Letters to the Editor

Letters: Oroville Dam

This photo shows erosion caused when overflow water cascaded down the emergency spillway of the Oroville Dam. The water level dropped Monday at the nation’s tallest dam, easing slightly the fears of a catastrophic spillway collapse that prompted authorities to order people to leave their homes downstream.
This photo shows erosion caused when overflow water cascaded down the emergency spillway of the Oroville Dam. The water level dropped Monday at the nation’s tallest dam, easing slightly the fears of a catastrophic spillway collapse that prompted authorities to order people to leave their homes downstream. The Associated Press

Dams must be new priority

Re “Oroville Dam’s hole makes clear state’s bill comes due” (Editorial, Feb. 10): I often see things differently than The Bee editorial board, but the editors got it right this time. We need to invest now in our aging state infrastructure.

One needs only look at three recent major events at the Oroville facilities (the low-level outlet incident, the Thermalito power plant fire, and now the Oroville spillway) to realize that the state has not invested in the necessary maintenance and staffing to protect Californians.

For too long we have inadequately compensated staff only to lose them to other entities and failed to make necessary funds available to properly maintain the dam for the next hundred years.

Gov. Brown, it’s time to reprioritize your agenda and put a focus on protecting our infrastructure and the public.

Wayne Dyok, Rocklin

Blame DWR for Oroville

If the fiasco happening now at the Oroville spillway doesn’t prove that the leadership at DWR has no clue how to manage our waterways, then nothing will. Obviously the maintenance, if there was any, was haphazard at best and no doubt we paid top dollar for it, too.

I’ve poured a lot of concrete and it needs to be maintained, especially when put under the stress of flowing water. The DWR said they will use the spillway to release minimal amounts of water and expect the gash to get bigger. Duh. But what the hell, turn a $20 million repair to a $100 million repair.

Steve Sherman, Herald

Don’t build walls; fix dams

The Trump administration claims that the U.S. needs an expanded border wall. Unofficial cost estimates range from $15 billion to $25 billion.

The U.S. Department of Transportation reports that more than 25 percent of California’s bridges (6,953) are “structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.” Every year California drivers pay an additional $13.892 billion in “extra vehicle repairs and operating costs due to driving on roads in need of fixing.” And 68 percent of California roads are in “poor or mediocre condition.”

If we are to “make America great again,” let’s start by repairing and replacing our roads, streets, highways, bridges and dams. As the venerable Oroville Dam’s spillway failure is demonstrating, we should have started yesterday.

Fred Teichert, Sacramento

California should be friendlier to Trump

Re “Governor requests disaster declaration from Trump” (Page A2, Feb. 11): How do we justify the defiance of California’s officials, including Harris, Steinberg, Lara, Becerra, Padilla, Napolitano, de León, Rendon, Newsom and many others?

They challenge every move President Trump makes with defiance, insubordination and threats of costly endless court battles while Gov. Jerry Brown is petitioning Trump for federal disaster aid. If the Oroville Dam blows, Brown will be back in Washington pleading for billions.

I’d recommend a humble and more conciliatory attitude. Our officials have been giving Trump the middle finger – Trump may just reciprocate with a similar gesture.

Chris Smith, Rocklin

Now can we end the drought?

Re “Drought rules extended despite heavy rain, snow” (Capitol & California, Feb. 9): The state Water Resources Control Board is morally deficient. Last week, they took the unbelievable action of continuing the Emergency Drought Declaration. On the same day throughout California, there were actual emergencies occurring due to the incredible amounts of rain and snow that were accumulating with more on the way.

Should we be mindful and be efficient in the use of our precious water? Absolutely. Is there a drought emergency? Obviously not, and it doesn’t help to cry wolf.

Carol Cramer, Auburn

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