Letters to the editor

Dear Editor,

Single-payer legislation has yet to answer the same question ABX1 did (Capitol Weekly, Jan. 31, “Single payer or bust?”).

What will it cost? Instead of premiums, there will be high taxes.

And what happens when another budget crisis comes along? Look how they want to cut Medi-Cal.

Until our state can get its fiscal house in order, we do not want any more financial mandates put on the backs of taxpayers.

Anthony W. Halby, Nevada City

Dear Editor,

As the former Director of the Department of Conservation from 1999 to 2004, I am thankful for your article (Capitol Weekly, Jan. 31, “Recycling fund may be tapped”), which points out an ongoing problem: The program is based on a deposit that is meant to be returned to consumers or used specifically in support of recycling and litter reduction.

The “borrowing” is suspect if it is never paid back (the previous administration “borrowed,” and the current one extended the loan last year to 2013). With the delay in the payback and this new loan, the “deposit” starts to become a tax and not a deposit. This newest tapping of the fund is for good purposes, but it is not in the spirit of the law. Previously, lawsuits have been filed successfully to block this grab, so this may not be legal. There must be other funds for such purposes.

Lastly, your article reported a lesser rate of recycling. DOC reports that the recycling rate rose six percentage points, to 71 percent, from January to June 2007. By recycling billions of aluminum cans, glass and plastic bottles during that time, Californians decreased greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing 230,000 passenger cars from the roadways for a year. If DOC is successful and increases the recycling rate even more this year, this could leave a potential shortfall in support of recycling and deposit refunds.

Again, thanks for highlighting this problem.
Darryl Young, Washington

Dear Editor,

Contrary to popular punditry, California’s early primary actually took away the significance that it would surely have had in June. We would have been fought over Congressional district by district, vote by vote at that point, and been the pivot in the whole campaign.

This time we were just part of Fat Tuesday, with once again no effect on the outcome.

Leonard Goldberg, Sacramento

Dear Editor,

What a wonderful article (Capitol Weekly, Jan. 31, “Fate of non-gaming tribes”). I am the tribal council secretary and want to apologize for not being here when you visited! I had an unexpected family emergency.

Just a small bit of clarification. You stated at the end of your article that Mary Logan receives a monthly revenue sharing of $330. We do not distribute monthly allotments. They are distributed quarterly and can range from $50 to $400! Very rarely do we receive $400.
Thank you for your coverage and a great job on your story!

Eloisa Oropeza,
Tribal Secretary, Manchester/Point Arena Band of Pomo Indians

Dear Editor,

My name is Myra Spearman, and I am the founder and creator of The Weaker Vessel Inc., the first national online database of domestic violence abusers. We are currently working with every state to obtain their domestic violence records on a regular basis.

On Monday, I read that Assemblywoman Fiona Ma of San Francisco introduced Assembly Bill 1771, called the “Domestic Violence Prevention and Right to Know Act of 2008,” which would set up a state database of domestic violence abusers in California. I fully support her efforts, and I believe that all of the states should adopt the same or similar legislation. With politics being so unpredictable, the California legislation may not pass. I do not want folks to think that if the legislation does not pass that there is not another resource. There is a no-cost national domestic violence database online today. Please visit the site at: www.theweakervessel.org

Dear Editor,

It is unfortunate that San Francisco prosecutor Jim Hammer chose to leave male victims of domestic violence and their children invisible in his sexist comments on AB1771 by referring to the victims only as “women.” (“Bill would create Web site of domestic violence convicts,” Jan. 31.) No doubt Hammer would say “men and women” regarding soldiers or firefighters. Don’t domestic violence victims deserve the same dignity?

I work with men who have been stabbed, cut with glass and had their teeth knocked out with objects by female partners. They and their children are then stigmatized, ignored, downplayed and told they’re oddball class. In reality, they’re not rare at all; they’re just less likely than women to report it, which makes crime data unreliable.

Harvard Medical School just announced a nationwide study that found half of heterosexual domestic violence is reciprocal and women committed 71 percent of the non-reciprocal violence and initiated most reciprocal violence, while men suffered significant injuries. See http://www.patienteducationcenter.org/aspx/HealthELibrary/HealthETopic.aspx?cid=M0907d. In fact, virtually all sociological data shows women initiate domestic violence at least as often as men do, that men suffer one-third of the injuries and that self-defense does not explain away this violence, as California State University Professor Martin Fiebert demonstrates in his online bibliography at www.csulb.edu/~mfiebert/assault.htm.

Meanwhile, California Health and Safety Code Section 124250 still excludes male victims and their children from the definition of “domestic violence,” leaving male victims and their children with no outreach and few services from state-funded shelters, even though men pay over half the taxes that fund these programs. Male victims in Southern California travel hundreds of miles to Valley Oasis in Lancaster because nobody else will help them even with a hotel arrangement or legal services.

On Feb. 15 and 16, a global coalition of concerned experts called the National Family Violence Resource Center will host a groundbreaking domestic violence conference in Sacramento called “From Ideology to Inclusion: Evidence-Based Policy and Intervention in Domestic Violence” to promote positive solutions to this politically driven problem. CE credit is available, and registration forms are at http://www.nfvlrc.org/

Marc E. Angelucci, Esq.,
Los Angeles

Jim Hammer responds:
I agree with (Mr. Angelucci) that all victims of domestic violence, men and women, should receive equal treatment under the law. Although at times when speaking about domestic violence, I do refer to “women” victims, because in my years as a prosecutor the majority of victims I saw were women, I would like to make clear that the proposed law would apply equally to men and women violators. In my opinion, men and women should have access to reliable information about past convictions for crimes involving serious domestic violence, so that they can make smart, informed choices about whom they wish to enter into intimate relationships with.

I appreciate the chance to clarify this point and thank Mr. Angelucci for his letter.

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