Letters to the Editor

Water, diet, Delta, etc.

About 900 gallons of water are needed for every gallon of milk produced by each of the state’s nearly 2 million dairy cows. A letter writer says a plant-based diet can help save water.
About 900 gallons of water are needed for every gallon of milk produced by each of the state’s nearly 2 million dairy cows. A letter writer says a plant-based diet can help save water. Sacramento Bee file

The real water users

Re “A plant-based diet can help save water” (Viewpoints, May 3): Taking “Navy showers” and turning off the tap while brushing one’s teeth are all well and good. But as pointed out in the op-ed, the real water user in California is agribusiness.

With Gov. Jerry Brown threatening to fine folks $10,000 for overwatering their lawns, why not a peep from him on a much more potent line of attack: reducing our consumption of animal-based foods? The amount of water needed to bring a hamburger to market is about the same as two months of showers. Not only would less reliance on animal-based foods save substantial amounts of water, as a bonus it would improve our health.

Chris Jones, Glen Ellen

Another solution to the drought

Paul Shapiro’s article about animal agriculture being a gigantic water user is right on. California politicians should wake up and smell the manure. It will lead them directly to one of the solutions to the problem.

Kathryn Dalenberg, Valley Head, Ala.

Ratepayers subsidize projects

Re “State water is not subsidized” (Letters, May 3): Nancy Vogel, public affairs director for the Department of Water Resources, would have us believe that public water agencies pay for “all water supply-associated costs.”

While that might be a fairly accurate bit of information, I am wondering from where Vogel thinks the money that is used to pay these program costs comes? Does this money simply come from great investments, government grants or bonds? Or could it be ratepayers “subsidizing” the project costs for these water agencies? While it might not be a direct government subsidy, most government subsidies originate from the same place: ratepayers/taxpayers.

Danny Delgado, Sacramento

Hoping Brown changes his mind

Re “Brown shouldn’t leave eco goals out of new Delta plan” (Editorials, April 19): I agree with the editorial board’s statement regarding how Gov. Jerry Brown should not only focus on the economical side of his $25 billion Delta project. Brown’s initial plan was to build twin tunnels that would provide water for Southern Californians and Central Valley farmers, and restore the Delta ecosystem to save the salmon and Delta smelt. Now the governor has changed his plans to just providing water for Southern and Central Californians.

I hope the governor changes his mind.

Roman Cornejo, Antelope

Japan’s imminent demise is premature

Re “How sex could save Japan” (Forum, May 3): As usual, the naysayers are whining about Japan’s declining population, while ignoring the fact that Japan is still one of the most densely populated nations on Earth. At the current rate, it will take at least 100 years to make a noticeable impact, and Japan would still be densely populated. Other densely populated countries would do well to emulate Japan. Perhaps they would be able to claw their way out of poverty with fewer mouths to feed.

Martha Villegas, Orangevale

History is essential

Re “Substituting anthropology for American history is wrong move” (Forum, May 3): I am absolutely outraged to hear about this effort to gut the History Department at Sacramento State. I received my master’s degree from Sacramento State in 2008 and have gone on to a career in community college history instruction, and I can assure readers of how essential any introductory history classes are for incoming students.

My students routinely lack a basic knowledge of even the most essential historical topics, and the idea that some hybrid anthropology class could provide them with a historical education that is anywhere close to sufficient is absurd in the extreme. As a graduate, I am baffled and ashamed by these current actions from Sacramento State leadership, and I can assure them that I will not be recommending any college which lacks a basic commitment to its history program.

Taylor Tiraterra, Auburn

I judge Blue Shield’s actions

Re “Judge Blue Shield of California by its actions” (Another View, May 3): I am glad the California Franchise Tax Board revoked Blue Shield’s tax-exempt status, which I have been wondering about for years.

Yes, I am judging Blue Shield by its actions:

1. It has a staggering $4.2 billion in reserve.

2. Its executives earn exorbitant income.

3. It is ranked No. 14 among “Companies Americans Hate Dealing With the Most” (The Fiscal Times, April 7).

4. Its executive staff office, the executive inquiry unit, is arrogant. They can call me but refuse my calls back.

5. Its staff is poorly trained and a vast majority of the time cannot answer questions about benefits.

These actions should further cement the not tax-exempt status of Blue Shield by the Franchise Tax Board.

Manas Thananant, Folsom