Shadow regulation

EDITOR: Your article about the PricewaterhouseCoopers case (“Bank overseer facing penalty,” Aug. 8) suggests that the real problem of identifying bank misconduct lies with the expectation that managers will do the right thing in hiring and accepting the conclusions of outside consultants who serve as “shadow regulators.”

As an alternative, bank directors should hire consultants who will be responsible only to the board for their findings. If consultants find irregularities in bank activity, but management tries to suppress or alter the report, then the board should dismiss the managers who participated in the irregular action as well as those who suppressed or altered the consultant’s findings.

Any failure by the directors to take immediate action against such managers should also result in board members (particularly audit committee members) being held personally liable by regulators.

Additionally, bank fines should go far beyond $25 million to include personal fines and jail time for managers (and board members) as well as those consultants who altered their final report to please management and protect their fee.

Let’s hold bank managers and directors personally liable for such misconduct.



Air pollution and health

EDITOR: Climate change is one of the most important public health threats of our century, and California’s leadership through a mix of measures, including capping pollution from fuels, is critical to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and set the model for other states and nations. Our overdependence on fossil fuels has been the major contributor to climate pollution and the state’s smog and soot problems.

Recent research demonstrates that California can save $23 billion in health and societal costs and avoid 38,000 asthma attacks by 2025 by moving forward with important rules such as cap and trade and the low-carbon fuel standard. Air pollution harms everyone, especially our most vulnerable and disadvantaged populations, including those with asthma, chronic bronchitis and other lung and heart illnesses.

The oil industry campaign to scare the public about a “hidden gas tax” is simply another effort to delay critical clean air rules to maintain their profits at the expense of health and our climate.

In reality, by providing transportation choices and increasing efficiency and renewable energy options, AB 32 is helping to lower the cost of mobility for all Californians and reducing emissions that will save lives and protect public health.


American Lung Association in California

Two killings

EDITOR: Your Saturday front page was aptly unsettling: the unsolved murder of a Christian couple on a beach in Jenner (“Remembering Jenner victims”) and the return to our streets of Deputy Erick Gelhaus who shot Andy Lopez (“Lopez deputy returning to patrol”). These crimes were apparently committed by people who thought they could kill with impunity. Shouldn’t we, for our moral and physical well-being, at least prosecute the perpetrator who has a known identity?



Common Core

EDITOR: Sonoma County school Superintendent Steven D. Herrington described the “disruptive innovation coming in public education” (Close to Home, Friday). Why did he never mention that he was talking about Common Core standards? Why was he so deceptive?

Could it be that he knows there are a great many parents and teachers who are absolutely opposed to Common Core, as it has proven to actually be a dumbing down of education, a brainwashing method of our children, an invasion of their privacy through data mining and education by corporation, among many other negatives to describe Common Core?

Those opposed to it have been a constant presence at school board meetings trying to make their voices heard. You don’t “ready students for the future” by throwing out all the proven methods (such as memorization) or by deleting important historical figures and events (to alter our nation’s history).

In addition to the 4Cs in teacher training that Herrington claims are part of this innovative method are also the 10Cs that Common Core is really about: cartel written, corporation driven, cash cow, cradle to grave data collection, cogs in a global workforce, cookie cutter design, central controlled, communist-like, citizens of the world and very costly.

In all fairness, you owe your subscribers another Close to Home article that gives the rest of the story about Commmon Core.



Investigation, not troops

EDITOR: The Press Democrat revealed why the citizens of Ferguson, Mo., need a federal investigation, not storm troopers. The family of Michael Brown released an autopsy report showing that he was shot at least six times by Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson.

A witness says that Brown had his hands raised, demonstrating he wasn’t resisting arrest or attacking the officer.

To compound the current injustice, the local police fired tear gas at families with children and residents who gathered on their own front lawns. Did the police take time to understand that they were failing to serve? Not for a moment.

Also, they threatened reporters with arrest and violence; there goes freedom of the press.

The state of Missouri sent in the National Guard for a time, further militarizing the situation, putting its community of color in harm’s way and further jeopardizing the public trust and public safety in Ferguson.

So, what’s the solution? The federal government has to hold the local police accountable, stop the unacceptable tactics against the citizens of Ferguson and refocus on bringing Wilson to justice.


Santa Rosa