Letters to the Editor

Water transfers, redevelopment agencies, teen driving, Manson follower, etc.

The federal government’s facility near Tracy pumps water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta uphill into the Delta-Mendota Canal.
The federal government’s facility near Tracy pumps water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta uphill into the Delta-Mendota Canal. U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

Water passing Delta isn’t wasted

Re “More water reaches sea than is shipped south” (Page 1A, April 17): Were The Sacramento Bee’s editors being ironic by headlining the article on Delta pumping “More water reaches sea than is shipped south”? Will future headlines read “More trees stand in forest than being logged” or “More air left in atmosphere than people breathe”?

Water reaching the sea – fresh water mixing with saltwater – is what creates and sustains the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary that Californians love. To add insult to injury, the headline is misleading. Not enough water reaching the ocean is killing the estuary – more than half the water in the Central Valley is diverted before it reaches the bay, either by the Delta pumps or upstream of the Delta.

As of March, about 60 percent of this year’s runoff has already been captured for storage or diversion. If some water districts and politicians had their way, almost no water would reach the ocean, the salmon and sturgeon fisheries would be permanently shut down, endangered fish species would go extinct, and the bay would be a toxic lagoon.

Let’s not begrudge sharing water with the estuary that provides us with so many ecosystem services and economic benefits. Water isn’t wasting to the sea for the fish, wildlife and people who depend on a healthy bay.

Gary Bobker,

San Francisco

Rivers and Delta Program director at The Bay Institute

More water helps restore nature

More water reaching the sea than is shipped south is exactly as nature intended it. There was a shrimp industry in San Pablo Bay before more water was shipped south. The salmon, steelhead and Delta smelt are on the brink of extinction, or nearly so, so that corporate agribusiness can grow “value added” crops in the desert of the western San Joaquin Valley.

This article seems slanted toward those who would turn the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta into the Los Angeles River to facilitate the water theft of the 21st century.

Roger Thibault,

West Sacramento

Don’t criticize cuts in spending

Re “Steinberg’s role in agencies’ end becomes campaign issue” (Local, April 17): I’m troubled by Angelique Ashby’s reaction to Darrell Steinberg’s role in eliminating local redevelopment agencies in 2011. It’s unusual to see an elected official and even more rare to see a Democrat willing to eliminate or scale back a program due to lack of funding. While I disagree often with Steinberg’s positions, he should be applauded rather than criticized for having the courage to make a difficult decision when spending reductions were required to balance the state budget.

Joe Selewicz, Sacramento

Take my license; the fun is gone

Re “What’s up with teens today? Fewer want to drive” (Opinion, The numbers crunch, April 16): I totally get why teens aren’t excited to get their driver’s licenses. First, we have way more rude drivers now. And, what “open roads” do we generally enjoy anymore? A drive from Sacramento to Los Angeles 20 years ago could feel like an escape. A time to think, enjoy the radio, talk. Currently, it’s an obstacle course and a battle for one’s life.

Unlike our teens and young adults, I’m not hooked on the excitement and lack of human interaction inherent to video games. But I get how much more manageable those environments are. No political correctness, no dealing with real humans. And, without a license, one can avoid trips to handle chores. I guess robotics will handle all of that soon.

The time has come for automated cars. Many of us would much rather be doing anything but battling traffic. The fun of driving: Gone.

Mitch Darnell, Sacramento

No on parole for Manson follower

Re “Ex-Manson follower moves closer to parole” (Capitol & California, April 15): I am urging all of the people of California to write or call Gov. Jerry Brown’s office to deny parole for Leslie Van Houghton, whom the parole board has approved for release.

Members of the Manson gang were all cold-bloodied killers and should remain in prison for the rest of their lives.

Clara Caul, Citrus Heights

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