Bee readers react to recent mass shootings, homelessness and irritating potholes | Opinion

Firearm deaths

11 killed, 9 injured in shooting at Los Angeles ballroom dance studio, sheriff says,” (, Jan. 23)

We live in a country awash in instruments of death. What will it take to stop this carnage? How many more children have to die? How many shootings before we act?

Gun control is a joke. The only answer is to reduce the number of firearms and restrict ownership, including but not limited to strict licensing and permit requirements; firearms registration; destruction of all weapons of mass destruction; and limitation on the number and types of weapons any one person can possess.

The idea that guns provide personal safety is a myth. As a retired Sacramento police lieutenant, I’ve seen more shootings and deaths than I care to remember.

Robert N Austin


Protect unhoused

Sacramento agency’s evictions return homeless to the streets,” (, Jan. 17)

Every night, Sacramento Self Help Housing protects approximately 700 of our unhoused neighbors from these elements as well as the violence and loneliness of homelessness.

This recent article omitted the contributions of two groups: SSHH’s dedicated staff who work one-on-one with unhoused neighbors who struggle and property owners — silent partners carrying a heavy load. They open their homes to us when most shut their doors.

All homeless service providers work on behalf of counties and cities. This work is hard. To continue, we need your support and the energetic collaboration of our governments more than ever. SSHH will look internally to make sure that we’re doing what’s needed to be successful. Our work with our partners and city and county leaders must be productive.

Dr. Ethan Evans

Chair of the Board of Directors, Sacramento Self Help Housing


Success story

Sacramento agency’s evictions return homeless to the streets,” (, Jan. 17)

I’ve been living in Sacramento Self Help Housing for three years. When SSHH found me, I had a 180 credit score and an eviction on my record. I owed taxes and student loans. I had serious maladaptive behaviors. This program gave me the time and the place to work on myself as well as the foundation to live the rest of my life in a quality way.

I have enjoyed and thrived living in SSHH housing.This program and its housing allowed me to grow socially, mentally, professionally and financially.

Isaac Ramirez


Kids needing care

’We didn’t get it right.’ How California law to help foster kids …,” (, Jan. 17)

As CEO of the Children’s Receiving Home of Sacramento, I’m aware of the hurdles described by The Bee in caring for high-acuity foster youth under the state’s Continuum of Care Reform.

This law was intended to move kids more quickly into homes — a laudable goal. But it failed to adequately fund staffing ratios and the significant needs of youths with behavioral health issues who cannot be safely placed with families.

Nonprofits like CRH struggle to remain financially viable while serving youngsters requiring more expensive care. The need is great, but so is the shortfall. Funding constraints limit how many youths CRH can accept while maintaining sufficient staffing and providing necessary resources. As a result, we have a waiting list of high-acuity kids needing our care.

Glynis Butler-Stone



How to report a pothole in Sacramento; how long to fix it?” (, Jan. 19)

Having lived in Carmichael for over 50 years, I have slowly watched our public streets deteriorate. This article on how to report a pothole is akin to reporting on how we can stick our thumb in the Oroville Dam when it was crumbling a few years ago.

We call 311, and the potholes are repaired. But then the asphalt material pops out with the next rain — our version of whack-a-mole. Public works officials moan about how many miles of roadway Sacramento County has as their excuse for the condition of our roads.

Take a drive down Winding Way and look at the eight-inch deep potholes that have been filled multiple times only to reappear after the next rain.

Tom Novi


Tax clarification

Sacramento readers react to storms, inflation, Katie Porter,” (, Jan. 22)

In December, my wife and I received a debit card for $700 identified as a state tax refund, and we recently received a Form 1099-MISC indicating that this “other income” was being reported to the Internal Revenue Service.

Marie Reed’s letter states that “once you receive this payment, it becomes taxable income in the year you receive it.” In fact, this tax refund would be federally taxable only if the taxpayer had previously claimed and received a deduction for it. Those who take the standard deduction, as we and most taxpayers do, owe no taxes on it.

Barry Mackintosh


Economic refugees

CA bill empowers counties to review causes of homeless death,” (, Jan. 25)

It’s time to address and solve the state’s growing homeless population with a comprehensive and pragmatic approach. Why can’t county, city, state and federal funding sources declare homeless individuals in Sacramento County as “economic refugees” and pool resources into addressing the need to house homeless people in the county?

How about working with governmental and nonprofit organizations that deal with setting up refugee camps for thousands of international refugees to develop a plan? If international organizations can set up refugee camps within days to house large displaced and homeless populations, why can’t local governments and nonprofits do the same?

The incremental band aid approach will not work.

Larry G Broussard