Smarter policies can help asthma patients

Kudos for taking an in-depth look at asthma and its significant costs to our children and families.

Though effective asthma management requires that patients responsibly use their medication, effective asthma prevention also requires that we treat the factors outside of their control. As the article made clear, diesel truck fumes, smoke from industrial facilities and freeway pollution are all potent asthma triggers.

Policymakers have a key role to play. Without additional leadership, too many Oakland and Bay Area families will continue to face the toxic emissions that push kids into hospitals with severe asthma attacks.

Our kids deserve cleaner skies, and decision-makers, including the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and the California Air Resources Board, can support strategies that help.

For example, the air district can stop permitting new sources of pollution in already overburdened neighborhoods, while the state air board should continue its plans to reduce pollution at our ports, rail yards and other freight infrastructure.

Smart policies will put the health of our communities first.

Joel Ervice,

Associate Director Regional Asthma Management & Prevention Oakland

Do more to help children with asthma


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Data show that children in Oakland have high rates of asthma hospitalization and illness. This can be prevented.

The American Lung Association is working to protect the Federal Clean Air Act, ensure diesel soot standards are fully implemented and is co-sponsoring AB8 (Perea/Skinner) and SB11 (Pavley/Rubio) to secure more than $2 billion over the next decade to incentivize clean air projects in California that will reduce community exposure to unhealthy air and support the use of clean alternative fuels.

For nearly 10 years, the American Lung Association in California has partnered with Oakland Unified School District to reduce the burden of asthma in their community by providing lifesaving asthma education to students.

Through our Open Airways For Schools and Kickin' Asthma programs, we teach elementary and middle school students how to self-manage their asthma and lead healthier, active lifestyles.

We can do more to help children with asthma. To learn more about asthma, air pollution and how you can help, visit www.lung.org/california.

Dr. Kari Nadeau,

Volunteer Leadership Board Greater Bay AreaAmerican Lung Association in California

Gun lobby's argument not making any sense

The gun lobby would have us believe that banning assault weapons is just the first step toward the repeal of the Second Amendment.

This makes no sense. By the same logic, imposing speed limits on cars is the first step toward banning their ownership. Neither assault weapons nor armored tanks should be available for use by the citizenry.

Furthermore, everyone who owns a gun or drives a car should be licensed to shoot or to drive, as the case may be. We take the latter for granted, why not the former?

Larry L. Schaleger

Oakland

Post office retiree coverage is outrageous

While the U.S. Postal Service may be correct in halting Saturday home mail delivery, it assuredly is not due to the need for a "top to bottom reform."

Your article on the situation notes, "the requirement that it pay $5.5 billion a year for health benefits to future retirees, a mandate imposed on no other government agency."

Excuse me? Why do postal employees have their retiree health benefits covered? No other federal government agency has this requirement. Try and find that gift for private sector retirees. No way.

This situation highlights why so many taxpayers are galled by various levels of government. Today, it seems as though government employees have greater salaries versus the private sector, far greater benefits and greater job security to boot. That's the true outrage.

Andrew Fine

Concord

Going to Texas is bad for your health

Gov. Rick Perry of Texas is saying that California is bad for business. What he should also be saying is that Texas is bad for your health.

I attended a Navy reunion in San Antonio, and walking on the streets made you feel sick because all you could smell was the exhaust from the automobiles.

I was glad to come home to Fremont and get away from that smell.

Tom Federico

Fremont