Letters for December 31, 2015
Calling for oversight
Re “Death and justice” (Newslines, by Meredith J. Cooper, Dec. 24) and “Let’s form a review board” (Editorial, Dec. 24):
This letter is in response to the recent protest of the decision made by the district attorney in the latest officer-involved shooting incident. It’s not the first time citizens have protested a ruling out of the DA’s office, and I wouldn’t say it will be the last.
I admire the folks holding signs in solidarity, frustration and bewilderment of what justice means. This cross-section of people reflects what the county desperately needs—and that’s a change to how cases like this particular one are handled. I maintain confidence that the current DA is acting in the best capacity that his job description dictates, but it appears that further steps need to be taken to ensure due process is handled in the best manner feasible. I’m talking about a citizen oversight committee.
Cases like this one deserve to be vetted to the fullest extent and citizens should be involved. I do not know how one of these committees comes to fruition (or if we have one already and if we do, why isn’t it being implemented?) but hopefully these words will begin a conversation on how to get one in the works.
The editor’s take
Re “Look in the Mirror” (Letters, by Hendrik Feenstra, Dec. 24):
First, to the matter of Marilyn Baker. We do not generally list our volunteers, even for the task of applying mailing labels to newspapers on Tuesday and Friday evenings. Baker was a journalist, educator, Glenn County supervisor and great community advocate and volunteer. She never asked for favors.
We did not list Glenn County Counsel Huston Carlyle when he volunteered. It got him no favorable coverage. Ask him. We did not list Willows Chamber of Commerce Board member Patricia Ireland. It got her no favored coverage. Ask her.
Indeed, Marilyn Baker is Kara Baker’s mother. Kara Baker has never asked for favors.
In fact, it was the Mirror, through an expansive search of Glenn County emails, that discovered the depths to which the KVB project had been the victim of sabotage. We asked for the op-ed piece, which Mr. Feenstra calls propaganda, to fully explain how KVB’s process works. This is no different than the Wall Street Journal having oil executives explain drilling practices and safety proposals on the op-ed page.
We asked for it because Kara Baker continues to be smeared by false stories being spread by opponents of the project. For instance, “The property is in foreclosure.” It is not. “The taxes are in arrears.” They are not.
Editor’s note: Mr. Crews is publisher and editor of the Sacramento Valley Mirror.
On those zany titles
Re “Party foul” (Newslines, by Robert Speer, Dec. 17):
Recent City Council actions regarding the homeless and other municipal catastrophes that are contained in such officious-sounding decrees as the Disorderly Events Ordinance, which was superseded by the Unruly Gatherings Ordinance—the latter of which followed in the wake of the Offenses Against Waterways and Public Property Initiative—do not seem so far removed from the zany nomenclature of such Monty Python skits as their “Ministry of Silly Walks,” for example.
Re “Rebuttal on water” (Letters, by Thaddeus Bettner, Nov. 26):
Glenn Colusa Irrigation District recharges deep aquifers? One justification for growing rice in the Sacramento Valley is that clay soils retain water. Either GCID has acres of suitable rice land or they have a large recharge zone, but not both.
In 2008, GCID claimed recharging “180,000 acre-feet [annually] during noncritical years.” In 2014, they claimed “approximately 77,000 acre-feet annually from deep percolation of applied surface water to agricultural land.”
In a letter to the editor, Thaddeus Bettner wrote: “GCID has delivered into this region over the past 10 years in excess of 7 million acre-feet, with approximately 20 percent going directly to groundwater recharge” or 140,000 acre-feet of recharge annually.
An article, “Soil suitability Index identifies potential area for groundwater banking on agricultural lands” was published in California Agriculture (see tinyurl.com/CAagriculture).
“For successful groundwater recharge, soils must be able to transmit water into the aquifer below.” An interactive map is available (tinyurl.com/soilresource).
Where are these extensive soils located that produce “deep percolation” and recharge 77,000-180,000 acre-feet annually? How does the water percolate to the 1,000-plus-foot depth of their wells?
Bring back protections
The American public must demand the return of the Glass-Steagall Act taken from us by a Republican Congress and market-oriented Democratic President Bill Clinton.
Banks should no longer be able to gamble with our money on Wall Street, and Wall Street should no longer be able to practice casino-style operations with the public’s money. Otherwise, our retirement plans will never be safe. Yes, we could have a return of the middle class when we begin to respect unions again, but all the security unions could bring to us could vanish by whims of the wealthy until banks and Wall Street are forced to follow ethical rules.
Demand a return of the Glass-Steagall Act.