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Letters: Water and dust at Owens Lake

November 01, 2012
  • Ted Schade is air pollution control officer in the 110-mile-long Owens Valley. He has forced the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to quell dust storms rising off the dry bed of Owens Lake, which L.A. drained to slake its thirst.
Ted Schade is air pollution control officer in the 110-mile-long Owens… (Don Kelsen, Los Angeles…)

Re "Man versus a metropolis," Oct. 28

In 1999, I moved to Mammoth Lakes. While traveling on the road that skirts the Owens Lake bed, I encountered a massive dust storm that chipped the paint off my truck. From afar it looked like a regular storm, but from within, it was dark and breathing was nearly impossible.

If the improvements that have been made since can be attributed to pollution control officer Ted Schade's work, then I applaud him.

That the L.A. Department of Water and Power and other California utilities don't want to clean up the pollution they cause is no surprise. Look at what PG&E did to Hinkley, Calif. That the DWP continues to try to steal water from the Eastern Sierra is just another slap in the face.

I hope this epic western ends the right way — with the good guy ending up on top.

Susan Berger

Mammoth Lakes

In 1989, I cycled with the Mono Lake Committee from the DWP headquarters in downtown L.A. to Mono Lake. I carried some water from a DWP fountain to stress the importance of restoring water to Mono Lake, a vital habitat for millions of migratory and nesting birds.

During our ride, some residents of the Owens Valley fed us lunch to thank us for our action, and I remember how one woman took me aside, almost crying, to describe the pain of having to breathe the dust of the dry Owens Lake.

It saddens me that the people of the Owens Valley are still suffering.

Donna Cassyd

Los Angeles

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