Letters to the Editor

LETTERS Big Brother, water, almonds, vaccinations, a success story

Last week, Gov. Jerry Brown argued against any effort to curtail production of water-intensive crops. “That’s a ‘Big Brother’ move, and we’re not in that position,” Brown told reporters after a drought-related meeting at the Capitol.
Last week, Gov. Jerry Brown argued against any effort to curtail production of water-intensive crops. “That’s a ‘Big Brother’ move, and we’re not in that position,” Brown told reporters after a drought-related meeting at the Capitol. The Associated Press

Doublespeak on water use

Re “More almond groves planted” (Page A1, April 17): Gov. Jerry Brown invoked George Orwell last week when he said that regulations on water-intensive crops would be a “Big Brother move.” But in doing so, Brown exemplified another Orwellian concept: doublespeak. Brown has no problem telling Californians how to tend their yards, how long to bathe or when to flush their toilets. But when it comes to regulating the largest water consumers in our state, he characterizes it as abusive government overreach. Brown should tone down his political rhetoric and focus on a common-sense balancing of the needs of Californians.

Patrick Ford, Sacramento

Regs not like ‘Big Brother’

I am disappointed by Gov. Jerry Brown’s claim that regulation of almond production is tantamount to “Big Brother” government intrusion. I haven’t read Orwell’s “1984” since high school, but the most memorable features of Big Brother were totalitarian surveillance, systemic torture and aggressive reframing of popular thought through doublespeak. It is ironic that “Big Brother” is now doublespeak for regulation.

With four years of drought, common sense requires that we reconsider our economic activities based on changes in resource availability. Eighty percent of water used by humans is used for agriculture, but regulation isn’t on the table for another five years? Californians are legitimately concerned that so much water is used to create products for export while our water resources decline. Resorting to polemic is unnecessary if Brown can demonstrate that increasing almond production in the face of a historic water shortage is a prudent course of action. Can he?

David Cotton, Berkeley

Turning Sacramento into desert

There is an old adage that “Figures don’t lie, but liars figure.” Any time someone uses strictly percentages or per capita, you need to get suspicious and go back to basic math: If 1 million Los Angeles residents can save 1 gallon of water, how many gallons must 50,000 Fair Oaks residents save so L.A. golf courses stay green? But it must be worth it since our governor says desert Sacramento must save paradise Los Angeles.

Signed: Who else but a Fair Oaks resident.

Hugh G. Brady, Fair Oaks

Do as I say, not as I do

As I walk to work in the morning, I see the plants at the Capitol Area Development Authority office being watered every day. You can’t miss it; the water flows down the sidewalk. I’m glad I have to cut back 35 percent.

Clifford Vose, Antelope

A real story of vaccinations

At age 7 I began to notice more and more of my classmates did not return to school. One day our teacher announced we would be going to the nurse’s office. We were lined up and told a doctor would give us a shot. Soon, I was at the front of the line. A lady rolled up my sleeve and someone stuck a needle in my arm. I was a little frightened.

Later that day, our principal came to our class and told us about a doctor by the name of Jonas Salk. She told us about a disease called polio. She told us our lives would now be safer. She also explained that some of our friends who had missed school wouldn’t be returning. She told us one of our classmates was living in a machine called an iron lung. To this day I remember when we went on a field trip to visit our classmate at his home. He was in a cylinder that made a strange noise. He was alive and breathing because of this machine. He lived in the machine the rest of his life until his death at age 25.

Thank God someone decided I should have a shot.

John Rabe, Newcastle

Partial-vaxxers’ different view

Re “Kids’ education will be fine under vaccination bill” (Editorials, April 17): The Sacramento Bee editorial board’s choice of words was offensive. Lumping all opponents of SB 277 together as a “misinformed minority of science deniers” is prejudiced and in itself misinformed.

As a highly educated “science espouser” I am neither against vaccinations in general nor for maintaining the status quo of blanket personal belief waivers. I and many other “partial vaxxers,” a group neglected by the media, have taken advantage of personal belief waivers to have our kids vaccinated on an individual, physician-approved schedule. My children entered public school fully vaccinated against highly communicable and potentially fatal diseases. However, I insist on my right to make an informed decision about whether and when vaccines such as Hep B and HPV are necessary.

Continuing waivers after consultation with a physician would serve the best interest of the majority. Forcing us “partial vaxxers” to home school or move out of state cannot be the solution.

Andrea Ceniceros, Folsom

Young man’s success inspires

Re “Job offer clue came from ‘Mr. Baseball’” (Our Region, Cathie Anderson, April 18): I very much enjoyed Cathie Anderson’s column about local boy made good, Jeff Levering, who at age 31 became a Major League Baseball broadcaster. While grabbing bottled water for other sportscasters and sleeping under the editing table after late-night shifts served as Jeff’s “master’s degree,” his hard work and perseverance will serve as an example to other young people striving to reach their career goals.

Mark Van Brussel, Carmichael

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