Letters to the Editor

Water sale, GOP letter, racism, Koons art, etc.

As the drought worsens, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California plans to spend up to $71 million to buy water from farmers in the Sacramento Valley.
As the drought worsens, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California plans to spend up to $71 million to buy water from farmers in the Sacramento Valley. AP file

A windfall from water sales?

Re “L.A. water agency offers cash for Valley allotments” (Page A1, March 13): I need to understand how it is possible for Northern California agribusinesses to sell subsidized water to Southern California and collect the windfall. Water and air are resources that do not belong to any individual. I’m pretty sure water rights and subsidies were provided to ensure farmers a supply for their crops to prevent monopolization and to guarantee steady and reasonably priced food.

I assumed that low supply would equal less availability for those sharing the watershed with or without antiquated water rights. I did not expect our shortage to create an opportunity for wealthy farmers to cash in. I can’t understand how a farmer can receive subsidized water and sell it to another area.

Who pays the increased costs associated with pumping that water south and who offers mitigation for the additional environmental consequences of the extra pumping? If water is available in excess of the farmer’s allotment and needs, why is that water not reallocated for the public good?

Ron Wynes, Lincoln

Not enough said

Re “Confused about GOP letter” (Letters, March 13): Steven Johnson wants his words regarding the letter sent by the 47 Republican senators to the leaders of Iran to be the last on the subject, ergo his snide-ish sign-off, “Enough said.” That will hardly be the case.

The backlash has been immediate and near universal, which is why even many of the signatories are awkwardly walking backward on this. Some have sheepishly stated it was intended as a joke, with comments like, “Doesn’t the president have a sense of humor?” This letter was a profoundly dangerous and amateurish attempt to diminish the president and the presidency. And worse, it could possibly derail attempts to disarm a potential nuclear power in an already unstable part of the world.

The alternative to diplomacy is war. I for one appreciate that the president is working to avoid this.

D. Mark Wilson, Sacramento

Racism is alive and in politics

Re “Racism casts a long shadow, at fraternity and in Ferguson” (Viewpoints, March 13): In Eugene Robinson’s excellent article, he suggests we imagine what might happen if these racist frat boys grow up and move into executive positions or become real estate agents, and how they would likely treat African Americans. However, he left off his list the damage that might be done should they grow up to be politicians.

Oops, wait, they have grown up and are now members of Congress and state legislatures. They can be found in states where they are restricting voting rights. Where they are cutting back on assistance to minorities. Where they rant against “those people,” the undeserving and lazy. Sadly, the frat boys have grown up, and racism is alive and well in the USA.

Sam Catalano, Sacramento

Legislating from a Lexus

The bill in the California Legislature to make helmets mandatory for adults smacks of what is wrong with the mentality of the Legislature. Living in their sterile suburbs, many of these idealists think that societies’ issues can be solved by more laws. What is missed is that many of the forgotten underclass depend on a bicycle for basic transportation.

Ask yourself when was the last time that you were stuck in traffic in your air-conditioned Lexus and saw one of these poor souls riding by on a bike with a helmet. With many not even having a permanent place to live, a helmet is the last thing they are concerned about. All this type of law would do is provide the police another reason to hassle them and the public at large. Keep such helmet laws under the dome of your gated communities, but spare the rest of us, please.

Stephen Fischer, Rancho Cordova

My world-class city

I, for one, am tired of all this repeated drivel about our city and the junk art of Jeff Koons. They say, “We’re not a world-class city” or “We have no great public art.”

Sacramento is the capital of California, not Rhode Island … California! You can’t get any more world class than that. No great public art? Just look at the state Capitol, one of the greatest art restoration projects ever undertaken.

William J. Hughes, Sacramento

We need Koons’ art

Our bland, boring Sacramento has been wonderfully changed if not transformed by our wonderful red rabbit, and we certainly need more imaginative public art, which is the only way we can hope to distinguish ourselves from the myriad bland, boring cities across this country.

Alfred P. French, Roseville

What about rule of law?

Re “Rally slams anti-Semitism” (Our Region, March 10): Civilized societies develop laws to help protect its citizens. Sometimes laws conflict with what seems to be the morally correct thing to do. Should we break the law to right what is perceived as morally or criminally wrong, or should we follow the rule of law? How far should one go when breaking the law?

In the case of the house in River Park that displayed the swastika, an individual broke the law by trespassing and destroying private property. A majority thought that was the right thing to do. What if that individual thought it was OK to burn the house down? Would that be going too far? In 1960, Israel’s Nazi hunters broke Argentina’s extradition and kidnapping laws by capturing Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann. A majority thought the end justified the means.

The rule of law should prevent individuals or governments from deciding which laws to break.

John Hightower, Orangevale

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