Letters to the Editor

Delta plan, governor’s budget, representation proposal, Senate drivers, etc.

Intakes for the twin tunnels planned for the Sacramento River would be located near Courtland. Letter writers discuss Rep. John Garamendi’s water proposal.
Intakes for the twin tunnels planned for the Sacramento River would be located near Courtland. Letter writers discuss Rep. John Garamendi’s water proposal. Sacramento Bee file

Delta proposal shows balance

Re “Water solution for state: ‘Little Sip, Big Gulp’” (Viewpoints, May 31): I’m glad to read an alternative that would not result in a major disruption to our local ecosystem that the twin tunnels through the Delta would inflict.

A few generations ago we built massive dams to provide power and water to previously uninhabitable regions of our country without understanding the environmental impacts of those projects. Today we know better and consider environmental effects. Many of the dams that are at the end of their useable lifespan are being removed and habitats restored as alternative energy sources and water solutions are developed.

The twin tunnels have the look and feel of those vintage dam projects. Too often in our polarized society, decisions become “all or nothing” without searching for reasonable alternatives.

Kris Johnson, Granite Bay

Garamendi’s plan has got it right

Rep. John Garamendi has a great and practical solution for handling our precious water in California. It is time for other so-called leaders listen to a good idea and get it implemented. All this historical and persistent bickering has got to stop.

Garamendi’s approach is outstanding in that it deals with the problems and actually allows creation of more availability of water in normal and drought conditions.

Of course, the proposed tunnel boondoggle has got to stop. It can best be stopped by implementation of a far better program.

This is an appeal for thousands of thinking Californians to find ways to convince the legislators to actually act, not just talk and talk.

Royce Larson, Nevada City

Bigger budget, not better?

Re “Governor’s budget is better, not bigger” (Viewpoints, May 31): Gov. Jerry Brown states that he wishes to avoid embarking on new programs. Meanwhile, California’s high-speed rail project looms like a $68 billion thundercloud.

While such expansionary spending could further stimulate the economy – and allow for a quicker commute and environmental benefits – the project is at odds with Brown’s prudent fiscal policy in other areas. Why the tradeoff? Doesn’t public education – both K-12 and higher ed – deserve as much as a new train set?

Isa Flores-Jones, Sacramento

Steinberg takes an unfair hit

Re “Senate’s fundraising ban during budget talks is vital” (Viewpoints, May 23): In Dan Schnur’s opinion piece, he argues that current Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León deserves credit and praise for imposing a fundraising blackout last year during key weeks of the legislative session. He then goes on to critique the political reforms of his predecessor, former Sen. Darrell Steinberg.

The reality, however, is inconvenient for Schnur’s argument. It was then-Pro Tem Steinberg who in May of last year actually introduced and imposed Senate Resolution 44, which created the fundraising blackout. While de León signed on as a joint author, it’s the leadership of Steinberg that made it happen. The facts show a glaring inaccuracy, even by Schnur’s standards.

Mark Hedlund, Elk Grove, former spokesman for Steinberg, former communications director for the Senate

Compromise on representation

Re “Stand up for ‘one person, one vote’” (Editorials, May 31): I have a simple, novel solution to this ideological contretemps about revising the basis of states’ representational entitlements in Congress. Let’s count each noncitizen living in a state as only three-fifths of a person to determine a state’s total population.

Why hasn’t somebody already thought of this logical solution?

Lee Lipps, Sacramento

A new class of nobility?

Re “Perks just practical politics” (Insight, June 4): Please put one more dirt clod on the pile of disdain I feel for our state legislators. The news that Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León shores up his position by providing taxpayer-funded rides to drunken senators is disgustingly consistent with what we encounter at all levels of government: constant manipulation of the system to avoid accountability.

According to a longtime political consultant, it’s about keeping those who support de León in the Senate “out of harm’s way.” And for all these years I’ve mistakenly thought that we elected officials to keep the electorate out of harm’s way.

We might not have titled and officially hereditary nobility in this country, but elected officials seem intent on filling that void. If we don’t deal with it soon, it may slip beyond our control.

Tony St. Amant, Chico

Equity in meeting water reductions?

Re “City to keep closer tabs on residents’ water use” (Local News, June 4): Currently, about 50 percent of the city of Sacramento has water meters, such as in the Pocket area where I live. At the current pace, the rest of the city won’t have water meters in place for another 10 years. Those of us with meters are already being charged for our actual water consumption. Except for being penalized for errant outdoor watering, it seems that the 50 percent of Sacramento properties still lacking meters will be getting a relative free ride on their indoor water use and held to a different standard compared to the rest of us.

We deserve an explanation from city leaders on how the 28 percent reduction target ordered by the State Water Resources Control Board will be enforced equitably on Sacramento residents and neighborhoods, but we have heard none to date. The water conservation burden needs to be equally shared.

Jeff Shellito, Sacramento

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