Letters: Do something | Reliable water

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Something must be
done to mitigate drought

Re. “Kill board plan to build costly Pacheco Dam,” Page A6, May 11:

Okay, if the proposed Pacheco Dam is a bad idea, then let’s not do it. But let’s do something.

It seems that everything in this state gets stuck in endless political wrangling, and the end result is that nothing ever gets accomplished (high-speed rail, anyone?). One thing is clear: California is experiencing more frequent and more severe droughts. The time to prepare for these droughts and do something about them is when we’re in a drought. That way when the rain finally does come, we will have the means (the “infrastructure”) to capture it, rather than to just watch it run uselessly into the ocean.

So far in the last 12 months, our “leaders” have drained the Anderson Reservoir, and are now bickering about this Pacheco Dam proposal. One wonders how any of this is helping with our drought readiness. Get off your butts and do something.

Joseph Gumina
San Carlos

Desalination a reliable

water source in drought

In the past nine years, California has had seven poor rainfall years. Yet our water agencies continue with the tired strategy of spending billions on dams like Pacheco, which are useless without rainfall.

Our reliable, inexhaustible source of water is the Pacific Ocean. We should obtain water from desalination plants, like in Santa Barbara, which gets 30% and San Diego, where about one-third of all water generated in the county is from desalination.

Yes, desal costs more than rain-fed water but efficiency is improving rapidly, as at Santa Barbara, which had a 40% improvement when its desal plant was recently reactivated. Electricity costs could be lowered further by using solar and wind.

California needs a reliable source for at least 25% of its water, to get us through drought periods. We could be heading for a water-rationing disaster of epic proportions. We should be willing to move forward with bold new ideas.

Dennis Gaushell
Sunnyvale

Downtown West plan
will ease housing crisis

The city of San Jose will take a vote May 25 on an unprecedented housing and economic development opportunity known as Downtown West, a project that will promote sustainable community development and increase the supply of homes at all levels of affordability.

Downtown West would transform 80 acres surrounding the Diridon Station transportation hub and add anywhere between 4,000 to 5,900 new homes, a quarter being set aside as affordable, as well as dedicating space to office, retail, arts, education, and parks and plazas. The project also includes a first-of-its-kind $200 million Community Stabilization and Opportunity Pathways Fund that will include significant support for anti-displacement, homelessness and affordable housing efforts.

If we are ever going to make a dent in our region’s severe housing shortage, we must seize on this massive opportunity to build thousands of market-rate and affordable housing units near transit and jobs.

Kelli Fallon
San Francisco

Business again giving
to duplicitous GOP

Immediately after Jan. 6, many companies ceased providing political contributions.  Some targeted their withholding only from those directly responsible for the insurrection, while others saw an opportune time to end political giving indiscriminately.

Not a half-year has separated that politically dangerous time from today, yet many companies quietly resumed their political spending.  Cigna, AT&T, Intel, JetBlue are a few who have ignored the danger of a reprobate party and resumed donating. The National Association of Realtors and Chamber of Commerce contribution cessation was purely for short-term “good will” benefit.

One quarter later, the donating companies presented some version of “our new policy” that they believe excuses their impropriety. Against corporations, citizens have no recourse but to get small and boycott them all.  Emerging from this pandemic offers an excellent opportunity to choose which corporate offender is no longer part of “our” new policy.

R. Cote
Castro Valley

Cryptocurrency fueling
rise in cyber-crime

It hardly takes a genius to see what is enabling the recent increase in cyber-crime, especially ransomware attacks: cryptocurrencies. These pseudo-monies were invented in order to encrypt transactions and keep them away from prying (government) eyes.

The obvious side effect is that they enable criminal activity of all stripes, ranging from human trafficking to money laundering to tax evasion to weapons smuggling to frauds of many sorts.

This news is republished from another source. You can check the original article here

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