Letters to the Editor

Twin tunnels, Reagan statue, dementia, Australia

State and federal scientists are vetting the latest version of Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to build twin tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to determine whether the proposal meets the administration’s goals of providing reliable water supply and protecting the ecosystem.
State and federal scientists are vetting the latest version of Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to build twin tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to determine whether the proposal meets the administration’s goals of providing reliable water supply and protecting the ecosystem. Sacramento Bee file

Bee is unfriendly to its own region

Re “Status quo in the Delta is untenable” (Editorials, July 19): The Sacramento Bee is surprisingly friendly to the Delta tunnels plan, which would be devastating to our region’s environment, economy, agriculture and water supplies.

While other editorial boards call for abandonment of the “water fix,” The Bee suggests it’s a good idea. Yes, we have a statewide water system and must share water across the state. But building tunnels large enough to divert over half the flow on average of the Sacramento River would obviously worsen conditions for fish and local farms.

Now without the sugarcoating of possible restoration – the water fix doesn’t include stand-alone restoration – there is even less to like about this project. Why continue to promote the tunnels when there are better solutions to improving water supply reliability, such as the non-tunnel elements of the California Water Action Plan? Just because the status quo is untenable does not mean the river should be rerouted into pipes.

Osha Meserve, Sacramento

The trouble with tunnels

So much is being written about the proposed Delta tunnels that the issue is becoming more, rather than less, confusing. We have been told that the tunnels will destroy the Delta and that the tunnels will save the Delta. We have been told that habitat will be restored, but now there will be much less restoration.

If the tunnels are not built, farmers in the Central Valley will be hurt. If the tunnels are built, farmers in the Delta will be harmed. So, what should we think?

I see three basic issues:

No one has explained how removing water from the Delta could help the ecosystem. This seems pretty simple.

Much of the water is used for growing nuts, but should we jeopardize a vital ecosystem so a few people can profit from it?

Gov. Jerry Brown is trying to get the tunnels built without letting the public vote on the issue. How can this be right?

Phillip J. Ramiondi,

Sacramento

We are guilty of letting this happen

As a longtime boater and 50-year resident of the Bay Area, I have sadly seen the Delta in decline from pristine waterways to a veritable cesspool that can no longer be fished or bathed in. It used to be as beautiful as Yosemite, but nobody cared for it.

We are all guilty for letting this happen. We abrogated our rights as citizens and elected politicians and their clients who ignore the public interest and that of our progeny. When are we going to hold them accountable? When are we going to elect officials with morals and integrity?

Alfred J. Kottman, Lincoln

Bury the statue of Ronald Reagan

Re “Reagan, a statue and a battle for the poor” (Forum, July 19): Former California Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso is right in characterizing Ronald Reagan’s political career as divisive and that he provided for the privileged at the detriment of the unprivileged.

Reagan made his racial disposition quite clear when he announced his presidential candidacy in Philadelphia, Miss., site of the civil rights workers’ murders in 1963. And it is forgotten that in 1987, after Reagan vetoed a bill imposing additional sanctions on apartheid South Africa, that his veto was overridden by both houses of Congress.

I joke with my radical political friends here in Sacramento that the Reagan statue going up in the Capitol building is the net benefit for the many years of Democratic super-majorities in the Legislature.

Don Knutson, Sacramento

The truth about Reagan’s legacy

Nothing is more powerful than the truth as presented by an unimpeachable witness. Justice Cruz Reynoso’s presentation of the facts regarding Ronald Reagan’s callous disregard of those less fortunate than he, not to mention his disregard of the rule of law, not only made the ineluctable point that Reagan deserves no further tribute, it restored my faith in the capacity of the truth to emerge. As Californians, we should be proud of the fact that for every Reagan there is a Reynoso who is not afraid to speak truth to power.

Nancy Luque, Carmichael

Help needed to manage dementia

Re “Dealing with behavior of dementia sufferers” (Viewpoints, July 19): Dr. Charles DeCarli at UC Davis was on point. We know that only 45 percent of people with Alzheimer’s disease or their caregivers say they were told the diagnosis by their doctor. Primary care doctors need guidance for the little time they have to spend with complex, elderly patients in a managed care environment. That’s why the Alzheimer’s Association is sponsoring Senate Bill 613 to update California’s physician guidelines to improve assessment, treatment, referral and care coordination, all proven to manage dementia and the behaviors that result from Alzheimer’s disease.

Susan S. DeMarois,

Sacramento

We should own our water

Re “Australia displays key water reforms” (Viewpoints, July 19): To Julian Morris’ argument that the free market will take care of some of the problems with California’s complex water issues, I say water is not just another commodity. It is not like selling pants, almonds or cars. It is life. And to leave it up to the highest bidder is unconscionable.

Taxpayers paid for water projects, so water should stay in the hands of the citizens of California, where we have some say in what to do with our water. Imagine selling these water projects to private industry. I can see the corruption. And do you want Goldman Sachs controlling access to water?

As for defining water holding rights, there is only one group that should own the rights to water and that is the citizens of California.

Leaving water decisions to the free market is a recipe for disaster. Look at the last recession.

Michael Santos, Antelope

The market price of water

The Sacramento Bee has published a number of op-eds promoting market allocation of water as a solution to our water shortage and the latest viewpoint, regarding Australia’s water reforms, clearly demonstrates its potential for success. That shouldn’t be surprising, since we use market prices to allocate virtually all of our other scarce resources.

It’s clear that our political leaders have been misleading the public, claiming that the record-setting drought is to blame for our water shortage. It’s simply not true. A market allocation of water would provide all the water we need without requiring any unfair and convoluted rules for water use. And those who would counter that higher prices for water would harm the poor should recognize that a tenfold increase in water prices would still put the cost of enough water to sustain life for a year at less than a dollar.

Bob Parrish, Granite Bay

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