Letters to the Editor

Gov. Brown, water, tunnels, Cal Fire, feeding students, etc.

At a meeting of water agency officials in Sacramento on Wednesday, Gov. Jerry Brown that critics of his twin tunnels water diversion plan should “shut up” until they spend more time studying it. “Until you’ve put a million hours into it,” Brown said, estimating the amount of staff time devoted to the project, “shut up.”
At a meeting of water agency officials in Sacramento on Wednesday, Gov. Jerry Brown that critics of his twin tunnels water diversion plan should “shut up” until they spend more time studying it. “Until you’ve put a million hours into it,” Brown said, estimating the amount of staff time devoted to the project, “shut up.” The Associated Press

Déjà vu all over again

Re “Brown tells critics of Delta tunnels plan to ‘shut up’” (Page A1, May 7): Gov. Jerry Brown just doesn’t get it. We told him in 1982 that we do not want a peripheral canal. Now he’s at it again with an even more harebrained scheme to build twin tunnels to divert water to Southern California, to the tune of $15 billion. Which, by the way, will not provide one additional drop of water. Can you say lipstick on a pig?

We all know how government projects go: that $15 billion will turn into $30 billion with overruns. And $30 billion could build 15 desalination plants for cities south of the Delta, providing reliable water supplies for southern communities, while at the same time allowing more water to flow through the Delta to help restore habitat and fish populations that have suffered for years from over-diversions.

We have been sending too much water south for too long, and this boondoggle does nothing to change that, or fix California’s water problems.

Powell Svendsen, Rancho Murieta

Tunnels are just a water grab

It hasn’t escaped our attention that the Delta tunnels are not up for public vote, as was the peripheral canal. They are both water-grab proposals. Just as the peripheral canal was voted down, the fate of the tunnels should be similar.

Roy David Graham, Carmichael

Excuse me?

Gov. Jerry Brown’s angry response to honest and well-founded concerns about his pet tunnel plan shows him to be frightened and unable to engage in respectful debate. He is fast revealing himself to be a wannabe emperor who lacks both clothes and common sense. Frankly, the man I voted for is a walking exercise in unintentional self-satire.

His water policies are conflicted, unsound and dangerous. He supports fracking, which poisons aquifers, and agribusiness in the Central Valley, which has resulted in incredible subsidence. He wants to send water from naturally arable lands to accomplish this. Combine that with his “train to nowhere” and he shows up as an aging, rather pitiable character in search of a legacy.

I am greatly disappointed.

Roxanne “Sunny” de Koning,

West Sacramento

Shoutout to critics?

Is the governor’s shoutout to critics of the Delta twin tunnels defensive or is it a savvy political move to throw gasoline on the fire to test public reaction? Stay tuned.

John Gilmore, Sacramento

Hail, Brown, the dictator

I find it disheartening that yet again money rules over science. Or re-election, perhaps, is more important than ecological engineering. The needs of the many voters outweigh the need to listen to a voice of reason. Maybe Gov. Jerry Brown should stop worrying about his legacy and really look at what’s good for the whole of California vs. the masses of Southern California. You gave us a money pit “train to nowhere” for them and now you’re going to terra-form the northern environment for them.

Nathan Preslzer, Suisun City

Water insanity

Re “Water war begins” (Letters, May 5): Letter writer Donald Schell stated that it is time to hold legislators and administrators responsible for the water situation. I totally agree. With the growth in population and agriculture in recent decades, it has been more than apparent that water shortages were inevitable if no action was taken. Well, surprise, no action was taken. Now the government wants the people to solve the problem by allowing our expensive yards to die. No! Is that the best solution they can propose?

Instead of the taxpayers having to shoulder the solution, take the money from the high-speed train and the excess in this year’s budget and do something meaningful. Fix the leaks in the water systems, which would save 200 billion gallons a year, build pipelines from Northern California to augment the current water system, build desalination plants.

Donald Scheppmann, Sacramento

An unjust system

Re “Police diversity no cure-all” (Our Region, May 6): Columnist Marcus Breton argues that police diversity is not effective at making law enforcement activities just, especially in regard to non-white and impoverished groups. He is correct. A further analysis suggests that the design and implementation of the system of economic and social relations is at odds with the virtue of equal justice under the laws guaranteed by the 14th Amendment.

When the budgets of towns and counties depend on fees added to fines inflicted on our poorest citizens living in neighborhoods with few opportunities, then police of any race have little incentive to practice social justice. The police become interchangeable cogs in an unjust system.

Mark P. Shumway, Georgetown

Outrageous behavior at Cal Fire

Re “Cal Fire chief battles bureaucracy” (Capitol & California, Jon Ortiz, May 7): I may not understand state civil service rules, but it is absolutely outrageous that the two Cal Fire firefighters who cheated on the oral exam for captain were subsequently promoted to the position. This after receiving a one-year pay cut and temporary demotion – essentially a slap on the wrist. Why isn’t cheating a cause for dismissal?

Alvin D. Sokolow, Davis

Let them eat cake

Re “Audit finds flaws in school food program, millions in lost costs” (Capitol & California, May 7): Horrors of horrors! We, the United States of America, the most bountiful country in the world, fed ineligible schoolchildren. Somebody needs to go to prison. Why don’t we lock up ineligible second-graders who ate food they weren’t supposed to eat? Or better yet, lock up their parents. In that way household income can be reduced and the kids would be eligible to eat.

Why don’t we burden overwhelmed school administrators with just one more federal form to fill out? The waste of federal funds is not the feeding of hungry children. It’s the expenditure of millions of dollars to keep track of and to audit a program to feed hungry schoolchildren.

Here’s my suggestion for reform: Feed any kid who comes to school hungry. No questions asked.

Ginger Rutland, Sacramento

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