Letters for April 12, 2001

Gray leadership

Re “Gray’s Flack Attacks” (SN&R Letters, April 5):

Are you getting soft? Are you a little unsure of yourselves on the positions you’ve recently taken? Don’t be, your the only media outlet that has the guts to ask the questions that need to be asked and keep asking them until you get an answer, or whatever the spin-masters like Steven Maviglio will consider an answer.

Governor Davis’ lame proposals will never fix our problem. Sure, the Republicans got us into this predicament, but what we need is a real leader to take decisive action to get us out of this quandary—not remind us of who got us here. Davis’ plan to purchase the distribution grid from the major utilities does nothing to increase the supply of electricity. The grid is the distribution channel, it doesn’t produce one extra megawatt no matter who owns it. His conservation plan is all bark and no bite. Where are the rebates for energy efficient appliances? I’d be at Filco tomorrow for a new fridge for a lousy hundred-dollar rebate. But Davis would rather spend $35 million a day on the spot market for power than do something effective, fast and enduring like an appliance rebate.

Ready for a layperson’s solution to this mess? Economics 101—you remember, supply and demand? What Governor Davis doesn’t realize is that this is simply a lack of supply problem. My 10-year-old son has a better grasp of economics than Governor Davis. My son lived through the Beanie Baby and Pokémon supply/demand cycle that sent prices for “Garcia” and “Charzard” through the roof. Now that there are tons of Beanies and Pokémon available, what happened to the price, you ask? Go ask your kid—you will find the price so low, few people care anymore. So to solve this power dilemma, build capacity and build it fast! Once we have more electricity than we need, watch the prices come down.

To answer your question, has SN&R gone too far in criticizing Governor Davis’ lack of action in his handling of this crisis? You haven’t gone far enough. Gray Davis has only proven his ability in one area—building a $25 million dollar re-election war chest. We need to impeach this spineless bastard before he gets the chance to spend it.

Steve Greiner
Granite Bay

Burnt toes

Re “Gray’s Flack Attacks” (SN&R Letters, April 5):

You asked for our opinion about your coverage of the energy crisis. I say the reason you are getting heat from the governor’s office is because you are doing exactly what every newspaper in America should be doing, which is to hold the politician’s feet to the fire (this is called holding them accountable). Or should I say this is called responsible journalism, which virtually doesn’t exist in America today. I heard something recently that I think your readers will especially appreciate: “In America, the press is only as free as you have the money to buy access to it.”

Keep up the great work SN&R, you are truly one independent source of vital information for Californians, for Americans.

Rose Taylor

Forget the partisan politics, we need leadership

Re “Gray’s Flack Attacks” (SN&R Letters, April 5):

Steven Maviglio’s view of the energy crisis is more compost for our yet-to-be-paid-and-built cogeneration plants. We need to remember that Democratic majorities have existed in the Legislature for years and that nothing including the deregulation measure gets passed without their sign off. This energy crisis simply can’t be blamed on partisan politics. Leadership has been deficient at the legislative and executive levels since learning of the flawed deregulation scheme early last year. All elected officials have been asleep at the switch in their oversight of the Energy Commission and PUC. Gray’s conservation plan is a joke for families of three, four or more persons that run more washing machines, more dishwashers, open refrigerators more, etc. We need new leadership in the Governor’s Office and Legislature, perhaps higher bills and blackouts will provide the impetus for action at the polls next year. Keep up your good work on this critical issue.

D. Dana

Dodging responsibility

Re “Gray’s Flack Attacks” (SN&R Letters, April 5):

There they were, all 120 of them, totally stuck with a set of almost insurmountable humiliating problems. There was no easy way out for any of them. No matter what decisions they made, in the end, each one of them would personally suffer.

Alas! Their obligations to solve these problems was gratuitously taken from them. An ego-driven Don Quixote swept their problems away and took the responsibility as his own, regardless of the associated disgrace and shame.

Oh! Those 120 happy, happy legislators. “Saint Davis,” that’s it—he should be canonized. Not only those 120 direct recipients of his efforts, but all of us will no doubt benefit from his having solved our energy problems, and the Legislature having avoided them. Right?

Does anyone keep track of stupid political tricks? Has there ever been a better example of political reality being blinded by ego?

Eugene Rippen