Gov. Brown more like lemming
Re “Brown gets ready to swim upstream” (Forum, Dan Morain, Jan. 3): True, Gov. Jerry Brown’s Delta tunnels are a legacy issue. True, Brown has the support of Republicans and venture-capital agribusiness who want to end the Endangered Species Act. But Dan Morain is wrong when he claims that the plan still includes “restoration of Delta habitat.” That plan is as dead as its former name, the Bay Delta Conservation Plan.
Morain paints Californians for Water Security as a legitimate grass-roots organization, though Forbes and The New York Times have revealed the group as mere Astroturf. Californians have submitted 30,000 comments opposing the project. No reputable environmental organization has endorsed the Delta tunnels.
Morain’s cloying metaphor of Brown as a salmon swimming upstream is especially offensive considering the death sentence the tunnels would impose on salmon. Brown is more like a lemming headed off the cliff toward a sea of litigation as his environmental legacy crashes on the rocks below.
Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Stockton
Too many college administrators
Re “California must guarantee an affordable college degree” (Viewpoints, Jan. 3): Steve Westly is right; college education should be more affordable. In reading his commentary, I believe he left out the most important point: There are too many administrators at all levels of our education system.
When I went to college in the ’60s and ’70s, and my two children in the ’80s, the costs were very manageable. Not now. The reason is that administrators, with their very high salaries, have been added. We need instructors and very few administrators.
I believe getting rid of most of the administrators would result in a far cheaper college education experience in California.
William Whigam, Folsom
Santa can be ‘real’ for kids, adults
Re “Other ways to talk about Santa” (Letters, Jan. 3): Thank you, Bruce Shaffer. Santa can be “real” without being a living thing. Thank you, too, for conjuring up nice memories for me when my kids were the age of your grandkids. It is delightful.
And just for laughs, my kids understood the difference long before I ever copped to the (nice) story. I think they got that I enjoyed it as much as they did when they were small. A good lie? Yep.
Douglas Kerner, Cameron Park
Can leaders be as enlightened?
Re “To understand our world, look beyond borders” (Forum, Dec. 27): What an impressive and enlightened young lady is Allison Claire Yamamoto. World peace can be achieved only when we show interest and compassion in the dreadful actions taking place globally rather than only in our narrow Western Hemisphere. I will not hesitate a second to choose her as a goodwill ambassador.
Samira Al-Qazzaz, Carmichael
Talk, read and sing to children
Re “End child poverty, improve education” (Forum, Another View, Dec. 27): As Paul Hefner says, “We all like simple, low-cost solutions.” Yes, let’s end child poverty, but that is a complicated and long-term goal.
In the meantime, as California First Five says, talk, read and sing. Their website says 90 percent of a child’s brain develops in the first five years of life. To all who care for young children, let’s follow that recommendation. Dance, cuddle, hug and kiss from Day One. Stimulate that little one’s brain. What a gift you can give to your children, and it’s easy and free.
Carol Schoner, Granite Bay
Don’t build Sites reservoir
Re “State needs to invest in Sites reservoir” (Editorial, Dec. 27): The Sacramento Bee editorial board claims that construction of the Sites reservoir is a reasoned response to a “growing demand” and an “ever-growing population.” This response is actually shortsighted and is not part of a sustainable water policy.
We must instead moderate growth through investment in family health programs, women’s empowerment, job creation and education in conservation. Otherwise we will be condemned to look for increasingly scarce reservoir locations and water sources. Years of drought should have taught us that it is unwise to expect “large winter storms” to fill our existing reservoirs, much less any new ones.
Spend the Sites money to moderate demand for more water, not in a futile attempt to fill growing demand.
Evan Jones, Sacramento
Build it and rain will come?
I have no position on the merits of creating Sites reservoir west of Maxwell. My concern is whether there will be water to fill and maintain it. At their current depleted state, Shasta Dam and the Oroville Dam can already store millions of extra acre-feet of water. The problem may not be storage; rather it’s having the water in the first place.
Clearly a factor in whether to spend $4 billion, or whatever the reservoir is expected to cost, should take into consideration how much water would actually be available if in fact we use the storage we already have first and given the potential for ongoing drought.
Stan Forbes, Sacramento
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