Farmers must pump groundwater
Re “Stop farms from grabbing all the groundwater” (Editorial, Sept. 30): This editorial completely misses the point as to why farmers have had to resort to groundwater to keep farming.
Surface water deliveries have become so unreliable that there is no other choice. While The Bee mentions the drought, it’s not the main cause for these disruptions. A UC Davis drought report update says 77,000 acres were fallowed this year due to the drought. It also says 293,000 acres were fallowed for other reasons, including water restrictions intended to protect endangered salmon and Delta smelt.
For 20 years, as fish populations have declined, California has wasted water intended to protect them and put farms out of business. That is the driver forcing farmers to find alternate water. California unnecessarily turns fresh water into salt water by sending it to the ocean and spends billions turning it back into fresh water for coastal communities.
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We must find better ways to help endangered fish, such as controlling predators and enhancing tidal habitat, and we might just solve two problems at once.
Daniel Errotabere, Riverdale
Gridlock taxes family life
Re “Bite the bullet for Measure B sales tax” (Endorsement, Sept. 27): I am a first-time homebuyer in my 30s, and the suburbs only appeal to me because of their proximity to family and affordable real estate. Jobs are in and around the grid, as are social groups, the farm-to-fork dining boom, and Golden 1 Center. A 30- to 45-minute commute one way separating workers and families from decent jobs is no solution. I feel like I have to choose between living near my aging parents and defining a life for myself.
With Measure B in Sacramento and Measure M in Placer County, we can help younger people chase opportunity without straining family ties. Improved commute times and options for getting around mean more opportunities for families.
Andrew Keller, Sacramento
Rich people will flee if taxes rise
Re “Yes on Proposition 55 tax, unethusiastically” (Endorsement, Sept. 25): The likely unintended consequence of passing the Proposition 55 income tax increase is that many wealthier citizens will move to states with low or no income tax. These people did not become financially well off by allowing themselves to be over-taxed.
Janet Willis, Sacramento
Democrats will add new entitlement
Re “State will run retirement savings plan in private sector” (Page 1A, Sept. 30): This is a disaster waiting to happen. In a few years, Democratic legislators will want the state to guarantee a rate of return or make up any losses.
Mike Beard, Roseville
Chief Justice Lucas was exemplary
Re “Chief justice was all a judge should be” (Editorials, Sept. 29): I had the privilege of serving for two years as a law clerk to Malcolm Lucas, when he served on the U.S. District Court. He exhibited every characteristic you want in a judge: fairness, patience, temperament, intelligence, wisdom and a sense of humor.
As the fastest reader I’ve ever met, he was prepared for every hearing and every case. Thank you for highlighting an exemplary public servant and a truly fine man.
Daniel Broderick, Sacramento
The fight against smoking continues
Re “Governor’s veto allows Californians to smoke at state parks and beaches” (Page 6A, Sept. 29): It’s unfortunate that Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed bills to ban smoking at state parks, beaches and college campuses. Both would have made for a healthier environment for Californians, especially children.
But the American Lung Association in California will continue to fight to make sure every Californian can enjoy the places they live, work and play without having to worry about being exposed to harmful secondhand smoke.
Community members are urging local governments to pass smoke-free parks policies. It’s an effort that’s overwhelmingly supported by the public to clear parks of secondhand smoke and cigarette butt debris for the future of our public health.
Dr. David Tom Cooke, Sacramento
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