Letters for November 18, 2010

Give ’em a school, already!

Re “Time for action on Sac High” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Bites, November 11):

Thank you, Cosmo!

The [Sacramento] Bee just refuses to get it. Parents in Area 2 want a neighborhood, noncharter, comprehensive high school. They have been waiting for seven years. An entire generation of high-school students has missed out on that most basic school choice. Students that went through elementary and middle school together couldn’t graduate high school together. They are tired of the games and stalling tactics from the school board and the district. They don’t want or need the mayor meddling in their schools. They are tired of teacher and union bashing.

Parents elected, in spite of the Bee and the mayor, the person they believe will deliver the best education for their children. Now, the Bee and the mayor need to get out of the way and let the new board get to work on the issues parents care about.

Linda Buzgheia

Sacto not a ‘flag town’

Re “Keep it fare” by Hugh Biggar (SN&R Frontlines, November 11):

Now that you have given some of the relatively new cab drivers a platform to complain about their situation, I believe it would suit the public interest and the cab industry to talk with some of the drivers who have been working and servicing the community here for many long years. I’m a member of California Co-op Cab (a democratically run co-op since 1982). I have driven a cab here since 1976 and have a deeper insight into the problems we face here than many of the Johnny-come-latelies that are mentioned in your article.

Most of the cab business in Sacramento [comes from] people in the community who call cabs: people who need to go to the doctor, food shopping, taking kids to school, etc. Sacramento is not a “flag town,” where people go out into the street and flag a cab. The city, in its wisdom, now understands this and wants all cabs to not only sit on cab stands (at hotels, bus stations, etc.) but wants cabs to service everyone in all areas of town.

In doing so, [they should] allow the consumer some protections. If there is a problem with a cab or cab driver, they can contact a central number to get help. Many times people will leave things (keys, phones, wallets, etc.) in the cab.

Most recently, with many of these new independent cabs, you can never get a hold of them. They have no taxi radio connected to a cab dispatch.

We of Co-op Cab have been demanding of the city that we need less cabs on the street and that all cabs [should] have a taxi radio connected to 24-seven dispatch service. Many of these independent cabs do not want these restrictions. [They want] no oversight whatsoever; they just want to sit downtown on the taxi stands and service the “safe” visitors to Sacramento, and by safe, I mean they don’t want to bother picking up poor people at the grocery stores or the hospitals, or going to outlying areas to [provide] service [for] the public.

The city is correct in making changes, but they should have come long ago and need a better enforcement team to keep many of the rogue cabs in line. Please visit our website at http://californiacoopcab.org.

Gerald Cassidy

A way around Prop. 13

Re “It’s a new ballgame” by Jeff vonKaenel (SN&R Greenlight, November 11):

Your publisher made good points about the coming Jerry Brown II administration. But all need not be gloom and doom.

We might recall he promised voters would get to go up or down on any tax increase. It seems he could float an amendment that made a majority state vote sufficient for tax increases, blanking out the two-thirds Proposition 13 block, and shunting minority legislators into the shadows permanently.

Then he could move to define Prop. 13 tax rates as limited to “natural persons” only (a clever split roll, playing off the rage of “corporate persons” from the U.S. Supreme Court ruling), helping fill California coffers. Then he could move on to tax oil (and gas) extracted in the state, just like Alaska and Louisiana do. Why not us, too (before the oil companies’ big metal straw sucks our energy shake dry)?

M.J. Shepley

Don’t take her leaf blower

Re “Another word on leaf blowers” (SN&R Editorial, November 11):

I don’t have time or green waste-bin room enough to take care of all the leaves my very large, beautiful, heritage trees lose at this time of the year. They can either stay on the ground, in the gutters, in the storm-water system and blowing into my neighbors’ yards, or they can be cleaned up each week via my garden service’s leaf blower. It’s all of 15 minutes, once a week.

Which would be the most annoying to the neighborhood? Clogged storm drains, errant leaves in their yards?

Mary Ann Lahann

Blow off work …

Re “Another word on leaf blowers” (SN&R Editorial, November 11):

Decades ago, a columnist in The New York Times, Russell Baker, posed this question: “If work is so great, why is it that people who don’t do any have most of the wealth?” Obviously, folks who oppose simple machines that help working stiffs don’t do any work themselves.

Hugh Montgomery
via e-mail

… or work on the budget

Re “Take a deep breath …” (SN&R Editorial, November 11):

The deficit commission has suggested that the way to cut the deficit is to drastically cut Medicare and Social Security and raise taxes on gasoline. I say wrong!

A better idea is to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan, eliminate the Bush tax cuts for the rich and raise the cap on Social Security payroll deductions from $100,000 to $250,000.

Before we start cutting services and increasing taxes for the poor and middle class, we should eliminate unnecessary wars and raise taxes on the rich. I don’t see why rich people should pay a lower percentage of their income to FICA taxes than the middle class.

Marc Perkel