California Forum

Letters Desalination, Ebola, senator’s event

Desalination can work

Re “Desalination comes of age” (Forum, Mariel Garza, Oct. 19): My colleagues and I have studied the biological effects of seawater desalination for decades and concluded that the brine discharge resulting from this process can be effectively managed to minimize impacts to the marine environment.

Properly sited and designed desalination plants discharge concentrated seawater into the marine environment without causing dead zones. The potential impacts of a desalination plant depend largely upon the physical and biological characteristics of the receiving waters. Thus it is critical that site-specific conditions are taken into account.

The Carlsbad and Huntington Beach desalination projects, for example, were issued a discharge permit after extensive review of scientific studies by California regional water control boards indicated that they will not have a significant impact on marine life.

Daniel Cartamil, La Jolla

Seawater used in desert lands

I would like to express my gratitude for the article “Desalination comes of age.” I have lived in Northern California since 1984 and have seen steady drought. I have also seen irresponsible water waste by majority of the population and was always wondering why is nobody doing anything.

There are technology and ways to manage water resources. I know that Libya built the largest desalination facility in the world, brought fresh water to desert places and turned them into lush orchards. Israel does that, too.

It was a huge relief to read your article. Please pray for more desalination stations in this state. I predict that clean air and fresh water will be a main commodity soon.

Daniel Bojckov-Defoto, Sacramento

Precautions, not PC-ness

Re “Don’t make partisan issue out of Ebola work” (Viewpoints, Oct. 19): The notion that political correctness and economics should enter into the Ebola discussion is nonsensical. The cost of a pandemic would far exceed the cost of providing aid to the African nations affected by curtailment of travel to and from those nations.

The plan to set up quarantine centers at U.S. airports is equally ludicrous. Why would you allow possibly infected patients to board an aircraft, placing other passengers and crew at risk, when the isolation and quarantine centers could be placed at the place of departure in Africa?

If this inconveniences a few travelers from Africa, so be it. Other African nations have restricted travel to their countries. Why should the U.S. and other countries in Europe and across the globe act differently?

In my dental office, my staff and I practice standard precautions to prevent the spread of disease. It seems to me our government, with the lives of millions at stake, should act accordingly. This is hardly the time for political correctness on the part of our government.

Melvin E Pearson, Rio Vista

Far from a ‘glitz-fest’

Re “New Senate leader starts off on a sour note with glitz-fest” (Editorials, Oct. 18): I’m disappointed that the editorial about Sen. Kevin De León’s swearing-in ceremony focused on the location and cost. As a political science professor at a community college and director of a youth-development organization in East Los Angeles, I thought it was an important event for our youths to attend.

De León personally delivered tickets to the event to youths living in the oldest public housing development in Los Angeles because he wanted to make sure they would be part of the swearing in. He wants them to be engaged and to care about their government. The event was a gathering of community members from across the senator’s district. There was no pomp or circumstance, but a gathering of a diverse group of young and old from some of the poorest neighborhoods in Los Angeles.

I’m so glad that this event didn’t happen in Sacramento for a few privileged groups to attend, but that it took place in his district for all of us to take part.

Maria Lou Calanche, Los Angeles