Letters for July 3, 2008

Letter of the week
Schwarzenegger and dams

Re “Dammed if you do, dammed if you don’t” by Dan Bacher (SN&R Feature, June 19):

This article misrepresents the Schwarzenegger administration’s consistent leadership and support for comprehensive water management to address California’s water crisis.

While the governor is adamant in his support for increased water storage in the face of climate change and California’s general year-to-year water uncertainty, Bacher omits quite a bit of the context for this discussion. In Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s most recent Strategic Growth Plan, he has proposed $11.9 billion dollars in funding for a comprehensive package of water supply and ecosystem restoration projects. Out of the $11.9 billion dollars, $3.5 billion is for water storage, both ground and surface water. That leaves the majority of the water bond package, [more than] $8 billion dollars, in funding for the following projects:

1. The implementation of a resource management plan for the Delta consistent with the Bay Delta Conservation Plan and recommendations of the Delta Vision Blue Ribbon Task Force with much of the funding directed at ecosystem restoration ($2.4 billion).

2. Water resource stewardship projects including Klamath River restoration, Salton Sea restoration projects, as well as restoration projects for the Delta and on the San Joaquin and Sacramento rivers ($1.1 billion).

3. Integrated regional water management grants which primarily fund regional and local water use efficiency (conservation), water reuse and recycling, and other projects designed to increase regional self sufficiency ($3.1 billion).

4. Water quality improvement funding to reduce groundwater contamination, assist community wastewater treatment projects, provide grants for stormwater management projects and to help the Ocean Protection Council protect and improve water quality in particularly vulnerable areas ($1.1 billion).

Increased surface storage would add much needed flexibility to the way we operate the state’s water system in the face of reduced snow pack and greater climate variability. Additionally, expanded storage could allow for reduced Delta pumping during dry years (when fish need water the most) and opportunistic pumping during wet years, when the ecosystem is flush with water. New surface storage projects would also allow for the optimization of groundwater basins through groundwater replenishment, which is generally achieved through the slow percolation of from water stored in surface reservoirs.

If successful, Governor Schwarzenegger’s water bond package would represent the single largest and most comprehensive investment in ecosystem and water management funding in the history of the state.

Lester A. Snow
director California Department of Water Resources

Angry guy hates pink!

Re “Pink couch” (SN&R Feature, June 26):

As a gay man, here are my observations and feelings on the issue of gay marriage:

First, I don’t give a shit about gay marriage and neither do most of my gay friends. Statistics so far show that lesbian couples are marrying at twice the rate of gay male couples.

Second, gay activists need to stop thinking they speak for all gay people on the issue of gay marriage.

Third, how long before we’ll hear these gay marriages ending up in divorce court after nasty and bitter breakups?

Fourth, is the news media just focusing on the butch lesbians getting married or are most lesbians more masculine than most straight men in California?

And finally, I hate the color pink—no pink couches for me!

via e-mail

Two dads=pretty damn good

Re “Smears, fears and queers” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Bites, June 19):

I’m just saying that two married dads are pretty damn good.

The Family Research Council and their ad about never being called “father” again really got my attention. If you stop acting like a father, I do believe you relinquish your title, and it has nothing to do with homosexuals gaining a right. And they want us to get their little “Marriage Protection kit”?

I have to wonder, what in the hell there is to protect? And from who?

It infuriates me that there is so much time wasted trying to save an imaginary idea posted on a damn piece of paper that otherwise is forgotten until time for divorce, which of course gay people will do better and with more flare.

My bet is that somewhere in the Family Research Council’s Marriage Protection kit there is a free Bible, a repentance checklist, a map to the nearest church and a list of up-and-coming baptisms for the nation’s lost souls.

Half page ads filled with ignorance really only shows how far we have come, and yet still how far we need to go. Isn’t there a war going on? Inflation? A recession? Global warming? Isn’t there anything more important that worrying about whether or not Sally and Joey have two married fathers? That seems to pale in comparison to dead 19-year-olds, homeless polar bears and gas prices. I’m just saying.

via e-mail

Princess, pay attention to paint!

Re “Welcome home!” by Sena Christian (SN&R Green House, June 19):

Your series on redecorating the house is very fun, but since I think “Sena, Eco-Warrior Princess” is reaching such a broad audience in the area, I want to point some things out, even though she said in the article to leave her alone.

Single-pane windows get a bad rap. Most of the energy waste in an older home comes from air infiltration through the floors, ceilings and wall cracks and inefficient appliances. As you say, the single best thing you can do is insulate, but more specifically the attic and the floorboards. Also, replace your appliances with the most energy efficient ones on the market when they burn out.

Older homes with single-pane windows are typically smaller in size than newer ones, so even though they leak and have inefficient appliances, they are still more energy efficient than a new average sized home with all the bells and whistles. Aesthetically, the cheap replacement windows have no place in an old house.

My house is the only one left on my block with the original single pane, wood framed windows. I’m starting to feel like Elk Grove and Roseville are bleeding on my “streetcar” neighborhood.

I guess the Eco-Warrior Princess hasn’t gone outside yet on her redecorating frenzy, but please, tell folks to stop wasting their money on new windows and try painting their houses in something other than the real estate agent-friendly colors (beige, grey and pale blue). Use at least three colors and make it pop!

As Sacramento holds its place as one of the worst housing markets in the nation, we all have to do our part to increase curb appeal and make the housing market unique and vibrant. When we get the property values back up, we’ll have some equity to go green.

And I know you’re not using it anymore, but please get your SUV off the cinder blocks in the front yard.

Ian Merker
via e-mail

He can’t vait

Re “Jewish jokes” by Todd Walton (SN&R Higher Ground, June 19):

I can’t vait to get a gopy of this book.

Fred Gant
Ashland, Ore.

Best steak chicana

Re “Bienvenidos” by Kate Washington (SN&R Dish, June 19):

I have spent 42 years dining at La Rosa Blanca. Although owners have changed over the years, the food has remained very good.

During the past 15 years, the food and service have risen to true excellence! The owner, Patty Lipp, and her children, Alex, Liliana and Jeremy, are among their best servers. Over the years, my husband and I have become friendly with them. This is truly a family business that caters to its customers, since most of them have been regulars for years, even on Auburn Boulevard. It was not uncommon for us to wait, oftentimes outside, no matter the weather.

I love all of their food, but they make the best steak chicana in all of Sacramento. Please go in soon and try it; you won’t be disappointed.

Linda S. Courter

Johnson agrees with Obama

Re: “K.J. vs. Fargo: Bring it on” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Frontlines, June 12):

A few notes on Cosmo Garvin’s excellent analysis of the Sacramento mayoral race, where the final results now show that Mayor Heather Fargo was able to only muster about one-third of the vote.

First, Kevin Johnson’s view on marriage equality is exactly the same as Sen. Barack Obama’s and Sen. Hillary Clinton’s. There’s not a word of difference.

Second, Johnson is from the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party. He supported Obama from the get-go, and participated in the delegate caucuses a few months ago. (Fargo endorsed Clinton, but failed to show up for the Clinton caucus.)

And third, Common Cause laments the cost of the mayoral campaign. But isn’t it Common Cause that is the main backer of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s new redistricting measure that would cause campaign costs to skyrocket. For some reason, Common Cause isn’t condemning the number of $250,000 contributions by Arnold’s big-shot Republican contributors from developers, Texas oilmen, and Swift Boat campaign backers. Apparently there’s no outrage from these self-proclaimed “good government” types when it comes to their own special interest agenda to reduce diversity (and Democrats) in the California Legislature.

Steven Maviglio

Hydrogen is storage, not source

Re “Fuelish behavior” by R.V. Scheide (SN&R Race to the Bottom, June 12) and “Hydrogen’s not all that ‘fuelish’” (SN&R Letters, June 19):

SN&R readers deserve some clarity on whether hydrogen is inherently infeasible as a fuel.

The crucial thing to realize is that hydrogen isn’t a fuel source (like wind or solar or fossil fuels); it’s merely a way of storing energy, like a battery. When you charge up a battery, you only get about two-thirds of that energy back again. Similarly, it takes more energy to make hydrogen than you get back when you burn it. Whether hydrogen is environmentally good or bad depends on what fuel was used to create it.

And I know this is really nerdy, but the law in question is the first law of thermodynamics, not the oft-quoted and certainly sexier second law. The first merely states that energy cannot be created or destroyed. If hydrogen was more than 100 percent efficient, it would violate the first law.

Owen Howlett