Letters for September 9, 2010

Split this baby!

Re “Water grab” by Burt Wilson (SN&R Essay, August 19):

It was with considerable interest that I read this essay by Burt Wilson. To put it another way, the whole water “thing” is a monster. A beast. A nasty, hungry tyrannosaur. And the hodgepodge of laws a century and a half old, along with their Rube Goldberg-ian court record, is a huge part of our problem.

But there is so much more. Mr. Wilson mentions Southern California’s loss of Colorado River overtake. He did not mention the amount: 2.3 million acre-feet (acre-feet, or AFs, are a better measure than gallons—fewer zeroes to digest. The east Yolo project was set to get a mere 45,000 AF). That has led to the bidding war as the [Metropolitan Water District of Southern California], et. al., race to buy up as much senior water rights as possible. This is why Folsom, short water due to growth, had to shell out $4,000 per AF for that North Natomas water a while back. This is just an example of where things will go unless serious attention is paid.

Southern California is offering us, through its pocketed pols, such a deal! They take our water in summer, when there is so little of it. They build more dams (wait for the big one—the Sacramento Valley returned to marshland overnight) up here. And we, who obtain no gain, get to share the pain—the bill—equally.

Here are three things I learned looking at water: One, pulling water in summer is stupid. There is water in winter to cover any near-term need. Two, if winter water is pulled, it needs to be stored down there! (And they can pay the whole nut to build storage.) Three, conservation must be employed—“gray water,” which is a potential diversion from urban wastewater and at its highest volume in summer, could cover a large amount of agricultural needs.

The methods of redistribution of water in use now are lazy, falsely labeled cheap, and dumb.

But, given the vote distribution in California now, I believe the only real hope for successful future reform in this area is to draw a line somewhere—through Modesto? Fresno?—and split this baby. Viva the new state of North California!

M.J. Shepley

Bravo, transformation

Re “Crossroads conversation” by Jeff vonKaenel (SN&R Frontlines, September 2):

Health-care (transformation) is one of the best issues this current administration has done thus far. With this change, individuals will have the opportunity to seek professional and quality health-care services.

Who would want to return to the days of the horse-and-buggy, black-and-white TV sets, manual typewriters, Pac-Man—you get the point. That’s about how old the health-care system was in the United States.

Each day the news is filled with social tragedies in which lives are taken at the hands of known acquaintances and/or family members. Our society is stricken with the institutions of white-collar crime permeating throughout this great nation, and greed, which tends to strike at the very fabric of our country.

I hope everyone will soon recognize and use the resources made by this transformation to seek professional medical attention as the need arises, rather than turning to illegal and criminal activities to resolve their issues.

Aiden José
via e-mail

A scourge upon the Earth

Re “TheCall to arms” by Kel Munger (SN&R Frontlines, September 2):

When people wonder why I, and others, feel so much animosity toward Christianity and religion in general, all they need to do is read stories like this one.

Now, I’m the first to admit that TheCall doesn’t represent the religious and political views of all Christians. However, it seems to me that it represents an inordinate number of them who can rightfully point to scripture to buttress their ridiculous and dangerous views, and that these views directly or indirectly influence our politics and laws to a disgusting degree.

Thus, I think that, overall, the scripture-based monotheisms are a scourge upon the Earth, and I can only hope that they will give way over time to more realistic and beneficial spiritual outlooks and practices, even though I’m cynical enough about the human race to acknowledge that this is exceedingly unlikely.

Steve Curless

Call to protest

Re “TheCall to arms” by Kel Munger (SN&R Frontlines, September 2):

Lies and misinformation fill the “churches” of H8 in order to incite good, but uninformed, people of God.

Leaders of TheCall want to do more then plant thoughts of fear and hatred into the minds of their followers—they also want to direct them to vote in the upcoming November election for candidates that have indicated a willingness to crack down on civil rights and social justice. It is up to those who have the backbone to stand up and let their voice of true peace and justice be heard, or the lies that will be spoken to the people who attend this weekend will become the truth to them.

I plan on being there, on the same grounds at the Capitol where thousands of people have stood before on behalf of civil and human rights, to counter those lies and give the good people who attend something to think about.

Kenneth Pierce

God bless you

Re “Two mosques” (SN&R Greenlight, September 2):

I thoroughly enjoyed your highly enlightening and inspiring article about Sacramento celebrating a new mosque, while in New York a mosque divides the country. May God bless you and many others who have a good heart and wisdom like you. You have shown it all the times. Thanks for publishing such a beautiful article.

Najme Minhaj

Go commando!

Re “It’s about money, not water” (SN&R Letters, September 2):

George Selkirk’s comment about the state “allowing” the growing of cotton demands response. It’s bad enough that we have to depend on countries that hate us for a lot of our oil. Do you really want to depend on people like Hugo Chávez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for your underwear?

Rob Sawyer

The green choice is clear

Re “Meg & Jerry” by Sasha Abramsky (SN&R Feature, August 19):

On one side we have [Meg] Whitman playing footsie with the Texas oil companies (who are bankrolling Proposition 23 to roll back California’s most important environmental law).

Then we have [Jerry] Brown, who demonstrated his foresight as governor by making energy conservation a signature policy and who, as Attorney General, has likely done more to accelerate implementation of climate change law and regulation than anyone else in California.

The publishers of “Super green!” (SN&R Feature, July 29) should understand this: The green choice could not be clearer.

Chris Morfas

Loves Schwarzen-baby

Re “Cartoon” by John Kloss (SN&R Opinion, August 19):

I had a good laugh over the Schwarzen-baby cartoon.

Many times since this ongoing economic depression began, [Gov. Arnold] Schwarzenegger’s actions have been inhumane and heartless, and when he doesn’t get his way, he publicly whines and cries about it like a spoiled brat. That’s all the more reason why I couldn’t stop laughing for several minutes at Schwarzen-baby.

In my opinion, Schwarzenegger is one of the worst people to come out of Austria since Adolf Hitler. All the more reason why seeing him getting bashed like that makes my day.

Please give the cartoonist who drew that my thanks, and keep up the good work.

Jeff Colen

Bad lungs …

Re “Coffee and cigarettes” by Kevin Young (SN&R Frontlines, August 19):

As a person with asthma, cigarette smoke is very irritating to the lungs. I can’t breathe normally when it is in the air. It isn’t always easier to just move somewhere else; I would love to, but that smell lingers everywhere and takes a while to dissipate. Besides that, I am not the one smoking, so why should I have to move? Even if you turn directions and blow the opposite way, it can still be smelled.

I appreciate Starbucks making the effort to keep their patios smoke free. I may have to put up with the smokers when I am walking around downtown, but at least I know I don’t have to worry about it at Starbucks.

Liza Hernandez

… and no smoke control

Re “Coffee and cigarettes” by Kevin Young (SN&R Frontlines, August 19):

If people like their cigarettes soooo much, why don’t they keep the smoke to themselves? Oh, that’s right—it’s absolutely impossible to control where that smoke goes!

Yes, they should ban cigarettes, but there is too much money tied into it. Well, every building you go to has a bunch of people outside smoking: parks, stores, kids’ spaces. It’s disgusting. My children don’t smoke; why should they have to inhale that harmful smoke? Air quality is bad, anyway. Every day, I see mothers walking their children with a cigarette in one hand and a child holding the other—at the park!

Maria Garcia
via e-mail

Uh, they get converts … and their contributions

Re “Something increíble for Mormons” by Gustavo Arellano (SN&R ¡Ask a Mexican!, August 19):

I enjoy picking up and reading your paper all the time, because it keeps me updated with what’s going on in Sacramento.

I have been following ¡Ask a Mexican! since the question arose, “Why do so many Mexicans convert to Mormonism?” I found his answers not offensive, but uneducated in the matter. Why is it so wrong to give people hope? Who are you to say it’s false hope? Have you died and experienced life after death? It’s hard enough trying to survive in this crazy world!

Also, why is it so wrong to disagree with homosexuality? There’s a huge difference between hate and disagreeing. Religions do not conform to our needs; we must conform ourselves to meet the requirements!

And here’s a question for you: Why would Mormons be wasting their time and money sending people to Mexico to go door to door sharing a message? What do they get out of it?