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California forum letters: Bee readers take on recall results, Land Park murder, carbon tax

·5 min read


Gavin Newsom defeats California recall election in historic vote,” (, Sept. 15)

California: Land of earthquakes, droughts, floods and landslides.

Ken Lastufka


Legal principles

Tragic Sacramento murder should make California rethink releasing some prisoners from jail,” (, Sept. 8)

The murder of Mary “Kate” Tibbetts is horrifying, but we should not turn our horror, shock and grief into bad public policy. The innocence of persons until proven guilty in a court of law is fundamental to American criminal jurisprudence and American society. It is illegal — or should be — to use bail to hold a person without credible, specific threat of flight or threats of violence to the public or themselves.

Andrew Kershen



Hertzberg’s bill

California lawmaker pulls bail reform bill in wake of Land Park slaying,” (, Sept. 10)

This article raises a red flag about the sickening disregard so-called “progressive” legislators like Sen. Bob Hertzberg have for crime victims.

Hertzberg explained that he pulled his irresponsible bail bill from this legislative session because there was “concern that the incident in Land Park would impact the bail vote.” Hertzberg’s disrespect and cowardice in referring to the brutal rape and murder of Mary “Kate” Tibbitts, the killing of her two dogs and the arson of her home is inexcusable. He should not just apologize to the Tibbitts family, he should permanently pull his bill.

Nina Salarno Besselman, President, Crime Victims United


Carbon tax

Biden says Ida, wildfires show ‘climate crisis’ has struck,” (, Sept. 3)

Congress and the Biden Administration must do something powerful to turn the tide and tamp down the flames of extreme weather (droughts and wildfires here, and violent storms on the East Coast). A carbon tax would make a huge difference. Right now, fossil fuels are cheap but the costs to taxpayers are high. We pay for recovery from extreme weather events, the budgets of Cal Fire and FEMA, pollution-related health issues and the rising costs of property insurance.

Far better to put a price on fossil fuels when the coal, oil and gas come out of the ground. Prices will go up but revenues can be returned to households to make families financially whole (just like stimulus checks).

Andrea Sechrist


Value shift

California’s poor air quality from wildfire smoke raises COVID-19 risk. Here’s why,” (, Sept. 15)

It was the summer of 2021 when the values of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness died in America. Not all at once, of course, but the death spiral had clearly begun in the forested areas of Northern California and along the gulf and southeastern coasts. Wildfires in the former and flooding in the latter would now determine where we could live, where we could rebuild homes lost to disaster. Air quality and extreme heat would determine if we could venture outdoors for work or play.

Only in America could a requirement to wear a mask result in uncontrollable rage in tens of millions of us. Meanwhile, year by year the ability to live where we wanted and enjoy the outdoors was inexorably being constricted, without a whimper.

Harold Ferber

Elk Grove

Recall reform

California must reform its recall election process. Here’s how to make it fair, effective,” (, Sept. 15)

In all the talk about reforming our recall process what’s missing is the step of simply removing the second part of the recall election. Having the lieutenant governor fill in for a recalled governor would focus the recall election on the governor — not their replacement. No wannabe governor candidates muddying the recall waters.

If retaining that unnecessary second part still seems like a good idea, let’s use ranked choice voting to determine the winner. That procedure would assure that any winning candidate could claim some legitimacy as a top choice of most Californians.

John C. Reiger


Honoring lives lost

It’s been 20 years since the 9/11 attacks but we’re still haunted by that day — every day,” (, Sept. 7)

Twenty years ago, terrorists attacked the U.S. using airplanes as their weapons, killing nearly 3,000 people. On this day, we remember those who lost their lives and the bravery of our first responders.

Every year, in honor of those tragically killed that day, Ahmadi Muslims arrange blood drives across the U.S. under the “Muslim For Life” campaign. The Muslims are told in the Quran, “Whosoever killed a person ... it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, and whoso gave life to one, it shall be as if he had given life to all mankind.”

May God almighty give solace and fortitude to all those who lost their family members on this horrific day.

Imam Khalid Khan


Yolo County wine

How about farm-to-glass? Sacramento’s real culinary jewel is its world-class wine scene,” (, Sept. 10)

This article rightly highlights the importance of wine grapes grown near Sacramento and the amazing wines they produce. The Clarksburg wineries and vineyards featured in the article are in Yolo County, not Sacramento County. Yolo County has a long and strong public ethic supporting continued production on vineyards, orchards, farms and ranches. Elected officials in Yolo County have enacted policies to ensure farmland protection.

Visit Clarksburg and celebrate Yolo County’s farm families and public officials for keeping our area a leading farm to fork region.

Michele Clark, Executive Director, Yolo Land Trust


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