Preserving the desert
Re “Senator backs protecting two areas in the Mojave,” Dec. 21
I just read that Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is working to protect roughly 1 million acres of desert in Southern California.
How nice. But why doesn't she first save California's once-rich salmon runs in her San Francisco Bay backyard? She should stop aiding and abetting the San Joaquin Valley industrial agriculture operations that are taking too much of the water needed to rebuild the salmon runs in the Sacramento River.
Feinstein seems to forget about her original supporters in San Francisco, including all the salmon fishermen that call Fisherman's Wharf home. It's hard to understand how she can advocate for desert protections over protecting the fishery that has provided food and work to so many in places she should know well.
I applaud Feinstein's passion for the desert, but the utility-scale solar companies have been out of the loop for too long. Developers fear uncertainty, and many of the areas Feinstein proposes for preservation are in major transmission corridors.
It's easy for her to say that suitable transmission lines will be built in new alternate locations, but that is a long and expensive process.
I would also like to see Feinstein work to preserve coastal forests, most of which have been badly mauled by the timber industry. We need to allow them to regenerate naturally, which will be good for salmon and carbon sequestration. The senator has been far too friendly with the timber industry.
As an educator at Imperial Valley College, I would like to commend Feinstein on her California Desert Protection Act of 2010. This legislation would not only protect countless acres of plant and animal habitat along the Colorado River, it will also allow for the recreational use of these locations in a responsible and educational way, greatly benefiting future generations.
Protecting the beauty of our local desert areas truly gives our community something to be proud of.
Obama's battle with partisanship
Re “Obama’s failed his words,” Opinion, Dec. 22
Less than one year into President Obama's administration, writer Jonah Goldberg suggests Obama should have righted the sinking ship of partisan politics. This mind-set qualifies Jonah for a spot on "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" but not much else.
Goldberg blathers on about partisan, cynical bickering among senators and talk show hosts when he should actually look at himself. It is his rhetorical audacity that breeds cynicism, not Obama's painting of a brighter future.
Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf reportedly used to tell new officers they would meet cynics during their careers. His advice was to ignore them and do the right thing.
This is good advice for us all -- ignore the cynics, do the right thing, and support those endeavoring to do the right things for our country and our world, including President Obama.
Where was Goldberg's glass-half-empty bluster when the Bush administration ignored warnings before Sept. 11, handed billions in taxpayer dollars over to war profiteers like Halliburton, stymied every attempt to address global warming and ran our budget surplus into the ground?
Perhaps Obama can't work magic to undo eight years of damage in one year (don't think he promised that!) but at least he has an agenda and is making progress.
Just another outraged rant from Goldberg, who only grudgingly concedes approval of the escalation of the war in Afghanistan, the only issue he appears to care about. I hope Goldberg gives up his tiresome column soon and announces his candidacy for public office; I'm sure he would be received as the Republicans' up-and-coming bright star.
Safety an issue for Toyota owner
Re “Toyota keeps tight lid on safety issues,” Dec. 23
The Times deserves a Pulitzer for its reporting of the Toyota safety scandal. It's a superb example of the best in print journalism: experienced journalists turned loose on a major story, relying on solid research and facts to inform the community.
In this case, the facts point clearly to runaway hubris at the top of Toyota's corporate chain. Our family owns two Toyotas, but we'll never buy another until everyone associated with the company's record of secrecy and disregard for customer safety has resigned.
Equal treatment under the law?
Re “FBI might look into local case,” Dec. 23
Mitrice Richardson, whose behavior at a Malibu restaurant led to her arrest, was released from the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff's Station at 1:25 a.m. with no car, purse or cellphone. She has been missing for months, and now Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) has requested an FBI investigation.