Letters to the Editor

Drought, 2016 race, Stephanopoulos, etc.

Maria Jimenez, 54, is helped by her daughter as she pours water brought from farm wells to use for their household in Monson. A letter writer says farmers in the southern San Joaquin Valley are worsening the water crisis by attempting to grow profitable crops unsuitable to the region.
Maria Jimenez, 54, is helped by her daughter as she pours water brought from farm wells to use for their household in Monson. A letter writer says farmers in the southern San Joaquin Valley are worsening the water crisis by attempting to grow profitable crops unsuitable to the region. rbyer@sacbee.com

Making profit until the state runs dry

Re “A withering way of life” (Page 1A, May 17): For years, agriculturalists from around the world have traveled to UC Davis to research and learn how to adapt crops to grow in the most extreme environments in the world, to feed their people.

Farmers in the southern San Joaquin Valley, instead, have chosen to attempt to alter the environment to grow profitable crops unsuitable to the region by importing water from other areas of the state and by severely overdrafting their groundwater supplies. This unsustainable profit-taking is done knowing full well that their water supplies, by contract, are not guaranteed.

The cropping choices are driven by profit motive, not to feed society, as exemplified by the line: “Smaller oranges, less pay.” Is a smaller orange less nutritious? Farmers are the fundamental environmentalists in this country, and this greedy group tarnishes that reputation severely.

Jerry Cordy, Sacramento

No drought relief for the rural poor

I suggest that the $5 million to $6 million that Tulare County needs in order to provide water to the rural poor be allocated from the billion dollars of “drought relief” legislation that was recently passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor, or allocated from this year’s unexpected additional billions of dollars in tax revenue.

The politicians, bureaucrats and all of the various interests at work in the Capitol knew, or should have known, of the dire water situation facing the rural poor on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley ever since the last year when it was widely reported that the people of East Porterville were, and likely still are, facing the same type of water emergencies that are now occurring in Monson and other parts of the region.

Michael P. Krug, Sacramento

Contrasting Dems, GOP for 2016

Re “Jeb Bush’s Iraq stumbles worry GOP” (Page 4B, May 16): The contrast between Republican and Democratic voters for 2016 is astonishing. The majority of Republicans don’t want another Bush. Democrats are so supportive of another Clinton that they can’t find one legitimate challenger.

Republicans are excited about a field that is highly qualified and willing to challenge the liberal premises that frame so many issues. Democrats seem satisfied with the phoniness of Hillary Clinton’s tours and that she ignores questions. They seem unbothered by her destruction of emails, accepting money from foreign governments into the Clinton Foundation, and the inflated speaking fees by both Clintons.

Her deception and dishonesty do not matter. That Democrats think she can win is all that matters.

Charles Hummer,

El Dorado Hills

An appearance of conflict

Re “Stephanopoulos apologizes amid credibility crisis” (Page 10A, May 16): Big whoop-de-do when it was discovered that George Stephanopoulos had donated $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation, but interviewed the author of “Clinton Cash” without disclosing the donation. He apologized and said, “I should have gone the extra mile to avoid even the appearance of a conflict.” And that’s OK. He didn’t donate millions; he wasn’t a foreign government or corporation; and he had no dealings with the State Department.

Apparently “the appearance of a conflict” means one thing to common people and something else to presidential candidates and their husbands.

John Paul, Carmichael

No more sponge baths for me

I just got back from a visit to the Palm Springs area and realized that I am taking sponge baths and letting my landscape die so that we can keep the desert green. I do not object to keeping the golf courses green; they generate money, and some use recycled water.

What drove me crazy were the water fountains that many of the developments had that were flowing as if we were in a flood. I guess that they will not get it until the Colorado River runs dry and they empty the groundwater supplies.

P.S. No more sponge baths for me.

Bill White, Sacramento

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