April 12, 2024
Mercury News Letters to the Editor for Aug. 24

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Congress should let
leaded fuel ban stand

Last year, the FAA approved the first unleaded fuel suitable in all piston-engine aircraft, the typical small propeller planes a lot of private pilots fly. Santa Clara County is rightly seeking to ban the sale of leaded fuel now that a lead-free alternative is available.

The decision by House Republicans to include a rider in the FAA reauthorization bill requiring that airports continue selling leaded fuel serves no purpose beyond perpetuating needless poisoning of children living near airports. Congress should instead choose the Senate version of the legislation, which mandates a phase-out of leaded fuel as the unleaded one becomes available, with a last-leaded sale date of 2030.

David Sacerdote
Palo Alto

Good Sam expansion
should add psych beds

Re: “County must secure needed inpatient psychiatric beds” (Page A6, Aug. 11).

HCA Good Samaritan Hospital has now closed the excellent Mission Oaks Psychiatric Hospital with its 18 psychiatric beds.

HCA has the money to expand Good Samaritan to almost three times its current size. Would it be unreasonable to ask them to plan space for psychiatric beds in their new 900,000 square feet?

Forrest Nixon
San Jose

PG&E rate hike would
reward bad service

Re: “Outages marring PG&E’s upgrades” (Page A1, Aug. 10).

So they stop trimming trees and want to continue the EPSS-protected circuits in 2023 and beyond then state: “58% experienced no outages from the technology, and 26% had no more than two last year, with the average outage shrinking to under three hours.” The utility said most customers “experienced service reliability consistent with system-wide performance.”

Where’s their basis? In what first-world country would this be acceptable? Please refund our fees for trimming trees. EPSS isn’t working either as the trees you don’t trim are going to contact these lines and our power will still go out.

PG&E’s circular logic gets the same result, just a different spot on the circle. And they’ll continue to ask for fee increases for bonuses to keep the talent that come up with these wonderful ideas. The CPUC is thus complicit in this.

Stephen Pustelnik
Los Gatos

GOP seems blind
to its own criminality

Re: “Bill seeks to reward folks’ bad behavior” (Page A6, Aug. 18).

From the “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up” department: A former Republican president has already been found responsible for: abusing a woman; tax fraud; and nonprofit fraud. He now stands accused of 91 serious crimes involving our nation’s secrets and the sanctity of our democracy.

Fellow Republicans, in the face of multiple jury convictions and overwhelming evidence, protect him insisting he’s “done nothing wrong.” Yet Michael McWalters in his letter says “progressives are making it easier for people to … not pay for their crimes.”

Howard Thomas
Los Gatos

Reporting gun data
aids citizens’ decisions

Re: “Gun laws credited for fewer fatalities” (Page A1, Aug. 17).

Thank you for your continuing coverage of the impact of guns in our communities. The more hard data we citizens have, the more we can make informed decisions.

Your article on the report from the Department of Justice’s Office of Gun Violence Prevention is a great example. It illustrates why gun deaths have dropped so much in California over the past 30 years. Please keep up the great work.

Robert Manetta
San Jose

MS treatment exists,
but not in the U.S.

Re: “MS needs funding and honest portrayal” (Page A8, Aug. 18).

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There is in fact a treatment that removes MS in almost all patients who have it (including actress Selma Blair). This well-understood HSCT treatment reboots your immune system so it no longer attacks your cells, though it doesn’t repair existing damage. I had the treatment in 2017 in Mexico, and while not all my nerve damage has gone away, I can now think clearly again and do much more again with my life and have no new nerve damage from MS.

Since HSCT has not been approved by the FDA for use for MS, and since no money can be made as it’s not new, then no one is doing the clinical trials necessary for this to be offered as a treatment, so millions of patients in the United States continue to suffer, or must go out of the country to get this treatment.

Karen Brenchley
Sunnyvale

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