I read with great interest Bill Stall's article (Opinion, Aug. 3), "Owens Valley and the DWP--It's Still 'Them and Us.' " I found the article to be both interesting and disheartening. Interesting, in that the article addressed the many growing concerns of the Owens Valley and the rather subjective perspective of the impact the DWP has had on the area.
However, I was particularly concerned with Stall's overall limited perspective to a highly complicated situation. I find it unfortunate that the issue of "stolen" water continually seems to be referenced whenever the issue of the DWP and the Owens Valley are discussed. I'm aware that there are both sides to a story, and, unfortunately, a negative perspective is often times portrayed with respect to the DWP. Specifically, Stall complains that the DWP should become more involved in the eastern Sierra's social, educational, economic and cultural life through a variety of truly cooperative projects.
I would like to share an aspect of the DWP's involvement in the Owens Valley not mentioned in Stall's perspective. Approximately a year ago, the DWP requested that the Los Angeles Police Department develop a program to train their managers and supervisors to recognize drug impairment in the workplace. As an employee of the LAPD, I was given the responsibility for initially developing and presenting the program.
Over the past year DWP personnel in both the southern areas as well as the Owens Valley have received the training. While in the Owens Valley DWP management requested that a special program be developed for the community. This was accomplished and a number of law enforcement personnel and community members in the Owens Valley were provided a comprehensive drug recognition program. This was at no expense to the community and was provided on several occasions.
The DWP is now seeking to develop a similar program for the schools in the Owens Valley area, primarily due to their care and concern for the community in which they live and work. I'm also aware that the DWP is involved in a number of ongoing community projects to assist and provide support to the Owens Valley.
You see, I believe the DWP is involved in the eastern Sierra's social, educational, economic and cultural life. I believe there is much to do in the area, and the accomplishment of these goals should begin with an atmosphere of cooperation rather than continual antagonism.
JERRY L. POWELL