May 30, 2024
Mercury News Letters to the Editor for Aug. 23, 2023

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PG&E must shoulder
cost of undergrounding

Re: “PG&E bills could rise with burying of power lines” (Page A1, Aug. 22).

PG&E isn’t updating the electrical grid as an act of kindness. Its negligence has annihilated entire towns and killed over 100 people. PG&E bears the burden of correcting this.

Let’s take a look for a moment at PG&E’s finances. They have been posting record profits, with the company earning more than $400 million in profits for the quarter ending in June. They are also a legalized monopoly on a public utility, so it’s not like their consumer base will vanish.

PG&E must be made to bear the full financial burden of undergrounding, and if unwilling to do so, should be taken over by the state. As for the investors and the hit they may take, the market has risks. Always make sure your investments are with honest companies.

Christopher Dooner

Treatment of female
prisoners unconscionable

Re: “Group files lawsuit against women’s prison” (Page B1, Aug. 19).

The decades-long sexual abuse of the women inmates of the Dublin Prison is a total indictment of the Bureau of Prisons.

Their failure to be fully aware of this horrific situation and to root out the daily offenders is a crime far worse than that of the inmates.

To place a woman who spoke out in the men’s solitary confinement and tell the men there to have at her is a crime of utter cruelty.

There needs to be a cleanout of the offending staff and look-the-other-way administration.

It is enough that women are paying their dues to society without suffering this inhumane and degrading treatment.

Rosemary Everett

Probe is right move
for Pink Poodle fiasco

Re: “Paper is overdoing Pink Poodle coverage” (Page A6, Aug. 16).

The Mercury News and the mayor’s office are absolutely doing the right thing concerning the Pink Poodle coverage. By putting the firefighters’ feet to the fire, only the guilty ones will say, “Ouch.”

They, meaning the guilty ones, have plenty of time off to go visit any strip clubs they want, without using our tax dollars to do it. And guess what? We’ll never even know about it.

Too bad the investigation has taken so long, and therein lies the problem. Unfortunately, situations such as this reflect poorly on the rest of the crew that are just trying to do a good job by doing the right thing.

Judith Scarioni

History is always
evolving with time

Re: “Don’t tear down Western history” (Page A8, Aug. 17).

Joseph Gumina wants to know why “the woke left” wants to change the story we tell of our history. Our understanding of our history and our relationship to it is always changing. We learn new things as we find new sources — or sources we earlier chose to ignore. We learn new things about ourselves, too.

Statues are removed, names of forts and schools and streets are changed when we realize those symbols can be painful to those who were oppressed by the one they depict or were named after. And as we learn that others assisted with inventions, we are sure they would like their due credit as well.

“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it”: But how can we learn to avoid mistakes we made once, from a history that is whitewashed to salve the consciences of only one group of people?

David Green

Support bills targeting
risk of artificial turf

A November 14, 2021, article listed important reasons presented by the Sierra Club for opposing artificial turf — the toxicity of PFAS, the “forever chemicals” in artificial turf, environmental pollution, and the heat-trapping properties of plastic grass.

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Currently, increasing numbers of municipalities are banning artificial turf based on the fact that the PFAS chemicals found in plastic grass have been linked to cancers, endocrine disruption and neurotoxicity.

Three important bills are now pending in California — SB 499 (prohibits heat-trapping surfaces such as artificial turf in schools), AB 1423 (bans PFAS-containing materials), and AB 676 (reinstates the power of our municipalities to ban artificial turf). But the artificial turf industry is trying hard to quash these bills right now. Ask your Assembly representative and state senator to vote for these bills, and email Gov. Gavin Newsom to urge him to sign these bills.

Sue Chow
Palo Alto