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We must mitigate
I applaud The Mercury News for the excellent coverage of California’s recent storms and their resulting devastation. And wow, what a contrast to the extreme drought that we had been experiencing the past few years.
This extreme weather fluctuation is not a coincidence. Climate change has been wreaking havoc on our state. It is impacting weather patterns, altering the frequency and intensity of when it rains. A warming climate increases the moisture in the air, which unleashes longer, stronger and wetter storms.
We need to stop emitting heat-trapping climate pollution into the atmosphere. The longer we choose to burn fossil fuels, the more heat-trapping climate pollution we put into the atmosphere, which in turn exacerbates climate disasters and expense.
Our elected leaders must do the work to cut emissions, embrace carbon-free energy and transportation systems, and protect communities at risk — not only here in California, but also throughout the United States.
With fentanyl, don’t
be ‘the cool parent’
Thank you for your insight Johann Jacob (“Parents have critical role in fentanyl fight,” Page A6, Jan. 11).
Some adults just throw up their hands and say “they are just being teenagers” as a child starts messing around with drugs. These adults are a do-nothing lot. The result often is an escalation of drug use and in some cases death (or very close calls).
Parents, get involved, heavily. Being the cool parent is not cool.
Many in Congress
have violated oath
Mounting evidence has been provided that elected GOP representatives and senators are not eligible to maintain their positions in the House or in the Senate.
The 14th Amendment of our Constitution, Section 3: Ratified in the aftermath of the Civil War, Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment explicitly disqualifies any person from public office who, having previously taken an oath to defend our Constitution as a federal or state office holder, engaged in insurrection or rebellion.
There is ample evidence from the Jan. 6 committee and the Mueller report that Donald Trump and his allies in the House and Senate did engage in exactly that behavior. They should be held accountable and be removed from their public offices or be barred from ever holding a public office ever again.
Prop. 13 needs reform
for schools’ sake
Re. “California’s Proposition 13 battle enters a new phase,” Page A6, Jan. 6:
The recent discussions of Proposition 13 have completely ignored its devastating and lasting impact on our schools, especially for marginalized students.
As a person of color immigrant who attended public high school, community college and is a recent graduate of UC Berkeley, I can firmly say that my education was negatively impacted by underfunding.
It’s interesting to see how accepted and easily published this vilification of taxation is. But we never talk about the huge burden Proposition 13 put on the backs of our students. Every year it’s estimated we lose billions of dollars that should be going to our public schools from commercial properties alone. A recent legislative fix would recoup up to $12.5 billion a year.
Proposition 13 has robbed so many from my generation; and so many more future Californians will experience teacher shortages, the lack of extracurricular programs and overcrowded classrooms because of Proposition 13. People need to consider all the effects Proposition 13 has created for Californians.
CEQA isn’t holding up
In his recent column, Dan Walters falsely declares that the California Environmental Quality Act blocks affordable housing (“Environmental law’s misuse blocking housing brings calls for CEQA reform,” Page A9, Jan. 8). His argument relies on inflammatory rhetoric rather than established fact. He ignores empirical studies by reputable authorities — The Housing Workshop, UC Berkeley Law, and Association of Environmental Professionals — finding CEQA is not a major impediment to housing.
Walters discusses a case in Livermore, twisting the facts to criticize CEQA. The lawsuit’s plaintiffs sought to halt an affordable housing project, alleging it conflicted with the city’s downtown plans and challenging the city’s use of a CEQA exemption. The court easily dismissed these arguments, ruling the project was exempt from CEQA.
Walters got it exactly backward: The Livermore case demonstrates CEQA’s affordable housing exemptions are working. With its strong set of categorical exemptions, CEQA allows affordable housing to be built, while adhering to its purpose of protecting public health and the environment.