EDITOR: As of Wednesday, Lake Mendocino’s water supply pool is 37.61%. While driving up to Lake County along Highway 20, it’s easy to see Lake Mendocino is almost empty and silted over. With quite possibly six months before the rains come again (if we’re lucky), we have a great opportunity to move out a large amount of silt to increase the lake’s capacity.
With climate change and such a large demand for fresh water in California, I’m surprised none of our leaders have proposed this already. It could put a lot of operating engineers to work this summer. With a surplus in California’s budget it would be some well-spent money.
The longer we wait on this Golden State opportunity, time slips away.
The death toll
EDITOR: Deaths from COVID-19 have reached 3 million worldwide. That is 60% of the annual number of deaths by the tobacco industry. The difference is that the tobacco industry has been achieving its numbers every year for more than 50 years.
Biden on immigration
EDITOR: President Joe Biden’s immigration policy is like that old song: “First you say you do and then you don’t. Then you say you will and then you won’t. You’re undecided now, so what are you going to do?”
Biden’s first goals were good: connect the separated children with parents, enable tens of thousands of asylum-seekers to enter the U.S. and end strict restrictions on refugees from certain African and Muslim countries.
Now, he has all but abandoned the increased cap, and there are more unaccompanied children in temporary shelters than under President Donald Trump. He has placed Vice President Kamala Harris in charge of solving the migration problems, but there are few visible signs of progress. It’s time to take decisive steps to resolve the problems at our border.
I am listening
EDITOR: A darkness has emerged and stands proudly in a momentous pause of hope and determination for our country. For three weeks, I watched as scores of strangers shared their experiences in a court of law. Many spoke up despite their own fears and trauma. Others shared their knowledge of science, medicine and police practices. Most spoke with respect for those who still suffer as a result of that knee and those steely blue eyes. Twelve jurors pulled the truth out from what sometimes felt like a dust storm delivered in long, pedantic speeches. I thank God for their courage, their wisdom and their common sense.
I want to reach out and touch all the glowing Black and brown faces across our country with my own pale blue eyes and say, I am listening.
Focus on how, not why
EDITOR: Whenever there is a mass shooting, news reports and the authorities immediately speculate on the shooter’s motive. Often the motive is unknown or the shooting is attributed to mental or emotional disturbance. Regardless of the motive — “why” a shooting took place — the equally relevant question is “how” it took place. And the usual answer is that guns were too easily available to the shooter.
Although we should always strive to reduce mental and emotional disturbance at the policy and personal levels, we will never eradicate it. But we can and should use public policy to reduce the easy availability of guns, particularly military-grade weapons.
In other words, we can address the “how” of gun violence much more easily than the “why.” Let’s not be distracted by guessing at motives while wringing our hands helplessly. Instead, we must focus on concrete policy changes at all levels of government to reduce gun availability.
Voting for Chavez
EDITOR: Oscar Chavez is the best candidate in the May 4 special election for the Windsor Town Council. I have been privileged to witness, and at times be a part of, the successful trajectory that Chavez has forged since he moved to Sonoma County. In a relatively brief amount of time, he has demonstrated a firm grasp of grassroots issues through the lens of the Community Action Partnership, and a deep understanding of the workings of county government from his position in the Sonoma County Human Services Department.
As guest speaker at Sonoma State University, he has demonstrated a scholarly understanding of policy regarding the building blocks of a successful community.
The wide scope of his understanding of social issues is reflected in the high caliber of speakers he has brought to the yearly State of the Latino Community meetings of Los Cien. All of these rich experiences he has brought to the Windsor school board and many other town activities.
Chavez is a dedicated, tireless worker, committed to quality results and empathetic with the feelings of people at all levels of society. He is not just a good man, he is a wise human being. Especially in these difficult times, he is undoubtedly the kind of candidate the Windsor Town Council needs. He deserves our vote.
FRANCISCO H. VÁZQUEZ
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