Letters for November 27, 2008

Taking issue with water report
Re: “Are we running out of water?” (Newslines, by Robert Speer, CN&R, Nov. 20):

Opportunities still exist to use less water, but to proclaim that conservation alone will lead California into a secure water future is foolish and exhibits a lack of understanding of the benefits provided by our current water supply.

If you want to rely upon imported food from other countries that is grown with no enforceable health and safety regulations, then go ahead and force farmers to conserve their water use by making them plant less acreage. They not only planted less but abandoned already-planted crops this year because they were forced to conserve when their water supply was reduced.

As far as the Pacific Institute’s report that you referred to, university researchers have analyzed the report regarding agricultural water use and have concluded that it is full of “old ideas” and fails to include any economic analysis for its suggestions. If we must rely upon reports like this to secure our water future, then we are in worse shape than anyone thinks.

California’s water future must include a combination of conservation, recycling, new storage and a transportation system that protects our environment. If we do not work together toward that goal, then we have failed the people of California.

Mike Wade

Editor’s note: Mr. Wade is executive director of the California Farm Water Coalition. The following letter comes from the writer of the Aguanomics.com blog.

BEC is wrong to block monitoring wells. We need to know how much water is around to manage it sustainably. Exports should be blocked in a different way. The PI report on ag water conservation is flawed—they did not consider how farmers make conservation decisions based on costs and benefits.

David Zetland

Differing views on disc-golf decision
Re: “Disc golf gets the boot” (Newslines, by Robert Speer, CN&R, Nov. 20):

I write to commend our City Council members for the focused way in which they approached the discussion on the Master Management Plan for Bidwell Park at Tuesday’s meeting.

Mayor Holcombe was masterfully even-handed in keeping order in an atmosphere boisterous to the point of being disruptive, as passions were high in relation to the disc-golf course in Upper Bidwell Park. Bar none, in explaining the reasons for their support pro or con the course, the council members manifested deeply held convictions.

Though many people will be disappointed by what they see as an inexplicable or unreasonable decision, I believe the outcome will in the end satisfy everybody: That beautiful land will begin to heal as soon as the high-impact games stop, and a trail and trailhead will be established and maintained as soon as it is possible.

Further, I know that Tom Nickell is spearheading an effort by his fellow council members and supporters on all sides of the issue to find an alternative, suitable, and beautiful spot for the disc-golf course that the disc golfing community so desires. The commitment is there.

The motivation is there. It’ll happen. The best part: That beautiful wild place at the edge of the world, with its fragile land, sensitive vegetation, and inspiring views, will still be accessible and will have a chance to live in perpetuity instead of being loved to death by too much use.

Maria Phillips

Way to polarize, Friends of Bidwell Park! Once again, environmentalists are perceived by a large part of the public as overzealous obstructionists (and puritanical killjoys to boot). Don’t environmentalists—I consider myself one—want to persuade people that concern for the natural world is a boon for everyone?

Yes, the disc-golf course has some negative impact—but forcing its closure may have the greater negative impact: By adopting a rigid, doctrinaire attitude toward the Bidwell Park disc-golf course, Friends of Bidwell Park has convinced many potential supporters and allies that environmentalists are all about excluding and denying other peoples’ interests and wishes.

Alicia Springer

Doth protest too much
Re: “Credit where credit isn’t due” (Letters, CN&R, Nov. 20):

I am really flabbergasted by Jeanne Clark’s and Dylan Tellesen’s reaction to the note at the end of Hilary Beth Tellesen’s poem “Down the Aisle.” Nothing in the comment about her creative household could be rationally defined as misogynistic. It was just a charming and interesting aside to the poem. Had the gender roles been reversed, I doubt if there would have been any ruffled feathers.

Both Dylan Tellesen’s snarky letter and Jeanne Clark’s creative infusion of hate speech is completely unfounded. To fabricate bogeymen in this fashion is just as disturbing as real chauvinism.

I do not consider myself a writer of any sort, but if it were not for some special people in my life, I would never have submitted to Poetry 99. I count myself lucky for knowing people who changed how I think about poetry and prose. Many of them are the real deal when it comes to writing. They absolutely influence every creative endeavor I attempt. It is beyond me how anyone could suggest the people we know and love are not a source of influence and inspiration.

I want to thank the CN&R for giving the community an opportunity to participate in Poetry 99. It is also a treat to read the variety of submissions by our friends and neighbors. Hopefully, Hilary Beth Tellesen will continue to participate in this event. I enjoyed both of her offerings.

C. Kasey Kitterman

Time to demythify pot
Re: “Glaring spotlight” (Letters, by Jim Bettencourt, CN&R, Nov. 20):

Why do people believe that crime resulting from drug use today is a result of the drugs and not the fact that the usage and sale are illegal? Most drugs are cheap to produce; even more so when you remove the legal barriers in place today. The profits that are made from the drug trade are almost purely due to the fact it is illegal.

As such, the motive behind the sale and manufacture is in fact created by the same laws intended to protect us from drugs. The idea that this is what has happened is well supported by alcohol prohibition. Banning booze created an entire new way to make money from alcohol importation and sales.

Also, many deaths from drugs are due to the user not being aware of what they are in fact consuming. The environment, strength and content of the drugs can be unknown to the user. Further, the illegality of drugs makes seeking treatment much more difficult for any addict to seek.

I personally do not use, but I believe that it is any person’s choice if they wish to, and that the government has zero business being involved in the regulation of drugs. There already are laws to punish murder, theft, all very heinous acts. Why do we feel that drugs make them any worse? Is there a less awful way to do these things, some consideration that negates some of the act?

Stephen Talley

The new year brings the light of unity, as nations gather to address the issues of global warming, oil crises, economic collapse, health and world hunger with a fevered urgency. While considering all the options, the cannabis hemp plant is one solution in the search for alternatives. Hemp has ecological, industrial and medicinal values.

Hemp fiber became a major crop in Europe by 400 BC. Hemp-fiber production was most important to the developing colonies for homespun cloth and ship riggings. Hemp production was so important that in 1762 Virginia imposed penalties for those who refused to grow the plant.

The plant’s resilience and vigor make hemp a wonderful candidate for methanol fuel, unlike a tender crop like corn.

Not until the 20th century, when racially provoked, misguided politics developed a strategy to introduce myths about hemp (like lust, violence, crime and the degradation of religion), did marijuana hysteria take hold, and stayed, as with Mr. Bettencourt’s letter.

Recent studies are inundated with new results for healing—using the seed oil, leaf compound and roots. Just last month from Italy came evidence that cannabinoids kill staph infections! Don’t sell cannabis hemp short, Mr. Bettencourt; it could be what saves your life.

For sound sustainability, it is imperative that hemp be reinstated [as a legitimate crop]. Take the prejudice off its image! Hemp is our greatest renewable resource. Support the restoration movement and buy a hemp product today.

Darcy Stoddard, Tierra Sol Farm

Worst of both worlds
Re: “Metro Station” (Nightlife, CN&R, Nov. 20):

So, I’m guessing by the way you described them you have never heard a Metro Station song, because if you had, I’m sure you would know they are no teeny boppers. And they have never deliberately connected themselves to Hannah Montana; they can’t help it if a member is her [Miley Cyrus'] brother.

Using that as a way to describe them is just plain rude. They are their own band with their own music. Maybe next time you should do a little research first and use that to describe them, not just go for whatever you think is catchy.

Rusty Shackleferd

Re: “City sticking to Greenline” (Newslines, by Evan Tuchinsky, CN&R, Nov. 20): Riparia, described as Emily Alma’s enclave, is an organic-farm community owned in common by six people and farmed by several farmers. We apologize for any negative inference the reference may have imparted.