Letters for July 12, 2018
Re “The soft drink industry wins the first round” by Jeff vonKaenel (Greenlight, July 5):
Sacramento Mayor Darrell “The Fixer” Steinberg bragged on TV about his role in passing the state ban on local soda taxes and of his ability to make backroom deals with special interests. The state ban was in exchange for the Business Roundtable’s dropping an initiative to require a two-thirds vote to pass tax increases. In a June 28 AP story, Steinberg said if the initiative had made the November ballot, “it could have blown a $50 million hole in our budget around police, fire and parks.” Is he saying that without new taxes the city will have a $50 million budget hole? Someone should ask him to explain this.
Steinberg is planning an initiative to make the temporary Measure U sales tax permanent and to double it. Do we need this tax increase? Does it need to be permanent? What have they spent measure U money on? One item was a 17 percent pay raise for all city cops who have been with the department for over four years. That is more than just a pay raise, it’s a payoff. For what, we don’t know—yet.
Trail doesn’t add up
Re “The $10 million trail” by Eric Johnson (News, July 5):
“The $10 million trail” varies from the $15 million that has been the stated total at neighborhood meetings on the matter over the past several years. Last year it was stated that over $2 million in planning had already been expended.
This project seems to be an effort to spend as much as possible to accomplish as little as possible. It is only a couple of miles long and has no drinking fountains or restrooms, yet costs over $3 million per mile! The existing rail bridge over the freeway is a double track bridge design with only a single track in place allowing plenty of room for bike lanes yet this project proposes to blow a huge amount of money to add and “outrigger” to the bridge for bikes. That is the best illustration of government waste one can imagine.
Walked a couple of miles of the trail with one that had planned parks in Virginia and Texas and he wondered how they could even spend $2 million on the project. People already walk dogs and ride bikes along the paths, but the extremely wide proposed pavement will negatively impact wildlife that exists well into the Land Park area, wiping out the greater part of it. People normally try to preserve that factor in an urban area.
This project needs examination with a far more critical eye.
Death: Get over it
Re “Hold the phone” by Ngaio Bealum (Ask 420, July 5):
Tamir Rice was banishing (sic) what looked like a gun to passersby and pointing it at them. Somebody called the cops and said a man in the park had a gun and was pointing it at people. That is all the cops had. They pulled up on a call about a man with a gun which turned out to be Rice with a toy gun which had the red band removed from the barrel to make it look real. The cops had an instant to make a decision which could have meant they were lying dead in the morgue. You can argue till the sun goes dead about what should be done, however, no cop has the duty to die. Nevermind this was one of the most crime-ridden areas of the city with a high crime rate. As to the rest of this piece, some people are nasty, some are polite and some just go around looking to make trouble. That is life, get over it.
Last week’s news article “The $10 million trail” misidentified Chris Hughes, the volunteer spearheading the Del Rio Trail project for the South Land Park Neighborhood Association. We regret the error.