Submit your letter to the editor via this form. Read more Letters to the Editor.
Direct action needed
to save abortion rights
Re. “Report: Draft opinion suggests Roe to be overturned,” Page A1, May 3:
The idea that Roe v. Wade can and may be overturned is a chilling one, and difficult to believe that it is one we are facing in 2022.
A woman must have the right to control her own body. Yet, somehow, the widespread and coordinated attacks against women’s reproductive rights and freedom have brought us to this terrifying point.
However, something can be done, and it must be done. Sen. Bernie Sanders has called for the urgent codification of abortion rights into federal law.
Women’s rights can and must be protected. This is not a time for empty posturing or helpless hand-wringing. This is a time for direct action. Senators: do your job and protect abortion rights. Our children’s future depends on it.
Invest in keeping
nurse burnout at bay
The pandemic has negatively impacted nurses in the United States. Before the pandemic, the nurse burnout rate was 40%, and now, it has risen to 70%. Given these starting statistics, institutions need to do more to support nurses. The article, “Stanford, nurses reach deal that could end strike next week” (Page B1, May 1) highlights the impact of nurse burnout.
Nurses are critical for the success of patient care delivery. However, nurses face extreme pressure to address complicated patient conditions and meet demanding schedules. If nurses are mentally and physically drained, productivity and patient safety could be compromised. It is not enough to have public displays of gratitude and say, “health care workers are heroes.”
As a nursing student, I worry that I too will face a lack of support at my place of employment. Institutions need to do more to increase paid sick leave, compensation, safety protection, and mental health services.
PG&E has solar
The most cost-effective way for you to reduce CO2 emissions is the adoption of solar energy. Current installations simply dump your solar energy to the grid on your side of the meter. Some of the energy goes to the grid and some to your house. The meter sorts it out.
But now the utilities have too much rooftop solar, and so want to discourage it. The solution is to add a battery. But looking at the battery configurations, they all use the battery as a backup for grid failure. The dirty grid is the primary source for your home. Grid failure is rare. What a waste.
Instead, the solar should be the primary source of power. Charging a battery should be an added job for the solar. The grid should be a backup for inadequate solar. The utilities should be happy to get extra solar nighttime from the batteries.
on drug pricing
Drug manufacturers claim that price caps on drugs will reduce innovation. Meanwhile, prices increase twice as fast as inflation while wages across the country mostly stagnate. Still, these policies would not cap prices — so why are manufacturers pushing back against simple transparency?
The answer: Increasing transparency would show how convoluted and exploitative the pricing system is. Manufacturers agree to over-price drugs by more than 5,000% so insurance companies can artificially negotiate prices back down. Are insurance companies and drug manufacturers saving patients money, or are they exploiting trust to extort maximum profit? Manufacturers do not fear transparency. They fear the collective power of Americans pushing back against unfair pricing — something held only at bay by the current lack of transparency.
As drug prices increase with record speed over the pandemic, transparency around pricing is not just necessary: It might be both cost-effective and life-saving.
Citizens need updates on
what’s next across board
Re. “State to probe plastic pollution,” Page A1, April 29:
I was frustrated to read the article, “State to probe plastic pollution.” It follows so many other headlines on investigations, reports and congressional bills being passed – what happens next?
Instead, I would like to see The Mercury News pay equal attention to the results this work is intended to generate. Two examples:
1. It has been almost six months since the $1 trillion infrastructure bill passed. Where are the articles describing the projects that have started, how they are progressing, the costs and expected benefits?
2. Everyone already knows that most plastic isn’t getting recycled. Push the waste companies in the Bay Area to set goals and report annual results about the total plastic-weight processed and the percentage recycled, burned and landfilled. We may never get to 100%, but today’s 9% is unacceptable.
The same is needed for the renewable energy transition. We must see progress.
Justice system needs
fix before innocents die
“Melissa Lucio’s execution delayed by appeals court,” Page A3, April 26:
What is being done in the case of Melissa Lucio is long overdue.
Her interview process was unjust. Forcing her to eventually go with the narrative the officers pushed onto her should have never been admissible in a courtroom. What happened to Melissa, a mother of 12 who never had a history of violence, needs to be corrected. She should have never gone to prison, let alone received the death penalty.
Our justice system needs to be completely redone to prevent these awful sentences from happening to innocent people. If it was not for organizations like the Innocence Project, there would be many more victims of our justice system unaccounted for. A system that has not been improved in hundreds of years can not be trusted to help the people of today. A change has to be made.