Farmers chasing after dollars
Re “Farmers must pump groundwater” (Letters, Oct. 3) Daniel Errotabere stands up for the poor farmers in our state. I wonder if anyone would laugh if you called Michael Mondavi a farmer? In my opinion farmers grow food that children can eat. Wine, almonds, pistachios and walnuts are luxury items. One gallon of almond milk is $8, a pound of almonds $10, pistachios $12.
In 2011, we had 150,000 acres of pistachios; now we have 220,000 acres. In 2011, the wine industry in our state produced 3.5 million tons of wine grapes; in 2015 nearly 4.2 million tons. Keep in mind we were in a drought, yet these farmers increased production with water they pump from the ground.
Our groundwater is a finite resource, and some farmers are after the dollar now and do not care about the future. They can write off any loss on their taxes, but a homeowner who has a dry well is stuck. Just take a drive around Galt, Lodi or Herald and you can see the new vineyards and nut orchards. Something needs to be done before my well goes dry.
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Mike Nelson, Galt
Tired of Valley farmers whining
Re “ ‘No apologies’ as farmers set well-drilling record” (Page 1A, Sept. 25): Farmers in the San Joaquin Valley have developed an entitlement attitude about water that is puzzling.
These farmers adamantly insist that every drop of water from Northern California should be theirs, even if it decimates fish populations and environments other people and economies depend on. Since when does wanting something, even wanting it badly, make it yours?
Valley farmers have continued to plant heavy water-dependent crops (almonds) during the drought. Valley farmers are ignoring the impact of subsidence from groundwater pumping on the very land they farm on, while some areas are sinking by 1 foot per year.
Meanwhile, I am tired of hearing their constant whining. They sound like toddlers whining for candy before dinner. Let’s all practice saying “no,” without apology.
Kim Hanks, Sacramento
Eradicating bass won’t help salmon
The recent proposals to eradicate bass from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta will not help salmon populations. Striped bass and largemouth bass have inhabited the Delta for more than a century, while salmon populations have only declined in the past two decades. This drop was caused by loss of water from the Delta due to drought and export for agriculture.
Saving California’s salmon can only be accomplished by turning off pumps that are exporting millions of gallons of water from the Delta each year and destroying valuable habitat for juvenile salmon.
Gifford Pinchot once wrote that fishing provided working men with “a flooding sense of freedom and relief.” Currently the Delta is one of the nation’s premier bass fisheries. By removing bass, California will be depriving thousands of anglers of this sense of freedom and relief, while doing nothing to help the salmon.
Brett Warrick, Westerville
Wanting a perfect Gandhi, statue
Re “Arriving in Davis, Gandhi statue brings angry protest” (Local, Oct. 3): The protesters in Davis who think the new statue of Gandhi should be removed are like those fanatics who want all moral leaders faultless, who want all human progress (within ourselves and in the body politic) made instant and complete.
Because Mahatma Gandhi was really a human being born Mohandas K. Gandhi, someone who had to evolve painfully toward enlightenment like the rest of us, he must be torn down, just as his statue must be.
We want an Abraham Lincoln with no inner prejudice to overcome and a Martin Luther King Jr. with no roving eye for women. A recent (admiring) account by Joseph Lelyveld shows a Gandhi with faults and complexities, infinitely interesting and a more attainable role model.
Tom Goff, Carmichael
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