UN’s latest climate report should be terrifying to us all. | Letters to the editor

Stark reality

World on ‘thin ice’ as UN climate report gives stark warning,” (sacbee.com, March 20)

Imagine a gathering where 650 people from all over the world, with varying backgrounds, education, religion and political viewpoints, agree on every single word of a 37-page document. Sounds challenging, doesn’t it? So perhaps we should heed the words in that report, the sixth assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that warned us — yet again — that climate change threatens our way of life.

When the science is so clear that representatives from nearly 200 nations unanimously agree, we must stop pretending climate change isn’t real and start moving faster to reach net-zero carbon emissions. We need to fast-track clean new energy projects, stop fossil fuel projects, elevate natural solutions and make it easier for everyone to switch to a sustainable lifestyle.

Lisa Howard


Harmful bill

CA bill forces teachers to out transgender students to parents,” (sacbee.com, March 14)

When asked about concerns for students who deliberately choose to withhold their gender identity from their parents, Riverside Assemblyman Bill Essayli and author of this bill, said his “bigger concern is the mental health and well-being of the minor.”

This bill is outrageous and poses severe consequences for the transgender community. Not every trans person feels comfortable sharing their story, and forcing them to come out can have enormous consequences. Forcing anyone is never a way to make positive change.

Sylvia Izquierdo

Long Beach


Flawed bill

Sacramento County elected officials sue to stop new law,” (sacbee.com, March 12)

Campaign contributions are protected by the First Amendment as free speech. Under Senate Bill 1439, a $251 campaign contribution from all employees and contractors of one business — even new hires who did not work for, or have any affiliation with, the company at the time of their individual contribution — now disqualifies an official from voting on any issue relating to that business. SB 1439 does not apply to any negotiated labor contract, and it empowers NIMBYs to stop new housing by making small contributions totaling $251.

With such a broad scope of time and low bar for permissible campaign contributions, SB 1439 could weaponize free speech and disqualify many local officials from voting on issues for years at a time, including projects that would produce much-needed attainable and homeless housing.

SB 1439 has too many legal and practical implications. It must be overturned.

Robert Rivinius

Executive director, Family Business Association of California

Lives at stake

Gavin Newsom wants more CA mental health beds for homeless,” (sacbee.com, March 19)

This ballot measure would deliver on a long overdue promise to prevent what happened to one of my family members over 20 years ago. They spent 18 months homeless with untreated schizophrenia; were hospitalized seven times in five different counties; and then they were arrested four times.

We can and must do better to help the sickest of the sick languishing untreated — and often dying — in street encampments. We need to commit to doing whatever it takes to create safe, dignified places for severely mentally ill individuals to live. This initiative will provide not only sustainable housing, but built-in support and treatment. We must also change our disability laws to ensure that these ill people actually receive these life-saving resources.

Randall Hagar

Pollock Pines

Lead, don’t posture

Gavin Newsom wants more CA mental health beds for homeless,” (sacbee.com, March 19)

Gov. Newsom needs to fully fund county mental health services. The Mental Health Services Act was only a Band-Aid, and it isn’t working. The governor should be addressing the social determinants of health: housing, employment, child care, education and access to health and social services. By forcing people who are homeless and troubled to attend something against their will only makes it worse most of the time. The governor needs to figure out how to pick up the effective end of the stick and turn it into a carrot. How can the governor lead instead of just posture?

Jon Li


Think again

Injured kayaker among several rescued from Sacramento waterways during California storm,” (sacbee.com, March 15)

Boating in flooded waters? Don’t do it.

A kayaker, without a life jacket on, was swept into the American River. Although they were rescued this time, that isn’t always the case.

The Sea Tow Foundation wants to remind boaters and paddlers that although it may be tempting to boat in high water, it’s not safe. Some of the dangers associated with flooded waterways include submerged hazards, strong currents and damaged or removed water safety markers. There may even be dangerous chemicals spilled in the water. The best advice is to stay away from the water. If someone needs to be rescued or transported, leave it up to the water safety professionals who have the proper gear and training.

Gail R. Kulp

Executive director, Sea Tow Foundation