California forum letters: Bee readers take on Placer schools, Anne Rudin’s legacy

·4 min read

County response

Sacramento County blamed American River’s pollution on homeless people. But was it true?” (, Nov. 26)

The county has never blamed the unsheltered population for rising E. coli levels, and the presence of E. coli in the river has never been used to initiate a camp movement or closure. Sacramento County addresses homeless encampments leading with services first. Camps are moved or removed if the occupants voluntarily leave, if they are re-sheltered or re-housed, or if the camp is posing an imminent danger to the environment or the public.

As part of the current budget, the Board of Supervisors authorized $940,000 to provide outreach, engagement, sheltering and other services to people experiencing homelessness in the parkway — double what staff initially asked for. The designation of Lot Z as a potential site for a homeless shelter or service center was done through state legislation. County staff have not proposed any development for this site until due diligence is complete and are not in the midst of ushering anyone to that area.

Liz Bellas, director, Sacramento County Regional Parks

Emily Halcon, director, Sacramento County Homeless Initiatives

Rudin’s legacy

Anne Rudin, first woman elected mayor in Sacramento history, dies at 97,” (, Nov. 28)

I am saddened to read of the passing of former Sacramento Mayor Anne Rudin. Many times in the mid- to late 1970s, I would see Mayor Rudin walking downtown. I always felt comfortable enough with her to say hello and chat a while, whether it was about city politics or just the weather. She was always soft-spoken and possessed a warm smile. As the first woman elected mayor of Sacramento, she is a delightful part of Sacramento history and will always remain in my memory as such.

Scott R. Hadley

Winnemucca, Nev.


Disappointing visit downtown

Downtown Sacramento has failed more than the Kings. I hope for a revival before I die,” (, Nov. 29)

I, too, hope for a K Street revival. After a recent visit to Devil May Care Ice Cream with my young daughter, only steps away from the businesses mentioned in the article, I won’t be back soon. That’s not the fault of hardworking businesses, but because downtown is filthy, the DOCO sign is broken and the streets are sticky with gum, urine and garbage. In addition, we were treated to shouting and panhandling in what is obviously a homeless corridor.

I remember farmers markets, public concerts, festivals and art walks downtown. Those days are clearly over, but can we at least get a power wash of the sidewalks now and then?

Bianca Vargas


Get vaccinated

Placer County school officials are speaking up. Unfortunately, it’s not for their students,” (, Nov. 27)

Getting vaccinated against COVID is a way to protect oneself and others. If someone is vaccinated, gets COVID and needs hospital care, that person should be admitted as a patient. If a person gets COVID and has not been vaccinated, that person failed to protect himself or herself and has forfeited hospital care. That person would take up space, time and equipment that could be needed for COVID-vaccinated patients, accident victims, heart attacks, etc.

The decision not to get a COVID vaccination has consequences. When people are forced to see this, vaccinations will go up. Numerous people who wished they got vaccinated have said so on their deathbeds.

Felix Edwin Smith


Disturbing messages

Placer County school officials are speaking up. Unfortunately, it’s not for their students,” (, Nov. 27)

Placer County school superintendents are understandably concerned about anti-vax parents pulling their children from schools. Nevertheless, their recent request to the state to maximize exceptions to its vaccine requirement sends a disturbing message to students.

Why teach biology, which shows students how and why vaccines save lives, if you advocate for students to avoid getting vaccinated? Why promote the values of truth and integrity when you express ambivalence about public health measures that can keep students and their families safe?

Parental concerns are important, but leadership in this case required the superintendents to encourage vaccinations based on the substantial evidence that they are safe and effective.

Allan Hirsch


Climate activism

Sierra Nevada snowpack could largely vanish by 2040s as climate warms, scientists say,” (, Nov. 30)

This prediction of no snow cover in the Sierras is one more prediction of serious climate damage that promises to change how we live. The last word you want to encounter in an article about climate change is “abrupt,” especially when the same article includes “enormous” implications and “intensified” drought.

This latest red flag warning means carbon emissions must be markedly reduced, and fast. To do this with speed and at scale, a gradually rising carbon tax is absolutely essential. Funds generated by fees for pollution accelerate the green transition and can be redistributed to citizens monthly to protect against rising energy prices.

Don’t feel helpless. Become a climate activist. Even one hour a week informing yourself and calling or writing your representatives is crucial to create the political will needed to enact earth-preserving carbon-pricing legislation.

Gary M. Stewart

Laguna Beach

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting