insult. I answered too technically, focusing on freedom of speech and public comment periods in government proceedings following the Brown Act. As long as remarks are not hate speech, which are illegal when directly inciting imminent criminal activity, commenters can speak as desired. I absolutely condemn racial violence and hate crimes, and I’m disgusted by racism and white supremacy.