“Folsom keeps growing. But will the city have enough water to meet its grand ambitions?” (sacbee.com, July 18)
The July 18 article and editorial questioning the availability of water for Folsom residents ignores the City’s careful planning, not to mention the facts. Folsom has and will continue to have the water infrastructure and long-standing water rights and contracts to serve our current and future population, even in the driest years.
Folsom has water supply contracts for 34,000 acre-feet of water from Folsom Lake, and currently uses less than 2% of the water that passes through Folsom Dam each year (the rest of the water flows downstream to provide supply for others). At build-out (expected by 2045), we expect to reach about 25,500 acre-feet of water required annually — well below those annual water rights. We intend to continue to be responsible stewards of earth’s most precious resource while also building water-efficient homes for California’s families.
“To fulfill promises of Diablo Canyon closure, California ignores fossil fuel emissions,” (sacbee.com, June 23)
The San Luis Obispo Tribune’s editorial, reprinted in The Bee, makes a strong case for shutting the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. Disposal of nuclear waste is a serious problem (see our own Rancho Seco Nuclear Generating Station). Indeed, conversion to fossil fuel (think coal) substitutes one environmental problem for another.
But Diablo Canyon is reported to provide 8% to 9% of California’s electricity. Will we be throwing out the bath water with the baby if the plant is closed? Can the plant be converted to natural gas, less undesirable than coal, for processing seawater to potability and, in the process, harness that energy for power? Perhaps the year 2045 will see solar power sufficiently developed to replace natural gas, our most plentiful state resource.
Get the vaccine
“Sacramento-area county returns to indoor mask mandate following update from CDC,” (sacbee.com, July 27)
We’ve all heard the phrase: you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. How about: a vaccine in time, saves nine.
What can I say that will convince vaccine naysayers to get a couple of pokes in the arm? Did you know that over 99% of COVID-19 deaths in June in the U.S. happened to unvaccinated people? The delta COVID-19 variant, the dominant U.S. variant, is both more contagious and more deadly than the original strain of the virus? The more people who get COVID, the more new variants we get, and the greater the chance for our loved ones to die.
What will it take to convince the skeptics? We’ve had million dollar lotteries, gift cards and free vacation drawings. How about this? If you don’t get vaccinated, you’re automatically entered in one more drawing: the death lottery.
“California bill targeting social media hate speech would hand keys to online extremists,” (sacbee.com, July 27)
The hyperbolic and inaccurate notion that Assembly Bill 587 would force social media companies to provide online criminals and extremists with blueprints to social media companies’ security is false. On the contrary, AB 587 would allow policymakers and the public to better understand how extremists exploit social media platforms.
In recent years, there has been growing concern around the role of social media in promoting hate speech, disinformation, conspiracy theories, violent extremism, harassment and severe political polarization.
Big Tech companies tout robust policies, claim to invest in content management and insist their current “transparency reports” are sufficient. Unfortunately, however, most policies are unclear, enforcement is inequitable and inconsistent and transparency reports are irregular and opaque.
It is high time we demand transparency from social media companies — it is a necessary first step to pushing hate and extremism to the fringes of the digital world.
“California’s biggest state worker union challenges Gavin Newsom’s vaccine order,” (sacbee.com, July 28)
Thank goodness I’m a retired SEIU (dues-paying) member, but I feel bad for the friends left behind. First, President Richard Brown said he doesn’t want to spend union money on politics, so SEIU will be outspent and out-lobbied by every other union and private enterprise lobbying. Brown says he took the stance to save union money for employees.
Now Brown is willing to waste money on a lawsuit he can’t and shouldn’t win. If you’ve ever worked anywhere with many, many people, you know you can’t even avoid the cold going around, let alone COVID-19. Do we wait until the virus mutates to a variant that’s more lethal to our kids and grandkids who can’t choose to get vaccinated before we use common sense?
Let’s work together
“California voters say Gavin Newsom recall election is a waste of money,” (sacbee.com, July 29)
In a time of pandemic and economic uncertainty, our elected representatives should be working together to address the non-partisan dangers facing California. Instead, Republicans are offering a cheap shot at Gov. Newsom, trying to oust him with a phony recall election that will cost taxpayers plenty.
Newsom is working to end the pandemic through an extensive and successful vaccination program, reopen schools and find ways to stimulate our economy. We should be working together, not playing political gotcha games.
Mark J. Palmer