California forum letters: Bee readers take on Rittenhouse verdict, Kings, parental rights

·5 min read

Folly of Kings

If the Kings needed proof Luke Walton wasn’t their only problem, the 76ers provided it,” (, Nov. 23)

Oftentimes firing a head coach may seem to be the remedy for a team like the Kings. That remedy didn’t seem to work Monday night, and the playoff drought could extend to 16 years if the Kings don’t recognize the real problem at hand: interior presence. The Kings have consistently been dominated in the paint on both sides of the court since the start of the 2019-20 season. Last night was proof, with Detroit’s Andre Drummond pulling down 23 boards. Rudy Gobert has done the same this season, and the result is three losses to Utah, the best team in the West last year.

That’s not the head coach’s fault but truly a player personnel problem. You can come up with reasons why the Kings still struggle, but the Kings won’t improve until they understand the problem.

Gus Elmashni


No trust

Equal opportunity extremism: How women seized the moment in California’s far-right radical politics,” (, Nov. 21)

While refusal to be vaccinated can be framed as “freedom” or a “choice” and a case can be made for this, it has created a health risk to the general population, leading to the sickness and deaths of thousands of Americans from a deadly but preventable disease. Attempting to shut down or interfere with vaccination clinics is even more unjust, and no mention is ever made by these adherents of the right of a citizen not to be infected by a careless person.

When subjected to scrutiny, these policies are not based on legitimate, consistent principles or any responsibility for the well-being of fellow citizens in the general society, but on lack of trust in societal institutions, misinformation, fear and greed, and the direction of desperate, misguided, misogynistic men behind the scenes.

John McCormack



Demolition by neglect

California’s $1.2 billion Capitol renovation is underway. Activists are still trying to halt it,” (, Nov. 18)

A renovation? I wish. What’s actually underway is a demolition of a historic Capitol building, digging up the trees of Capitol Park for an underground parking garage and destroying the west plaza gathering space we used to express citizen opinion.

Who’s to blame if the lawmakers find their building “outdated and dangerous and without modern fire sprinklers and ADA access”? It’s the lawmakers themselves, who, for 20 years, have disregarded the plans the executive branch laid before them to upgrade the building to meet updated codes and replace systems such as power and heating that have reached the end of their life.

Had the Legislature consulted the state historic preservation officer early in its planning as required by law, she could have warned them that this dishonored practice is used so often by greedy developers. It has a name: Demolition by neglect.

Richard Cowan

Gold River


Jury finds Rittenhouse not guilty in Kenosha shootings,” (, Nov. 20)

It’s not safe to protest police killings of unarmed Black people. People from outside your state may show up with assault rifles and, should you object to them pointing their guns at you, they can shoot you and claim self-defense. The public square has been made increasingly lethal by right-wing, extrajudicial appointees.

In our “democracy,” If you have not been shot on the way to the polls, good luck finding a voting booth.

Scott Steward


Flaws of judicial system

Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted of all charges, but he is unquestionably morally guilty,” (, Nov. 22)

Erwin Chemerinsky provides a clear distinction between legality and morality in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial. Retirement has enabled me to have ample time to view the videos and hear the arguments presented. At its end, the jury’s decisions were deeply disappointing. From my perspective, Rittenhouse displayed irresponsibility in most of his actions as flaws in our judicial system were revealed.

We need to encourage lawmakers to tighten self-defense justifications and to seriously restrict the availability and use of assault weapons, such as the one Rittenhouse used to run around blasting people.

Alvin Vopata


Respect for firearms

In Kenosha and beyond, guns become more common on US streets,” (, Nov. 22)

When I came of age in a lively but struggling California foothill mining and lumbering town in the 1950s, the barfights and raucous behavior were perhaps a balm for the times and disfavored economic circumstances. In these rough and tumble times, though, contrary to myth, the boundaries of firearm use were observed.

Pickup rear windows often picture-framed a hunting rifle but did not then signify the threat of aggression or mayhem. There were occasional stickups, shootings and suicides. In a town that had not lost the rowdiness of its historic past, basic civility and rules involving guns were in effect in the mid-20th century.

America is losing respect for firearms, once seldom seen and rarely heard. Gun pornography has corrupted social values, making us less safe and herding us into chaos and lawlessness.

Spencer P. Le Gate


Parental rights

California parents are frustrated with schools. Could it help Republicans in the midterms?” (, Nov. 22)

If the COVID lockdowns have taught us anything, it’s that the public school system is not teaching our students the basics. Even worse, the system is not interested in listening to parents’ concerns about the curriculum.

California parents want to know what their children are being taught, and they have banded together in a grassroots movement to demand educational change for all K-12 students. Their solution? The landmark Educational Freedom Act Initiative. This initiative will give parents who choose to opt into the proposed program access to an accredited private school for their children.

David Hosbein