May 30, 2024
East Bay Times Letters to the Editor for April 17, 2024

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Builder’s remedy or
developers’ windfall?

Re: “Where are all the new homes?” (Page A1, April 14).

The article mentions California’s “housing crisis,” but California has lost population and one congressional representative as a result. How can a state losing population need more housing? Secondly, the stated “goal” of California, developers and the builder’s remedy is to provide more affordable housing. If so, why are all mentioned Bay Area builder’s remedy attempts in the wealthiest communities? Are these areas where developers can build “cheap” housing in expensive surroundings, and charge outrageous prices for units? Related to this, how can million-dollar condos be “affordable”?

Thinking people should see that the real goals of state and developer housing policies are not to provide more affordable housing, but to make more money for developers, at the expense of parasitized communities whose essential characters are being destroyed.

James Scala

Amendment would steer
state to green future

California’s passage of ACA 16 is crucial for guaranteeing all of its residents access to clean air, water and a healthy environment, regardless of race, gender or socioeconomic status.

This proposed constitutional amendment not only promises equitable access to fundamental rights but also supports economic growth by mitigating expensive environmental damages such as floods, droughts, disease and pollution, keeping more money in people’s pockets. Moreover, concerns about environmental regulations harming employment or the job market are unfounded; evidence suggests that the health and societal benefits far outweigh the compliance costs and any short-term job impacts.

By endorsing ACA 16, California would accelerate its shift towards a sustainable green economy, enhance job creation in renewable energy sectors, and expedite the reduction of fossil fuel reliance, aligning economic progress with environmental stewardship.

Meghana Karumuri

Disinformation can’t
derail CalCare bill

No networks, no premiums, no deductibles and no co-payments. That’s what you get with CalCare, the universal single-payer health care system before the California Legislature.

Payments would come from taxes which won’t be cheap. Health care never is. But it will be less than the $13,493 that the average American individual and the $31,065 spent by the average family of four last year.

CalCare is far from imminent. It will face massive political resistance and pushback from powerful profit-seeking corporations who will not be disgorged of their billions without a fight.

You will be deluged with disinformation and hear cries of creeping socialism. That would be false. Every aspect of care delivery will remain in private hands. You will also hear about the “slippery slope.” We’ve been on that slope for almost 100 years and haven’t slipped yet.

Dr. Gilbert Simon
Professor, California Northstate School of Medicine
Fair Oaks

Stop economic pain
with Prop. 47 fix

Re: “Can state curb retail theft without changing Prop 47?” (Page B3, April 12).

The Los Angeles Times article reprinted in the East Bay Times offers a list of patchwork proposals. What I ask is why would anyone want to keep Proposition 47 when it has caused such widespread looting and economic destruction? Much of the retail space in San Francisco is now vacant. Westfield Mall is mostly vacant. Vacant commercial real estate is likely to cause the next banking crisis.

The most damaging part of Proposition 47 is stealing of less than $950, per occurrence, is reduced to a misdemeanor. The police rarely arrest thieves as they would be released within hours. Thieves are given “tickets” and told to appear in court, which does not happen. There is no enhancement now for multiple offenses.

Very likely to qualify is a ballot measure for November to “Fix 47.” This needs to pass.

Mark Fernwood

Trump business fraud is
not a victimless crime

Re: “Travesty is in judgment against Trump” (Page A8, April 14).

On Sunday, the East Bay Times printed a letter to the editor that argued, in essence, that Donald Trump should not be prosecuted for real estate fraud because the lender was complicit in the scheme. This is an extension of the “victimless crime” defense being propagated on Fox News and other right-wing outlets.

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The letter-writer acknowledges that the lender “knew what they were doing, knew the risk they were taking … and satisfied themselves that the risk-reward trade-off was sufficient.” But just because the lender didn’t press charges doesn’t mean fraud wasn’t committed. As the letter-writer points out, they accepted obviously fraudulent numbers to make the deal. Laws against “victimless crimes” exist because a functioning society needs to assert right from wrong.

Trump is not above the law, and what he did was illegal even if you don’t think anyone suffered. The lender ought to be dragged into court as well.

Rob Vorkapich
Walnut Creek