The truth comes out
Re “Spillway’s unreliability was known for decades” (Page 1A, Feb. 14): So state and federal agencies, as well as several state water agencies, have known for decades about the problems with the Oroville Dam spillways, yet they turned a blind eye.
What about Gov. Brown and the Legislature? Surely they knew about the potentially catastrophic problems. During the past decade, they approved expenditures for repairs to the main spillway several times. Wouldn’t that be a clue that the spillway was compromised?
Surely the 5-year drought was a golden opportunity to do major repairs, but that was too costly. As for Reps. Garamendi and Matsui, their claims of surprise ring hollow. They are our representatives in Congress. They should make it their business to know.
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This was a failure of governance at all levels. The current evacuees are only the first ones to bear the brunt of this incompetence.
Janet W. Quesenberry, Elk Grove
Infrastructure wake-up call
Inexcusably, it has taken a near calamity to point out the governor’s mule-headed direction for spending tax dollars on questionable projects such as twin tunnels to ship water from Northern California to southern part of the state, and high-speed rail to nowhere that will provide limited ridership for Bay Area residents.
Meanwhile, our roads, and now a major dam, languish in disrepair. Shame on the governor and those legislators who blindly support our limited tax dollars for these unnecessary projects.
Sharon Gill, Sacramento
A modest proposal for Oroville
Re “Dam makes it clear: Nature is in control” (Editorial, Feb. 13): Forty days and 40 nights. Where’s our ark?
Maybe by Wednesday it was too late for clever fixes at Oroville. But why didn’t choppers fly in gravel to fill the breach, and top that with sandbags? Was there a worry that would impede the later permanent fix?
Why weren’t pumps (or maybe a suction piping method) deployed on top the emergency spill to give some control, rather than passive overtopping?
Widespread flooding is not the threat. Why not get ahead of it, and use the natural reserve for water absorption ?
Put a foot or two on every acre of rice farm in Northern California. With checks in place, regardless of repair, one need merely recruit labor to block the openings with sandbags, where rice “boxes” usually control the flow. It will not hurt the land, and can drop the Sacramento River’s level for a week or more
Mike Shepley, Sacramento
Court has no rights on travel ban
Re “President Trump should start over on travel ban” (Editorial, Feb. 11): However ill-conceived Trump’s travel ban is, constitutionally he has this specific power. Congress has already established executive powers on immigration. The judicial branch is not upholding the Constitution, it is ignoring it to make law. It’s hail to the chief, not hail to the courts.
Joey Moreno, Sacramento
Trump should shift priorities
Now that the 9th Circuit has usurped the national security powers of the executive branch, Trump should move on to other important things. He should focus on tax cuts, reduction of regulatory rules and making government smaller.
The 9th Circuit now has ownership of national security. We should give them a chance to see how they do with it.
Richard Shoemaker, Orangevale
Not what Trump did, but how
The problem isn’t Trump’s executive order, it’s the way he did it. He conferred with no one in Congress, nor any Cabinet member, before signing this executive order.
This executive order has had a major effect on this country, and on world opinion. Wouldn’t it have made more sense to have had someone in his corner before signing?
I don’t believe our Founding Fathers envisioned the president becoming an absolute ruler.
John Slaughterback, Lodi
Shame on the Democrats
Re “Shame on Republican senators” (Letters, Feb.11): Marian Cias laments that only two Republicans went along with not voting to confirm Betsy DeVos. What is really pathetic is the mediocre education that public schools give out to our children. More money per pupil does not equate to a child being better educated.
James Darrell Reeves, Carmichael
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