Re “Oroville Dam flows stop, revealing giant chasm” (Page 3A, Feb. 28): The scary condition of Oroville Dam is emblematic of California’s civic decline. The needed repairs to the spillway were identified years ago but never finished. Planned support dam projects in nearby rivers were also identified to relieve the pressure on Oroville, but nothing was ever done.
So here we sit with a third of the nation’s welfare recipients, one in five of us below the poverty line and one in four not born in the U.S. And isn’t the idea of a sanctuary state marvelous?
But, boy, do we know how to handle grocery bags and bathrooms while we clang along on our roads, pay the highest gas taxes, and see our schools rated at the bottom of all the states’ achievement levels.
Bill Sanders, Gold River
Praise is misplaced
Re “Faced with crisis, California water managers stepped up” (Dan Walters, Feb. 28): I was appalled at the praise for the Department of Water Resources handling of the major crisis it created at Oroville Dam. In mid-January, the Sierra had near-record snowpack and the reservoir was almost full, but releases from the dam were minimal, demonstrating total incompetence. Water managers had been previously warned about the danger of using the emergency spillway and yet they let the lake fill to capacity and overflow this spillway, causing a massive evacuation and risking a total failure of the spillway.
This evacuation resulted in millions of dollars in lost wages, closed businesses and costs to evacuate. This was totally the result of carelessness and lack of planning on the part of DWR. People should be fired.
Dick Dorn, Yuba City
Let’s focus on the basics
Re “The lessons we must learn from Oroville Dam drama” (The Numbers Crunch, Feb. 25): After a nail-biting near flood disaster, Gov. Jerry Brown finally visits Oroville Dam and springs into action by putting a $437 million maintenance plan in place.
Considering the ever-increasing amount the state spends to assist undocumented immigrants, what has already been spent for Brown’s high-speed rail project and his proposed Delta tunnels project, perhaps taxpayers should take Brown’s estimates with a very large dose of skepticism. Let’s get back to doing what we must do to protect our citizens and put the other fluff projects on the back burners.
David Flaa, Elverta
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